Do you want to create a monster in recording? If you’re making dance music or you want to add more punch in the beat, you probably need to learn how to make a powerful bass sound. The quest for the perfect baseline is something that makes almost all electronic music producers united.
It is surprisingly hard to get it right and you need to consider many things but in creating dance track, you will need a strong bass sound. It is not hard to see why dance music is generally obsessed with bass. Without it, dance music will never be called ‘dance’. Getting the requisite beef of powerful bass sound, while ensuring that it fits with the rest of the elements, needs a few drops of your sweat.
The melody, synth, effects, EQ, compression and kick drum interaction are just some of the most important components you should be walking through for completing this process. Producing punchy, powerful bass lines is great but it does not have to stress you out. Allow us to show you how to get it done – the easy way. No matter what the genre of electronic music you want to create, here is how to approach to the great end.
STEP 1 – Make Right Sound Source
In making the right sound with smooth flow through the end, it is important to get it right at the source. Since it is far more complicated to process an unsuitable sound to make it sound good, starting with the right sound is one of the most important guidelines to achieve powerful bass. Don’t start with a poor resonance; try fixing it as soon as you notice it instead. You may take a step back or fix everything before you move forward and get the sound right in your synth or check your sampler. Once done, then move ahead.
STEP 2 – Avoid Clashing Frequencies
There are two essential components in a track that inhabit the low frequencies: the kick drum and the bass line. In the kingdom of music, making sure that they interact without clashing is a challenge. These two elements may not sit in its own space causing frequency trouble which will make your bass sounds really terrible. To prevent such annoying outcome, it is important to avoid combining sub-based kicks with subby bass lines. Doing so will make the frequencies to class. Use a spectrum analyzer if you’re not sure which frequencies each track element occupies.
STEP 3 – Add Punch with Compression
Compression is mainly used as a tonal shaping tool for adding definition and punch to the sound. It is also designed to make things louder and smooth out dynamics. Since the synth bass lines usually have a little dynamic range you may use the compression in shaping it by giving a medium to fast attack. Give out moderate release time and then bring the threshold down slowly until you get at least 4-6 dB gain reduction. You should set the release control to the time which allows the compressor to pull through between notes. The denser the bass notes, the faster the release should be.
STEP 4 – Create Bass Tweaks with EQ
To carve out extra space in the mix, it is best to use EQ. It should be done by removing unwanted frequencies clashing with other elements. Start by cutting the extreme low end of the kick drum along with high-bass filter before you move on to bass itself. Use the EQ to tweak the tone of the bass sound to give the bass more apparent level and presence without routing to EQing. Be careful about which EQ you use, if you need to boost for emphasis. Don’t focus on the bass isolation when EQing as you also need to consider the whole mix.
STEP 5 – Add Some Depth with Sub-bass
Add some depth in your synth by using an extra sub-bass oscillator. The best way to make it done is to use a sine wave and tune the octave lower without modulation. Without altering the vibe of the current bass, observe how the sub-bass oscillator is adding an extra low end to the sound. You may need to twist the level for you to make the mix balance again. Bear in mind that it is important to avoid blowing too many sub-woofers or it will damage the mix. Additionally, you can also make a louder bass impression by adding harmonics that higher the frequency spectrum up.
STEP 6 – Employ Bass Sound Layering
Layering the individual bass elements is another important trick to make bigger and better bass sound. However, you need to be careful in performing this action as approaching it the right way will avoid a few common downsides. Tweaking a bass sound for maximum effect is important but it may not be enough. Try to build a fat bass line up by layering parts. The best approach for this part is to layer different frequency bands including the presence of sub-bass, bass and there should be higher frequency range.
Add another layer in the same octave for a punchier and more harmonically rich emphasis. If you think you lack something, add more until you get the best punch you desire.
STEP 7 – Add Effects
A lot of music producers believe that effects addition is the best step to take in making great powerful bass. Adding effects is undeniably good but if you are in doubt in it, you better have to fully avoid it. This is because things start to get much harder when you introduce effects or anything with effects which may affect the stereo image. Some effects you best add in your music are delay and reverb. It is also important to add effects in the chorus to create a beefier sound.
The chorus is designed to thicken a sound. Adding effects can sometimes create problems because it can easily make the sound unfocused and indistinct making it a potential problem for bass sounds. Low frequencies should be panned centrally for the smooth mono signal to stereo conversion. Avoid cluttering the mix of the delay by rolling off its low-end return and keep the timing tight. For the reverb, you also need to remove lower frequencies to avoid a muddy mix. Making effects that would work on bass should carefully be handled.
STEP 8 – Use Real Bass
What we have mainly considered above is using synthesized bass, how about using a real bass? The real bass is provided with tone unpredictability and sophistication which make a compelling combination. However, many club music genres rely on robotic bass repetition but this does not mean using a real bass does not work at all. If you don’t want that robotic repetition of bass then you better dive into the world of live bass. You can combine real and synth bass parts by applying bass layering or think about timing correction to achieve a lot punchier bass sound.
When making a powerful bass sound becomes your interest, you can find a lot of options to take. Don’t be shy to try everything at its best because even a very simple and monotonous sequence may sound awesome even for novices.