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PsyTrance Bass Synthesis VST - Which do you like!?


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^^^ @Imba  I am definitely going to try that as well and report back, thanks for sharing that info ! , it would be a really interesting comparison doing that on an existing project/song and see how different it really sounds. and  +1 on amazing channel - Dash aka Glitch is super helpful and has many videos ! He def has a dedicated serum video or two!

On 8/21/2020 at 5:42 PM, Padmapani said:

i've never been satisfied with retro synth for bass. in theory it should be fine but the envelopes just dont sound quite right. es-1 is decent for that early 00s fullon sound, but not quite up to modern standards, esm likewise.

this is the best bass i have come up with in alchemy up to now: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cprz5ayyobf00t4/Alchemy Bass 1.acp?dl=0 . (alchemy presets are damn hard to find. in contrast to most others, they go into ~/Music/Audio Music Apps/Plug-In Settings/Alchemy )

i'd be nice to hear what settings you have found to work in alchemy.

here are the alchemy presets I found in some of my projects, and I randomly added 1 after the names too lol.   https://www.dropbox.com/s/flhruaxaazc3w3z/Alchemy%20Presets.zip?dl=0

fair warning I have no idea how they will sound with a diff chain and diff effects plugins etc etc :P  I can send retro synth ones too but as we both said it sometimes (usually) needs more.

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I am not the overseer of all psy trance kick and bass but I know a few bits and bobs. Just as well as every time I make a track I use different synths different processing and I enjoy that, at least 5

Have you heard such basslines on big and good soundsystems on parties and festivals? Or is it just home listening?     In my opinion when you put so much effort in something it can't

If we talk about modern KbBB patterns, the phase relationships between the kick tail and the first bass note, at the point where they overlap, are very important. It's one of the things that define th

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just tried the MFreeformPhase + Correlometer combo, how did your correlometer look?  thank you Imba, for sharing Colin OOOD's tip.

heres a screen shot of best I could get on one quick test on an existing project, gonna try it on some other projects and experiment.

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 11.07.24 PM.png

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18 hours ago, AstralSphinx said:

It was no critique of the videos you linked :) perhaps I came across as sounding more negative than I was. In the end I think all the things one can learn from are good, then one can cherry pick the different things that might fit ones personal style and mixing/production level. And yes good example, that sometimes people by ear gets things right. That should be the rule of thumb, does it sound good? That's defintely a good start then :D hopefully atleast someone else will agree as well, then it's worth it. ^_^

Btw @Prophecy99 I checked after this thread and atleast from what I can see so far (I could be wrong) but Dune 3 doesn't seem to feature the phase align setting as Sylenth1, Spire and others do. Could be a dealbreaker for some if that's the case.

Dune3 does have osc phase control. First you turn on the reset knob, then you go to the mod matrix and use const as the source and osc starting phase as the destination. The amount of this modulation will effectively be the osc starting phase position.

 

Sure, your ears should be the ultimate judge, all these trick are invented to help you, not to restrict you in any way. But since not everyone has the luxury of having a big perfectly treated room with top notch speakers and matched sub, many people do rely on spectrum and waveform analysers, reference tracks etc, it does help.

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20 minutes ago, recursion loop said:

Dune3 does have osc phase control. First you turn on the reset knob, then you go to the mod matrix and use const as the source and osc starting phase as the destination. The amount of this modulation will effectively be the osc starting phase position.

 

Sure, your ears should be the ultimate judge, all these trick are invented to help you, not to restrict you in any way. But since not everyone has the luxury of having a big perfectly treated room with top notch speakers and matched sub, many people do rely on spectrum and waveform analysers, reference tracks etc, it does help.

Cool thanks will check it out :) I only found the osc reset, which obviously didn't do the trick by itself. Weird that they haven't provided a dedicated parameter/value dial for it in the osc section. Do you know what value will correspond to a value of 32 I think it was in Sylenth1? It was a different value as well in the Virus.

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16 hours ago, Imba said:

Good stuff posted by Colin from OOOD in facebook some dayS ago and this is really important if you want to have great and clean lowend. I tried it last night and it worked pretty well for me!

