Quantcast
Keeping 808s and SubBass under control when listeners crank the "bass boost" - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Keeping 808s and SubBass under control when listeners crank the "bass boost"
Old 21st January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Keeping 808s and SubBass under control when listeners crank the "bass boost"

Hi everyone, great forum you have here, been lurking for a while.

I've been having a problem with my low end translation, and I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. I do dubstep oriented music that is pretty heavy in the bass department, so there is usually an 808 or simple sinewave subbass running around 33-55hz. (eq high passed at 30hz). I don't generally use any compression on the bass besides sidechaining to the kick when I need to, and usually leave the subbass channel dry. In Logic, a multimeter on the master bus (after limiting etc.) shows the sub bass running at -10 to -5db in the 35-55 hertz range, which is about the same as on the WAV files of the songs I'm using for reference (stuff like Benga, 2562). Sometimes I'll have different bass patch layered over top at lower volume to add harmonics and fill in the bass sound, highpassed an octave or two above the subbass.

When I play my tracks back at a normal flat EQ everything sounds pretty good compared to the reference material, and overall mix levels are same as the reference material on the multimeter. Everything looks and sounds pretty good. However, when I crank up the bass on a 2.1 system or car system, my bass gets really loud, and then seem to be clipping/flapping/booming (depending on the system) at lower levels than the reference material and not really pushing air. The reference material on the other hand doesn't increase in volume at as quick a rate as I turn up the sub, but stays nice and beefy without getting too boomy/clipping until the sub is really cranked.

What am I doing wrong here?

any advice would be much appreciated!
Old 21st January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Keyflo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dub5 ➑️
Hi everyone, great forum you have here, been lurking for a while.

I've been having a problem with my low end translation, and I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. I do dubstep oriented music that is pretty heavy in the bass department, so there is usually an 808 or simple sinewave subbass running around 33-55hz. (eq high passed at 30hz). I don't generally use any compression on the bass besides sidechaining to the kick when I need to, and usually leave the subbass channel dry. In Logic, a multimeter on the master bus (after limiting etc.) shows the sub bass running at -10 to -5db in the 35-55 hertz range, which is about the same as on the WAV files of the songs I'm using for reference (stuff like Benga, 2562). Sometimes I'll have different bass patch layered over top at lower volume to add harmonics and fill in the bass sound, highpassed an octave or two above the subbass.

When I play my tracks back at a normal flat EQ everything sounds pretty good compared to the reference material, and overall mix levels are same as the reference material on the multimeter. Everything looks and sounds pretty good. However, when I crank up the bass on a 2.1 system or car system, my bass gets really loud, and then seem to be clipping/flapping/booming (depending on the system) at lower levels than the reference material and not really pushing air. The reference material on the other hand doesn't increase in volume at as quick a rate as I turn up the sub, but stays nice and beefy without getting too boomy/clipping until the sub is really cranked.

What am I doing wrong here?

any advice would be much appreciated!

I think thats with all music with 808's and sub basses. I know of some industry stuff that my brother cranks in his car and it sounds terrible. Cant even hear the vocals in the song..Especially in Southern Crunk dance music..

But this is a good question i never thought about bass boost till now, but im hoping som one gives some great answers...

Maybe u should mix your 808's in a Bass Boost mode. Does your monitors have a bass boost knob or something
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
yes true, I do notice that some commercial releases and southern mixtapes seem to have the same kind of bass problem that I have.

A good example of a commercial CD that has the type of bass that can be heavily boosted and still sounds good, but also sounds good at lower levels is T-Pain's Epiphany album or a lot of Akon's stuff. It seems like there is some kind of nice sounding modulation that kicks in when the bass hits low notes. It doesn't exactly sound like a straight 808 to me. I'm wondering if this is a plug like renbass or maxbass that I'm hearing (I've never had the chance to work with them) or some sort of trick with layering in a differently tuned 808??

I've tried monitoring on a 2.1 Blue Sky Exo, which it pretty similar to a lot of consumer systems, and cranked the sub. I still couldn't get the same kind of beefy bass out of the sub with it cranked as I was hearing on the reference material. If I bring it up to an equal level to the reference while the sub is cranked, it still sounds a bit different, and when I set the eq back to normal the reference bass is way louder than mine.
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, there are lots of tracks out there that doesn't have that problem. The key to fixing this is to eq the kick and the bass so that when the bass is boosted, the volume of either don't override each other. After eqing, compress the two together on a bus then re-eq so that the kick and bass volume will boost properly.
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
sub bass running at -10 to -5db in the 35-55 hertz
WOW heh
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Have you posted this in the electronic music section? You may get some good advice there too.

