Sub bass hits

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Corey Y
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Sub bass hits

Post by Corey Y » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:26 pm

I finished recording a very heavy metal/hardcore type band last week. I'm just about done with the mixing phase and they asked me to put in "808s", which I assumed (and confirmed with them) meant sub bass hits. I have oodles of kick samples including an 808, but they're not getting the desired effect. I've never done anything like this before and had no idea that it's apparently popular in some heavy music now, not just club music. I honestly think it's completely unnecessary, as they're already so low tuned and heavy that I had to mix out a lot of low frequency just to keep the music from sounding like it was recorded through peanut butter.

Any advice on this? Resources for good free samples or something I'm missing about eqing it to achieve that sub bass only pop/rumble they're looking for? I seem to get either a loud buzz or a barely discernible rumble. Maybe the guitars are just that bass frequency heavy that it's not noticeable, not sure yet.

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Post by HuskerDude » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:44 pm

When I do that sort of stuff in (for example) house music, I usually use some sort of LP filter to just get the low "whump" without the tone/attack of the bass drum itself. There are samples out there that are exactly what you're looking for, usually just called something like "808 BD (low)" or something along those lines.

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Post by rhythm ranch » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:38 pm

You can set up a low patch on a synth and trigger it from the kick or set it up as a drone and use a gate triggered by the kick (or anything else for that matter).

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firesine
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Post by firesine » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:06 pm

Someone posted this in another thread.

http://www.goldbaby.co.nz/tape808.html

Not free but it looks pretty sweet.

Also, what kind of system are you monitoring with? Take a listen in someones car with 2 12"s in the back and see if its still just a "barely discernible rumble."
Mmm, lung butter.

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Post by thieves » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:56 am

when i played in a metal/hardcore band back in the late 90's, i had a trigger set up to throw these in here and there. an 808 kick sample actually works really well if the release is long enough and you shift it down a few steps. the real key is figuring out where to put them. i almost always put them in on 1, either when i was playing a super fast beat with lots of snare (think amen break)... or, they sound really cool at the beginning of a half-time breakdown, if they're doing anything like that.
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Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:33 am

I'd say, "Does anyone in the band do programming?" If not, then I'd say it's all about band creation and if the band can't create it, it's not going on the record.

That said, as a producer, gathering up shit samples like that for use is just something we all do anyway, isn't it. Is it in the archive then?

I can imagine the next post after you lay them in-

"I just finished up with this metal band and I've laid in these sub bass drops, but I can't hear them in my monitors. I only have 5" woofers and when the drops hit, I can't hear them. When I take the mix out to my car system which has a sub, they are WAY TOO LOUD.

What am I doing wrong?"

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Post by dsw » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:44 am

I'd say, "Does anyone in the band do programming?" If not, then I'd say it's all about band creation and if the band can't create it, it's not going on the record.

That said, as a producer, gathering up shit samples like that for use is just something we all do anyway, isn't it. Is it in the archive then?

I can imagine the next post after you lay them in-

"I just finished up with this metal band and I've laid in these sub bass drops, but I can't hear them in my monitors. I only have 5" woofers and when the drops hit, I can't hear them. When I take the mix out to my car system which has a sub, they are WAY TOO LOUD.

What am I doing wrong?"
Dude.
People come here for help.
People here try to help as best they can.
Why would you think responses like this are helpful?
Don't be such an ass.
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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:49 am

I'm aware of what sub bass is and how to monitor it. I just don't have any point of reference for what types of samples work well and what type of eq works best for something like this. I've never had any call for this in the past and I've never used it for my own music. I've been doing what I always do, take an educated guess and refine by trial and error. I figured someone who has more experience with electronic music might have some insight that will save me some time or maybe help me avoid some common mistake, what with this being a discussion forum for recording music and all.

I found some free samples of "bass drops" and I've been playing around with pitch shifting and eqing some kick samples I already have, making a few alternate mixes that I can compare back to back and seeing what works best. As it stands now the project has already been mixed, so I'm adding the samples in as a separate track along side my mix, then mixing down to stereo again and monitoring it on my surround sound system and a few different stereos to check the sub bass levels. So if the band decides they don't want the sub hits it doesn't set me back any. They've already picked out the spots where they want them placed, so that's not an issue. It's more of a technical challenge than a creative one at this point.

