808 Bass tips
1:start with the right sample
- The first thing you must consider when making your 808 sound is to start with a high quality sample that fits in to your track.
- Working with a bad or low quality sample will only be detrimental to your track as it will never sound like u want it to no matter how much processing you apply to it. Using a bad sample is only going to make your job 10x harder than it needs to be.
- ‘there’s no point trying to polish a turd, it’s always gonna be shit’
2: shape the track around your 808
- a lot of producers will immediately turn to processing ,such as adding low end and adding distortion when their 808 is being masked in the mix.
- But before you reach into your bottomless list of cracked plug ins check the rest of your track first.
- 9/10 times the cause is due to other instruments masking the 808 in the mix.
- Try fitting the rest of your track around your 808 so that you give the bass room to breath
- Trust me it really works
- As most 808’s are very low end heavy it can be hard to get the signature fullness that all great 808’s need.
- Using distortion on your 808’s will help by beefing up the crucial mid range and adding warmth to the sound.
- This will help your 808’s fill the track and will also help make your bass feel more present
4: make sure the 808 is tuned.
- the biggest mistake I see from beginner producers is having their 808’s out of tune.
- An 808 is tonal and has a defined pitch corresponding to notes on a musical scale.
- Having your 808 in tune to the key of your song will help it sit better in the mix and will also help harmonise your 808 with the kick, chords and other instruments.
5: use side chain compression
- a very difficult part of working with sounds like 808’s is getting them and the kick to both punch through the mix.
- This difficulty is due to the frequency relationship between the kick and 808. Both these sounds dominate the same frequency range so finding separation between the two can be tricky.
- A good technique for achieving this separation is sidechain compression. Side chaining the bass to the kick will allow for the volume of the 808 to duck every time the kick hits. This helps the kick punch through the bass and will make it a lot more present in the track.