Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saturator Ideas in Ableton - Adding a little bit of electro dirt to a bass track

This is not a tutorial, only some notes I am taking about using the saturator in ableton. Its a crazy little tool that is one of my last to really try to understand. After reading the manual over like 10 times times today...and playing around here are some notes.

This applies to electro make a nice round bass sound really raunchy. But this technique can be good for tons of other things because using the wave shaper within it very subtly can at a tiny bit of dirt if thats all you are looking for.

First, double your bass track. Make one that is playing the normal round bass. The 2nd is a duplicate with a saturator on it like this. -

Waveshaper is chosen because it is the only option with the 6 other parameters open (lin, depth, curve, etc). Put the drive up a bit to get it going.

(ALSO make sure the smaller drive option in the bottom right corner up all the way to start)

Toss on the color options, which is basically 2 kinds of filters. The base is controlling the bottom frequencies. Drop that puppy down a little bit to toy around with the low/mid frequencies to make raunch to a bass. You can move it up a bit if you are looking to just add high frequency raunch since it will just be accenting the other bass anyway.

Now alter the frequency knob, which acts like an EQ for controlling higher frequencies. You use this to almost find the note/frequency to match your bass. Its also the experimental & artistic element of this technique.

Also toy around with the depth and width. Depth is strong at this point. Listen to the 2 basses together to get a nice rauchy sound.

Anything above 0 on the depth will really start to make it sound nasty.

Use the lin to dictate a little bit of the bass end of it. (this can be different though depending on curve and depth settings) It works with the curve and depth parameters to shape the linear portion or the curve.

VERY IMPORTANT ELEMENT - Fine tune with the CURVE parameter. Too much of that will will over raunch it. There is a very small range you can find depending on your other setting to get that nice little touch of raunch to the sound...instead of it sounding very independently dirty. In my case here, its sitting around 22% and is tossing on a nice little tad of electro raunch.

Just play around with those parameters to get a nice little nasty extra sound to your bass. Sounds very electro.

Again, these are just notes. There are a million other ways to add dirt to your sound, this is just a nice way to do it with a round bass sample when you dont have many options to work with like you do within a synthesizer.



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