Subtractive EQ Part 4: Bass

Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.

Bass
The bass in this track caters to fans of the early Metallica era.  Bassist Cliff Burton popularized this distorted sound on such tracks as (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth.  It’s important to blend this type of bass tone into the bottom of the guitars.  In this mix the guitars and the bass become a single unit ebbing and flowing with one another at certain points through the song.

Understandably one can assume that there was much processing done to this track before it’s transfer into SONAR.  It’s important to capture the sound before you start mixing so that your mixing process is not a patch-job.

This tone is aggressive and piercing to the ear.  A significant way to know that this instrument needs attention is by the aural fatigue that you may experience while soloing this track and listening to it rather loudly for more than 10 seconds.  I aimed to adjust the bass track to fit like a glove under the mix by applying a HPF at 78Hz with a steep bandwidth setting.  The amount of bass here needs control. Using a compressor to control the sound would be redundant because of how much overdrive was applied to this track.  The overdrive has ultimately eliminated any trace of strong transients.

Lastly, there is another dip in the EQ around 2.2kHz.  This adjustment reduces some of the aforementioned piercing sound. Any harsh tones in this register will be too overbearing in the mix.

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Subtractive EQ Part 3: Kick Drum

Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.

The Kick Drum
If the snare was the primary listening point for Rock music then the kick drum is the second most important. By working in the guitars in over the snare I was then met with the challenge of working in a solid kick drum sound. This kick drum was tracked using two different kick drum microphones, one deeper into the drum than the other. For reference, the first kick signal is called the “Kick-In” microphone and the second is the “Kick-Out” signal. (This is one example of the nomenclature used by many engineers to differentiate between the different microphones placed on a drum set)

Kick In

I started by blending the two signals (more…)

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Free SONAR X3 Explained video with any SONAR X3 purchase – Ends March 31

SONAR X3 Explained

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Subtractive EQ Part 2: Heavy Rhythm and Lead Guitars

Did you miss Part 1? Read Subtractive EQ for Snare Drum.

Guitars
Your guitar tone can change significantly by carving out the correct frequencies and reducing those that introduce unwanted noise. Distorted electric guitars tend to occupy most of the mid-range based on their nature of their sound. This mix was tricky because the band is instrumental and their music relies heavily on the layering of multiple guitar tones.

Rhythm Guitar 1

Here I have chosen to attenuate the unwanted rumbling of the of the low end of the rhythm guitars using the supplied HPF. The bass guitar is rather guitar-like in this song therefore it is important to make room for that. The HPF for Guitar 1 was applied at 50Hz and similarly to Guitar 2 at 47Hz. Why not the exact same frequency you ask? Having the slightest (more…)

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Subtractive EQ Part 1: Snare Drum

Introduction
Equalization is one of the most powerful tools that an audio engineer can get their hands on. Live engineers, post-production engineers, and recording engineers all have their specific uses for it. It’s so powerful that some beginner engineers habitually reach for it without understanding what it can ultimately do to a mix.

Overview
Let’s resonate on the concept of volume momentarily. It is in our human nature to enjoy music at high volume levels. Concerts are a great examples of this. Outdoor festivals and the like tend to blast our eardrums with massive amounts of volume that we cannot experience in any other format. To most, increasing volume directly correlates to better sound. In a mix setting, dramatically boosting various frequencies can be a crutch for inexperienced mix engineers. By increasing the gain of a specified frequency band on an EQ one can subsequently add unwanted gain to the overall mix. Typically the problem that follows is a battle to keep your master fader from clipping and you all of sudden feel stuck in a gain-staging paradox. This can happen to best of us.

In Use
Apply subtractive EQ techniques to your instruments. Instead of boosting your favourite signals try limiting yourself to cutting. We can call this concept “carving”. Let’s take a look at a musical example. This series of articles will demonstrate some key elements of a typical Rock Mix.

Snare
Generally the snare is the focal point of a typical rock oriented mix. I’ve started with all my faders down and raised the snare to a suitable level: 0dBu. This recording was tracked with two snare microphones. The bottom snare microphone captured the sizzle of the snare and the top microphone captured much of the attack.

Snare Bottom EQ

The first drawbacks I noticed when isolating the snare recordings (more…)

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Free Download: White Knuckle Bass Presets for TH2 Producer

I sat down with some of my best session players to collaborate on 50 presets for TH2 Producer that are sure to add some grit to your low-end instruments. It’s no secret that my passion is mostly in the Rock and Metal world of music and I’ve felt that Bass doesn’t get enough love in those genres. Below are 5 examples from the Free Download that outline some great Rock and Metal lead, rhythm, clean, and ambient effects and I would definitely pull out of my bag of tricks for a record.

1. Pick Rhythm

Here’s a style of playing called “Djent” that has been popular in the last couple years. Typically this sound is done with down-tuned guitars but why not just use a bass? I’ve double-tracked this recording to give a wider sound (more…)

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By adding support for ARA technology (Audio Random Access), we were able to seamlessly integrate Melodyne Essential into SONAR’s Skylight interface. This means no waiting for data to transfer into the Editor. Simply click to open the audio clip and get to work. To convert audio to MIDI, simply drag and audio clip onto a MIDI track and Melodyne takes care of the rest. And if you are using any other version of Melodyne or plan to upgrade, you get to enjoy the same level of integration automatically.

Best of all, ARA integration is available in the SONAR X3 Free Trial!  Download the 30-day Melodyne Trial to experience both together and see (more…)

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Free Songwriting Guide from Disc Makers

Songwriting

Songwriters on Songwriting
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Z3TA+ iOS now available for iPad

Z3TA+ iOS

Z3TA+ iOS now available
The legendary Z3TA+ synthesizer has been used on countless records, and it’s distinctive sound has been a staple of electronic artists the world over. Now Z3TA+ iOS puts the full power of Z3TA+ on your iPad. Packed with hundreds of presets, real-time oscillator modulation, dual mode filtering, and flexible effects. Z3TA+ iOS is the perfect creative toolkit for making music anywhere, anytime (more…)

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EDM Production – How To Create a Hip Hop Bass Kick with Z3TA+ 2

Introduction

Z3TA+ 2’s synth engine can generate sounds that stretch across multiple genres. By utilizing Z3TA+ 2’s advanced modulation matrix we can shape just about everything, even drums sounds.

 

Sine Wave Kick Drum

Start by initializing your patch. This will return the synth to all of it’s defaults so that you can start from scratch with the sound.

Kick Drums requires a lot of low end. Within Z3TA+ 2 you can produce this kind of controlled low end by using the Sine Waves that are available in the OSC section. We are going for a saturated low end, so make sure to add 3 Sine Waves.

Let’s split up the 3 Sine Waves into Middle, Right, and Left. In order to do this we must first activate the Filter Section, select the “Link” button and turn the Pan knobs on either filter. They will pan in opposite directions.

Afterwards, we can use the Filter Bus on each OSC section to pan the oscillators. Panning two opposing oscillators and then using the “Fine Tune” to slightly detune them will produce a nice wide stereo effect. Do this to both OSC 1 and OSC 2 and keep OSC 3 centered and not de-tuned.

We covered the value of this technique in – Creating a simple Bass Synth.

(more…)

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