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Bass Track Help Request

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  • Bass Track Help Request

    Working on a live bass track that I think would benefit from a little more space between the notes. Using Cubase 7. Tried messing around with some gate plugins and unable to get a decent natural sound without dropouts. (Did not try any side-chaining yet.) Any ideas and suggestions? Thanks!

  • #2

    I'm gonna jump in and say that it's probably an exercise in futility. If gates aren't doing the trick without dropouts, it's probably because the playing is not producing near identical attack and release levels for each note.

    Short of painstakingly automating the gate controls, or creating mute envelopes in your edit screen, it's hard to see how to achieve what you're aiming for, and the time that you'll spend doing either of those will hardly be worth it.

    An expander is likely to produce artifacts similar to that of a gate.

    If you're going to sidechain, you need to sidechain with something that triggers the the gate at exactly the right time portion of each note. So unless the bass player was playing lockstep with some percussion element, that's probably not gonna work either.


    Apart from that, I suppose that it's important to be clear about exactly why you want more separation between the notes.

    Is it to give more space to the attack of each note, because it's getting lost in the mix? If so, EQ might be your friend in a case like this, where the dynamics aren't even enough for surgical gating/compression. Gentle low mid cuts or hi mid boosts can help bring out bass guitar attack.

    Have you tried a HPF @~40hZ? Your problem might simply be rumble, and killing everything below 40 can often help with this a lot.


    Otherwise, if you want to achieve this 'space between the notes' as a musical effect, my advice is not to mess around with playing dynamics on a live track like that at all, unless you can sidechain it with something that was played lockstep with the bass guitar part.

    It sounds like it was deliberately played the way it was played, and no amount of processing is going to turn an apple into an orange.



    flip the phase


    • pdiddy
      pdiddy commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks Gubu - I think I'll take your advise and leave it alone. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't unaware of a technique that would be simple to apply. You did give me an idea where I could create a track with the desired envelope and then sidechain that to a gate plugin - lot of work though!