 

"Having trouble getting your kick and sub phase relationship right? Try this.


1. Grab MFreeformphase + Voxengo Correlometer (both free)


2. Put Correlometer on your kick and set it's sidechain input to the sub. Set the primary to LEFT and the secondary to S LEFT (sidechain) in the plugin. Set the average time on the right to the length of a quarter note according to your project tempo (eg @ 120bpm, 1 quarter note = 500ms) - http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-bpmtempotime.htm


3. Put MFreeformphase on your sub as the last plugin in the chain and draw a straight line at the top of the graph so the phase is set at 360 degrees for all frequencies across the board.


4. Open the Correlometer and watch the graph as you adjust the depth knob holding ctrl (or cmd on Mac) in MFreeformphase. When you find a spot where the correlation stays in the above zero section the most, that's the sweet spot where your kick and sub have good phase coherence and no cancellation going on. There may be more than one sweet spot.
The beauty of this is you don't have to mess up your timing using delay OR mess up your subs attack by changing the waveform phase. Give it a try!"

 

 

 

 

Sounds like an interesting solution, which I guess would work well with external analog synthesizers which lack a phase align option. What are the benefits of using this approach compared to just relying on the option in the synthesizer plugin one might use for bass? Is it a more precise/accurate way, or more flexible? If I have understood it correctly, it fixes not only the bass phase, but the kick as well at the same time? I need to test it out later :)

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7 minutes ago, recursion loop said:

I'm not sure what was that "value 32" in Sylenth, but i think you could match the values in both with something like Smexoscope

Will try it out thanks!

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I am not the overseer of all psy trance kick and bass but I know a few bits and bobs. Just as well as every time I make a track I use different synths different processing and I enjoy that, at least 5 different bass synths (I like Bazzism and Kick2 equally for different reasons). There is no easy answer, there is no.... do X, Y and Z and then you have great kick and bass. (How many times did you follow the many tutorials and got to the end thinking it sounds nothing like the video !) Never think of this as bass alone or kick alone, both affect the character of the overlap, they are as one (and as far as phase goes the kick is dropping in pitch so phase will be aligned for what? one or 2 cycles ?). No one will see your oscilloscope or phase alignment tool on the dance floor or when they listen to your track. Visual tools are however useful, for myself personally as a second check or once thing start sounding just about right.

Phase is 1 parameter of many interdependent parameters, it is important, it stops odd psychoacoustic effects and inconsistent sound and cancellation of sub.

So 4-5 hours roughly to get something just about acceptable usually, that is synthesizing the kick and the bass line. Sometimes I will commit to audio and sometimes not, some synths do a better job than others in this regards.

I spend more time on the listening for a few days, thinking... "Has this invoked the spirit of the last 2 decades of this music ? " more than I look at an oscilloscope. I test a kick and bass (and then snare and hat) at least 3-5 times on a different day deliberating if I have the "feel and effect" right before I will build a track on top. And on more than one occasion I scrap the entire kick and bass and start again because I have not achieved my goal or feel I can do better or the effect I wanted was absent.

If kick and bass was just aligning phase up everyone's kick and bass would be great and probably sound the same right ? Clearly this is not the case.

In my experience perception of good kick and bass varies a fair bit between producers. If we all listed our top 3 kick and basses the variation would likely be all over the place... this alone makes nonsense of it being a purely technical exercise.

All the tools and techniques on YouTube etc. are very useful but in the end I think once you have all the techniques, in themselves a big job to absorb, you are still on your own in that final say so of .. if this what I want and is this good enough for me and my aspirations/goals.

If it is sounding right and working everywhere you play it on headphones and speakers you are golden.

And there is no shame in using a sample either, some people's idea of creativity and fun is not making their own kick and bass, no one sees your sampler or synth on the dance floor. Using synths is more of a personal technical challenge / feeling of satisfaction after release for me, so far no bass samples used.

Just like becoming good at anything in life, you learn, apply, test and experiment, you may make less than stellar kick and bass initially but slowly you refine and through multiple experiments it starts to come together more consistently and quickly because you evolve out errors in your methodology, you also get an aural memory for what good kick and bass is to you personally.

