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Bass technique you couldn't do without!!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Bass technique you couldn't do without!!
raccoonboy
You are on a desert island. For some mysterious reason, on this island you can only have ONE synth bass technique/trick.

Obviously you are allowed a synth with oscs and VCAs, all the basics. But it is a generic synth. You cannot say 'I couldn't do it without my Arp or xxx module'.

Examples.
Hard sync which resets on gate.
FM on the transient.

I'll get the ball rolling with an obvious choice.

Keyboard tracking on the HPF.

Again. The rules! No specific modules. Tricks and techniques only (play styles are okay if that's important to you). If there is a sound you only get from one synth, find out what part of it you need and why. A filter type for example is allowed but not a brand of filter.

Feel free to list multiple tricks you use but you must only pick ONE as the one you won't give up otherwise all the fish on the island will die and you'll have no food!
raccoonboy
So nobody fell for my 'give me your secret ingredient'. hahaha! Dead Banana
Agawell
I think I got this from someone else on this forum but

MI Tides low -> clock divider /2 or /4 -> vca/lpg

gives a square wave 1 or 2 octaves below the uni/bi outputs - mix to taste
fac
Sawtooth oscillator through a 4-pole LPF gives me 90% of the bass sounds I use.
Rex Coil 7
Foot control of the cutoff freq along with single triggered envelopes.

Give this a few seconds ...

(I've posted a video in this post ... no idea why it's not showing up ... click on "quote" and you'll see the syntax)

milkshake
Frequency doubling.

The reason I use this is tablets and smartphones, where most music is listened on. So it's wise to make your music sound good on those. Besides that it gives you much more control over timbre than just using an oscillator and filter.

Patch:
Normal bass sound into mixer into recording device.
Normal bass sound into low pass filter into frequency doubler (just 4 diodes like in a power supply), into low pass filter into mixer.

Playing with the cutoff of both filters and the level of the doubled part gives you tremendous control over timbre. And because now you have more higher frequency contend it will also sound great with tablets and smartphones. IF you practice a bit of cause.
raccoonboy
milkshake wrote:
just 4 diodes like in a power supply,


I literally have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than I do of this sentence. Is there a module that does it for me?
raccoonboy
Agawell wrote:
I think I got this from someone else on this forum but

MI Tides low -> clock divider /2 or /4 -> vca/lpg

gives a square wave 1 or 2 octaves below the uni/bi outputs - mix to taste


No brands please!
Joe.
raccoonboy wrote:
milkshake wrote:
just 4 diodes like in a power supply,


I literally have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than I do of this sentence. Is there a module that does it for me?


Ring mods can act as Frequency doublers:

raccoonboy
Joe. wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
milkshake wrote:
just 4 diodes like in a power supply,


I literally have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than I do of this sentence. Is there a module that does it for me?


Ring mods can act as Frequency doublers:



Ahh, thanks. Don't have a ringmod yet, it's on my list. It's one of the few 'standard' effects I haven't tried.
milkshake
raccoonboy wrote:
Joe. wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
milkshake wrote:
just 4 diodes like in a power supply,


I literally have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than I do of this sentence. Is there a module that does it for me?


Ring mods can act as Frequency doublers:



Ahh, thanks. Don't have a ringmod yet, it's on my list. It's one of the few 'standard' effects I haven't tried.


I was talking about diode bridges used in power supplies.

Really simple, easy to diy, great distortion, build one for less than a buck excluding frontplate.

Ringmodulators are great to. Put the same signal into the inputs and the output is doubled in frequency.


Also easy to build, way more versatile than bridge, costs 10 bucks excluding frontplate.

Make both.
Jarvus
I like to use Make N Maths as a distorted Oscillator, patch a raw saw or sine into the ‘trig’ input and have the slope all the way to exponential. Then adjust the rise and fall times to create all manner of subharmonics and distorted waves relating to the original raw wave then off to a filter and vca with envelope modulation. Best bass I’ve made yet on modular.
raccoonboy
milkshake wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
Joe. wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
milkshake wrote:
just 4 diodes like in a power supply,


I literally have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than I do of this sentence. Is there a module that does it for me?


Ring mods can act as Frequency doublers:



Ahh, thanks. Don't have a ringmod yet, it's on my list. It's one of the few 'standard' effects I haven't tried.


