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Old 6th January 2011 , 07:56 PM
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Default conflicting bass and kick drum !!!!!!


I am currently writing a trance/break beat track but i am having problems with conflicting bass and kick drum frequencys im aware that they are both llying in the same range and the have done reserch and it seems that i can use a side chain comp to over come this...i am running cubase and im trying to set up the c1 side chain comp in waves which i have but for the life of me do u think i can set it up correctly so that my kick drum comes nicely thro my bass appregio mix.....without the slight farting of basses....i really am pulling out my hair as i always get stumped understanding compression....hope this makes sense to somebody in the know..any advise on setup or technique to over come this major headache would be greatley appriciated...BIG TIME

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Old 18th January 2011 , 10:19 AM
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I guess there are a number of thing to do to sort this out.

1. Might be worth actually pitching the kick so its in key, so that way it doesnt sonically clash.

2. Look at the frequuencies of each - one of them (usually the bass) probably has a lower fundamental than the other, so use EQ to actually separate them a little (ie a dip in the bass at the fundamental fo the kick and visa versa). Something can even be worth low-cutting the kick just above the bass fundamentals.

3. Check other parts in the mix to see if they have much energy below 200Hz or so that they dont need and might be making the low end messy/muddy or whatever. Low cut anything thats in the way - ideally so that in the mix, the mix just sounds cleaner, more open, but you dont feel you are actually loosing anything from the low cuts parts.

4. So having cleaned stuff up - NOW its time to look at how much pumping you want on the bassline. Do you just want to clamp down on the bass peaks when the colide with kick peaks (so the bass seems to extend from the kick - common trance mix style), or do you actually want to hold the bass down so it rises again in the off beat - the other usual house/trance bass production style, or something in the middle (bass and kick in together and dropping together while the bass comes back up again in the off beat - more complex, but sounds nice at times - great for funky house for eg)?

The other general problem you get with pumping a bassline with a kick is the relatively high level of low frequenciy energy in it that decays slowly - tends to fool the compressor into not recovering quickly enough, so you end up with one of two results -
1. Kick make the compresoor clamp down hard on the bass, but it never recovers enough or ..
2. Kick doesnt impact the compressor anywhere near enough (ie threshold is much higher) but its recovers about the right time.

The way around this is to use band pass or high pass EQ in the sidechain betwen the kick and the compressor to remove the low end of the kick (only ion the side chain, not in the mix) - I often tune this filter to as high as 800Hz or so so that the compressor is mostly driven off the kick atttack/beater rather than its fundamental, so it can recover very quickly. Then I pull the threshold right down way below the lowest apparent level of the kick and set ratio to somewhere between 4:1 and 10:1, make the attack fast (to start with). This has the effect of making the compressor clamp down very hard on the bass, but also recover very quickly. So now tune the release/knee etc to get the recovery curve you need so it grooves.

Next up, tune the attack - maybe you dont want the bass hit hard immediatley - a slower attach will do that - if you tweak the attack, you will also need to tweak the release and knee curve and ratio (if knee adjustment is available).

Try different style compressors as well and even two compressors in series if you aint getting enough out of one. Generally if I want to kill a coincident bass completely, then I want a fast attack peak sensitive compressor, otherwise I might want something that average level sensitive or even old opto-coupled type response.

You might want to shape the dynamics of the bass as well. Often I want the bass quite powerful when it comes back up (as much of the high frequency attack energy in the bass has decayed by then), but by the then the original sound has decayed quite a bit, so might stick an insert compressor on the bass to reshape it a bit so its decay stage is much higher (Fast attack, medium release tuned to the tempo/decay phase to pull it up).

There is some advanced thing you can do if you can find a multiband, sidechainable compressor. If you cant, then there are tricks with filttering, phase reveral to get cancelation to acheive the same result that work extremely well in many common DAW EEQ+compressor combo., for example, with soft deep house type bassline and an 808 style kick, I often want the attack of the kick prominant, but the decay of the kick fundamental allmost replaced by the decay of the bass fundamental, kind of makes the kick allmost melodic - a sidechain multiband can do this by using the bass to pump the kick, but only in lowest freqencies (<100Hz for eg), leaving the rest intact, as well as in combination with a regular kick pumping type routing to make sure the kick attack dominates over the bass attack.

You probably wouldnt want to mix a rock track like this, but works well for the common house/trance kick/bass mixing.
Nothing to see here... Move along!
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Last edited by Khazul; 18th January 2011 at 02:03 PM. . <
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Old 18th January 2011 , 12:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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The useful stuff continues (nice one Khazul), as does the 'stickie'ng'
and PS, moved to 'Technique' category
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.."
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