Replacing Bass' Low End With Synth

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by jvms, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. jvms

    jvms SS.org Regular

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    Hello, I usually mix my bass with the multiple track technique, using one for sub and low end and others for clean, clanky or distorted tone without lows and subs. I have had a few problems getting the low end right on a few songs, as the bass frequencies too dynamic, and replacing that track with a synth sounds like a decent idea. Apparently Asking Alexandria's newest album was recorded like this. I have a few questions about this method: Is there any way I can turn my regular bass track into MIDI so I can use it with a VST? How acurate would it be, if possible? Also, what synth VST would you guys recomend for this aplication? If the MIDI than VST route is impossible, is there any VST that can turn the bass track into a synth wave with velocty control? I guess that would work... What kind of wave should I use? I first thought about sine waves, but would squares or triagles work? If I keep the velocity constant on this track, would I still need compression or limiting?


    Thank you for the attention.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  2. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

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    Not sure of your DAW, but I'm sure they all have this capability.

    I use reaper and there is a built in plugin called ReaTune. One of the options it has is to send out a midi signal for every pitch. You could try this. It is not the most accurate plugin with low pitches though, so maybe run an octaver before it and then transpose down after. You would then take the midi output and tweak/quantize it since I'm sure it won't be perfect.

    In fact, to answer your second question...no matter what, interpreting bass into midi won't be perfect and will probably need tweaking.

    Those other questions are up to your ears. Sine would be the least abrasive, square and triangle would be pretty harsh. Up to what you like, though. Same with a VST - do you want a bass guitar simulator or just a bass synth? There are plenty of free options for both of these applications.

    Keeping the velocity the same might make it a bit boring to be honest. The need for compression or limiting would be dependent upon the synth you chose and therefore what the output of the synth sounds like.

    Tl;dr it is possible but use your ears to determine what you like. Also it'd be best to just use a midi controller or hand-program the new midi track.
     
  3. brutalwizard

    brutalwizard Pretty Your Petunia

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    The plugin melodyne, keith merrow talks about it briefly on urm podcast.
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Melodyne supposedly can do this. It's not a free plugin. I never bought it, because I signed up for a free trial and then after 30 days trying to get it to work and no customer support, I decided it would be a waste of money. I've seen it work on youtube, though, without any tracking issues.

    For ultra-low notes, I would suggest a triangle waveform.

    Honestly, if I were you and I were super concerned about accuracy, I'd just input it by hand, and match the note velocities to the waveform amplitudes by eyeball. That method will cost you only your time, and you'll be in complete control of the process.
     
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  5. QuantumSoundLab

    QuantumSoundLab Audio Engineer, Downtuning Degenerate

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    Never heard of this technique until now. Interesting concept that would be fantastic in theory, as a synth can be dumbed down and won't respond to changes in attack, dynamics, what string you play on, etc. What concerns me is how this unnaturally sterile low-end would mesh with the mids and highs of the bass, as the players change in dynamics most likely would not correspond with that of a synth, and the lack of natural EQ and compression of a pickup.
    I might have to try this for myself.
     
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall Player

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    If the low end is too dynamic then you need to compress it more. Squash the hell out of it if you have to. I’ve never heard or replacing the lowest frequencies like you’re suggesting... I’ve augmented the sub lows with something like Rbass, and used synths in place of bass when I wanted synth sounds, but I could imagine bothering with tracking a bass just to turn around and replace his low end with a synth.
     
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  7. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    hit your "low" bass track harder with the compressor, if you're going to do this, just buy Trillian and program the bass in there.
     
  8. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Well synth basses are pretty commonplace in pop productions. You could even stack a bass guitar upon the synth bass. And yes you'll probably need some compression to keep frequencies in control.
     
  9. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    I do this quite often. I'll just tab out the bass guitar part in the piano roll, adjust note on/off values to match the real playing dynamics, assign it a synth bass that mixes well with original bass guitar and mix to taste. This trick gets you a super solid low end with out compressing the crap out of a copied or routed bass track.

    If you have a well recorded, on time, bass guitar track that you're doing this to, any "out of control" frequencies are most likely phase cancellation between the synth and the real bass. No amount of compression will fix that. You'll have to try inverting phase and/or physically aligning the waveforms.
     
  10. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Def Leppard's Pyromania is full of this: "Rock of Ages" being one of the most prominent.
     
  11. TheKindred

    TheKindred TimeTravel Innovator

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    you can try tracking the bass with Midi Guitar. pretty fun VST that tracks your audio and realtime converts to MIDI.

    I use it to play piano/horns/pads whatever on the guitar. Free demo and I think full version is $100.

    https://www.jamorigin.com/

    edit: actually just checked again and they're offering MidiGuitar2 and MidiBass as a combo purchase. MidiBass sounds like exactly what you need : MIDI Bass turns any electric bass guitar into a MIDI bass.
     
  12. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    I will often use Cubase hit detection to generate MIDI notes from a bass part. From there I edit them, then load an instance of Sub Destroyer and blend it in with my sub bass track. Lots of compression and limiting to keep the dynamics in check.
     
  13. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    I do this a lot.
    Just hi-pass the real bass, program the exact same bass line on a midi track and assign it to a sine wave generator /synth.

    Instead of the synth you can also use a bass sampler like zombass, low-pass it and blend it with the hi-passed real bass.

    If you adjust the velocities correctly, you won't even have to use a compressor in the synth track anymore. For full blown death metal for example I make it 127 all the way.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    If you're worried about the synth bass being too not-dynamic, maybe you could do the whole ducking-under-the-kick thing with a compressor and some dramatic settings.
     
  15. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    melodyne rules and makes life easy. Another reason I love Studio one :)
    You can do stuff like sing melodies into your mic and turn it into midi with melodyne after pitch adjusting and quantizing and run it through synths. Fun stuff :D
     
  16. Space Cadet

    Space Cadet SS.org Regular

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    I’m also using that double tracking technique you described, pretty common in metal. To tame the lows that jump all over the place I use fabfilter MB (I think that’s the one) to compress the lower frequencies without affecting the rest. Works great for both bass and guitar.
     
  17. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    I rather use a bass vsti. Synth on low end can sound a bit too artificial imo.
     

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