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@MikroMakro thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.  I definitely agree on a lot of your points!  At the begging, i really needed a way to check what I was hearing was actually good or not, and the visual meters/ visual tools really helped confirm and double check if what I was hearing was true or false.  It also is like a nice piece of mind.  And the marriage of Kick & Bass, no doubt they are coupled together and that can never be forgotten. I also agree with the  listening aspects, sometimes I even ask to myself "can you dance to this", "is there a groove", "are you put in a trance from this", "is this trippy" etc. etc.

With all that said what do you like to use for bass ? I don't think you shared what Bass synths you enjoy or use? =)

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15 hours ago, Prophecy99 said:

just tried the MFreeformPhase + Correlometer combo, how did your correlometer look?  thank you Imba, for sharing Colin OOOD's tip.

heres a screen shot of best I could get on one quick test on an existing project, gonna try it on some other projects and experiment.

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 11.07.24 PM.png

 

Phase should stay always above 0 because bellow it's antiphase. Finetune depth until everything is above, could be few places where it works and then you check it visual through oscilloscope. Sometimes i like to have it visual because ears can lie :)

 

This is last thing to do, make good bass preset and good kick, set velocity and volume sidechain on bass using LFO tool (explained in E-Clip tutorial), EQ it then check for phase issues. Sometimes you dont need to change anything, sometimes you do.

 

It's very simple if you know what you are looking for and what you want too achive. Maybe perfect kick/bass phasing isnt up to your taste or how you want it to sound but it's most correct way if you want your music to sound good and clean on big rigs. In my experience phasing can destroy whole track, it can eat too much of your mix on big soundsystems, it will become boomy or track will actually lose energy and could sound slower than it is.

 

Not just phasing, overlaping bass notes can destroy whole mix too. Overlaping kick and bass too. Thats why sidechain its important same as phasing. Balance must be good if you want to sound good!

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It will sound like a swerve but working out which synth is best for you will be an important part of honing your hearing. I am fairly sure every soft synth out there has been used at some point in the last 20 years.

I am fortunate to have a good monitoring situation, you may need to rely more on visual aids if you don't.

"It's very simple if you know what you are looking for and what you want too achive."

That is not my experience personally, every time feel pretty new to me, similar challenges each time with a progressive knowledge base track by track, actually a tick box of what to double check and make sure of each time, reducing mistakes is one of the the keys to progress. The first words understate the complexity of the latter words.

I guess everyone makes their own path.

 

 

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This whole phase align focus got me curious so I had a discussion in a pm here on psynews:

"This stuff got me super curious about when these production techniques became widespread within psy/goa trance production. Since I hear lots of kick/bass issues certainly in old school goa. I wonder if Hallucinogen employed such tricks on his Twisted album for example? Or if this all became more prevalent during the early full-on/prog era? Because surely this technique must've had an impact on the overall kick/bass sound on the psytrance scene? For example when I listen and compare Infected Mushrooms earlier albums The Gathering and Classical Mushroom, the bass and kicks are all over the place. But in the early/mid 2000's their bass kick sound becomes more refined. I always assumed it had more to do with the advent ofnewer/better plugins and improvements in loudspeaker technology. But perhaps that's only part of the explanation?"

So anyone here in the thread knows when this became a thing? I only ever remember people long ago sometimes speaking about sidechaining to solve the K/B clash issues. And to clarify a bit I'm a huge lover of the old school sound :) I think it has its charm with the impreciseness sometimes and so on. And some of those old classic albums surely wouldn't be the same without that very particular sound of that era, for good or worse. Still I'm super curious about learning all these new techniques to hopefully get some more precise control over the sound, and perhaps finding a middle ground, between the old ideals and the new ones. The clarity of the new sound is really cool for the macro view it can provide to textures, would be nice to combine that somehow with the perceived analog "warmth" of the old school sound. So that it doesn't sound too sterile.

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i think the whole phase alignment thing only became agreed upon standard in the 10s. in the mid 00s there were tutorials teaching to cut the kick before the first bass note and also much of the 00s darkpsy has short kicks without any low end.

