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Messages - Slizz

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Sound Design / Re: Bass House Sounds
« on: April 06, 2016, 03:47:21 pm »
I like how bass house is supposed to be "back to the roots" type dance music, but now people are releasing insanely complex preset packs. These sounds are like, dubstep 101 basses. Take a square wave and sweep a low pass filter across it without redlining the thing and you'll have a pretty cool sounding bass patch. If you want a pluck, do the same thing but use an envelope instead of an LFO. Put a little reverb on it (LITTLE!!!!) and give it a white noise transient that's tasteful (read: doesn't sound like a dvbbs drop) and you're good.

If you want to sound like rehab or the more mainstream chris lake stuff, just take your favorite EDM synth, layer it over a distorted sine wave and squeeze the two sounds together with a compressor. Martin Garrix released animals and the wood block sound got so abused that someone decided if they used it as a bass with a tasteful kick, instead of a lead over a festival 808, they could call it bass house and keep releasing the same formulaic tracks. Listen to some Oliver Heldens, Pep and Rash, etc and tell me they aren't layering EDM festival synths over subs and calling it deep house.

Fun fact - if a preset sounds incredible with no processing, it's going to be very hard to use in an actual track. These presets sell because they're covered in reverb and effects, which make them take up the whole frequency spectrum. This makes them sound "sooo professional and totally the missing piece to the why am I not famous yet puzzle", but they end up being impossible to use with any drums or other elements, unless you sidechain the hell out of it and it's the only layer you have, in which case your songwriting better be outstanding, to let one bass line act as a melody and still be listenable. I think beginners would be shocked to sit down with some people and listen to isolated synths in an actual work flow. That crazy skrillex bass probably sounds somewhat benign by itself, but it fits perfectly with the song and serves its purpose without being overpowering, and combined with songwriting and the whole product, is gnarly.

Sound Design / Re: Thick Plucky Trance Lead
« on: April 06, 2016, 03:30:22 pm »
severely detune a combination of saw and square waves, and give them fast attack so they don't ring. squares fill out the areas where saws are lacking and vice versa. layer these with a very subtle sine wave that has a low pass on it to give it thickness in the bottom end. the most important part is having a white noise oscillator that has extremely fast attack playing with the instrument which is where you get the snap from. don't over do it.

as far as filtering goes, build the patch in 1 VST (sylenth, massive, fm8, etc) and run all the oscillators through a low pass filter that has an attack envelope with sustain ("level" in decay section if you're using massive) mapped to a macro. When closed all the way, the filter will decay and close the sound so it has the fast attack that it needs, and you can just modulate this to open up which will cause less frequencies to be filtered out and give you more sustain. You won't even need to adjust your midi notes.

expert level - map the "level" in the attack section to another macro and modulate this to filter out high end from the transient if you want the pluckiness to remain in tact but have a building effect without using an external filter.

Sound Design / Re: Future Bass Snares
« on: April 06, 2016, 03:17:05 pm »
its a square wave played at whatever note the snare hits on. make sure it is in tune with your track obviously. I think sometimes it is playing a major 5th to add energy. Get a nice transient sample with some click, get a nice high end sample for that washing out sound, then insert a square wave with a pitch envelope that is an octave or two and moves really fast. That will give you that bloopy sound. low pass it a little so you're not getting all the high end muck and just keep the fundamental, then put some mild reverb on it so it rings out a bit with the rest of the snare.

Sound Design / Re: Beautiful Dynamic Mallet/Chord Design [Odesza]
« on: April 06, 2016, 03:11:56 pm »
tons of processing. Sounds like a plucky gut string (as opposed to steel) type instrument, or possibly a xylophone. Bounced to audio then processed to all hell.

EDIT: whatever your chords are, have each note start slightly off beat from the other notes so you get that arpeggio/human sounding pluck.

