Splitting Bass Frequencies

Splitting up the frequencies in a bass sound lets you apply different effects to different parts of the frequency spectrum. You can compress the low end, pan the high frequencies around or make the mid-range go wub-wub-wub without affecting the rest of the bass. One way to do this is by duplicating the bass track and filtering the copies, but using chains in Ableton’s Audio Effect Rack makes it way easier and reduces the CPU load by a lot.

1: Load up a bass patch. I’m using the Massive “Analog Classique 3” preset here, but you can use any bass sound that has a good mixture of low, mid and high frequencies. Program a simple bassline into the piano roll; this one is just C – F – A# – C. Drag and drop an empty Audio Effect Rack from the Live Devices section onto the bass track.

2: Click the Chains button. Drag three EQ8s into the Chains section of the rack.

3: Set the first EQ to let the lower frequencies through. Set the second to let the middle frequencies though, and the third to cut out all but the highest frequencies.

4: Drop an effect onto the first EQ. Here, I’ve put a compressor on the low end to make it more solid.

5: Put an effect on the mid-range frequencies. I’m using the free Fuzz Plus 2 plugin to add some distortion, followed by the built-in Ableton Chorus:

6: Add effects to the high frequencies. I’m putting in a Filter Delay to add some motion to the top end and a couple Resonators to make it more melodic.

All samples licensed as Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commercial Attribution.

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