Regarding "Soundbytes" article on Bass

Have an urge to learn, or a calling to teach? Want to share some useful Youtube videos? Do it here!
User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

Today I stumbled upon this article here: https://soundbytesmag.net/tutorial-how- ... ress-bass/

And while I did not read all of it, but noticed the paragraph "How to write a bassline" is full of contradictions. Or maybe I am misunderstanding something here? :mrgreen:

Author says : "E2, for instance, you’ve got your fundamental frequency at 82Hz"

Ok, I checked in Ableton since it has all notes labled (unlike Reason) and loaded up Serum with Pro-Q3. Drew E2 sine wave note. Frequency was ~165hz. So what gives?

Funniest part was that author included the image with a keyboard and frequencies written on top of each key. It implies that best sub bass frequencies are from E1 to B1 (from ~40hz to ~60hz). Then in the next sentence author now says this:

"The main bass fundamental frequencies should be in the range of 60-130Hz (C1 to C2)"

But the image author uploaded says that C1 is somewhere around 32hz! Either I am crazy or author was high as kite writing this stuff.

So my question is, which note is EXACTLY E2? 165hz or ~82hz? Because if the image in the article is correct and E1 is 41hz then E2 must be ~82.

See attached my own findings :mrgreen: because either author uses some kind of different notation system or DAW notation is supposed to be interpreted differently somehow and I am wrong?

Edit: article seems make no difference between words "bass" and "sub bass" so maybe that's where my misunderstanding is?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Propellerhands on 14 Oct 2022, edited 1 time in total.
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3173
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 14 Oct 2022

Man.... 😂

You do realize the midi note doesn't really mean anything when you talk about synths cause you van change the octave on the device, therefore go by frequency, not by the midi note number 😂😂😂

Try to divide those numbers you complain about in half and see. 😂🤣😂
The latest release:

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10561
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 14 Oct 2022

Depends on who you ask, Yamaha or everyone else… ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
14 Oct 2022
Man.... 😂

You do realize the midi note doesn't really mean anything when you talk about synths cause you van change the octave on the device, therefore go by frequency, not by the midi note number 😂😂😂

Try to divide those numbers you complain about in half and see. 😂🤣😂
I understood absolutely nothing what you said.
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

selig wrote:
14 Oct 2022
Depends on who you ask, Yamaha or everyone else… ;)
I ask everyone else then :D Generally speaking, do the notes in a DAW represent same notes as in the article? Even if they did not, the article still contradicts itself with the values written in the image that author uploaded and then next sentence that the author wrote. So I want to understand, what the heck? Which frequencies is he talking about?
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

User avatar
stillifegaijin
Posts: 179
Joined: 27 Oct 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

This very handy website might help.

https://pages.mtu.edu/%7Esuits/notefreqs.html

I suspect the synth you are testing on is pitched an octave higher so your E2 is actually E3.

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10561
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 14 Oct 2022

Propellerhands wrote:
14 Oct 2022
selig wrote:
14 Oct 2022
Depends on who you ask, Yamaha or everyone else… ;)
I ask everyone else then :D Generally speaking, do the notes in a DAW represent same notes as in the article? Even if they did not, the article still contradicts itself with the values written in the image that author uploaded and then next sentence that the author wrote. So I want to understand, what the heck? Which frequencies is he talking about?
According to what you have posted they are interchanging the octaves at various points. As a life long piano player I always called C4 Middle C since it's the fourth C on the keyboard. However, after MIDI was introduced I "learned" to call middle C "C3/60" since that was what was supported in a majority of the products available at the time. I even remember early software sequencers having the option to choose which middle C you preferred to use. This is also why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always "60" in that world!
That said, I still find this chart to be super handy from time to time despite it's insistence on middle C being "C4":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

selig wrote:
14 Oct 2022
Propellerhands wrote:
14 Oct 2022


I ask everyone else then :D Generally speaking, do the notes in a DAW represent same notes as in the article? Even if they did not, the article still contradicts itself with the values written in the image that author uploaded and then next sentence that the author wrote. So I want to understand, what the heck? Which frequencies is he talking about?
According to what you have posted they are interchanging the octaves at various points. As a life long piano player I always called C4 Middle C since it's the fourth C on the keyboard. However, after MIDI was introduced I "learned" to call middle C "C3/60" since that was what was supported in a majority of the products available at the time. I even remember early software sequencers having the option to choose which middle C you preferred to use. This is also why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always "60" in that world!
That said, I still find this chart to be super handy from time to time despite it's insistence on middle C being "C4":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies
What do you mean C3 is 60? Sixty Herz? Wikipedia says C3 is 130Hz. So I am still confused how people get different frequencies and yet call it the same thing :D

So furthermore the DAW notation does not correspond to traditional piano notation in terms of frequences? C2 in a DAW will be C3 on a real piano?
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 14 Oct 2022

stillifegaijin wrote:
14 Oct 2022
This very handy website might help.

https://pages.mtu.edu/%7Esuits/notefreqs.html

I suspect the synth you are testing on is pitched an octave higher so your E2 is actually E3.
Yes, but it does not explain why in article one sentence they say one thing and next sentence another. Or the fact that it absolutely contradicts the frequencies (or notation) inside a DAW. Unless the author does not think that electronic music musicians will be reading it which is nonsense. So basically I wanna know what is correct way to use it? Who should I trust, my DAW or what is written in wikipedia? Serious question. So far haven't gotten an answer :puf_smile:

So E2 is ableton is not E2 but in fact E3? That is what I am asking fundamentally. The synth isn't pitched. Tried with Serum and with Subtractor. Same result. Unless all plugin developers purposefully pitch up their synths 1 octave
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

User avatar
Jagwah
Posts: 2354
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 16 Oct 2022

There is a free tuning VST called GTune. It reads the sound and then tells you what frequency it detects. Reliable and accurate imo, might be useful for you.

