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Phase Matching Kick Drum and Bass Sound with One Oscillator

Tutorial | Feb 24, 2023

In this video, I show viewers a technique for creating a kick drum and bass sound out of the same oscillator in order to avoid phase issues. I explain how to use an envelope, add math module, noise, attenuate, and filter to achieve this sound. I also provide tips for tweaking the sound to fit a certain genre.

You can watch the Video on Youtube

Whats the problem with the phase on Kicks and Bass?

When creating bass music such as dubstep, rap, or drum and bass, the problem is often that the kick drum and bass line are not in sync with each other. This can lead to an uneven, off-beat sound. To avoid this, producers need to use sidechain compression to duck the bass away from the kick drum and then bring it back in, or use nudging to manually adjust the timing of the kick and bass until they are in sync. Additionally, producers can use an oscillator to construct both the kick drum and bass sound from the same oscillator, and switch between them, to ensure they are always in phase.

What options does a producer have to resolve the problem?

Use sidechain compression to duck the bass sound and then bring it back in.

Nudge the bass sound and kick drum back and forth until they match.

Construct the bass and kick drum out of the same oscillator and use a select button to switch between the two.


If you don't want to watch the Video, or search for a specific topic, here is the transcription of the video with links to video markers:

[00:00.000] Hey, folks, when you do bass music, let's say dubstep or rap or drum bass, you usually
[00:16.160] have the same problem.
[00:17.160] You have some kind of kick drum with the pitch envelope, something like this, so you start
[00:21.760] at a higher pitch and you end up in some kind of pitch.
[00:25.560] And then you have below that some kind of bass line, probably.
[00:30.800] So you want to basically face match this or face synchronize this.
[00:37.280] So the face wave cycle of this tail here matches perfectly with the sub here, because it's
[00:43.880] the same key, probably some kind of the same key.
[00:46.760] If you have a different key, you probably want to use sidechain and just completely remove
[00:52.000] the bass and then duck the bass away and then just play the bass after the kick drum.
[01:00.120] So this is also possible.
[01:01.880] But sometimes you want to match basically your tail frequency with the frequency of
[01:07.440] the bass sound, right?
[01:10.040] And a lot of people do this with a lot of tricks also with nudging the bass sound back
[01:17.400] and forth, also nudging the kick drum back and forth until you match the face.
[01:22.120] But I want to show you a different solution inside of the grid here, maybe, let's stop,
[01:26.600] that we can construct the bass and the kick drum out of the same oscillator and can switch
[01:31.680] between a kick drum, a bass sound, and also a kick drum and the bass sound at the same
[01:38.440] time.
[01:40.280] So we start here by using a sign, which is obviously our bass sound, and we need an
[01:46.080] ADSR with sustain because we want to keep or sustain the bass sound here along a short
[01:53.040] amount of time and an output here.
[01:56.080] And maybe we also use a bit of distortion for the overtones, something like this.
[02:01.960] And you can see it's just a Poly-Grid here on one instrument track, so nothing else.
[02:09.960] And we can just play this on the keyboard.
[02:16.920] So this is our bass sound here, and you usually want to also have some kind of pitch modulation
[02:23.720] for the bass, maybe, maybe that's what you like.
[02:27.080] So you can go into the pitch mode here.
[02:29.480] We already have here a pre-chord enabled from the keyboard, so we can play notes.
[02:36.400] So the oscillator takes the pitch information from the keyboard automatically while this
[02:41.240] is enabled, but you can also feed in here the signal from the envelope.
[02:46.880] So we get here the envelope out, right?
[02:50.320] And we take the signal and can add it to the already pre-chord signal.
[02:55.960] So we maybe add here 24 semitones.
[03:07.000] So the bass note is still the same we are pressing on the keyboard, but we're also adding
[03:12.600] here the 6 more from the AD to kind of add a pitch drop.
[03:26.160] This is already a nice super punchy kick sound, bass sound.
[03:34.240] So it's also super simple, right?
[03:40.120] That's what I like when I do bass sounds.
[03:43.040] It's all about the simplicity in the waveform kind of.
[03:47.680] So now that we have this, we want to implement some kind of kick drum on top of that.
[03:54.320] So how can we do this?
[03:55.520] It's basically the same.
[03:57.040] We take here also an AD, and we add or use here an add math module, and we add here basically
[04:09.000] a second envelope to that.
[04:17.000] You can hear it's a much harder pitch drop now.
[04:22.800] So let's say we have here that in 24, right?
[04:26.920] And this means the pitch from this one here is going down from 2 octaves higher because
[04:34.520] 24 semitones, right?
[04:35.920] 12 semitones is 1 octave.
