Bassline tips\help

I’m struggling to get a good bassline sound, and i know this is one of the hardest things to achieve!

anything i do just sounds cheap and tacky, maybe it’s the standard bass samples i’m using that is making it sound like this? I’m putting a bass note down in between every beat rather than on each beat. do you guys use vsts to make bass sounds? all i haev is a load of crap from sample cds

any ideas how you can make something badass like these 2 defective audio basslines?

- YouTube


Denise And A10 - 08 - Motherfucker [LQ] - YouTube

or this BK classic

- YouTube

sorry for the spamming and lack of knowledge, i’ll get there some day!

Try phattening out your bass if you feel it’s not enough.

If your using samples then just layer up but make sure you work your EQ range correctly so they dont end up phasing.

If your using VSTs then try using more oscallators and either change the wave ie: from saw to pulse, etc. and/or move one or more of the oscallators down/up an octave from the other oscallator.

Also try adding effects to one or more of the layers / oscalators

Cheers mate, what do you mean by layering up? the tut videos were good for an electro type of sound but i need a decent driving\rolling bassline.

maybe we should chat on msn sometime and share screenshots if you have the time.

btw your tracks are banging, just checked out your myspace page :slight_smile:

Thanks mate! :smiley:

Still learning like the rest of us though, everything i know is from this website (bar a few bits from the magazines).

Layering up… ie: a couple/few diff bass sounds layered together. Check the trance tutorial on here, there is a good bit on layering bass

all good advice for getting a contemporary full sound, and eq’ing | sonic design is absolutely key (personally, i’d say to use a vst instead of a sample - although you still need to do a eq scrub) but i think i know what you are definitely missing.

you can create the fattest, craziest sound and it will still sound “goofy” similar to the cheese stylings of trance in the 90’s (don’t mean to offend but you know what i mean) if you don’t add in a little creative dynamics.

assuming you are just stacking 1/4th or 1/8th notes for the bass, you can either : :

(per 1 bar - 4 beats)

[K = kick B = bass]

1…1.2 1.3 1.4 2

K . K . K . K .



1…1.2 1.3 1.4 2

K . K . K . K .


now, ensure the tails of your samples are faded so they end prior to the next 1/8th note sample start or you can adjust the decay and sustain of your synth or trim the midi note a hair (1/16 note usually works fine) from the tail inward so it ends prior to the next 1/8th note - similar as if using audio samples.

now throw a side chain compressor using your kick as your trigger. you’ll want that ‘pumping’ sound (how much is up to your taste) because that pumping | sucking sound of the is what makes that aforementioned “cheese” bass line now sound “cool and slick.”

i’m not going to go into any more specifics since side-chaining and compressors have TONS of tutorials on the subjects, but this should get you started in hearing a more contemporary sound in your track. actually, come to think of it…i’m pretty sure i saw a flash banner here that said Sonic Academy did a how to sound like deadmau5… which i suggest you check on out (assuming you are a member?)

remember, when you are reconstructing a sound for replication, start from the most simplest point - the sound & what the sound is doing. break everything down from there starting with the basic sound and basic progression, and layer (figuratively speaking) all the elements from there. 9 times out of 10, you’ll find it’s the movement or dynamics of the track that takes it from amateur to not recognizing your own tune.

thanks for the tips mate, i’m pretty new to producing so most of what you said has gone over my head - but i appreciate your info. is there any chance you could link me a video on this, or send me some screenshots of how the layout should look like at all?

ive messed around tonight with putting a bass sample on each kick, and then putting the sample in betwen each kick for a fuller sound. most just sound crap, probably because i’m using cheapy bass sample cuts that haven’t had much attention.

no worries dood… you’ll get it in time and with practice. are you a subscriber? if so… like i mentioned before, check out the how to sound like “deadmau5.” even you aren’t into his sound, his bass is pretty much typical of the dance world.

if you aren’t a subscriber - google or youtube “side chain basslines” or “how to side chain” or something. you’ll find a ton of what you are looking for. although, the vids on here are fundamentally WAAAY better and professional in comparison. i’d link you to some, but i don’t want to navigate you away from the guys here, since i applaud and promote what they are doing here. plus, ~$100 for a years worth of great educational material isn’t a bad deal.

i actually subscribed being a cubase producer for years but wanted to get better and learn LIVE fluently for production, so i could draft ideas out quickly and rewire into cubase - benefiting from steinberg’s mixer and audio processing (i think cubase’s sounds better than live 7’s - don’t have 8 yet so i can’t say otherwise)

lemme know what you come up with and how you do. i’ll try and help more when i’m on here.

kk mate thanks for that. yep i subscribed last weekend so will check the video out you suggested, and will keep you posted on how i do :slight_smile: