Sound Engineers!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by James McFadyen, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    I posted this message in a forum at and thought that perhaps some of you peeps out there who like to create your own music in your home studio, just as I like to do.

    The question was how do you get really really low bass?

    Here is what I posted:

    most loud speakers start to cutoff at around 80Hz. You will then find that need an awful lot of gain at sub-bass frequencies 30-40Hz, which will cause irrepairable damage to your loudspeakers.

    Never use octave dividers to provide the low bass! Absolutely never, beacause they simple boost the the FREQUENCIES down an octave of the original. EQ may help, but only if you're applying a very little amount - speaker damage remember!

    FREQUENCY alone is not the issue - a fault with many under-developed engineers! A lot of it has to do with COMPRESSION. Waves made a great sub-bass plug-in called MaxxBass - sub bass generator which does NOT add, in the audio sence, a bunch of sub frequencies. This is marvellous technology to make a co-hesive PHASE ALIGNED sub bass sound - and what's more, IT DOESN'T ADD TO YOUR LEVEL! You get big sub bass without gain on your master faders! Now that is a serious piece of kit.

    I'm some of out tMP users will find this helpful :wink:
  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Go to a cheap fishmongers and then put the fish in the basement :?: :shock: :wink:
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'm not really into all this sound reproduction stuff (sound production is more fun, I find!), but could you just explain how this works? My guess is that it produces a combination of overtones that imply the low notes clearly enough to allow the ear to infer them. Is this right? What algorithm do they use to decide on which overtones to use?

  4. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    yea, yea, yea - there's always one bright spark isn't there! :wink:
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sorry! Wave the prospect of some Physics that I might actually be able to understand conceptually at me and I find it hard to resist asking for more! It makes such a nice change from the intellectual hard slog at work.

  6. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Yea, it has a lot to do with overtones, but it is a rather complex thing. There is also the case of Phase Alignment, since at those impractical low frequencies waveslengths are longer and need more distance to travel to reach the inner ear, and of course because bass frequencies are omni-directional, which means that the pinna (on the outer ear, used to help locate where a sound is coming from) can sometimes get confused.

    It has lot to do with Psycho-Acoutsic rather than Acoustics itself.

    But the way our ear works, is that sometimes we needed a high bass (by that I mean a bass that isn't way way down) to hear it properly and bassy, this is why in Orchestration (for the orchestra) there is a rule of thumb of 'keeping your basses up' in reference to the double basses, it's basically the same principle.

    Overtones are simple to work out beacsue you just keep mulitplying the frequency:

    f you fundemental (also known as the 1st harmonic) have a sine wave at 50Hz, it's second harmonic (or overtone) will be at 100Hz, it's third harmonic at 150Hz and it's fourth harmonic 200Hz and so on.

    Just as piece of useless info, 50Hz mains hum has a huge amount of third harmonic (150Hz), so when ur trying to get rid of mains hum, a bit of 50hz and 150hz attenuation will do the trick!

    Anyway, hope this sheds a little more light about bass frequencies for you. If not, just say and i'll explain more.
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that.
    My specific question is: How does Waves decide how to enhance a particular bass note? For example, in my naive understanding, playing the 2nd and 3rd harmonics of a note will cause the ear to perceive the 1st harmonic an octave lower, but I presume it is all a bit more sophisticated than that.
    I'm just curious as to what their specific recipe for fooling the ear is.

    I'll stop bothering you now!

  8. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    my 15" cabinet speaker seems to do a pretty good job with really low bass...
  9. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    You just need amps that go all the way up to 11.....
    BMB 8)
  10. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    so so true... :D
  11. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    in our living room, there's brick walls which have been covered with a wooden frame all the way around with a fabric stretched over that to give an excellent listening acoustic. There are two quality 1 foot treble speakers in the far corners and built into the wall next to each are two 3 foot amp's which stretch so far back that they are actually in the workshop outside the house! You've never heard a home sound system as good!!!!! But then again my dad is a perfectionist sound engineer and he hasn't stopped tinkering with it in over 30 years!! including building most of it himself as the shops don't sell good enough quality stuff!!!!
  12. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    quite agree - Aidan!

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