[04:37.320] So 2 octaves down.
[04:41.120] And we can limit that here by using an attenuate and say 50%.
[04:47.720] So instead of 24 now here, we have only 12, right?
[04:52.240] So this means when we switch this off with a select here, there's a button here and call
[05:06.440] this kick.
[05:07.440] So now you can see that the second input is empty.
[05:11.000] We are selecting at the first input, so we have no pitch information from this one coming
[05:14.960] in.
[05:15.960] We have still a slight pitch drop, still a pitch drop in there, but not that hard anymore.
[05:26.440] It's just 12 semitones down, pitched down, and you can switch on the kick here with just
[05:33.120] this button, right?
[05:39.920] Which is nice.
[05:40.920] So for kick drum, you probably also need some overtones.
[05:44.480] We can use here the same select with the same button input, but now we use here a noise.
[05:54.080] Think noise probably because it's a bit more, you know, it's not that high past.
[05:58.720] We go in here and use maybe, I don't know, just dial in some amount, something like this.
[06:11.160] So we need also an envelope for that.
[06:14.240] So we can do this here, of course, just hook this up here in between.
[06:20.440] So this is the noise envelope.
[06:27.560] No kick drum, just the bass with kick drum.
[06:34.120] And when you hold basically the note, you still play the bass.
[06:41.080] And it's the same, it's the same oscillator basically.
[06:44.560] There's no bass offset or anything.
[06:47.840] It's super clean.
[06:50.520] Basically after the kick drum in the bass with the same oscillator here, there's nothing
[06:54.960] in between.
[06:55.960] It's the same phase that's laying basically into the stereo.
[07:05.160] Also nice is to use a filter in front of the, in front of the noise.
[07:10.200] I put this down, use a band pass here.
[07:28.040] And also try and pitch mode here, basically this filter.
[07:47.800] So when you want to play a bass sound, you just disable this.
[07:51.960] And you want to play a kick drum, you just, you know, enable this.
[07:58.280] And if you want to play a kick in the bass, you just hold the note.
[08:08.480] You can switch between the two.
[08:09.680] So this is something you can do if you want to.
[08:13.360] It's probably not, you know, another macro, you just use a button here.
[08:20.040] But it's something you can try out if you want to actually, if you are too lazy to match,
[08:27.360] to match the phase all the time, you want to a super clean, yeah, solution or trap or
[08:36.280] for bass music.
[08:38.760] Let's switch this over here.
[08:47.920] So now that they have this, you can, you know, maybe use your channel filter, something,
[08:55.080] let's say channel one, channel one is maybe the kick drum.
[09:01.680] So you enable this here, modulate this and channel two is not modulating anything with
[09:08.040] the leg down, of course.
[09:10.160] So now you can step in here.
[09:12.680] You can say channel one is always a kick drum and when you want to have a bass, you make
[09:30.120] this longer and you want to have just only a bass, then you switch it to, you know, to
[09:45.760] no channel two.
[10:14.480] So this is basically the rough idea.
[10:16.320] You have just one oscillator and you tweak and bend this one oscillator to get a kick
[10:21.760] drum and a bass sound or kick and the bass out of just one oscillator.
[10:28.680] And that's the rough idea.
[10:30.120] And you can, of course, tweak this in all kinds of different directions.
[10:34.240] You can tweak the, how the kick drum sounds more in the direction of your genre, for instance.
[10:41.240] So when you select your kick right, you can also take your noise and modulate maybe skew
[10:46.120] and fold.
[10:47.680] You can, instead of using noise here, you can use a sampler and just use a kick drum
[10:53.440] sample for the top end, right?
[10:57.080] And instead of modulating at the face, you just use it in parallel, you mix it in instead
[11:04.320] of tweaking at the face.
[11:06.920] So you can tweak this in all kinds of different directions, right?
[11:10.120] But the main idea is the same.
[11:11.840] You have just one oscillator and you tweak and bend this one oscillator, which has just
[11:16.960] one face cycle.
[11:20.280] So you don't need to deal with the face issues later on, right?
[11:24.080] This is also not something for every music production.
[11:28.800] It's just one thing you maybe keep in mind when you have this special problem.
[11:35.280] It's something we can try out.
[11:36.800] Maybe it fits into your current production.
[11:39.480] It's not something like, you know, I have a lot of commenters under my videos and say
[11:43.320] it's something like, well, this is, this is not practical for everything.
[11:48.560] Yeah, yeah, it's just one thing you can use maybe when the time is right.
[11:54.720] It's just nice to know that you can do that, okay?
[11:57.440] So that's just one tip for the day in this video.
[12:01.400] Maybe it's helpful to you.
[12:02.800] Leave a like if you liked the video, ask me a question in the comments and subscribe to
[12:07.040] the channel.
[12:08.040] Thanks for watching and bye.