In today’s post, we are going to address a very common problem we all face when we are producing, specially when we reference professional sounding recordings from our favorite artists...
Every time I finish the composition stage and start to mix the track, I always use references to get my mix sounding as close as possible to tracks I like and that I know have a sonic quality that works perfectly on various sound systems.
And every single time I ask myself... HOW THE F** DO THEY MAKE THEIR BASSLINES SOUND HUGE AND WARM!!!???
Today I'm going to give you 2 different tips for achieving this easy and fast using only Ableton Live's FX!
Using Ableton's Live Erosion Audio Effect
First of all we need to understand what Erosion does to the sound... Ableton’s EROSION is one of the stock audio effects included in Live that is capable of degrading an input signal by modulating a short delay with filtered noise or a sine wave. This process adds noisy artifacts or aliasing and down-sampling digital distortions.
Knowing this, we can use Erosion to add that warmness to our bassline... think of it as adding hum and noise to replicate the sound of an analog synth, sampler, etc.
1. Load a VST and preset of your choice, in this case we are using Ableton's Operator with a basic Pluck Bassline Preset I made.
2. Add an instance of Erosion and select Wide Noise
3. Move the Frequency to around 435Hz to add that noise and distortion to your low-mid frequencies... This will help in making it sound fuller and warmer. In this step we have to be careful with the amount we apply, in this one we wan't it to be more subtle... So we are going to add only around 1 to 2 percent.
4. Duplicate that instance of Erosion and set the Frequency up to around 11.5kHz to add a much noticeable effect on the higher frequencies of your bassline, for this one we can be a lot more aggressive as far as the amount goes, set it to taste and experiment, you can really get some gritty sounds if you exaggerate the amount of Erosion you add.
Our final bassline channel should look something like this... This is a subtle effect, but it really helps in making our sounds sound a little bit warmer.
Using Echo on a Send Channel to add Stereo Width to our Bassline.
This technique is very simple yet very effective for adding that extra width and presence to our basslines in the stereo field. With this technique we are not trying to increase the low end frequencies on the stereo field, instead we want to add a transparent layer of stereo image and amplitude.
First we add an Echo onto a Send Channel.
Next, we make sure our bassline is in MONO for this technique to work and then send this channel to our Echo Send Channel, something around 50 to 70% will work.
With the Echo we added earlier on the Send channel, we want to Select Ping Pong mode, this is for sending the effect to the Left and Right channels and not just only to the Center (Since our bassline is in Mono) and put the Dry/Wet all the way to 100%
Next, we want to switch from Sync mode to Time mode and move the fader to around 12.4 ms, making the reflections really short and close to the Dry Bassline signal.
Finally we want to dial the amount of signal we send into our Echo to taste, we can also add reverb on the Echo instance to add more depth and room to our bassline.
With this technique we preserve our Mono information and we add a Stereo layer to increase the perception of fullness and wideness, So we have both our Mono AND Stereo signal going to the Master Channel.
Hope you enjoyed! And feel free to hit me up on Instagram @leimantourmusic
and on soundcloud as @leimantour