Bass and Kick EQ'ing!

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RobC
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Post 07 Dec 2018

After a bit of experimentation, for me, kick and bass without ducking sounds way better. (I used ducking earlier.) Where it sounded weak, simply raising the levels alone, added what I was missing from it, what earlier made me use ducking.
This gave me the idea, that to a finished, exported song, I can add a bit of extra, too by raising the level of spots/hits that I may find weak.

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selig
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Post 07 Dec 2018

RobC wrote:After a bit of experimentation, for me, kick and bass without ducking sounds way better. (I used ducking earlier.) Where it sounded weak, simply raising the levels alone, added what I was missing from it, what earlier made me use ducking.
This gave me the idea, that to a finished, exported song, I can add a bit of extra, too by raising the level of spots/hits that I may find weak.
Ah, the voice of reason!

Remember, there is only one waveform in the end. That’s the only waveform that matters. I’ve personally never ducked on a mix and ended up keeping it. Always sounded better to simply choose the best sounds that work together from the start.

That’s why I keep saying things about context, and listening to be sure exactly what it is one is trying to “fix”, rather than just automatically ducking (or similar) because that’s what someone else did.

You always need to know the WHY - why did that mixer duck? Could be he was sent crappy sounds and that was the best available choice to avoid total crap. When you mix for others, you always make compromises. When you mix for yourself, you should never have to make compromises!


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aeox
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Post 07 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
07 Dec 2018
RobC wrote:After a bit of experimentation, for me, kick and bass without ducking sounds way better. (I used ducking earlier.) Where it sounded weak, simply raising the levels alone, added what I was missing from it, what earlier made me use ducking.
This gave me the idea, that to a finished, exported song, I can add a bit of extra, too by raising the level of spots/hits that I may find weak.
Ah, the voice of reason!

Remember, there is only one waveform in the end. That’s the only waveform that matters. I’ve personally never ducked on a mix and ended up keeping it. Always sounded better to simply choose the best sounds that work together from the start.

That’s why I keep saying things about context, and listening to be sure exactly what it is one is trying to “fix”, rather than just automatically ducking (or similar) because that’s what someone else did.

You always need to know the WHY - why did that mixer duck? Could be he was sent crappy sounds and that was the best available choice to avoid total crap. When you mix for others, you always make compromises. When you mix for yourself, you should never have to make compromises!


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Ducking bass is a certain sound in itself in EDM genres. There no other way to achieve that pumping sound without ducking :puf_smile:

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selig
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Post 07 Dec 2018

aeox wrote: Ducking bass is a certain sound in itself in EDM genres. There no other way to achieve that pumping sound without ducking :puf_smile:
That’s different right? It’s an effect that you exaggerate, can be done with filters or faders or side-chain compressors (or CVs, if using Reason).

What we’re talking here is getting bass and kick to “gel”, for lack of a better word.


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aeox
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Post 07 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
07 Dec 2018
aeox wrote: Ducking bass is a certain sound in itself in EDM genres. There no other way to achieve that pumping sound without ducking :puf_smile:
That’s different right? It’s an effect that you exaggerate, can be done with filters or faders or side-chain compressors (or CVs, if using Reason).

What we’re talking here is getting bass and kick to “gel”, for lack of a better word.


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I don't know, is it? I meant to reply to Robs post above yours btw :lol:

If done properly it shouldn't sound like an exaggerated effect and the aim result for me is getting the kick and bass to "gel" but in a different sounding way. You're right, it's contextual of course.

RobC
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Post 08 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
07 Dec 2018
RobC wrote:After a bit of experimentation, for me, kick and bass without ducking sounds way better. (I used ducking earlier.) Where it sounded weak, simply raising the levels alone, added what I was missing from it, what earlier made me use ducking.
This gave me the idea, that to a finished, exported song, I can add a bit of extra, too by raising the level of spots/hits that I may find weak.
Ah, the voice of reason!