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17 hours ago, Imba said:

 

Phase should stay always above 0 because bellow it's antiphase. Finetune depth until everything is above, could be few places where it works and then you check it visual through oscilloscope. Sometimes i like to have it visual because ears can lie :)

 

This is last thing to do, make good bass preset and good kick, set velocity and volume sidechain on bass using LFO tool (explained in E-Clip tutorial), EQ it then check for phase issues. Sometimes you dont need to change anything, sometimes you do.

 

It's very simple if you know what you are looking for and what you want too achive. Maybe perfect kick/bass phasing isnt up to your taste or how you want it to sound but it's most correct way if you want your music to sound good and clean on big rigs. In my experience phasing can destroy whole track, it can eat too much of your mix on big soundsystems, it will become boomy or track will actually lose energy and could sound slower than it is.

 

Not just phasing, overlaping bass notes can destroy whole mix too. Overlaping kick and bass too. Thats why sidechain its important same as phasing. Balance must be good if you want to sound good!

roger that!  =) thanks for your thoughts! i need to use the mfreeformphase and tweak that static line to fix that example, or are you only supposed to mess with depth? it seems like the drawing of the phase line would work too? because in that example it flip floped at 75 no matter what depth :) and I am a big fan of the Xfer LFO Tool, i use it on every single bass. and yes I want my songs to be played on big rigs ! =)  shouldn't we all ? :)

I am thinking of using correlometer to check out a pro song at a kick and bass break down and see how it looks as well.

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34 minutes ago, Padmapani said:

i think the whole phase alignment thing only became agreed upon standard in the 10s. in the mid 00s there were tutorials teaching to cut the kick before the first bass note and also much of the 00s darkpsy has short kicks without any low end.

Interesting! If that's true then it's certainly a recent innovation/standard indeed. If true it really broadens the amount of tracks I think sound awesome/clean which might not even have employed this technique then I suppose? :) My only memory of this thing was when Sylenth1 hit the market, and there were tons of tutorials praising the phase align setting, explaining that without it the bass would sound bad etc etc. I'm not even sure I used it right or grasped the concept fully back then. And I don't think these tutorials from around 2008 or so? Were doing the same thing that the psy trance producers of today are doing with regards to this technique. I don't remember if this function was in the plugin from the get go or added via a system update. These tutorials were more in general geared towards EDM/Trance.

Ahh the memories! Now I also remember, that thing with cutting the low end out of the kicks and letting the sub bass become the tail/extension of it instead kinda. Heh the trends come and go really quick sometimes in this scene. :D I can only imagine how this OCD/perfectionism of the psytrance production scene will evolve. In 10 years from now, the tracks will probably have all layers phase aligned, if they aren't allready? :P And the sound will be one huge intact wall where every sound is tightly interlocked.

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@AstralSphynx  last night in bed I also was thinking about this. I was more thinking of how long was this common knowledge to well known artists before us lot lol, saw the YT vids...I am fairly sure the first oscilloscope vid I saw was the Sonic Elyisum one. I did wonder how long before this (or similar videos) this info was known about. Also I suspect that matched kick and bass samples that were already "locked in" for tempo/key were available to those who knew someone who knew someone so to speak.

I imagine some serious artists were doing this in good rooms/speakers before the oscilloscope use became apparent online.

I think you mean Sylenth1's oscillator phase reset/retrigger which is different from phase alignment of kick tail to bass note 1, (using delay or negative delay). That is a pre-requisite for any type of phase alignment in psy bass, without the osc retrig stability you cannot even begin..Without the phase retrig, you end up with an unstable bass which sounds nothing like psy trance bass as we know it today.

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37 minutes ago, MikroMakro said:

@AstralSphynx  last night in bed I also was thinking about this. I was more thinking of how long was this common knowledge to well known artists before us lot lol, saw the YT vids...I am fairly sure the first oscilloscope vid I saw was the Sonic Elyisum one. I did wonder how long before this (or similar videos) this info was known about. Also I suspect that matched kick and bass samples that were already "locked in" for tempo/key were available to those who knew someone who knew someone so to speak.

