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sub harmonic synths

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hack, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    OK.... I got one of these from a friend to try and modernize some rock stuff. How are they to be used. Kick, floor toms.. what about bass? Should you compress the return? What freq should I start around, the one I got doesnt say it goes as low as the DBX unit I have seen, but when listening to it, it goes REAL low!

    What do you think?
  2. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I own the DBX 120a unit, and use it only for live performances with electric bass.

    It is rack mounted and uses the TRS balanced interconnects. I have it placed immediately after my SWR preamp, and before my Rane GE30 equalizer, which feeds a Rane MX22 crossover. The entire system is balanced.

    It operates on an input signal of 54 ~ 110 Hz... a bit too restricted, IMO. I find it runs out of effect immediately above 110 Hz. The 120a tracks very well, even with chords, and is polyphonic. It synthesizes one full octave below the input fundamental.

    I use mine to drive my stage rig which is (2) 1x15 subwoofers bi-amped with (2) 1x10 JBL E110 drivers, with a QSC PLX 3002 power amp. When used with properly tuned subs, the bottom octave is massive. Use the DBX at high volume with conventional bass cabs and the back of your legs will most likely be peppered with speaker shrapnel.
  3. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    To use in a record mix enviorment treat it like a reverb or delay. By that I mean, send an aux or a bus to it and return just the subharmonic output to an empty channel. You only need a little. Send whatever you want some sub on. Usually bass and/or a kick and/or. I've even seen adab on gtrs...what ever foats your boat. It's very easy to overdo it. Remeber you are adding frequencies that nearfields don't reproduce well. So check on some mains. Probably a spectrum analyzer might not be a bad I idea...see what it looks like before and during use.
  4. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I've got it set up on a aux now. I tried some kick and bass in it. It seems like a real neat box. But it is a little hard to hear. And if I turn it up to hear it, i can see the 8" running back and forth. I used it on a rough mix thing last night after an overdub session and the client really liked it. Now that I have played with this thing a little, I can hear this type of processing being used in a lot of recordings, esp on bass gtr in country and kick and toms and bass in rock.

    Do you compress or gate the return?
  5. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    ...oh forgot to mention. yes you can limmit &/or compress. & gate if you want. (i usually automate anything I want off).

    Remember, make it just barely audible on nearfields.
  6. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I'm not a recording whiz, but I do know speaker systems. Almost none, mains or nearfields, will produce those low notes with any accuracy.

    Proper headphones might get much closer, but I still have my doubts. This is the realm of the true subwoofer... lots of cone area, very low Fs (below 25 Hz), lots of excursion, and very inefficient.

    I think RM's advice to add just a tiny smidge is sound. Adding synth based on (insufficient) response in the monitors would be certainly misleading, and result in too much in the mix.
  7. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I have noticed that it will be running along fine and then one note out of nowhere will take off, so it would be better to just do a volume ride to smooth that out rather than limit the whole track? This makes sense to me.

    What about the send to the unit. Is there a need to limit the aux send feeding the synth to create a smoother response?
  8. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Don't squash the input, or it will turn into a drone.

    No more compression is needed than what is already inserted in the path to make the track sit in the mix. It will respond to dynamics, but is a bit "slow".

    You can even low-pass around 150Hz on the return, and efectively kill any broadband noise the unit may produce.

    Heed the other's warnings - USE IN MODERATION!

    They feel sooooooo good on nice subs. Tasty :cool:
  9. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    id anyon ay ub armoni yth ? b-o-o-m :confused:
  10. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I watched Daredevil on DVD last night. Sounds like a ub armoni yth got used a lot. Biggest heartbeats I ever heard.
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