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Sub Bass Harmonics

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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AirJordan
KVRer
 
27 posts since 10 Apr, 2013, from France

Postby AirJordan; Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:21 pm Sub Bass Harmonics

Hi people ! :)

I tried to analyze various sub basses of various tracks that I liked and there is something that bothers me a little bit. I know that in order to get your sub bass loud and audible through small speakers you have to distort it (common sense really) but there are so many kind of distortion that I started experimenting with it.

My goal is to get a really loud clean sub bass without letting your mind think there are other harmonics in it. So I tried a few things from asymetrical distortion to manually add harmonics with additive synthesis but I can't really tell, apart from the change in timber, which one is louder/cleaner than the other at the same dBFS level. It may be because I'm using headphones, I don't know. :phones:

Any thoughts ? (I highly expect this thread to fail) :D
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Sendy
KVRAF
 
4417 posts since 20 Jul, 2010

Postby Sendy; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:00 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

You're never going to get a sub-bass response on crappy speakers. Perhaps that's one reason why distorted, blasy-midrange type basses are so popular these days. I can't tell you anything you don't already know - distortion.

Setting up a distortion and having it play quietly will create harmonics that line up with the harmonics of the other parts of the music, helping the ear locate the bass note. You could also experiment with having a higher sine wave say 2 octaves or more higher, either quietly, or with a short envelope, again just to nudge the ear in the right direction and let it join the dots - as low, quiet frequencies are hard to extract pitch information from.

Personally, I enjoy my sinewave basslines, so I'd never mix solely for buds or tinny speakers.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
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Tricky-Loops
KVRAF
 
8269 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:06 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

Why do they have to be distorted? I've heard many deep sine bass lines that weren't distorted at all...

And by introducing a lot of harmonics in the sub bass, isn't the risk higher that it interferes with the bass line?
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phreaque
KVRist
 
326 posts since 16 Jul, 2007, from Baghdad-Iq

Postby phreaque; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:17 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

I use z3ta+ to produce those sub harmonics on my basses, also I use Monolisa which provides decent low stuff with nice harmonics.
To boost the fundamental content you could use a freeware plugin: BlueCat triple EQ
Do a highpass cut and tune it to learn which sweet spot you want.
Compression is not as important as EQuing and getting the mix really matched, so make sure to get your tracks matching with each other, (suitable kick with the bass patch etc)
:party:
Phreaque Modi
AirJordan
KVRer
 
27 posts since 10 Apr, 2013, from France

Postby AirJordan; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:27 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

Yeah, I know what you mean but that's one of my goals. Y'know trying to get the most out of it, even on the tiniest speaker ever created. I usually use low passed distorted sine waves but I tried to play with other kind of distortion, add even instead of odd harmonics and stuff and I'm pretty sure you can make a sub bass that sounds even on small laptop speakers.

For example I have these two subs. The first one is made of odd and even harmonics and obviously sounds warmer and duller than the second one but both peak at -5 dBFS. The question is which one will sound louder on small speaker ?

Image

Image
Last edited by AirJordan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AirJordan
KVRer
 
27 posts since 10 Apr, 2013, from France

Postby AirJordan; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:32 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

Tricky-Loops wrote:Why do they have to be distorted? I've heard many deep sine bass lines that weren't distorted at all...

And by introducing a lot of harmonics in the sub bass, isn't the risk higher that it interferes with the bass line?


Because a sub bass at 40hz isn't likely to be heard on crappy systems. Techicaly I highpass my bass line to make sure the sub is full and untouched. But the thing is that you can use a lot of sub basses timbre. As long as there are harmonics there are different timbres.
camsr
KVRAF
 
4574 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:18 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

The harmonics should have a strong relation to the fundamental.
The second harmonic is exactly one octave up from the fundamental, hence it has a very strong relation on the circle of fifths, it's the same note.
The third harmonic is in between the first and second octaves up from the fundamental, and it falls on the fifth degree from the fundamental, and on the circle of fifths it is one degree out. It is strongly related to the fundamental, but not as strong as the octave.
Keep going up, and things get further away on the circle, except for the octave harmonics.
Image
AirJordan
KVRer
 
27 posts since 10 Apr, 2013, from France

Postby AirJordan; Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:31 am Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

camsr wrote:The harmonics should have a strong relation to the fundamental.
The second harmonic is exactly one octave up from the fundamental, hence it has a very strong relation on the circle of fifths, it's the same note.
The third harmonic is in between the first and second octaves up from the fundamental, and it falls on the fifth degree from the fundamental, and on the circle of fifths it is one degree out. It is strongly related to the fundamental, but not as strong as the octave.
Keep going up, and things get further away on the circle, except for the octave harmonics.


Yep, so I should basically favour the 2nd harmonic (octave), the 3rd (fifth over octave), the 4th (2nd octave), the 6th (fifths over 2nd octave) and the 8th (3rd octave) then. Alright, I'm definitely going to use additive synthesis instead of using just a single distorted sine wave.
cron
KVRAF
 
2141 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from London

Postby cron; Tue May 06, 2014 4:20 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

I've been messing around with simple unfiltered triangle waves for this task and I've had pretty good results. They have a very sine-like timbre, but come without the cheese factor of filtered saw and square waves. The sound maybe gets a little too bright if you wander too high, but for ultra low cone smashing basses that stay audible on consumer hi-fi (if maybe not mobile phones) they're the business.

I feel your pain here mind. There was a track I was making a while back that was all high-frequency noise chirps and ultra low sub-bass, with very little in the middle of the frequency range, that I abandoned because I just couldn't hear the bass on the majority of systems I listened to it on. Keen to go back and give it another try now I've embraced the triangle.
Last edited by cron on Tue May 06, 2014 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6475 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Tue May 06, 2014 4:23 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

producerfactory wrote:try one time make your Sub Bass with a sample from a kickdrum, that give you a lot of
opinions to make good Sub basses. Also you can make it with a synth try to make changes with
the pitch modulation.


Very true. One reason this works so well is because there's some saturation going on with 808's.

btw, only a sine wave lacks overtones. Any other waveform, even a triangle, has upper harmonics than can be brought out with EQ'ing.
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VibraSound
KVRian
 
549 posts since 23 Mar, 2010, from Canada

Postby VibraSound; Thu May 08, 2014 2:40 pm Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

I have good result with a simple low pass square wave.

No distortion needed.
philipp.1
KVRer
 
7 posts since 16 Jan, 2014

Postby philipp.1; Sat May 10, 2014 6:51 am Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

Make the sub you want and just layer it with some other filtered bass that could be a square or saw.
The point is that what makes you hear the bass on shitty speakrs are the mid-low (more mid than low on crappy monitors).
I defenitly think that layering is the best solution.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6475 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Sun May 11, 2014 11:33 am Re: Sub Bass Harmonics

Waves MaxxBass is on sale for $49 till midnight tonight. It's good for bringing out those upper harmonics.

Actually, I was listening to an article on 3D sound on one of the New Yorker's podcasts and they were talking about how we can't hear the fundamental tones of a piano's lowest notes, we're only hearing the upper harmonics and our minds are filling in the missing fundamentals.
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