I imagine some serious artists were doing this in good rooms/speakers before the oscilloscope use became apparent online.

I think you mean Sylenth1's oscillator phase reset/retrigger which is different from phase alignment of kick tail to bass note 1, (using delay or negative delay). That is a pre-requisite for any type of phase alignment in psy bass, without the osc retrig stability you cannot even begin..Without the phase retrig, you end up with an unstable bass which sounds nothing like psy trance bass as we know it today.

 

Yes you're probably right, as I'm still trying to wrap my head around this technique. What I'm getting at is that before Sylenth1 and The Virus I don't recall synthesizers having the option to specify when the osc phase would start. And if I have understood it correctly that is a prerequisite? I don't use Sylenth1 anymore so I don't have it installed/in front of me, but it had the option to set a value, which in the tutorials was set to 32. Where the phase would be "correct":D And it just gave the bass like a little more refined attack I guess, the same on the Virus, but on that one the corresponding value was different, ulilizing another type of scaling/resolution I guess. On the Virus the parameter is called "phase init" I think.

And certainly it seems to be of great importance for todays sound. And yes I'm not counting out that this technique might've been employed by a few geeks prior to its more widespread use. 

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Yes I see what you mean in terms of trying to date origins but people had access to VSTi samplers for a long while, once you had dialed in the tonality via a synth you could always trigger an individual bass note in the familiar pattern using a sampler.

NI Kontakt has been around since 2002, and DAW audio sequencing before that.

 

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11 minutes ago, MikroMakro said:

Yes I see what you mean in terms of trying to date origins but people had access to VSTi samplers for a long while, once you had dialed in the tonality via a synth you could always trigger an individual bass note in the familiar pattern using a sampler.

NI Kontakt has been around since 2002, and DAW audio sequencing before that.

 

Yeah who knows. :) The path might not have been as straightforward, but there were always different tools accessible. It wouldn't surprise me if Infected Mushroom did it manually in soundforge or their DAW before or something.

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Watching this now, very good overview.

This makes me wonder, how long will it be until there comes a plugin which automatically phase aligns kick and bass? Just like sidechain and trancegate plugins became a thing before.

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well most of those psytrance producers who have the cleanest (most soul-less) sound - knew about this stuff in early 10s. But its now become popular media and everyone does it.

The technique itself, has lost its soul. I think its only a matter of time before we get back to our roots of analog - and dirt - and realise that sounds more pleasant - than being sonically raped by these ultra-clean tones and waveforms. 

Its great to try to be clean, and to phase-align your knb ofc; but in the process dont forget yorue not a robot or alien, youre a human. Vinyl sounds better than CD. 

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45 minutes ago, astralprojection said:

well most of those psytrance producers who have the cleanest (most soul-less) sound - knew about this stuff in early 10s. But its now become popular media and everyone does it.

The technique itself, has lost its soul. I think its only a matter of time before we get back to our roots of analog - and dirt - and realise that sounds more pleasant - than being sonically raped by these ultra-clean tones and waveforms. 

Its great to try to be clean, and to phase-align your knb ofc; but in the process dont forget yorue not a robot or alien, youre a human. Vinyl sounds better than CD. 

 

Yeah, I think what will happen, is that there will be two camps for example within the goa field. Some will be puritans and will only settle with a faithful emulation with all the bells and whistles, no phase align, analog stuff :) all filter sweeps recorded in realtime etc. Then there will be hybrids and what not, for example the video I linked above, on his channel he has "goa trance tutorials" which to my ears sound more like psytrance.

So yeah there will probably always be a debate. For the new styles tho like this thread is focused on, I can understand the need to follow these latest developments/trends in order to stay competitive and have as leveled playing field as possible. If the aim is to play live and so on, and to be released on the bigger psy focused labels. Because there will always exist a kind of "sound-snobbism" in that scene. :) the same as in the goa scene, but there the snobbism might be more about other more archaic ideals for sure. Regarding vinyl vs digital/CD/streaming etc, that is another topic IMO, but yeah they share some common denominators. Perhaps we could start a topic in the general section? :D

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