Sound Design: Kicks and Bass
Making kick drums is super easy and operator um we'll just start by going in here I'm going to switch it to additive because we're just gonna some these equally and then I'm going to use a sign away or yeah, I mean he's a sign wave on our side or one so right now let's just go sub tone uh let's let's get our spectral analyzer out so there's an audio effect doesn't really do any audio, but it allows you to take a look at the audio as it travels through your signal expand that guy I'm and so we can see this fundamental frequency of sea in spectral the spectral analyzer actually tells you the no if you mouse over the analyzer there and you can see some a little bit of harmonics there's a little bit of, um upstairs sound vibration but um not a ton so that's going to be the main part of our sound but what we want to do with that is, um we're gonna we're gonna bring the sustained down because we really only need that first bit and something that I'll do is actually create. I'll go into my se...
quence, sir, and no, I'll create a little rhythm like just a foreign the floor kind of thing so let me just solo this track and one thing I like to dio is if you you can arm the headphone or the preview and the piano roll in that way when you click you can find where the sound is landing so let's see one which is probably about right now I'm going to change this grid and we'll go too deep on step sequencing right now but you can change this grid with command one or command to one makes the grid smaller to makes it bigger so right now I want to just program some, uh some half notes okay, bring that up just a little bit and I might open that duration up so it's got a it's a you know it's just it's ah, a low in kicker slightly bass drum and you know, while it might it be a really pleasant sound it's not gonna be it takes up most of the space and the very low part that very lows he looks like it's about sixty six hurt so that's like sub base territory and there's not a lot of other harmonics are sound in that range. So what we're going to do is add a little bit. So one thing that I like to do is to a pitch in globe um and this is how most people do it too, so I'm gonna use the the pitch in vallo I'm gonna activate it with that button, turn it up so right now and then I'll just give it up harder pitch attacks so right now the initial value is is a one on active above what c one so it's c two, I'm going to bring it up to two actives I'm also going to bring up the peak tio same and that kind of gives us a real thump, right? So I'm gonna open that decay up and that's punchy and visceral, but I like just that hard dumped there at the beginning. Another thing we could do if we want is we could actually make it a negative value in the sustain so it's really basic so I don't think that that's quite necessary, so bring that back to zero and I might actually bring the peak down two twelve I usually try toe work within actives of the the key signature that I'm working in to keep the bass drum close to in tune as possible. Sometimes I'll even modulate the frequency or the note of the the base, the kicker, the bass drum with the musical passage to just to follow that uh so that sounded pretty cool just by itself with a pitch and blow up another thing I'll do is add some noise sometimes I also do use a sauce and maybe I'll just put a little that and I did the same thing I brought that sustain all the way down and decay that gives it a little bite on the beginning and once again I'm working with something that really colorful and then I'm gonna use a filter dis attract so I feel like it's better when you're working with the source material to have something that's over the top rather than not enough so so there's my third also later I'm going to use some noise loud and right now it's filter is this elephant was modulating that suit I am going to work on the it's a little too much noise so just back off on that so that's ah being in little kick drum we can also add some feedback that's pretty while that's a lot um and when you can add feedback when you're in additive mode but not frequency modulation so, uh my trite saw this is where that sound is very little. Well, that feedback sounds really nice that kind of softens up that noise it's pretty good spectrum so trump's air fairly simple, you know, maybe two or three oscillators, subtle noise and maybe a little bit of a little bit of distortion you can always use the filter to back off, try to create a colorful sound definitely adding that the pitch dive to give it that real, um the rial bite okay, just kind of spend through this points, so um yeah, so the grit and noise there came from the saw and obviously the white noise gentle oscillators another thing tio to be aware of is as if you do have a baseline that you're going to introduce keeping a kick drum out of that range and a lot of times what I'll do is use a high pass filter sometimes I'll do it here I um in cuba is really nice you can also use audio filter so I might take the way which one which is which will also remove our need for the spectral analyzer so we can actually see it there and then for I'm going to make this a high pass value so what I'm doing is just shaving off what I can't hear because this frequency still live there we can see them on the analyzer we just can't really hear them especially on this playback system so and that's something I also try to do is when I'm mixing as I go is make sure that I, um reduce if I mean queuing at all take out the frequencies that aren't there I can't hear attenuate them because the lights there might still be some stuff there and if there if that's competing with another sound in that range, we want to make sure that if we don't want need it or want to hear it that it's gone so um so I'm basically just rolling off that base that kick drum the bass on that kick drum around eighty hurts.
Ableton Live is the most efficient platform for electronic music production for djs, producers and sound designers. DJ and producer, Andrew Luck will take you through some of the coolest, and most commonly overlooked, features in Ableton Live.
In Ableton Tips and Tricks, Andrew will walk you through sound design using Ableton Instruments, mastering both Sampler and Simpler to bring real-world audio samples into your production. You’ll also learn about some of the less intuitive features of Session View including, Impulse, Clip Launching and Slice to MIDI.
If you're a new Ableton user and are ready to start using the platform like a pro, Andrew Luck's tips and tricks will help you brush up on those next-level skills.