Increasing the power of a sound without distorting it.

Jan 31, 2012

  1. qwert678!!!! Helios Primus

    2,208 posts
    Since Jun 22, 2010
    My current road block.

    In tunes, I hear, say an 808. It sounds heavy, it's thick, but the one thing that it isn't, is distorted.

    So far, getting a nice sound to sound really full and sits up in the mix without it sounding distorted is killing me.

    I did try subtle distorting, and compression. EQ, but either I'm missing something, or I just don't have the right recipe (if you will) right.

    Anyone come across anything similar? Mind pointing me in the right direction?
  2. micblack194

    372 posts
    Since Jan 1, 2008
    I had the same problem.

    Its about sample selection.

    Some samples sound better then others.

    You have to look around.

    Sample the sounds that you like.

  3. j-potz

    1,984 posts
    Since Apr 17, 2002
    its all about how the sound works with everything else in the mix. no point in randomly compressing a sound unless you know why you want to compress it. At the end of the day its about which frequencies occupy what space.

    Edit: dont think I read the post properly.
  4. Deadstareforlife

    3,778 posts
    Since May 28, 2008
    chorus on FX send (not direct) to widen it up and add a bit of colour?
  5. luthatron \o/ ♫♪♫♩♬♭♫♪♫♩♬♭♫♪♫♩♬♭ \o/

    46,270 posts
    Since Feb 3, 2004
    i don't understand your problem.

    can you re-phrase the problem, it's a bit open to interpretation at the moment.
  6. joemaki

    1,234 posts
    Since May 15, 2010
    maximizer instead of compression
  7. ja-ki

    1,022 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    could you please make an example? Maybe it would then be easier to understand
  8. qwert678!!!! Helios Primus

    2,208 posts
    Since Jun 22, 2010

    Wip tune I"m doing. The second bass, heard at 1:40 isn't around the same level in volume (or RMS?) as the first. Solo, it sounds great, but with everything else, it tends to loose power. If I increase the volume even more, the bass clips.

    In tunes from other artists, The 808's and such basses are very defined and sounds great in the mix.


    Or This

    Notice second bass at 2:15. Sub line is powerful in my opinion. Doesn't drown out when the other elements of the tune are still playing.

    That's my problem. Trying to make my sublines stand along side the other elements of the tune, yet they do not. And if I try and increase anything, the subs end up clipping.
  9. dontworry

    416 posts
    Since Nov 19, 2010
    leave more headroom and frequency space for the bass
  10. Pyro

    8,975 posts
    Since Feb 25, 2001
    yup, louder doesnt always mean more powerful. you need more definition on the attack and space for the tail to be a bit quieter or you wont get the punch. limiting/zero attack compression with slow release can help do the trick in these instances.
  11. qwert678!!!! Helios Primus

    2,208 posts
    Since Jun 22, 2010
    Would I have to tweak the rest of the elements? Is there any compromises that I would have to be aware of?
  12. Pyro

    8,975 posts
    Since Feb 25, 2001
    well my ears tell me you could fix it by sticking a transient designer (flux one works well for me atm) on there and maybe saturating slightly. that should make the whole mix open up a bit and you can take it from there.
  13. BHK

    526 posts
    Since Apr 10, 2008
  14. rjisreal SmallTock Music

    178 posts
    Since Feb 7, 2011
    Didnt really read through the thread, but try adding more voices (adding copies of the same sound with variances in pitch, panning, amplitude, etc.)
  15. Tube Jerk

    Tube Jerk
    2,374 posts
    Since Dec 17, 2003
    found printing to tape to be the one for getting any sound to stick out like a sore thumb in a digital mixdown. doesn't have to be anything super fancy, just a decent clean chrome cassette on good heads recorded as loud as possible but without that noticeable watery tape distortion (if your deck can record at twice the speed without any machine noise/whine leaking thru into the signal so much the better). put the results back into the DAW and it has a really interesting presence compared to everything else. use it for your weakest sounds, such as crap vocals, tinny hihats, bollocks snares, midrangey patches that sound too digitally and thin etc.
  16. T_Jah Zound

    107 posts
    Since Sep 7, 2010
    2 things

    Your bass sound is like a feather. light and soft, and with much air. If you dont like that, rip off each effect that gives it too much room (reverb, stereoexpander, flangers, chorus,.... dont know what you run) , and start to place it in the mix again. (you can also do that at a second track and just mix booth as you wish to.
    If you already processed it like that, i would just make it mono (i do that more often than you would think), eq+ the lower mids, and try to give it room in the mix by eqing in the bass spectrum. (the subbass, or realease of the kick, dont hear it exactly, takes way to much room from you bass hit)

    The next thing is, you could use sidechaining. Very soft.

    You dont need more attack, or compression or loudness, you just lost too much substance with so much room.

    You can also try to pitch it just veery fine. If 1200 = an octave just try -10 -20 -30 -40 and +30 +50 +70 etc. Sometimesit has a good effect on the mix.

    regards t

    € and what i want you to mention.... its easier to judge a mixdown in youtube quality cause everything is in the same place at 128kb ^^ (dont know how to explain it, but try it out)

    €² you said without distortion, i feel like cabinet filters can give you sometimes what a distortion does, without distorting try that out aswell.
  17. qwert678!!!! Helios Primus

    2,208 posts
    Since Jun 22, 2010
    Thanks for the input everyone! Really appreciate it!