SubBass

The SubBass plug-in generates frequencies below those of the original signal, resulting in artificial bass content.

The simplest use for the SubBass is as an octave divider, similar to octaver effect pedals for electric bass guitars. Whereas such pedals can only process a monophonic input sound source of clearly defined pitch, SubBass can be used with complex summed signals as well.

SubBass creates two bass signals, derived from two separate portions of the incoming signal. These are defined with the High and Low parameters.

Warning: Using SubBass can produce extremely loud output signals. Choose moderate monitoring levels, and only use loudspeakers that are actually capable of reproducing the very low frequencies produced. Never try to force a loudspeaker to output these frequency bands with an EQ.

SubBass Parameters

The SubBass offers the following parameters.

Figure. SubBass window.
  • High Ratio knob and field: Adjusts the ratio between the generated signal and the original upper band signal.
  • High Center knob and field: Sets the center frequency of the upper band.
  • High Bandwidth knob and field: Sets the width of the upper band.
  • Graphical display: Shows the selected upper and lower frequency bands.
  • Freq. Mix slider and field: Adjusts the mix ratio between the upper and lower frequency bands.
  • Low Ratio knob and field: Adjusts the ratio between the generated signal and the original lower band signal.
  • Low Center knob and field: Sets the center frequency of the lower band.
  • Low Bandwidth knob and field: Sets the width of the lower band.
  • Dry slider and field: Sets the amount of dry (non-effect, original) signal.
  • Wet slider and field: Sets the amount of wet (effect) signal.

Using SubBass

Unlike a pitch shifter, the waveform of the signal generated by SubBass is not based on the waveform of the input signal, but is sinusoidal—that is, it uses a sine wave. Given that pure sine waves rarely sit well in complex arrangements, you can control the amount of—and balance between—the generated and original signals with the Wet and Dry sliders.

Use the High and Low parameters to define the two frequency bands, which SubBass uses to generate tones. High Center and Low Center define the center frequency of each band, and High Bandwidth and Low Bandwidth define the width of each frequency band.

The High Ratio and Low Ratio knobs define the transposition amount for the generated signal in each band. This is expressed as a ratio of the original signal. For example, Ratio = 2 transposes the signal down one octave.

Important: Within each frequency band, the filtered signal should have a reasonably stable pitch in order to be analyzed correctly.

In general, narrow bandwidths produce the best results, because they avoid unwanted intermodulations. Set High Center a fifth higher than Low Center, which means a factor of 1.5 for the center frequency. Derive the sub-bass to be synthesized from the existing bass portion of the signal, and transpose by one octave in both bands (Ratio = 2). Do not overdrive the process or you will introduce distortion. If you hear frequency gaps, move one or both Center frequency knobs, or widen the Bandwidth of one or both frequency ranges a little.

Tip: Be prudent when using SubBass, and compare the extreme low frequency content of your mixes with other productions. It is very easy to go overboard with it.