sub synth

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joninc
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sub synth

Post by joninc » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:26 pm

why does everyone want to put this on their music? of course it has it's place, but it usually just eats up way too much space as a constant drone and I'm always fighting to make it audible on small speakers. seems to be all of the sudden on everybody's tracks... what's the origin of this trend?

sorry for the rant.

(it's probably just the covid isolation actin up again...)

(ps As a reaction against this I seem to be loving upright bass which has so much less sustain than electric bass and therefore leaves way more room and openness in a song. of course it doesn't always work either but it's a welcome reprieve from the oppressive density of the synth bass)
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markjazzbassist
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Re: sub synth

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:34 pm

i'm with you. the new thing in music is to have those sub bass synth pads. as a bassist this is akin to the 80's synth bass lines. STOP TRYING TO GET RID OF YOUR BASS PLAYER BY PUTTING MORE KEYBOARDS ON YOUR RECORD. sorry i'm a bassist just had to. yeah i think it's the EDM stuff that has leaked into everything now. everyone and their sister has a korg mono whatever and is dumping synths on everything. i love synths, but use them tastefully.

what i dislike very much (again bassist here) is the massive prevalence of sub-70Hz content in music. i hate subs. i like bookshelf speakers or car stereos or headphones. nothing about 30Hz excites me in music. i don't even like it in movies those huge Sub blasts and stuff. it's just annoying. i play bass, and i like bass (ok so maybe it should technically be called low mids but still) just as much as the next person, but the Sub stuff i can't stand. there is a reason HPF are so big with bassists now (and even being put on amps), people don't want that low rumble boom, they want tight punchy bass.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: sub synth

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:46 pm

Guilty! Although my sub synth is usually bass pedals or this guy -

Image

Honestly though I really only use it on singer songwriter type tunes where I want to have some low end but don't want it to be a percussive/rhythmic element. Those records where you need some overdubs but you don't want anyone to notice them. Egg shaker, piano accenting melodies that are in the guitar part, bass pedals.
Gotta watch the bass pedals though. Set the level. Check on headphones. Check in the car. Once you find the spot, dial it back 25-30% because it eats everything if it's even a little too loud.

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markjazzbassist
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Re: sub synth

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:08 am

dave the picture isn't showing up, i would love to see what you use though

kslight
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Re: sub synth

Post by kslight » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:37 am

My business partner has one of those, except it’s the Rheem Kee Bass. I have a Rheem water heater, lol.


I consider myself a synth guy but I almost always high pass and side chain the crap out of synth when in a rock band context.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: sub synth

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:45 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:08 am
dave the picture isn't showing up, i would love to see what you use though
Hmmmmm. I wonder if it’s a browser thing?

Anyway, it’s a Raven Piano Bass. Aka Rheem Key Bass. As seen in the video for Whip It by Devo.

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Re: sub synth

Post by vvv » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:37 am

Mebbe if you paired the synth with a upright part?

(yep, it's probably just the covid isolation actin up again...)
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joninc
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Re: sub synth

Post by joninc » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:18 pm

i have and use favorite keyboards for bass stuff too... just not all the time, playing everywhere, in place of or in addition to (!!) a bass guitar. I bought a behringer Model D last year and I love it for bass stuff. I also like using the juno 106, organ bass pedals and my piano bass for this kind of stuff. sometimes the ms20 is perfect too.

Lately I've been doing a lot more mixing of projects i didn't produce and I'm starting to see it pop up a lot more constantly. (And I do like phat/thick low end on mixes so it's not really an issue of me not liking these that are bassy in general.)

I like the timbre of it as a musical choice for the right songs - my issue is more the way that by nature it's a square wave/constant thick sound so it tends to be too dense and eat up a lot of space - and be pitched so deep (30hz anyone?) that it's resonance can't be heard or felt well on smaller speakers unless there's tons of top end - which is usually obnoxious. Yes it can be played more sparingly, but by and large it's being played like a drone with no space between notes.

just feeling perhaps its being OVER done, like synth pads in the 80's or 80's synths for the last 8 years :)
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Snarl 12/8
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Re: sub synth

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:28 pm

It occurred to me that people might be hoping for a little sidechain magic.

Like, sidechain those drones to the kick drum, or bass line to make them less static and work in the mix better.
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: sub synth

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:57 pm

Snarl 12/8 wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:28 pm
It occurred to me that people might be hoping for a little sidechain magic.

Like, sidechain those drones to the kick drum, or bass line to make them less static and work in the mix better.
I’ve been working on mixes for an ambient record and have been using this quite a bit. The tunes are all based on early classical melodies and the instrumentation is vocals, drones (usually m1 and/or hurdy gurdy) and various percussion. I’ve been duplicating the drone tracks, pitching them down an octave or two, gating with a side chain to the percussion. It’s cool. It either works or doesn’t but when it does it gives a real musical pulse to the tracks without taking up tons of space or attention.

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