Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

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Erotic Cabaret
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Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:02 am

I have a Prophet '08 and a Nord Lead 3. It seems like whenever I record a synth bass sound, it's never quite in tune with the rest of the music. It always seems to be flat.

Any tips/ideas? Am I supposed to use a little vibrato or something? It may be worth noting that I often prefer one oscillator bass patches.

Yes, I do calibrate the filters on my P'08.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by cornutt » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:43 am

Does it sound sharp or flat? Or is it not consistent? There's a couple of electronic possibilities and a couple of psychoaccoustic ones. If you are using the P08, it's possible that the high-frequency compensation on the VCOs has been set such that they play in tune at mid/high frequencies but go off at bass frequencies. It's also possible that some intermodulation is occurring somewhere in your mix which is muddying up the bass.

If you are using bass sounds that are close to sine waves, be aware that low-frequency sines can be difficult for the ear to determine the pitch of. Has something to do with lack of input to the basilar membrane -- not sure I really understand it. The perception of pitch on tones that are close to pure sines can vary depending on loudness; making them louder will sometimes make them sound a bit flat.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:13 am

Just tested my Prophet '08 and Nord Lead 3 with a tuning program. Turns out, even after calibrating, my Prophet '08 was 19 cents flat. The Nord was perfectly in tune.

Gosh dang analog synths, haha. I'm going to have to start bringing a guitar tuner to the studio.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:22 am

Whoa, problem NOT solved. Even after manually tuning the Prophet '08, it STILL sounds flat, no matter what, when compared to other patches. I am individually tuning each patch on each synth to 440 hz and everything still sounds out of whack.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:36 pm

Time to contact DSI support :help:
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by cartesia » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:58 pm

weird..is there some hidden/forgotten modulation?

does the keyboard have a transpose function?

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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:44 pm

No, there is really no modulation whatsoever on this bass patch. It's a simple 2 osc saw wave bass patch (both oscs are saws). The biggest problem is when there's a high note...that's when it sounds most out of tune. Most of the low notes sound ok to my ears. Any thoughts there?
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Synthaholic » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:38 pm

Most synths have a master tune function somewhere in the menus, or a knob. Check that before calling DSI.

DCOs don't drift out of tune like VCOs do, but if the master clock that runs the DCOs is broken, or the master tune is changed in the menus, then it will sound out of tune.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:21 pm

Yeah, I've done the auto tune/calibrate. The pitch of the synth is, overall, perfectly in tune. It just seems like the beginning of bass notes are flat. The VERY beginning, and then, when sustained, it's in tune.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Mush » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:14 pm

Have you made sure that you got no envelopes or other modulators modulating the pitch of the oscillators?

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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:14 pm

Yeah, there's nothing modulating the pitch of the oscillators. Very simple patch.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about...how the bass sounds flat. I checked with a tuner and, supposedly, the Prophet is perfectly in tune. The sampled piano is also tuned to 440 hz.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/l5lf83

I've noticed that the WAVs I record on Pro Tools from the Prophet seem to have more of their bulk on the lower half of the WAV image. Does that mean anything?
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by edfunction » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:20 pm

did you record everything at the same sample rate? just a thought...

i had an external delay that recorded at the wrong sample rate making it sound slightly out of whack, actually didn't sound too bad though ;)

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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:12 pm

Yeah, everything's at 44.1 khz.
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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by madtheory » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:04 pm

Erotic Cabaret wrote:I've noticed that the WAVs I record on Pro Tools from the Prophet seem to have more of their bulk on the lower half of the WAV image. Does that mean anything?
Most waveforms will be asymetrical, it's not a problem. WIth a synth it's usually caused by some kind of clipping distortion. All part of the sound.

Sounds like you have a scaling problem, as already suggested a call to DSI would be a good idea.

PS it's Hz, after Heinrich Hertz.

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Re: Problems with Synth Bass Not Sounding in Tune

Post by Erotic Cabaret » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:26 am

What exactly do you mean by a scaling problem? Like the bass isn't as in tune as the treble?
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