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Post by ashcat_lt » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:51 am

People also come here to express their opinions and individual perspective. It's up to the reader to filter through these to come up with something that they can use. He is kind of a prick, though.

Of cousre, I agree with most of what he said. My first thought was to wonder if the OP's system and listening environment is giving a good picture at those low frequencies. My second thought was the whole sine wave thing that rhythm ranch talked about.

It's going to require some careful bass management. HPF the guitars and bass a bit higher than you might think appropriate in order to leave some room down there. I might try actually tuning the "808" to the root of whatever chord the band is playing when it hits. At these extreme low frequencies, it won't sound like a note by itself, but it will beat against the lower frequencies in the rest of the mix. Could cause some strange non-harmonic sidebands to pop up in the area of the bass guitar and low extends of the guitars which could spell MUD.

It occurs to me too that a large part of the impact of these things may come from the mix-bus compressor or (more likely) the mastering limiter. That extra low frequency energy would push down the rest of the mix a bit, making it sound louder in comparison. You might try a multi-band compressor on the mix.

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:08 pm

That's good advice ashcat, pretty much already on that page. The band plays in drop B with a very thick tone, so I had to filter out a lot of low end and run multi-band compression on the mix already just to keep things clear without losing the low end punch they want. I've been careful not to be too heavy handed with it, I don't want to squash the hell out of the tracks before they even get to the mastering stage. So I'm trying to keep aware of how I might need to adjust the overall mix once I get all this sub bass sorted out.

Also, I don't take offense at anyone's presumption or opinion. No one here knows me, they don't know how much I know or might be ignorant of. As for perceived rudeness, if I was sensitive enough to get riled by it I wouldn't be posting on forums. Opinions about whether or not I should even be doing this if they're not going to play it live are not a consideration. I'm not debating recording philosophy, I was asked to do something and I'm working on accomplishing it with to the best of my capability. I inject my personal recording philosophy where it's applicable and with tact.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:14 pm

ashcat_lt wrote:People also come here to express their opinions and individual perspective. It's up to the reader to filter through these to come up with something that they can use. He is kind of a prick, though.
People come here to hear another person's perspective.

www.ehow.com is a better sight to find out how to do things.

Should there be some kind of messageboard condom or something?

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Post by firesine » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:25 pm

So what kind of system are you monitoring with?

If you can really hear whats going on and have a decent sample all you need to do is get the level right within the mix. MAYBE lowpass but see what you can do without because the attack is part of that sound.
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Post by Corey Y » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:39 pm

Right now I'm using small (5" low freq drive + 1" hi freq) active monitors. Obviously not appropriate for checking the sub bass frequencies, I already listened to a large group of sample through them just to check anyway. I'm planning on checking the sub bass on my 5.1 surround sound system, which has a 10" sub woofer. My recorder uses .wav as its native format, so I was planning on doing some mixes with different samples, exporting them onto a flash drive and playing the files directly through the system via usb (which is already set up) to save time burning cds. I was going to find the sound I like best first, then fine tune the mix as necessary.

I'd love to have a better system for my monitoring, but that's what I have for now. I just bought a house this week too, so it's probably what I'm going to have for a little while yet, heh.

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Post by Brett Siler » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:36 pm

@?,*???&? wrote: Should there be some kind of messageboard condom or something?
Yeah, it called a Moderator.

Anywayssss... I know you found some "bass drops" but I'll just throw out some techniques I have used before. This is kinda a longer way than probably how you are doing it but here it goes.

1. I will record a kick from my Zoom drum machine (any ol' kick will work), apply plenty of reverb and smash the fucking fuck out of it. Sounds like thunder. Sometimes LPF, sometimes not

2. Make a track of a sine wave from anywhere 40-70Hz. Put a gate on that sine wave track and sidechain it to the kick drum. Then mute or cut out the sub bass hits you don't need. Compressor and some verb probably helps too.

Blend to desired level.

BASS! (thats supposed to be Chuck D saying that)

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firesine
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Post by firesine » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:39 pm

Is there any way to hook that 10" sub to your mix system just for a bit? The main thing here is getting the level right, not too loud where it sticks out, maybe even pretty low in the mix so you feel it rather than hear it. This is a lot easier when you can hear/feel what your fader is doing in real time.
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