In this tutorial from Plugin Alliance Craig Bauer shows how to bring a synth bass to life.
In any given mix, making sure the bass and low end sits correctly is paramount. In the following examples I’ll demonstrate some techniques I have applied to a mono bass synth track to add spatial dimension and tonal consistency using bx_stereomaker and bx_digital V3. The result brings the bass part to life while providing a solid foundation to the track.
The mono synth bass track consists of an “analog stab” tone with a short decay in addition to the main sustained sine wave tone.
Using the bx_stereomaker I have added spatial enhancement using the stereo expansion control set to 100 percent.
Adjustment of the Tone and Hi-Damp settings shape the frequency response of the spatial enhancement.
Setting the Mono-Freq control to 100 Hz leaves the bass unaffected from the stereo expansion from below that frequency.
Using several of the new features in the new bx_digital V3 EQ in M/S mode, I have fine tuned every aspect of the bass.
First, on both the Mid and Side channels, I have engaged the high pass filter at 36 Hz with a 6db slope to tame the sub frequencies.
Within the context of my mix, a very slight dip at 362 Hz on only the mono-section only helps the bass from fighting with other instruments in that range. The added 1.4 db of presence shift that defines a little of the top end of the bass sound in the center.
Next, I’m using the dynamic EQ control on the mono-section to even out a resonant frequency at 78 Hz. With a -10.8 db setting, the inconsistency in tone of that note (Eb 2) as compared to other notes is automatically attenuated by the dynamic EQ (In the past, I would often have split the various bass notes into separate tracks and eq them independently to achieve the same result).
At this stage, I’ve added more stereo width to the bass using the stereo width control aggressively set to 196 percent.
In order to keep the main sine wave part of the bass tone solidly grounded in the center I have also engaged the mono-maker at 256 Hz. Doing so allows the stereo width of the stab tone to be greatly enhanced while keeping the main sine wave tone of the sound fully grounded and centered in the mix. Lastly, I've added some EQ stabs on the Stereo-Section using the presence control, some added upper mid at around 5 kHz and also removing a little more low end clutter on the sides only at 362 Hz. The stabs now are able to be sonically separated and brighter sounding on top of the fundamental bass part.
The end result of the stereo enhancement and eq using the bx_stereomaker and bx_digital V3 brings incredible life and consistency to the bass in the mix.