I was talking about diode bridges used in power supplies.

Really simple, easy to diy, great distortion, build one for less than a buck excluding frontplate.

Ringmodulators are great to. Put the same signal into the inputs and the output is doubled in frequency.


Also easy to build, way more versatile than bridge, costs 10 bucks excluding frontplate.

Make both.


Thanks mate. But as I said..... haha.

Even that basic diagram. I don't know how to read it. What the symbols mean. How to recreate it. Nothing. I can solder which I learned a few years ago. So that's a start.

Tried to learn some stuff about circuit diagrams and current. Failed. Did a little in school but dont remember. I think if I was to try and learn I'd like to have some kinda breadboard to experiment with with a guide, rather than just reading stuff
milkshake
Don't worry, all things new are difficult.

Explanation of diode bridge.
raccoonboy
Ohhh. Nice.. I know what a full wave rectifier is. Hah. And I can see how this doubles frequency, although I assume it will only work for sinusoidal waveforms. Thanks reading article now
trim
Pull a wire out of the synth and put a worm on it, throw it in the water. That is how I would catch bass.
milkshake
raccoonboy wrote:
Ohhh. Nice.. I know what a full wave rectifier is. Hah. And I can see how this doubles frequency, although I assume it will only work for sinusoidal waveforms. Thanks reading article now


It works for every signal.

One thing to keep in mind is that after rectification, the signal is DC.
So the input must be ac and the output is dc.
Joe.
milkshake wrote:

One thing to keep in mind is that after rectification, the signal is DC.


That's potentially going to wreck speakers at low frequencies. Best to offset for an equal positive/negative swing.
raccoonboy
Joe. wrote:
milkshake wrote:

One thing to keep in mind is that after rectification, the signal is DC.


That's potentially going to wreck speakers at low frequencies. Best to offset for an equal positive/negative swing.


Cool. This is why I won't make any DIY stuff until I really know what I'm doing. Even if it is just a few diodes. Whatever they are. I can solder with exact instructions but don't have the right experience yet to figure these things out.

So if I buy a rectifier I'll make sure it offsets the signal post-rectification (probably not a word haha)
Superaction80
More mixing/tracking than patching, but sometimes adding a little room verb helps make bass sound bigger. Really, adding some space for you brain to decode can make anything pop out sonically, especially if you have a bunch of direct signal captures that didn’t pass through air in the first place. Helpful in this case when you’ve already dumped as much lows into the mix as possible and still need that extra push over the cliff.
Rex Coil 7
Superaction80 wrote:
More mixing/tracking than patching, but sometimes adding a little room verb helps make bass sound bigger. Really, adding some space for you brain to decode can make anything pop out sonically, especially if you have a bunch of direct signal captures that didn’t pass through air in the first place. Helpful in this case when you’ve already dumped as much lows into the mix as possible and still need that extra push over the cliff.
(I am not affiliated or compensated by Aphex in any way, shape, form, or manner. I am simply a very happy user with a lot of opinions about them.)

The single best tool to increase perceived low end is the Aphex Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom. Yes, that entire phrase is the actual full name of the device.

Once more for good measure .... the Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom, manufactured by Aphex.

"Optical Big Bottom" circuitry is a mixture (a very well thought out mixture) of compression and EQ. The results of it's use aren't some little nuanced effect on your sound. It's very real, and it permits you to add as much (as in A LOT of) low end as you wish ... just a taste, or bowel-gurgling butt shakin' balls rattlin' low end. W.I.T.H.O.U.T. bottoming out your speakers' coils (aka "farting out").

I've been using an Aphex 204 rack mounted two channel Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom for at least twenty years. I've used it in my bass guitar rig, my synthesizer sound reinforcement rig, guitar rig, and even my dual Leslie setup for my 1962 Hammond C3. I played live on stage for years with the rack mounted 204 touring all over the entire South Western USA (Phoenix, L.A., Las Vegas, Mexico, and everywhere in between). I've never .... not once ... damaged a single piece of gear due to using the Aphex. It is ridiculously easy to use once you grasp it's basic function concepts (which isn't difficult, I mean c'mon, even I figured out how to make it go). Even if you don't use it primarily as a means of increasing low end, it works wonders at protecting your speakers.

