Login / Register 0 items | $0.00 New @ KVR
3 posts since 7 Jul, 2018

Postby jarvi2; Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:42 pm Smooth, clean bass sound

I'm getting started with music production and having fun playing around with Ableton and several VSTs, but I'm having trouble figuring out the bass sound I'm looking for. Basically, I want a smooth, clean, warm bass that sits back in a mix as a foundation instead of cutting through as a main element.

I've tried a basic sine wave sub bass which is close, but it has no real attack or pluck at the beginning of each note, and it sounds off to me if it starts to go higher than the really low range. I tried NI's Scarbee MM-Bass, but that's too punchy/edgy/bright/"pop"-y. I tried Orange Tree's Cherry Electric Bass which is more subdued and comes close, but I don't want fret noise and buzz, and the sustain seems a bit short too.

In terms of genre, I'm thinking along the lines of Bonobo and Emancipator (although I'm not sure how much the sound I'm looking for actually matches what they're doing).

It could be acoustic or electric, synthesized or sampled, I'm just thinking more about the tone. Any recommendations or suggestions about what I should be looking for?
User avatar
11447 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:33 pm Re: Smooth, clean bass sound

Post a YT video of a song that has such a bass, whatever you are looking for...

Generally speaking, turn down the cutoff frequency, and the filter envelope amount, and if necessary use an equalizer to stress and reduce certain frequencies.

I like this kind of bass sound, it is from the Synclavier if I remember the record sleeve correctly...
3 posts since 7 Jul, 2018

Postby jarvi2; Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:12 pm Re: Smooth, clean bass sound

Not sure if these are exactly what I'm describing, but here's a few examples (looks like the embedded videos all start at the beginning, but the links start at a specific point in the track):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbJthGW ... tu.be&t=64
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYI4nBH ... u.be&t=111
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIIOrUw ... tu.be&t=96
256 posts since 28 Oct, 2014

Postby _al_; Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:26 pm Re: Smooth, clean bass sound

Yeah i know what you're after, and yeah, it can actually be tricky finding something that sounds right.
For me, the best solution is using a synth that lets you draw your own waveshapes. I use Zebra but that's probably overkill for what you need.

I find the waveform you use is pretty crucial in making it sound right, so i spend quite a bit of time fine-tuning it before i touch an eq.
For me, the best way is to start with a square, then slightly round off the two outside edges, so it loses it's grittyness without resorting to using a filter.

Then i usually start experimenting warping the second half of the wave shape in various ways. Adding little spikes etc. At some point, i may need to low pass it, if it gets messy, but i usually get a nice sound like that.
Sometimes it wont even resemble a square anymore, but somewhere between square and saw, but it will still be a nice full bodied sound.

Oh, and remember to EQ out some of the 300-500hz range, or it's likely to sound a bit cheap and wrong
2568 posts since 26 Nov, 2015, from Way Downunder

Postby MogwaiBoy; Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:25 pm Re: Smooth, clean bass sound

All 3 of the basses in the videos are quite different - which one exactly are you going for? The Bonobo one is like a sinewave as the basis with some analog style harmonics (saturation) to make it more squarewave slightly. The one in Merlion by Emancipator is more like a real bass played by fingers (ie: Fender Jazz) with the top end dampened. Even though it may well be synthesized, it has the tonality and feel (stops, slides, bends and all) of a real bass.

What other VSTi's do you have available?

Here's a great bass sound I found recently... Tonnnnnnes of harmonics above the fundamental when put through analysis.
3 posts since 7 Jul, 2018

Postby jarvi2; Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:10 pm Re: Smooth, clean bass sound

Good point, I guess I'm asking about two different things:

1. A synth bass with that kind of tone (thanks for the tip on sine + saturation, I'll play with that)

2. A VST "real" bass with little to no fret noise and that kind of tone

I have Komplete 11 (standard) and Omnisphere. Any presets to check out and start from would be cool.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Production Techniques