Exciting Bass Upper Harmonics

Posts 1 - 16 of 16
  1. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Thu 28th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Hello guys it's been a while. I finally upgraded to Fl studio 12, well more like I was forced to as my old PC broke down and I had no back up.

    I guess I was overreacting I actually love the way FL 12 works. Some minor annoyances also gone whohoo.

    Anyway I found out about Maxxbass from waves and I love what it does. It makes your low end be as noticeable on laptop speakers, and smaller monitors that won't replicate low end.

    I was wondering if anyone knew if this could be replicated with basic daw tools? I tried saturation, but it's nowhere near as Maxxbass.

    I own waves plugins, but on my temporary PC I cant use them since windows 7 lacks something in it's OS, that would allow me to use their downloader. Updating this PC is impossible as the updater gets stuck for days and no progress is made.

    Anyway the point is, has anyone been successful at processing bass like maxxbass does? A lot of the tracks from LP I hear lack that low end on crappy speakers without that kind of processing that adds upper harmonics to bass.

    I'm not looking to make the sub low end bigger, just give the illusion that there is more bass in a way that can translate to low quality speakers if you know what I mean.

    Here is the showcase:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLyFXxnynfc

  2. 186161
    Spivkurl : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    As far as I know from the one or two times I used it, MaxxBass is simply a preset EQ curve with compression in a simple interface. Do a low cut EQ or filter, with frequency and reso(Q) to taste. Possibly do a gentle cut in the mid range... 250-800 Hz. Then if you feel that it needs it some opto compression, with range and threshold to taste.

    Really, pretty much the only time I use compression on bass, whether real or virtual, is when I am going for sidechain compression specifically. Other wise, EQ and adjusting volumes in the mix can properly enhance the sound of bass.

  3. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Thanks for commenting Spiv. I have tried to EQ bass a thousand ways and I never get the effect I'm looking for. I hear all these modern metal and rock bands that have a low end presence that can be heard even in my 1 dollar earphones from walmart, but that is not the case with my music.

    My music has a nice bass on good equipment, but as soon as you turn to the cheaper equipment my bass just dies and it does not sound modern anymore.

    This has been a mystery to me for years. To make it work on my 1 dollar earphones I'd have to make my bass overpower my mix on my studio monitors, then switch to my earphones. What's the point of that? On the other hand all these professionally made mixes sound the same no matter where you play them.

    What a pain.

  4. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Am I being unrealistic? Should I just screw it? If people play their music through a system that may not correctly replicate the low end of an arrangement would that just be their fault and not mine?

    Maybe I'm just being stuck up I dont know.

  5. 186161
    Spivkurl : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Is it possible that what you are hearing on these rock and metal releases is not as "low end" as you think? Many rock sort of bassists tend to use bass gear which favors upper harmonics, down to the instrument and amplifier they choose.

    I'll have to add my usual question just to clarify... Are you speaking about a recording of an actual bass, or is it a VSTi/rompler?

  6. 186161
    Spivkurl : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    When you let me know about my previous question, maybe you could also give some examples of songs in which you hear this "low end" bass which you speak of?

  7. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Fri 29th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    I was talking about an actual recording of bass. I've messed with recorded bass waves before, but they were completely clean as in DI, along with other stems then tried to mix it to sound as a rock mix.

    Maybe my mistake was grabbing some random recorded bass that was not optimized for rock/metal. I did not know some bassists actually had gear that favored upper harmonics. Come to think of it maybe that's why they have the amps they have etc. What a fail on my part lol.

    I was trying instead to mix those basses to sound like a rock/metal mix.

    Here is an example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P1ZJbqECsY

  8. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sat 30th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Even just the bass guitar itself can favor harmonics that you will often hear in metal, modern rock and similar genres. Good examples of bass brands like this would be Carvin and Music Man in my experience. Just DI for those will often give you a range which is more audible, but also more common in other instruments which might be in the mix. Other instruments could easily be frustrating you more than the original sound of the bass recording.