It should depend on whatever element of your track is the focal point. Mainstream Dubstep is all about bass and in your face snares and snappy kicks, so naturally virtual riot is going to practically mute everything that occupies the same core frequencies as the snare when it hits. Otherwise the snare buries itself, which ruins the groove when the kick drum is playing second fiddle to sub bass in the lower frequencies - the snare and the transiet of the kick are the only thing carrying the rhythm, so mid to high range instruments need to duck out of the way to let them keep time.

Mr Bill is making kind of sound engineer wankery stuff, which is cool but it explains his approach to sidechaining.

Think about your song. Is the kick the most important element, is it the snare, or the synths? whatever you want to stand out above all else should, and you then approach side chaining from that perspective. Sometimes it's less about making your snare the only sound in the track for that split second and more about giving your drums a tiny bit of room to breath but letting your synths remain the focal point of the track.

the reverb isn't being applied to the synths in the M Machine song, it's being applied to white noise. Make a big spacey white noise reverb splash sound and group it to your synth, then sidechain the whole group. The synths aren't being drowned out with reverb, they just have a low pass filter that closes when the drums hit to bring the levels down and exaggerate the white noise sweep. You can hear the underlying reese type synth sweep back in as the filter is opened and the pluck follows a bit later.

food for thought - don't go crazy trying to emulate the M machine, or noisia or koan sound or even knife party to a large extent. Those guys are on a different planet when it comes to engineering. Definitely try and learn from them, but don't lose your mind if it doesn't sound perfect. They are the best of the absolute best when it comes to sound design and processing. Focus more on learning why certain things sound a certain way.

Things getting spacey doesn't always mean reverb, in fact it usually means the opposite. Space and ambience are created by leaving lots of headroom, reverb eats up headroom like no other. Closing a low pass filter and letting a subtle white noise patch sweep across and around the stereo field will do more for ambience than dropping a reverb bomb on a track or a patch. Create space, then use subtle, quiet and controlled elements to exaggerate that space.

Sound Design / Re: What exactly does a "tape stop" effect entail?
« on: April 06, 2016, 02:41:15 pm »
tape stop is a literal reference to stopping old school tape players and turntables that wouldn't completely halt when stop was hit and would take a moment, which would play the audio as the tape decelerates to 0 rpm. the easiest way to recreate this effect is to resample the section of your track that you want the tape stop to happen at - make sure it's the entire track - then throw it into a sampler and modulate the pitch. You'll need a huge pitch adjustment - 6 or more octaves, so you might have to play the "note" say 4 octaves lower than it is supposed to but have your pitch envelope start at +48 and finish at -48, depending on what you're using.

the most important thing is resampling the entire track because you want every single element diving at the same rate, including reverb and post processing effects. If you have a reverb that sits on top of your master for wideness and this doesn't get included in the tape stop it won't have that abrupt stopping effect. You don't have to worry too much about waiting for a master or final mix down as long as the elements are close to the final product. They will be so distorted it won't be noticeable anyway, and going from a wide final track to a tiny section that doesn't have mastering effects or stereo enhancement during the tape stop will only exaggerate the effect.

Also - you can put a utility on it (if you're in ableton) or any other effect that allows you to filter out all stereo frequencies and have it go from 100% (stereo field the way you intend it to sound) to 0% (mono only), which will create a shrinking effect that will let whatever comes after the tape stop really explode across the aural spectrum. You could put this same effect on your master and have it go from 0%-100% in 1/16th or 1/32nd so it sounds like your track is exploding out of whatever it stopped into.

Sound Design / Re: Seven Lions' Growls/Stutters
« on: April 06, 2016, 02:25:35 pm »
the transformer thing is a combination of pitch modulation, LFO modulation and pan modulation.

if you want something that sounds like a robot winding down, then have the pitch bend down while an LFO decreases in speed and the pan spreads out on the same timetable. IE everything happens over the course of a 1/2 note.