The Aphex Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom is available in 19 inch rack form as a dual channel device. It offers two identical channels of aural excitation and low end compression/EG, you may use them as you wish. The two channels may be used to process a stereo (L/R) signal right off of the main outs on your desk mixer (as I do), or the two channels may be used to process two totally separate signals .... just as if you had two separate fully featured exciters/Big Bottom circuits in separate enclosures. They typically sell for around $300.00 new. I just did a quick search on eBay and one in great shape is selling for $240.00 Buy It Now. These rack units used to be known as the Aphex 204. The modern version is simply known as "Exciter" ... as the link below takes you to:

LINK = http://www.aphex.com/products/exciter

Aphex also used to make a single channel stompbox version of the Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom .... it was known as the "Xciter". I also have one of those. You can find them at the likes of eBay now and then. Now, the one I'm talking about is not called "Bass Xciter" ... or ... "Acoustic Xciter" ... or .... "Guitar Xciter". Those were older products that were too oversimplified and had their EQs centered on various frequency bands that were supposed to be (~ahem~) "optimized" for various instruments (bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar). But those were marketing failures and I suggest avoiding a purchase of any of those three units.

BELOW = APHEX 204 (the model that was built for many years, which is now known simply as the "Aphex Exciter" ... I still own one of these 204s, and it gets used every time I power up my synth/organ/bass guitar rig)



BELOW = APHEX XCITER (I have one of these, it is essentially one half of the 204 ... as you can see it's also a fully blown D.I. box that will run on 48 volt phantom power ... the knobs are solid machined aluminum, and the entire enclosure is cast aluminum ... no plastic shit.poo.crap happening here. NO SHIT.POO.CRAP!)



BELOW = OLDER APHEX XCITER models (these were marketing attempts to sell more aural exciters .... if you own a 204 or the newer version of the 204 named "Exciter" you possess every single thing that all three of these units offer ... I suggest avoiding these units, they're under-featured and not nearly as well built as the newer rack mounted "Exciter", or it's predecessor the "204", or the silver colored stomp box/D.I box known as the "Xciter" shown in the montage image above)

AVOID .... AVOID .... AVOID



I have owned everything shown in this post at one time or another. I still own and use daily the Aphex 204 that I've used for nearly twenty years. I also still own one of the silver "Xciter" D.I. units. I will never ... EVER .... give either one of them up. Those two models (and presumably the newer rack mounted "Exciter") are built tough as a hammer and are every bit as useful ... easily solid enough to make a fine murder weapon!

The "Optical Big Bottom" section permits you to tune the center freq of the low end from 50hz up to about 200hz. And the Aural Exciter section permits tuning of the upper harmonics from 600hz to 6khz. Each section also has a "drive" control that provides a really wonderful soft distortion, very much like what the Moog CP3 modular synth mixer does, or also similar to what the Strymon DECO does.

I'm super serious here .... (putting on my super serious face) ... you will never regret adding a 204, Exciter, or the silver Xciter to your synth rig. Any of the three offer perfectly tweeked compression as well as perfectly tuned EQ. They also provide a means of adding soft distortion to any signal if that's your choice.

Buy with money! Add to rig! Be happy monkey-man synth boy!

BUY ... ADD ... BE!

thumbs up
raccoonboy
Rex Coil 7 wrote:


The single best tool to increase perceived low end is the Aphex Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom. Yes, that entire phrase is the actual full name of the device.



I've heard a lot of good things about this. Might have to try it. Doesnt seem too expensive 2nd hand either. A couple of hundred quid? Is that right?

Haha. Keep re-reading your post and getting excited. Think I'll buy one next month. Probably an original 204.

Gonna do some more reading
Gaetan
One great trick I learned when I played actual bass guitar is that a lot of the presence of the instrument lies within the low-medium range of frequencies. If the bass sounds too muddy or ill-defined, a parametric equalizer can help you find the right frequency that needs a slight boost to stand out. I haven't actually explored that for synth bass, but I imagine the advice still stands.
modularblack
My One Trick Pony Trick is putting a sine-ish subbass which plays simple notes under the actual bass.
Just me
J-bass through Tube amp into 2 15 cabinet with horn works well for me. I prefer pick to finger style.
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