Updated: Dec 7, 2020
This topic I already covered with a few videos about the bass line, but this one will be the most significant tutorial about bassline processing.
First, I will explain the psytrance bassline structure, and later on, I’ll explain how to shape the bass line note.
Let’s take the 1/16th bass line note as an example, and these are the things we shell understand on how bass line notes are constructed.
Transient: Transient is the first part of the bassline note, and it will define the click or attack of the bassline note. By shaping the transient, we process the “click” volume and the color of the transient (does the transient punch more on the mids or the highs)
Body: The body is the second part of the bass note shape, and the body holds the lows and low-mids information. The body’s envelope is also an essential part of the bassline shape, and it tells will it have the sustain, or it will fade a bit to get a more punchy bass line.
Tale: it is the last part of the bass note, and here we decide will the note cover on the next bass line note, or it will end before the next note, and this part is essential for building the groove of the bass line.
The bass line note contains those three elements, and they make the bass line as a whole.
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Now, when we retake the whole note, I need to mention other vital points that are important for bass line processing.
Envelope: Shaping the envelope of each note we choose will the notes are going to be with more sustain and will they glue with other notes, or we want to make them more punchy to sound more separated. Before you start shaping the envelope, it would be good to have an idea of what you want to achieve. For example, Fullon producers are using basses with more sustain, which are glued, and together they sound more like one unite, while Progressive bass lines are more clicky. They sound more as separated units and that way we build punchier bass lines.
Phase: Phase is maybe an essential part of making the bass line. By changing the phase, we shape the bassline’s colour, and it is also imperative for adjusting the bass to glue with the kick.
Main tools for getting a beautiful colour of the bassline I mostly use many different kinds of multiband plugins. Changing the position of the first two bands, we manipulate the bassline phase, and that way, we get the advance shape of the bass line.
Here is the list of the recommended plugins to shape your bassline:
Multiband Envelope Shaper
Waves Trans Multi-X
After making the bassline’s colour and shape, the only thing you should do is EQ. Please pay attention to the low mids, as those multiband plugins will boost a lot in this frequency range (250hz-500hz), and don’t forget to low cut it.
After EQ, the only thing left is the sidechain, and you can do in several different ways (i prefer XFER LFO Tool)
Putting a Limiter on end is always a clever move!