Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Today was a bass building day. Quick notes for today.
Always use 2 - 3 synths for making bass. Build one on top another. Notes for building-
Start with a nice round bass that sounds good with other basses, then build off of that one, using 1 or 2 other synth sounds to build on top of it many times. It will also help to define a style for you if you find a really nice one, and then use it again and again in different tracks. People will notice that sound as YOURS.
Also, dont forget to save ONE audio file of the original bass incase you want a soft breakdown of the bass in its original form, or you want to build off of it again.
Dont forget to save your midi files for retrieval in case you want to easily remember the midi notes you used and build off of it again. (just drag the files into a folder...and always name the file with the date).
Its nice to use 2 or 3 separate programs to make your basses because that just adds to the uniqueness, and there is a less chance of hearing that same sound in another producers track.
Transpose the 2nd synth up one whole octave (or even 2) sometimes when making basses because it can add the higher sounds to the bass that may make it sound really nice. You usually need to keep the volume down on the 2nd synth however because higher frequencies are heard stronger than bass, and you dont want it to over power the bass.
Save about 5 different basses using the same notes, so when you go to actually make a track, you have many to choose from...and also, its nice to switch bass sounds, but not the notes, within a track.
Cutoff is your friend when making basses. Cut those high frequencies out. Presets tend to be a little bit high in frequency...probably because most users dont have great speakers, and the presets sound better that way. A professional will always be EQing it anyway. If you are worried the cutoff will remove frequencies you may want, then keep them in, and then EQ them out later. But remember when you save an audio file with layered basses, it may be hard to remove the frequencies of a certain synth within it without removing nice frequencies from the other layers...so take that into consideration.
Be careful with in-synth delays when making samples out of them. They may sound bad when layering. Add delays later if you want them over top of the whole sample instead of what is already built with many synths, that way the delay effects ALL the sample, and not just a piece of it....unless it sounds good and you want it that way.
Remember, basses will ALWAYS sound shitty when making a track unless you EQ it based off all the other sounds. Dont worry about it sounding shitty while you make it, it can be all fixed in post production as long as you didnt ruin any of the tones or frequencies.
Tech house bounce can be made with a nice delay on a second synth, but latered overtop a very low frequency, cut off bass. Just bounce the 2nd one, and it will accent the 1st.
When making layers of basses, you will be surprised as to how well NON bass sounds can accent a bass sound. So choose even bells, percussion hits, or regular light synth sounds to accent them, then make the volume lower. It really adds to the uniqueness of a bass sound.
Always record your layered samples under 0db, never clip them....they can be brought up later.
Dont compress your samples. Save that for post production.
Its ok for things to sound flat for now.
Zebra & Blue are an excellent combination of soft synths for basses that I used today...contrary to the past when i was using Imposcar.
I really need to learn to use the sequencing feature within blue to make nice rolling tech house basses. Understanding the velocity and swing will really make some nice basses.
OTHER NOTES NOT RELATED TO BASSES THAT I THOUGHT ABOUT LAST NIGHT WHILE LISTENING TO BEATPORT -
REVERSE CYMBALS AND SNARES are an excellent addition to the end of a sweep on the HIT.
Guitar hits sound great when added to the end of a bar where a cymbal will be.
Bouncy basses between 2 notes, on the 2 & 4 of a measure making a really happy bouncy sound, contrary to more serious tech house sounds.
SIDE chain the kick with a sweep or long release synth makes a really nice effect.
Put an LFO on sweeps too, and autopan them for a nice effect.
Idea for track K_B1_K_B2_K_B1_K_B1+G1 K-Kick, B - Bass note 1, G - guitar hit
Well thats about it for today.