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Thread: How to distort an 808 bass without it losing its low end?

  1. #1
    finatikbeats is offline Registered User
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    How to distort an 808 bass without it losing its low end?

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    hey guys, i just wanted to see if anyone on here knows how to distort 808 bass without it losing its low end. similar to how its done on Wale, Rick Ross track called 'By any means' or a kiss by eminem and royce.

    i use logic and cubase if that helps at all

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Over Dose's Avatar
    Over Dose is offline Engineer
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    run your distortion plug-in in parallel, or use saturation (which I do a lot). But I don't think that's why it's distorted. I think it's distorted more or less because of the loudness wars
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  3. #3
    sleepy is offline Moderator
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    I'm not familiar with those tracks. But what I will note is that when you distort anything, you create harmonics. So automatically, you get more mid and high frequencies that you didn't have before. Tame the harmonics and much of the bass should still be there.

  4. #4
    deanlofts's Avatar
    deanlofts is offline Cubase Addict
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    Why would you want that horrible distortion on your 808?
    Quote Originally Posted by alkota View Post
    Everyone is too worried about selling themselves before they even have a product that anyone wants.

  5. #5
    SafeandSound's Avatar
    SafeandSound is offline Mastering Engineer
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    Good mix tip from overdose there, it's a classic problem.

    It might still be there if you do not overdo it but you have enhanced the harmonics that are likely
    to be in the range where the ear is more sensitive.

    cheers
    Last edited by SafeandSound; 06-16-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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  6. #6
    rfahey86 is offline Registered User
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    Create a copy of the 808 track. Low pass the clean one and blend it with the distorted one.

  7. #7
    moses's Avatar
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    Slightly off-topic, but the text-book method for changing the "focus" of distortion is the concept of "emphasis".

    The trick is simply...

    ->[EQ]->[Saturation]->[EQ]->

    ...where the second EQ undoes the first one.

    This is an essential concept in tape and vinyl production and playback, as well as broadcast (i.e. broadcast limiters). It's also what you'll find in most guitar/bass amps and tools.

    The main reason for the heavy use of emphasis in analogue processors and storage media is that you can basically "shift" most of the distortion out of the circuit bandwidth (and thus audible range). This is done by boosting the highs by several dBs at the input and attenuating the highs by the same amount at the output. But this is also great for dramatic saturation effects. Beware, this is highly problematic in the digital domain, since you'll only force the production of a lot aliasing, - which will definitely be in the audible range.

    However, this works quite well with good digital saturators (i.e. those using oversampling or other anti-aliasing techniques). All better sounding ones will have some kind of emphasis included anyway.

    This technique also sounds very cool with compressors and especially limiters. It acts similar to a sidechain EQ, but sounds dramatically different. Give it a try!

    Another nice thing you can do with this facing EQ structure is to remove the saturator and only use the EQs. This will allow you to precisely distort the phase at a certain frequency without changing its amplitude. Two complimentary filters in series basically form an Allpass filter. That is, everything passes through - except that the phase will distort (i.e. a certain frequency region is more delayed than another). This is a subtle but powerful tool for mastering - but it's also useful during a mix, a very flexible alternative to the phase invert button.

    Ok, now I hope I didn't confuse you.
    Last edited by moses; 06-16-2011 at 04:07 PM.


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  8. #8
    quantumleap is offline Registered User
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    I know you use Logic and Cubase....but in FL Studio, I can send an 808 to Mixer track...1..........then I can put FL's own Fruity Compressor on it....what I usually do is put the ration to at least 4:1...Attack and Release at 0....then I adjust the Threshold until I get the effect I want..Then if need be, adjust the Gain...

    Now I don't know all the technical stuff really....but having the Attack and Release at 0, gives sounds a distorted type sound to them...Give this a try using Logic or Cubase's compressor to see if it has the same effect.

  9. #9
    Over Dose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfahey86 View Post
    Create a copy of the 808 track. Low pass the clean one and blend it with the distorted one.
    That's called Parallel Processing.

    ---------- Post added at 09:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by quantumleap View Post
    I know you use Logic and Cubase....but in FL Studio, I can send an 808 to Mixer track...1..........then I can put FL's own Fruity Compressor on it....what I usually do is put the ration to at least 4:1...Attack and Release at 0....then I adjust the Threshold until I get the effect I want..Then if need be, adjust the Gain...

    Now I don't know all the technical stuff really....but having the Attack and Release at 0, gives sounds a distorted type sound to them...Give this a try using Logic or Cubase's compressor to see if it has the same effect.
    Compression with extreme settings do introduce distortion.
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