    When I am not recording direct, I now use a Music Man CA34 active bass, with a Music Man tube/solid state hybrid head, and a Carvin 2x10 cabinet for my usual bass setup. You can of course dial it to a really low end sound, but a more moderate setting will favor low-mid, or even higher ranges. How it is all set up; physical set up (action, intonation, etc) on the bass guitar, tone and volume settings on the instrument, as well as settings on the amp... it all has a bearing on the range of harmonics that will end up in the recording. This is part of why I prefer to have the instrument in hand... complete control.

  9. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Sat 30th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    Welcome to the life long quest for good bass tone. It's not an easy road as most would surmise,typically the attitude is hey it's just background bottom end for the important stuff that's happening up front....wrong! lol. Seriously though I can sympathise with your conundrum, getting the right bass sound for any given situation requires some planning and frequency smarts. In metal music there's always a lot of distortion and overdriven guitars, rule 101 here is if you can't beat them join them and preferably with a sharp attack and short decay on the bass tone, there's not a lot of space left in the mix between raging guitars so make what you do short sharp and heavy (and fast)...are you playing the instrument or using a midi rompler or bass loops?

  10. 951439
    Evisma : Sat 30th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    A lot of modern/heavy bass guitar recordings are done with a blend of D.I. and distorted lines. D.I. giving the lows and the mids, while a slightly distorted duplicate helping to cut through the mix.

    Try running a copy of the bass line through an overdrive like the Sansamp. Blending the two signals usually gives me desirable results.

  11. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sat 30th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    All in all, my best advice if you do not have control over the source recording, is to focus less on the individual instrument track. Instead give lots of time to the mix, so that the bass is not being detrimentally effected by other instruments, in vice verse.

  12. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sat 30th Jul 2016 : 6 years ago

    *or* vice verse, not *in*

  13. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Tue 2nd Aug 2016 : 6 years ago

    Ufff I didn't see the replies lol. Thank you all for the ideas!!!!

    You are so right Planetjazzbass. I thought the same, then I noticed my bass was dead, killing my songs as a result whenever I listened to them in small speakers that could not reproduce bass well. I do both midi and real bass recordings. When I did midi I did Scarbee Rickenbacker bass Vst. When I did bass recordings I probably never used the right bass waves, or did not know how to make it work. I will do some testing with your advice thanks!

    Thank you Evisma I will go play with some bass waves now and see what happens. I was usually afraid of blending in multiple bass sources into one maybe because of bad experiences when I was very new to mixing. I made it a 'no no' practice in my mind, but hey I guess I'll try it again now that I'm much more experienced.

    Spiv so you are saying look at the big picture then as in spending more time with the master track? I'll try lol. I have a habit of trying not to hit the master until the very end of my mix for the very last touches before mastering. I know there is a top-down mixing technique where you can start a mix by making light adjustments to the master then working your way into the individual tracks if needed. For some reason my mixes sound better when I do the opposite. I'd listen to the song, and look for problems such tracks muddying the song, and began adjusting (usually guitars, and strings). After all EQ, and compression, and creative effects I would go to the master for minor adjustments to finalize the mix. Well I guess I can always give it another shot.

  14. 186161
    Spivkurl : Tue 2nd Aug 2016 : 6 years ago

    "Spiv so you are saying look at the big picture then as in spending more time with the master track?

    No, this is exactly the opposite of what I was saying. Mastering should not even come into play when you are simply attempting to make a bass sound good. I said "Instead give lots of time to the mix, so that the bass is not being detrimentally effected by other instruments, or vice verse." Did not say anything about mastering.

    In your last reply, you say "When I did bass recordings I probably never used the right bass waves, or did not know how to make it work." What do you mean by bass waves?

  15. 1392969
    Zergmazter : Tue 2nd Aug 2016 : 6 years ago

    I meant someone who knows how to play the bass recorded it and I used it. I don't know any of the details besides that. I don't know if it was amped, mixed, or anything in between.

  16. 186161
    Spivkurl : Tue 2nd Aug 2016 : 6 years ago

    Okay, that is what I thought, and it leads me directly back to my earlier recommendation... "All in all, my best advice if you do not have control over the source recording, is to focus less on the individual instrument track. Instead give lots of time to the mix, so that the bass is not being detrimentally effected by other instruments, or vice verse."

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