Last week in the Heavyweight Bass Facebook group, members had a lengthy discussion on their go-to vibes in the studio. We’ve decided to post them in a series of articles for all of you!
If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here
Brahim Cheh – To add some variation to a looped sample, try creating loads of channels with different effects and processing, and drop the sample into different channels at different times
Will Organ – The Abbey Roads reverb technique for controlling frequencies going into the reverb. Generally I cut most of the lows and some of the highs, and if I want my vocal or lead to cut through the mix better I dip that frequency going into the reverb as well. It makes for a much easier mix later on. Nothing crazy but I use it every time.
Tom Nash – Boost tiny notches in the frequencies of the key of the song (generally across the spectrum) to accentuate harmonics within certain sounds.
Johann Andrew Willenberg – And notching out the sharp 4 or flat 5. Makes the sound a little sweeter…
Justin Mcp Case – I have 3 project templates
Producing template – My main synths and Maschine pre loaded on tracks with a Fab Filter EQ and Spectrum analyser, 5 Aux buses loaded with custom fx chains (usually 2 diff compressor chains, 1 short plate reverb, 1 long hall reverb both with lows cut out post reverb, 1 delay). This is designed to jump in and produce melodies without slowing down or breaking vibe.
Mixing template – Various tracks and Aux returns set up with different mixing chains I use. Designed to drop stems in to and just mix.
Mastering template – Various mastering chains set up for a TEMPORARY master to gauge loudness, pick out issues when heavily squashed, sent to labels for consideration or playing out live, before being sent to a mastering house or labels mastering engineer.
These 3 templates let me focus on each task individually, so my mixing brain isn’t fucking with me producing brain and visa versa.
Jase Fos – If you’re a Live user:
- Instrument Racks in your user library which to recall complex chains of your favourite 3rd party instruments. A common chain for me when using my hardware synths (for which I have CTRLR panels made for) is Arp plugin (disabled by default), CTRLR with Panel for synth preloaded (and preconfigured which controls appear on Push), with MIDI port/channel set ready, then External Audio effect to bring the audio back into Live from the synth. For example, whenever I want to use Roland MKS80, I just drag an the Instrument Rack preset “Roland MKS80” from my library into a track as easily as a plugin and I’m ready to play it with needing to remember which MIDI port/channel and audio input it is on (and then have full editability on Push with labelled controls).
- Instrument racks aren’t the only thing which can be dragged into the user library – Groups of tracks can be stored there as well! I have a great one set up for Maschine where I have Maschine instantiated with 16 audio return tracks. Inside Maschine I’ve preset each drum kit piece to be routed directly to these outputs. With one mouse-swipe I can launch and load Maschine complete with audio routings all set up without having to have a big complicated template. Personally, I prefer this approach over and above using a complicated Live template set.
- Hook up a knobby hardware synth – while recording into a track in live spend 10 minutes or so playing notes in your decided key while bending up the sound. Then add a MIDI track and throw Simpler into it and activate the new Slice mode but clear the default slices (right click on the wave and select Clear Slices). Select Gate mode so MIDI note length control how much of the slice plays. Now, make up a random step sequence in a 2 bar clip or similar (use Push for added fun) and get that playing looped. While looping, add and nudge around slices in Simpler to expose different weird notes – you’ll come up with stuff you’d never think of programming. Great for complextro basslines!
Ner Mage – Been using a lot of envelope followers and lfos to control parameters slowly overtime to make thing get a more evolving feel to instruments, and it also helps to make sonic room in the track, when things get loud, it can automatically turn down other things and so on, boost or cut frequencys according to envelopes of other sounds, however you have it set up. also like using a frequency shifter with just a hair of shifting hz , barely a semitone and slow, just to get some movement in the track without it being noticable and it prevents the song/instrument from sounding the same all the way through.
Jason Timothy Ward – Put 000 in front of all your “go to” instrument & effect presets. This makes them first to show up alphabetically. Huge timesaver.
Sean Clayton – K metering and having a simple essential mixing chain to begin with atm mine is Saturator, a precise eq (eq8) compressor then a emulation eq (uad harrison). i find using this same chain on every track gives me a unified sound. ofcourse not everything has to be used and i can swap out what i want but i find this helps to make decisions.
Stephen Cole – Try the Oxford Inflator after your reverb or delay sends
Eddie Bazl – I phase cancel all my channels and then flip and eq to work only the frequencies I want.