Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

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TW1306
KVRist
37 posts since 23 Apr, 2017

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:14 am

I've been trying to make trance (the older kind, 1999-2002 sort of time) for roughly four years now, but
over the past couple of years I've fallen into a pattern of creating a whole track from scratch in a few hours one day, and then spending the rest of the year getting no further than amateur-ish sounding 8-bar loops. 99% of the time I can't even put together a kick and bassline that actually sound like they're from a genuine trance track, and I'm wondering where I'm going wrong if I can't even get the cornerstone of the track right.

Any kind of advice would be appreciated.

User avatar
Distorted Horizon
KVRian
1308 posts since 17 Jan, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:18 am

Some example track would be nice.. Soundcloud link?

TW1306
KVRist
37 posts since 23 Apr, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:28 am

The last two tracks I made:
https://soundcloud.com/spatial-sound/ll ... ound-remix
https://soundcloud.com/spatial-sound/iv ... ound-remix

But as I mentioned before, these were ones I actually managed to complete to a decent standard. 9 times out of 10 I can't get a kick+bass combo that sounds good enough.

Zexila
KVRAF
3127 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:38 am

Your bass is buried in the mix (behind) and you kick just doesn't fit that bass that much either. Try reaching this kind of result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXAKhSwL2E
Last edited by Zexila on Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

TW1306
KVRist
37 posts since 23 Apr, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:42 am

Zexila wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:38 am
Your bass is buried in the mix (behind) and you kick just doesn't fit that bass that much either.
That's the point, I can't make basses that sit well with the kicks I have. I'm not bothered about the levels right now, first I want to actually have decent track elements before I worry about balancing them.

Zexila
KVRAF
3127 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:46 am

Use Sylenth1 Moog Bass as starting point and tweak both filter cut off's, filter envelope amount and filter envelope ADSR settings against your kick.
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

TW1306
KVRist
37 posts since 23 Apr, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:55 am

I don't mean to be rude, but I've had plenty of attempts at making that kind of bass sound (to be more accurate, I tried to replicate it from this track: youtube.com/watch?v=emxME4oFVh8&t=412s which is closer to the kind of thing I've been trying to make) with a couple of different synths and I can never get them to fit a kick either. Also, I don't exactly have the money to spend on Sylenth right now.

Zexila
KVRAF
3127 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:30 pm

Well, you can rent-to-own Sylenth for 10 bucks a month, download demo and give it a try, if you can't make bass to fit your kick with Sylenth tweaking Moog bass preset as advised, than you can't make it with any synth and that's where problem is.

Also choice of kick will influence outcome of the bass greatly, you just can't pick some vanilla 909 and expect to have bomb of bass, so either you program your kick and bass together or pick some really great kick sample that can actually drive some nice bass.

Levels are important, little processing couldn't hurt either, some EQ and saturation (preferably multi band) can go long way. Most quickest and dirtiest fix would be to slap OTT by Xfer on bass, around 20% wet and work from there. Also filter drive on Sylenth.

http://daniellesden.com/blog/all/psytra ... synthesis/
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2851 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:40 am

EQ. Sidechain. Or better yet, shape bass envelope by hand.

Use distortion to get more harmonics. Use pitch envelope to add transient to attack.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

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Delta Sign
KVRian
513 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:30 am

With this kind of music, the phase relationship of the kick and bass is also very important.
You don't want this to happen:

Image

Paint skills: 100

User avatar
Vertion
KVRist
459 posts since 29 Oct, 2016

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:39 pm

For one, turn up the volume a bit on your tracks, I couldn't hear anything on my cell phone....

https://soundcloud.com/brite1000/illogi ... -amplified

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Tj Shredder
KVRian
1400 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:00 pm

The kick has also a pitch, tune it to the bass...

andymcbain
KVRist
182 posts since 10 Jan, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:22 am

TW1306 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:55 am
I don't mean to be rude, but I've had plenty of attempts at making that kind of bass sound (to be more accurate, I tried to replicate it from this track: youtube.com/watch?v=emxME4oFVh8&t=412s which is closer to the kind of thing I've been trying to make) with a couple of different synths and I can never get them to fit a kick either. Also, I don't exactly have the money to spend on Sylenth right now.
The bass sound here doesn't seem to be anything more complex than a one oscillator saw + low pass filter + envelope modulation. It's punchy as hell though and has a similar sounding attack to the kick, which gives it the feel that the kick and bass are a sort of combined unit.

Back in 2001 I imagine this was achieved by picking the best kick sample available and tweaking the envelopes of the synth patch until it gelled nicely together. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a bit of processing on the bass to enhance the transient - compression maybe, or some overdrive (running sounds "hot" through a mixer was an old school method before everything went in-the-box...) You could try running your bass through some processing, bouncing to audio and re-sampling the best notes - which will give you the consistent sound that you're looking for.

Good luck!

User avatar
Distorted Horizon
KVRian
1308 posts since 17 Jan, 2017

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:28 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:00 pm
The kick has also a pitch, tune it to the bass...
Actually it depends what you're after.. Sometimes it's preferable to tune to some note of the scale except to the root (unless that's desired). For example if your song is Am, you could tune your kick to E.

Why? Try it yourself ;)

sleepcircle
KVRist
354 posts since 28 Nov, 2016

Re: Can't get the kick+bass sounding right

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:00 am

TW1306 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:28 am
The last two tracks I made:
https://soundcloud.com/spatial-sound/ll ... ound-remix
https://soundcloud.com/spatial-sound/iv ... ound-remix

But as I mentioned before, these were ones I actually managed to complete to a decent standard. 9 times out of 10 I can't get a kick+bass combo that sounds good enough.
What you should do is, next time you can't get the kick+bass sounding right, make it a private upload and link to it here. We can't help you get the kick+bass sounding right if you only show us the times where you got it to sound right. :P Show us the times you totally dropped the ball, know what I'm sayin?

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