I’m always learning more about how to shape sound. By checking out some psytrance forums on the Internet and by advice from some pro friends of mine.
In the early day’s, before computers baceme a standard I got into frequency modulation through Yamaha DX7, Korg and other synthesizers. But to create a whole master mix never interested me as much as now. So I had to learn a lot of new stuff about audio mastering and recording technology.
My goal was/is to make a sound that ‘kicks ass’ in BIG sound systems (5000W and above..)
Kick: I started with this Psykick .wav. Download |here|. This kick is a very well made tight sounding psykick, though I of course reshaped it a bit to fit into my music.
When I eq I slope (cut out) from about 35Hz and below to avoid low frequency rumble, both on the bass sounds and on the kicks. (also when mastering). The low frequencies work well to boost within +/- 75Hz – 120Hz.
I use much extra compression on both bass and kick sounds.
Bass: For the bass (midi-instrument) there’s a good plugin called “AudioRealism Bassline v1.50”. Another important plugin is a VST called “MaxxBass”. It boosts the harmonics of the bass sound one octave higher, around 120Hz (should be used carefully). Makes the bass sound fuller without interfering with the kick. Then I put the compressor after to get the bass really tight and full.
Recently I got to know about two more VST plugins that are great for making basses; ‘sylenth1’ and ‘alien303‘.
Another trick they use in many psytrance songs is to never have the bass and kick crashing (by cutting out every single bass note that is on top of a kick note..). But that might not work with other types of music, I don’t know. However, by doing that I got the sound much cleaner, yet powerful.
I also used a ‘multiband compressor’ after the equalizer when mastering. It allows me to boost the bass (and treble too) in the eq without distorting the final outcome. Used carefully though, since it actually cuts out some of the frequency boosting added by the equalizer. Needs experimentation to learn. One plugin for this is called “C4, Waveshell 5.0” (Diamond Bundle v5.0, Waves).
If you ever bothered to listen to any of my previous two albums you’ll find that the bass and kicks I achieved then aren’t as powerful as in my current production. The main person I would like to credit for above knowledge is the man behind ‘Frequency Flyer‘, an Australian psytrance producer with lots of experience and know how. Thanks Gareth, you made my day.