Bass distortion effect
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:42 PM   #1
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Bass distortion effect

Anyone know of a distortion/overdrive/saturation vst that has a threshold you can set so I could bus two channels together and only have it distort when the combined channels dbs reach a certain threshold?

The other day I was trying artificially create the effect serious bass causes on sound coming through speakers or in a live environment. The best I can describe it is when the sub frequencies modulate the othe frequencies, especially the mid/highs. I would also be willing to settle with recreating the similar effect of speaker distorting when 808 sub bass drums hit hard and distort the other frequencies but when the sub fades out the other frequencies sound undisturbed.


I have already tried using sidekick vst on duplicated channels, one ducking one keying with distortion but this did not have very good control over where it fades from distorted to clean.

I also tried with better results just automating a clean wet control on a distortion but it is not quite what I was hoping for.

Maybe also smashing through compressor would help simulate this?

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Old 10-08-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Bass distortion effect

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Old 10-08-2018, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: Bass distortion effect

this tends to be how distortion units work anyway, they are gain dependent, but most do have a gradual curve that starts almost straight away.
anything with a spline graph will allow you to set up your own shapes and threshold with ease. personally i love izotopes trash 2, but they all do pretty much the same thing.

another way of adjusting the threshold would be to adjust the input and output gain inversely proportionally, so you could send both inputs to a gain plugin (if needed), then through the distortion, then to another gain plugin (again, if needed), then lower the input gain and raise the output gain (by the same amount) to make the threshold higher, and vice versa to make the threshold lower. this is pretty much what a threshold control does on all effects that have one. usually it only adjusts the input gain on the sidechain (internal) signal though, but the result would be the same, with slightly more CPU use.

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Old 19-08-2018, 01:17 AM   #4
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Re: Bass distortion effect

Are you looking for something directly on your channel? If you'd be satisfied with an aux channel, you could just put a gate before it.


Alternatively, if you're using Ableton, I could probably build that for you in about five minutes.
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Old 19-08-2018, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Bass distortion effect

If you have Cubase Artist or above, [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
does exactly what your looking for.
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Old 20-08-2018, 03:48 AM   #6
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Re: Bass distortion effect

Maybe this is dumb, but could you use like an envelope follower to push the distortion harder into a wet mode?

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Old 20-08-2018, 04:26 AM   #7
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Re: Bass distortion effect

I don't think that's dumb at all!

In Ableton, I would use a gate on a second channel that feeds into the distortion, while also phase canceling out the primary channel. Your suggestion sounds bang-on for Renoise.

OP is a Cubase user, right? I'm not really familiar with it (I always thought it was more like a traditional DAW with only serial FX). Both these techniques seem like you could probably make them work if you use some clever routing!
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Old 20-08-2018, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re: Bass distortion effect

Distortion is gain dependent. A good distortion plugin besides trash and ohmizide is Waves Manniquin Distortion. It's 29€ this time and has relally nice settings like lopassfilter and independet wet and dry levels.
Especially the Attack And Release Times, which is more what you're looking for. I never saw a better adjustable distortion plugin.

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Old 31-08-2018, 01:30 AM   #9
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Re: Bass distortion effect

there are different types of distortion right? what
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Old 31-08-2018, 03:16 AM   #10
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Re: Bass distortion effect

iZotope Trash2
FabFilter Saturn
Any stock distortion with a noise gate placed in line before it

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Old 31-08-2018, 03:22 AM   #11
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Re: Bass distortion effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows3.14 View Post
there are different types of distortion right? what

There are literally thousands of types of distortion. Anything that interferes with a signal is distortion.


In music production terms, there are still many different types of usable distortion. The most common ones you'll hear people refer to are Saturation, Bitcrushing, Clipping and I suppose you could kind of lump fuzz in there, though that's more of a concept than an actual type. I would guess it's simulated in much the same way as the waveshaping stuff (see below).



The vast majority of distortion boils down to some form of waveshaping (which is putting your audio signal through a math function of some sort and outputting the result). The specific function used determines the harmonics that get added to the output wave. You'll often hear people talk about even/odd harmonics, which I guess is at least part of the story.



The bitcrushing stuff generally comes down to reducing the sample rate or bit depth of the audio signal, but may involve other trickery, as well. However, you can definitely simulate at least the bit depth reduction by using the right waveshaping function.

Note that the functions used in wave shaping may vary drastically. Some are simple curves, whereas others involve modelling each component in some pretty complicated circuitry and simulating it in real-time. I'm pretty sure a lot of emulations will also alter whatever function they use over time in response to the input level, to simulate the unit "heating up" (if you've ever heard an analog synth when it just starts up and after it's been on for a few hours, you'll know what I mean).

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