The pitch creates a downward energy and simulates the slowing of a motor while the LFO gives the impression of mechanical movement that directs sound in various directions, with your perspective only getting "full volume" when its directed at you. the Pan spread creates the feeling of something coming from afar and settling very close. You don't have to spread the pan but you definitely need to move the sound within the stereo image, and you definitely need at least some kind of wideness adjustment and should probably have a position movement too. for example : center to 10 left to 19 right while going from mono ot mostly mono to a wider spread over the same 1/2 note for the other effects.

When doing this to growls, have your growl open/morph/modulate/etc in different time. So if the growl is a whole note, let it open for a half note then introduce this modulation during the second half of the growl while letting it keep its basic shape. When you start modulating your growl in sync with a speedy LFO it creates too much noise for you to be able to appreciate the transformer effect and just makes it difficult to listen to. The best way to do this is to let the LFO sweep into the noise (dry wet 0 to 100) over the course of the first half of the measure then begin all the other changes (LFO speed, pan, pitch etc) at the half way point.

don't over think it. its a sub, you want it to be clean and simple. i know nghtmare uses the "hip hop sub bass" preset in ableton's instrument rack for most of his subs.

just take a sin wave, saturate it and add a little distortion. If you want that booming kick, find a kick sample and layer it. I don't recommend ducking your sub around the kick because the attack is never perfect and you don't want your sub swooping in at some weird time signature, which will affect the grooves in your track whether you realize it or not. 2 options for this: 1) just let your kick hit on top of your sub and the distortion it creates wont be the end of the world and might sound cool on the track or 2) high pass your kick at 100 and give your sub patch a pitch envelope that matches the pitch envelope of your kick, probably starting 1 or 2 octaves up with a decay (or attack depending on how you use your envelopes) of 80-200 ms.

side note, a good way to mush your sub and kick together to sound more uniform is to filter out some of the high frequencies in the kick and then use the same saturator/distortion/whatever as your sub to give them similar tonal character.

Or you could download a hip hop 808 pack and use that. Don't kid yourself into thinking these guys design every element in their songs. Good songwriting is more important than good design. The people at ASDR or PrimeLoops have degrees in audio engineering, let them worry about designing instruments while you  focus on composition.

Sound Design / Re: Brassy Lead Sound
« on: April 06, 2016, 01:58:30 pm »
detuned saw with lots of voices, small echo chamber, high wetness ratio, minimal decay, chorus or stereo widening.

Sound Design / Re: Future House/Deep House sound design, where to begin?
« on: February 03, 2016, 06:25:43 pm »
a lot of the big names in future house like curbi and pep & rash just take your typical big house synths and melodies and layer a bass under the melody. standard doop doop drop with a bass on each note, rather than the 808 style festival kick. throw a low pass filter over the top line and get rid of everything above 10k or whatever so you can copy and paste a vengeance future house percussion top sample and you're rich.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Tell us your master chain!
« on: February 03, 2016, 06:22:58 pm »
Ableton EQ8, a limiter, sausage fattener. I master for volume and thats it. My mix sounds the way I want with stereo wideness and the EQ is just to take care of super low and super high end frequencies.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Mixdown Question (Wrecking my brain over this!)
« on: February 03, 2016, 05:29:30 pm »
I would suggest bouncing to audio and keeping effects plugins live. Midi is usually the culprit when it comes to CPU problems. Also if you think a glitchy CPU is frustrating just wait until you want to take some delay off a track and realize that its not possible without bouncing the audio again.

Finished Tracks / Re: hey i'm guppi
« on: January 28, 2016, 05:31:59 pm »
need to listen on monitors but something is causing ear fatigue. Might be the 100-300hz range? i like the white noise.

This is fucking out there. Some serious engineering talent on display. Honestly I don't think this is your style at all but if you took all the weird in between stuff and threw some real wonky riddim style drops in it I would be all about it. Not the super metallic riddim but like way out there shit. I dunno. This is cool.

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