[Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?
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Old 24-07-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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[Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Is it good practise to use delay with an offset to make basses wider, and I'm talking like real basses, that are in the 100-400 hz area?


I'm mixing this song right now, and I'm feeling like the bass is lacking a little ompf, so I want to make it wider, and take up more of the stereospace. I know using a very short delay with an offset to the right or left can be a good way to expand the field with other sounds, but I'm afraid this will muddy up my lower register, much in the way reverb would.

So do you do this, or is this complettely nuts? And in case of the latter, what do you do to expand your basses?

(I'm pretty new to trying to take mixing a bit more seriously, please don't be offended by my inexperience)

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Old 24-07-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

a nice trick I learned with real bass is to send it to an aux and use heavy distortion on that channel. Than carefully mix it in with the real bass, just so that you don't really hear the distorted track. Don't know if that is the sound you are looking for.
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Old 24-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Hmm. Think of dimension expander (or whatever it's called) in Massive... same idea. Just don't abuse or overuse it?

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Old 25-07-2014, 12:06 AM   #4
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I'd typically use a chorus with a slow enough rate it's harder to notice. Not sure I'd use it on that frequency range though, probably more in the upper mids 1.5khz and up.

You can use a delay, and yeah something around 10-30 milliseconds would work but again, probably only to the mids and above. IME bass just works better in the middle, ftmp. I say that and yet I've got a couple of tunes with some wide bass but usually it's a second texture complimenting a bassline that's centered (subs and lows).
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Old 25-07-2014, 12:12 AM   #5
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Do it dude! Sounds cool. Chorus works too, but different sound. Stereo delay on a bass sounds pretty sweet.
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Old 25-07-2014, 01:11 AM   #6
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I'd be careful when playing around with the HAAS effect (which is essential what you're doing by delaying one side of the signal by several ms). It's also probably not going to transfer well to mono.

I would maybe play around with some heavy compression and add some distortion to fatten the sound up, since you're looking for more "oomph" as you say.

If you want to keep your low end clean, why not try splitting up the signal and widening the higher frequencies of the bass, leaving the low end in the middle? I made a tutorial on this very technique, check it out of you're interested, and good luck! It's in Logic but the fundamental ideas apply to all DAWs.

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Old 25-07-2014, 05:59 AM   #7
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I think everything under 80 Hz should stay dead in the middle, no stereo widening whatsoever. Above that you can start to bring it out to mold into the mids of your track.

however

I think any stereo delay on a bass is confusing as all hell for a sound system and will always muddy the rest of the track, no matter the freq spac of the bass instrument.

BEst advice would be is to use a stereo widener (sausage fattener is one, but that squishes the shit out of your stereo) I believe most DAWs have one built in. I wanna say it's utility in live? the higher up the freq spec you get try adding some white noise or distorion to mesh everything together, not too much though or thats all you hear

EDIT: I didn't specify enough, low bass frequencies should ALWAYS be mono
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Old 25-07-2014, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Set your delay time, anywhere between 10ms to 40ms and up the feedback to taste>>

maybe. i dunno. might be to metal. Just an idea.

EDIT_ Like Numerical has already mentioned.
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Old 25-07-2014, 01:11 PM   #9
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eery View Post
Is it good practise to use delay with an offset to make basses wider, and I'm talking like real basses, that are in the 100-400 hz area?


I'm mixing this song right now, and I'm feeling like the bass is lacking a little ompf, so I want to make it wider, and take up more of the stereospace. I know using a very short delay with an offset to the right or left can be a good way to expand the field with other sounds, but I'm afraid this will muddy up my lower register, much in the way reverb would.

So do you do this, or is this complettely nuts? And in case of the latter, what do you do to expand your basses?

(I'm pretty new to trying to take mixing a bit more seriously, please don't be offended by my inexperience)
If it lacks oomph I would boost with EQ. Saturate it a bit if needed. And if you absolutely wanna add reverb do it on a bus with some saturation followed by lp filter to take away the newly introduced mids, and also remove the low end up to around 80-100hz atleast. So what you reverb is a slightly disted version of the sound in the 200-400hz area. You get the wide room effect without pushing into the sub area.
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Old 20-08-2014, 12:19 AM   #10
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I would use a New York compression on it- it always seems to beef up basses. Just mix the original signal with the compressed signal. You can also mix in a very small amount of overdrive distortion before the compressor to beef it up.

I'm not sure you want to have a bass that has a large stereo image- mono basses usually sound best to me. But I suppose if you want to have some sort of stereo imaging on the bass you could add a simple HPF delay (a delay where the delayed note's low frequencies are progressively chopped off as the delay progresses). I've sound that always sounds nice. Using a sample delay- delaying one side of the stereo signal- works well on vocals to widen a sound, but it muddies up basses. I would also be weary of using a chorus effect for the same reason.

I've also had some success with using a stereo reverb on basses, but I've EQed the reverb to shelf off low frequencies. This gives you a bit of high frequency imaging, but it doesn't muddy up the low end.
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:52 PM   #11
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I agree with a lot of what has been said already. In my humble opinion, If you really have to widen rather than find your 'oomph' elsewhere, then create a frequency splitter (easy with ableton racks) and just apply a widener or whatever to the frequencies above 250 or something. The ears aren't very good at placing low sounds in spaces so i'd keep that low shit mono for a tight mix.
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Old 28-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

I use Ozone's stereo imager for this. It has a stereorize setting which allows you to widen mono sounds without phasing (unless you push it too hard). So what I do is I widen the bass from about 120-250Hz and up. Obviously keep the sub in mono. I used to never widen basses because I was always told not to. It makes your mix sound so much more wholesome and juicy when there are a few low frequencies out wide. You just want to check a correlation meter (there's one in Ozone) and check your mix in mono to make sure that the bass isn't suffering from phase cancellation when converted to mono else your bass will weaken when played in mono and may even sound different.

As for Delays they work great on basses but I use them more for rhythmic purpose than widening. PS Use a high pass filter on your bass delays! Low frequencies ping ponging around is dangerous to the clarity of your mix.
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Old 28-08-2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: [Mixing question] Using delay for widening basses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CallAndResponse View Post
I use Ozone's stereo imager for this. It has a stereorize setting which allows you to widen mono sounds without phasing (unless you push it too hard). So what I do is I widen the bass from about 120-250Hz and up.
Ozone is great for this, I use it too for this sometimes

I would also say that putting any delay on true sub bass would probably not work out well. Its hard to tell from your post, but if you havent already, I would seperate your bass into layers, SUB&Midrange. keep your sub mono, high pass your mid range at something like 100-120hz then you could add a stereo delay to just that channel

another option, if you want to keep your sub and midrange together, is to setup an auxilary send channel with a high pass filter and stereo delay, then balance out your gain on the two channels so you can have a combination of both centered with sub and wide with delay

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