Furious Stylez Producer Concepts & Theory 001
Three Piece Sub Bass Processing Technique:
Prologue: This technique will help all of you out there who are struggling to figure out how to get the Sub Bass & 808's to really shine through in your mix. In this discussion I will be addressing some of the techniques I use when dealing with the low end of my mixes. My goal is to help others achieve the confidence they are seeking when dealing with some pretty technical questions that arise in the studio,
1) First we need to sidechain our Sub Bass to our Kick. The Kick and Bass need to have a great relationship with one another in order to achieve a solid mix. NOTE: I will not be addressing sidechain in this technique as I assume all of you may have a general idea of how sidechaining works and if you don't feel free to ask me any questions. Next, apply a compressor of your choosing (or LFO Tool, Nicky Romero's KICK etc) works very well. Apply this to the Sub Bass or 808 channel. Choose whichever works Best for you. This will be tied to your kick.
2) Add an Eq after the sidechain compressor and apply a high pass filter cutting at around 30hz or eq via the correct frequency of your track the choice is solely up to you. Remember to be Key Conscious when writing in your Sub Bass or 808's. Add a Low Pass Filter and cut around to about 1Khz. IMPORTANT NOTE: You "CAN" find areas in the 500hz-1Khz region of your Sub Bass or 808's to bring out unique higher frequencies.. Character Tones are what I like to refer to them as.
3) Create a Sub Bass BUS and apply an Overdrive Plugin onto the bus. i.e. Ohm Force Ohmicide, IK Multimedia Amplitube 4, iZotope's Ozone Exciter, PSP Vintage Warmer 2, D16 Group Decimort 2, Universal Audio UAD Thermionic Culture Vulture or Ableton Lives very own Overdrive. Make sure to compensate the Gain accordingly i.e. match levels after you apply desired Drive amount. When it comes to dealing with the Tone we want it to affect right around 250 - 500Hz.
4) Place an Eq after the Overdrive Plugin of your choosing before the Overdrive Plugin and cut all of the low end frequencies on the BUS (anywhere from 100 - 300hz should work perfectly). I like KushAudio's UBK-1 or Fxpansion Maul's the best.
5) Create a secondary BUS for the Sub Bass or 808 and apply a Distortion Plugin of your choosing onto this channel. Also place an Eq after the distortion plugin of your choosing and cut off all of the lows on the BUS (anywhere from 100-300hz should work perfectly).
6) Next, create your third and final Sub Bass BUS and add a Bitcrusher or a plugin of your choosing (or you can use Ableton Lives own Redux plugin). The idea behind the Bitcruser technique is that it will add some nice Air to the overall quality of the Sub Bas or 808 that you selected. Keep the Bitcrushers resolution anywhere from 13 - 16 bit sampling. NOTE: You won't need to apply any Downsampling.
7) Lastly, apply a #TapeSaturator of your choosing onto the actual Sub Bass channel itself. NOTE: We only want to Saturate the low - mids and or high mids. You DO NOT want to saturate the entire frequencies of the Sub Bass or 808. My favorite saturation plugin to use to achieve this is FabFilter's #Saturn plugin but any tape saturator of your choosing will do. NOTE II: Apply 50 / 50 Mix / Dry of the plugin as not to oversaturate the Sub Bass Channel. In other words apply #ParallelSaturation
#FinalNote: You DO NOT have to apply all three techniques to your Sub Bass. These are the 3 most effective techniques that I have come across and use that really bring out the 808 or Sub Basses in a track. This technique allows the Sub Bass or 808 to really stick out on all media devices, whether it be Headphones, Laptop Speakers, Car Audio etc. Pair these techniques with some nice eqing and you should end up with an amazing 808 or Sub Bass in your mix. #happyproducing :D