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Mixing bass drops

Discussion in 'Production' started by NashMuhandes, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. NashMuhandes

    NashMuhandes Member

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    Hey Joey, I am a HUGE fan of your work and what you've did with the TDWP albums.

    I've been trying to figure this out on my own for a very long time, but I just couldn't - decided to ask you this time. :)

    I like the bass drops (that's what you call it right?) you added in the TDWP mixes and I was wondering how did you get it to sound so huge and loud, but NOT drown the mix.

    I generate the bass drop wave in Sony Soundforge; Tools -> Synthesis -> Simple. I generate a sine wave with a start frequency of 120 and an end frequency of around 60 or so. Do you generate your own bass drop, or are you sampling it from somewhere?

    With a "mastered" mix (that means with master bus compression and limiting, around 10 db on VU/PPM), everytime the bass drop comes in, the entire song's level seems to get "sucked" by the amount of energy coming from the bomb and the song loses volume for a while before slowly going back up.

    I'm prepared to accept the fact that my individual tracks are also the ones to blame, so if this is the case - I would appreciate any tips on mixing the other tracks to accomodate this huge bass bomb.

    Thanks for your time.

    If anyone else has anything to share, please do. :D
     
  2. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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  3. NashMuhandes

    NashMuhandes Member

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    I mix with a mastering chain in the master bus inserts...

    Waves SSL bus comp -> izotope Ozone (using only the EQ portion) -> Stillwell Audio evenhorizon (limiter)

    ... is this bad practice? Is this why my bass drops are making the song's level drop?
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny Member

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    Well, in all fairness, 120-60 hz isn't exactly great.
    Try 60-20hz, that's where most subdrops are.
     
  5. joeymusicguy

    joeymusicguy Member

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    the only thing i do to bass drops is enhance the harmonics so its somewhat audible on systems that don't have extreme subs.

    look up the frequency of the note the part is in, and use the lowest audible frequency for the drop. if its guitars chugging in "drop c", then the frequency you want to use is like 65 HZ
     
  6. Seth Munson

    Seth Munson How do Amber Lamps?

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  7. NashMuhandes

    NashMuhandes Member

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    Thanks for the tips. So - based on the chart - let's say the band is in drop D and the part with the bomb is played on an open D power chord.

    I would generate a sine wave at 73 Hz, correct? Also, is it a good idea to sweep this over time (say, going from 73 to 20 in a second), or should I just leave it at 73 Hz and fade it out with a volume curve?

    I'll try your tip on enhancing the sample's harmonics. Maybe I'll try tinker around in MaxxBass...
     
  8. GearMan2point0

    GearMan2point0 Musician/Engineer

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    the chart kicks ass, not gonna lie
     
  9. OneDaySky

    OneDaySky Clint

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    Agreed :D Quite handy
     
  10. NashMuhandes

    NashMuhandes Member

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    Yeah, I screencapped it and had it as my DAW's wallpaper a few days back. XD
     
  11. s34nsm411

    s34nsm411 Member

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    my two cents: your bassdrop is probably too loud and you are probably relying far too much on master compression instead of making the individual tracks sound good and work together
     
  12. kernelxsanders

    kernelxsanders Bam Bam Boogie Bear!

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    you mean to tell us that you mix with master fx on? that is a no no in my book. always do whatever you can in the mixing stage BEFORE mastering. likewise for tracking BEFORE mixing. mastering is the last and FINAL thing to do, using it for finishing touches, ie loudness, SLIGHT eq and perhaps some multiband compression.

    anywho, i had the same problem with "bass drops" as well. but this chart comes in handy. as long as you have some good monitors (unlike myself using home theater monitors), you should be able to get a good idea of the low end, and make sure not to have the drops too loud, they tend to duck down the rest of the mix and clip quite a bit. just have it so that it is audible, but not overpowering.

    +1 on joey's idea of harmonic enhancing for those not listening with decent sub woofers. because lets be honest, most of the listeners will either be in their car with their ipod or on their laptops with itunes ;)
     
  13. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    Automate your instruments. Easy.
     
  14. Seth Munson

    Seth Munson How do Amber Lamps?

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    No, Hes talking about his 2buss. Which mixing into a 2buss is not a no no.
     
  15. Joel4662

    Joel4662 Member

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    I had this problem in my newbie days
     
  16. mstone564

    mstone564 Member

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    Do people still master their tracks THEN put their bass drops in, level them, then bounce that?
     
  17. Anthropocide

    Anthropocide mixing engineer

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    Small tip: split your master chain in two parts and send your bass drops after compressor, but before limiter or maximizer.
     
  18. ryhad15

    ryhad15 RyanisHeartless

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    For sub drops I mix them like they are an instrument. I give them their own compressor (Focusrite Midnight Compressor is the one I like for this job) To get the peaks under control while still keeping the initial attack of the drop. Then I just level out the volume so that it sounds good in the mix. The best way to make a sub SOUND loud without it being too loud, is to make sure you line it up perfectly with the guitar and bass parts, and track the instruments well enough so that they have a great attack at that instant as well. It can all add up to a very punchy and ballsy sub drop.
     

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