Remember, there is only one waveform in the end. That’s the only waveform that matters. I’ve personally never ducked on a mix and ended up keeping it. Always sounded better to simply choose the best sounds that work together from the start.

That’s why I keep saying things about context, and listening to be sure exactly what it is one is trying to “fix”, rather than just automatically ducking (or similar) because that’s what someone else did.

You always need to know the WHY - why did that mixer duck? Could be he was sent crappy sounds and that was the best available choice to avoid total crap. When you mix for others, you always make compromises. When you mix for yourself, you should never have to make compromises!


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In the past, I was fooled by many things, especially the loudness war trend. The ducking, what started out as an effect, became later an essential trick to make mastering a bit more easy. Now that I ignore the loudness war, a lot of gates opened and many things changed. For me, it actually started with when I got into studying 'preparing for vinyl'. Even my first attempts made me realize what people are doing to their mixes. The dynamic range is there to be used. When it comes to releasing music, record labels will do what they want (mastering wise) with the audio anyway.

This forum is sort of my "rehab". And yes, looking at the mainstream music was a bad idea without proper analysis - the what and why they are doing.

RobC
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Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
07 Dec 2018
selig wrote:
07 Dec 2018


That’s different right? It’s an effect that you exaggerate, can be done with filters or faders or side-chain compressors (or CVs, if using Reason).

What we’re talking here is getting bass and kick to “gel”, for lack of a better word.


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I don't know, is it? I meant to reply to Robs post above yours btw :lol:

If done properly it shouldn't sound like an exaggerated effect and the aim result for me is getting the kick and bass to "gel" but in a different sounding way. You're right, it's contextual of course.
When it comes to music, it's very different. Ducking is an attempt to automatically make room as transparently as it gets. As for the pumping effect, point is to make it stand out instead of being transparent. Personally, I will rather use the pumping effect by automating levels, especially cause you can be far more creative - no need for strict saw-like pumping, sometimes it's fun to do some square-like shapes or whatever fits best. I will never use it on rhythmic/percussive elements that have transients, but rather on sounds with flat dynamics.

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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:
07 Dec 2018


I don't know, is it? I meant to reply to Robs post above yours btw :lol:

If done properly it shouldn't sound like an exaggerated effect and the aim result for me is getting the kick and bass to "gel" but in a different sounding way. You're right, it's contextual of course.
When it comes to music, it's very different. Ducking is an attempt to automatically make room as transparently as it gets. As for the pumping effect, point is to make it stand out instead of being transparent. Personally, I will rather use the pumping effect by automating levels, especially cause you can be far more creative - no need for strict saw-like pumping, sometimes it's fun to do some square-like shapes or whatever fits best. I will never use it on rhythmic/percussive elements that have transients, but rather on sounds with flat dynamics.
I use to do the ducking via automation but that got extremely tedious after doing many tracks as you could probably imagine. I've got my own method of doing it that isn't restricted to "saw-like pumping" with just as much flexibility as automation but without being over-tedious. Oh, and it has nothing to do with loudness.

"when it comes to music" - Not sure what you mean by this, I'm definitely talking about music here.

RobC
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Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018


When it comes to music, it's very different. Ducking is an attempt to automatically make room as transparently as it gets. As for the pumping effect, point is to make it stand out instead of being transparent. Personally, I will rather use the pumping effect by automating levels, especially cause you can be far more creative - no need for strict saw-like pumping, sometimes it's fun to do some square-like shapes or whatever fits best. I will never use it on rhythmic/percussive elements that have transients, but rather on sounds with flat dynamics.
I use to do the ducking via automation but that got extremely tedious after doing many tracks as you could probably imagine. I've got my own method of doing it that isn't restricted to "saw-like pumping" with just as much flexibility as automation but without being over-tedious. Oh, and it has nothing to do with loudness.

"when it comes to music" - Not sure what you mean by this, I'm definitely talking about music here.
How did it become a lot of work for you?
If the aim is to aid the process of reducing the dynamic range - in such cases, it's about loudness.
I meant that ducking is more about engineering, while pumping is more of a musical effect.

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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018


I use to do the ducking via automation but that got extremely tedious after doing many tracks as you could probably imagine. I've got my own method of doing it that isn't restricted to "saw-like pumping" with just as much flexibility as automation but without being over-tedious. Oh, and it has nothing to do with loudness.

"when it comes to music" - Not sure what you mean by this, I'm definitely talking about music here.
How did it become a lot of work for you?
If the aim is to aid the process of reducing the dynamic range - in such cases, it's about loudness.
I meant that ducking is more about engineering, while pumping is more of a musical effect.
You've lost me. The aim isn't to reduce dynamic range. I'm not sure where you got that from.

The line is very blurred between engineering and musical effect. It's all sort of the same to me.

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selig
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Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018
How did it become a lot of work for you?
If the aim is to aid the process of reducing the dynamic range - in such cases, it's about loudness.
I meant that ducking is more about engineering, while pumping is more of a musical effect.
You've lost me. The aim isn't to reduce dynamic range. I'm not sure where you got that from.

The line is very blurred between engineering and musical effect. It's all sort of the same to me.
One aim of ducking is to “make room” for both kick and bass when they hit at the same time. Otherwise, they will push the overall peak level higher when they hit together than whey they don’t. But most techniques don’t actually really accomplish this, which is why I suggest using a crossfader which absolutely insures the level never increases when both kick and bass hit.

So in that respect, the idea is indeed to reduce dynamic range.


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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:
You've lost me. The aim isn't to reduce dynamic range. I'm not sure where you got that from.

The line is very blurred between engineering and musical effect. It's all sort of the same to me.
One aim of ducking is to “make room” for both kick and bass when they hit at the same time. Otherwise, they will push the overall peak level higher when they hit together than whey they don’t. But most techniques don’t actually really accomplish this, which is why I suggest using a crossfader which absolutely insures the level never increases when both kick and bass hit.

So in that respect, the idea is indeed to reduce dynamic range.


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Yea I get that but the intention is getting something that sounds good. I'm not thinking about the dynamic range at all, so that's why I was confused.

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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

I'm still a little confused about this..

So by trying to achieve this desired sound that I like, in turn I'm reducing dynamic range?

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Zac
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Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
I'm still a little confused about this..

So by trying to achieve this desired sound that I like, in turn I'm reducing dynamic range?
Just an observer here but as Selig deems answering a question the purpose of any audio manipulation... I think you both have different questions here.

Getting the kick through basslines or even the whole mix as an effect versus ensuring a constant peak level whilst doing so seem like different objectives to me. But what do i know?
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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

Zac wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
I'm still a little confused about this..

So by trying to achieve this desired sound that I like, in turn I'm reducing dynamic range?
Just an observer here but as Selig deems answering a question the purpose of any audio manipulation... I think you both have different questions here.

Getting the kick through basslines or even the whole mix as an effect versus ensuring a constant peak level whilst doing so seem like different objectives to me. But what do i know?
Hey man you know just as much as me :D

I just made a comment about the loudness thing because for me it's not about the "loudness war" or trying to be louder than everyone but more about getting a sound that I desire. When I think loudness war I think of squashing the entire mix with a compressor and slamming the limiter :P . I believe you're right though, we are thinking about different things here :P

Forgive the confusion everyone. Carry on.

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selig
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Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:I'm still a little confused about this..

So by trying to achieve this desired sound that I like, in turn I'm reducing dynamic range?
Having already established two goals for ducking, only one of them has anything to do with dynamic range.

And ducking is only one way to get a kick and bass to work well together.

My main point is that the best way to get them to work together when working with synths and samples, is to choose wisely and arrange accordingly.

EQ etc. can fix errors made early on (and of course be used creatively), but as always it is better to get things right at the source if and when possible!



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aeox
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Post 08 Dec 2018

selig wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:I'm still a little confused about this..

So by trying to achieve this desired sound that I like, in turn I'm reducing dynamic range?
Having already established two goals for ducking, only one of them has anything to do with dynamic range.

And ducking is only one way to get a kick and bass to work well together.

My main point is that the best way to get them to work together when working with synths and samples, is to choose wisely and arrange accordingly.

EQ etc. can fix errors made early on (and of course be used creatively), but as always it is better to get things right at the source if and when possible!



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I couldn't agree more!

This is why I synthesize all my kicks and snares from scratch , so I know what frequencies are what, etc. :thumbs_up: Usually I'll get the kick and bass to gel or sound good without ducking, then I still end up doing some ducking because I like the sound

RobC
Posts: 1079
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 08 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018


How did it become a lot of work for you?
If the aim is to aid the process of reducing the dynamic range - in such cases, it's about loudness.
I meant that ducking is more about engineering, while pumping is more of a musical effect.
You've lost me. The aim isn't to reduce dynamic range. I'm not sure where you got that from.

The line is very blurred between engineering and musical effect. It's all sort of the same to me.
I was speaking in general, simple as that. You pointed out earlies, that it's not about loudness. I understood that. Then I simply presented the case 'when' it would be about loudness.

It's a bit esoteric. The difference comes out when you think about 'what' you use it for.

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aeox
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Location: Oregon

Post 08 Dec 2018

RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018
aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018


You've lost me. The aim isn't to reduce dynamic range. I'm not sure where you got that from.

The line is very blurred between engineering and musical effect. It's all sort of the same to me.
I was speaking in general, simple as that. You pointed out earlies, that it's not about loudness. I understood that. Then I simply presented the case 'when' it would be about loudness.

It's a bit esoteric. The difference comes out when you think about 'what' you use it for.
Ah okay. Gotcha :puf_smile:

RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 09 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
RobC wrote:
08 Dec 2018


I was speaking in general, simple as that. You pointed out earlies, that it's not about loudness. I understood that. Then I simply presented the case 'when' it would be about loudness.

It's a bit esoteric. The difference comes out when you think about 'what' you use it for.
Ah okay. Gotcha :puf_smile:
Now, as for creating that pumping effect, maybe there is some way to extract something from the music, that we can apply the effect on (if I for example don't want to affect transients of basses).
Unless there is no way to properly add the effect without sacrificing dynamics. I mean, adding some ambient noise, and modulating its level, or for pads, whatsoever, probably won't make a big impact.

Ah, the agony! To pump, or not to pump. And how to pump, and how much to pump.

RobC
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Post 10 Dec 2018

aeox wrote:
08 Dec 2018
selig wrote:
08 Dec 2018


Having already established two goals for ducking, only one of them has anything to do with dynamic range.

And ducking is only one way to get a kick and bass to work well together.

My main point is that the best way to get them to work together when working with synths and samples, is to choose wisely and arrange accordingly.

EQ etc. can fix errors made early on (and of course be used creatively), but as always it is better to get things right at the source if and when possible!



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I couldn't agree more!

This is why I synthesize all my kicks and snares from scratch , so I know what frequencies are what, etc. :thumbs_up: Usually I'll get the kick and bass to gel or sound good without ducking, then I still end up doing some ducking because I like the sound
I do create from scratch, too!

After 13 years, I still start out from Subtractor. xD Though it's not the only one working of course.
Here's a clap I quickly made. Fun part is, that god knows where you end up when creating sounds.


RobC
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Post 18 Dec 2018

Though dangerous area, phase rotation can help sometimes, too.

RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 18 Dec 2018

...and since it doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet, Reason's slicing and stretching tools are better than ever. So we can just do some slicing, comparing waveforms, then stretch and position as needed, finally recombine.

RobC
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Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 03 Jan 2019

RobC wrote:
18 Dec 2018
Though dangerous area, phase rotation can help sometimes, too.
Or rather all pass filtering...

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