User avatar
huggermugger
Posts: 800
Joined: 16 Jul 2021

Post 16 Oct 2022

The MIDI note numbering system is inconsistent. Sometimes Middle C is called C3, sometimes C4. Logic even gives you a choice.

It's better to be a scientist and think of frequencies. Start with A440, the A above Middle C. The open A string on a guitar is two octaves below that, which is 110Hz (440/220/110). The low open E is obviously lower than that, about 82Hz. An electric bass is one octave lower than a guitar, so its open A string is 55Hz. Its open E must be lower, and is in fact about 41Hz.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3173
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 16 Oct 2022

As I said earlier in the thread, but op couldn't understand: ignore octave numbers, go by frequency. 😂
The latest release:

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10561
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 17 Oct 2022

Propellerhands wrote:
14 Oct 2022
selig wrote:
14 Oct 2022


According to what you have posted they are interchanging the octaves at various points. As a life long piano player I always called C4 Middle C since it's the fourth C on the keyboard. However, after MIDI was introduced I "learned" to call middle C "C3/60" since that was what was supported in a majority of the products available at the time. I even remember early software sequencers having the option to choose which middle C you preferred to use. This is also why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always "60" in that world!
That said, I still find this chart to be super handy from time to time despite it's insistence on middle C being "C4":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies
What do you mean C3 is 60? Sixty Herz? Wikipedia says C3 is 130Hz. So I am still confused how people get different frequencies and yet call it the same thing :D

So furthermore the DAW notation does not correspond to traditional piano notation in terms of frequences? C2 in a DAW will be C3 on a real piano?
I didn’t say 60 Hz, I said: this is why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always ‘60’.
MIDI note numbers always mean the same frequency as far as I’ve ever experienced, but I’m not aware of every spec out there…

And yes, this is the entire problem you experienced in that video, two conflicting ‘standards’ - I’m not sure how the “C3” vs “C4” thing originated, but it was IIRC around the time the MIDI spec was introduced.

And to be precise C3 can either be 130.8128 Hz or 261.6256 Hz depending on who you ask, but MIDI note “60” is always 216.6256 Hz.
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Propellerhands
Posts: 193
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 17 Oct 2022

selig wrote:
17 Oct 2022

I didn’t say 60 Hz, I said: this is why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always ‘60’.
MIDI note numbers always mean the same frequency as far as I’ve ever experienced, but I’m not aware of every spec out there…

And yes, this is the entire problem you experienced in that video, two conflicting ‘standards’ - I’m not sure how the “C3” vs “C4” thing originated, but it was IIRC around the time the MIDI spec was introduced.

And to be precise C3 can either be 130.8128 Hz or 261.6256 Hz depending on who you ask, but MIDI note “60” is always 216.6256 Hz.
Ah, it clarifies a lot. Thank you. I guess there is no way of knowing upfront what a person means when he says C2 or C3 unless asked specifically for frequencies or which standard they use, piano or DAW. This stuff always confused me and I just wanted to make it clear in my head.
"Shut the fuck up and use the software. It's great." - stillifegaijin on Reason

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10561
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 17 Oct 2022

Propellerhands wrote:
17 Oct 2022
selig wrote:
17 Oct 2022

I didn’t say 60 Hz, I said: this is why I prefer to use MIDI note numbers because middle C is always ‘60’.
MIDI note numbers always mean the same frequency as far as I’ve ever experienced, but I’m not aware of every spec out there…

And yes, this is the entire problem you experienced in that video, two conflicting ‘standards’ - I’m not sure how the “C3” vs “C4” thing originated, but it was IIRC around the time the MIDI spec was introduced.

And to be precise C3 can either be 130.8128 Hz or 261.6256 Hz depending on who you ask, but MIDI note “60” is always 216.6256 Hz.
Ah, it clarifies a lot. Thank you. I guess there is no way of knowing upfront what a person means when he says C2 or C3 unless asked specifically for frequencies or which standard they use, piano or DAW. This stuff always confused me and I just wanted to make it clear in my head.
Indeed, anyone in the industry SHOULD understand using octave numbers is not the clearest way to communicate frequencies! For me, when I see stuff like that I can't help but wonder what other oversights were made by that person. ;) Remember that piano octaves don't even cover the entire audible spectrum and despite the lowest key on a piano being "A", the octaves are listed from C to C in each octave, making the lowest three keys on the piano A0, Bb0, and B0. Logically, it should run from A to A (alphabetical order anyone?) with A1 being the lowest key on the piano.

Ideally as audio engineers at least, we should speak of the 10 octaves in the accepted audible range. So 20.6 Hz to 41.2 Hz would represent the first octave E1 to E2, with 10,548 Hz to 20753 Hz representing the last octave E10 to E11. That's the way I think about the audible spectrum even though I try to stick to the MIDI standard of Middle C = C3 when using octave numbers despite being both a piano player and audio engineer!

Bottom line, WHATEVER standard you choose, BE CONSISTENT please!!! ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3173
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 17 Oct 2022

Yes, I always think of C3 as middle C. But when talking music outside of the piano, I personally prefer to stick to frequency numbers and completely ignore octave numbers. I only care about the notes coming out sounding good regardless of octave number 🤷‍♂️ i just play sounds on several other octaves until the sound sounds good and fits my song. Just stating the obvious.
The latest release:

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 2 guests