My thought is EQ, but it might just be about refining your ear and turning the level down a hair. I recently made a track with lots of 808's & heavy storch style kicks, AND heavy grindy UK style bass. It sounded WAY too overwhelming in the lows until I turned the 808's down. They were so far down, that I was afraid I'd lost the boom, but when listening back on other systems, it translates perfectly. I just wasn't used to turning em down so far, but the whole mix sat together much better.

That being said, I'm still learning how to get a handle on my 808's & sub also, but here's a couple things that I've found can help:

1. use an EQ to cut the offending overly boomy area of the bass when boosted, cut like -2db @ 80 or 90 hz with a wide q and see if that helps.

2. use and EQ with a LOW SHELF, not a low cut, and drop your 40-50 or 40-60 hz range by a couple of db.

3. use a multiband compressor/limiter to manage the volume & compression levels of your sub in different freq zones

4. Don't test tracks with the bass boost on! heh I know it sounds cheeky, but it does sounds crappy on most music with heavy bass. IMO, bass boost was designed for music like pop which isn't quite as bass heavy in order to make it sound more kickin'.
I highly doubt that it's intended for dubstep, dnb, or any other bass heavy style of music. Most people I know that would use such a thing will turn it off if it sounds bad, and most people that listen to a lot bass heavy music won't use it. Not a good "real world" test of a mix, IMHO.

is your room acoustically treated? if not, this may help translation a lot.

.02
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the advice DJDJ & Wizard. I tried out some of the suggestions last night and am definitely making some progress.

I think the main problem is the information in the 70-100hz range that is just under the crossover point overloading the sub like DJDJ said. I tried cutting a few decibels in the 80-90hz range and that did help a lot. The only thing is that my kick lost a lot of its "knock" (as opposed to the lower "thump").

I think I'm going to rework how I do my kicks. I usually just layer the samples up in the sampler and send them out one channel. I'm thinking of sending the short 808 "thump" (the short decay 808 samples, not long boom Lil' Jon-type ones) out of a separate channel from the "knock" part of the kick and sending it to a bus with the sub like Wizard suggested. I'd heavily duck the sub, so that it doesn't interfere with the 808 kick, and tune the 808 kick in the same key. With the "knock" part of the kick, I'm thinking of cutting a lot of the under-90hz. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot of the "knock" in my kick if I can make up for it in "thump". My idea is to minimize the db just below the crossover for the sub, so that the sub is just really handling the sub and lower kick, as much as possible.

I also tried shaving some dB off with the low shelf and that helped as well with the sub when the bass was boosted, but at normal levels mine still sounded a bit weak and didn't really cut through the mix. I'm going to experiment with the "SubBass" plug in Logic to see if I can get it to emulate Maxxbass (adding upper harmonics instead of lower harmonics) to try to get the sub sounding louder at regular volume without increasing its level. I might check out MaxxBass, although I'm pretty hesitant about buying Waves stuff.

am I on the right track here?
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Glad to hear you're making some leeway.

when I gave you the advice above, I was assuming that you were using a kick that was separate from your 808 and/or sub bass. After reading what you just wrote, Im not sure I understand. Basically, cut some 80-100 in the sub/808 but not the kick if you're using both. This way your kick still knocks, & your sub is still full but not too overbearing in the higher bass.

If you are only using an 808 as a kick, your idea of band splitting is a great way to go. I know it sounds obvious, but if you're only using an 808 as a short kick and not a long boom, have you tried simply cutting the lows/highpassing it? Obviously, not too much, but enough to make room for your subs.

Re: Low shelf, it's just one trick, it doesn't always work. It depends on how much you cut, and where. sometimes it doens't take much, like a db maybe a little more or less.

Re: Waves, I don't really know. I've never had good results with that plug, but YMMV.
Another way to get harmonics is to lightly overdrive/distort your sub, just don't overdo it, and you should be good.

Another important thing to look at is your arrangement. Is it too busy? too many bass elements at once? Too complex of a pattern? A lot of mix problems step from arrangement problems. You may be able to solve the issue there. I've found this to be a big help for a lot of my mix issues.

Good luck with this. Sometimes managing bass is just a lot of trial & error.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 24 views: 17857
Avatar for marcan
marcan 6th December 2007
replies: 20964 views: 1691065
Avatar for hugol
hugol 5 hours ago
replies: 124 views: 20592
Avatar for Fanu
Fanu 24th June 2016
replies: 804 views: 139565
Avatar for Bouroki
Bouroki 9th March 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump