Volume is an essential parameter for controlling and modifying in music production. For instance, volume control, or gain, is always the first step in track mixing. Back in the day, sound engineers spent countless hours controlling the volume of the vocal sequences manually. In the first place, the sibilance sounds produced by the vocalists had to be tamed and taken to the right level. However, in recent years we were introduced to software plugins which made this time-consuming process much more comfortable. One of these plugins, and in my opinion the best one, is Bass Rider by Waves audio. For this reason, I decided to dedicate the following tutorial to this fantastic plugin.
Waves Bass Rider
Bass Rider is an innovative, easy-to-use plugin that rides bass levels automatically. A real timesaver with dedicated studio and live components, Bass Rider, keeps bass levels in check and solid throughout your mix. Unlike a compressor, Bass Rider works note by note, without disturbing their inner dynamics, so they sustain and decay naturally.
As an example, I have made a short bass sequence using the bass guitar in Soundbridge. Let’s hear how it sounds.
~Bass sequence – Unprocessed
Next, I will add a new instance of Bass Rider on the Bass sequence channel. Upon opening it, we can see a straightforward interface containing only super useful parameters. So I’ll go through them to explain their practical use a bit better.
Use target to set up your bass level range. For the best and most transparent results, it is recommended to get it on the average input level of your bass input. Higher areas are going to result in higher gain and higher overall loudness.
Contains control for note detection is how Bass Rider detects note attack, sustain and release in order to work out best gain leveling for each note it hears.
Artifacts are describing parts of the signal that trigger detection but are not necessarily part of the audio we want to ride. Moreover, they can include string buzz, transient noises, string slides and even modulation between some individual notes.
When Bass Rider is used on the bass that has been mic`d, there is always a possibility that you will get some spills from other instruments that are surrounding the bass player. This naturally ends up on the audio tracks. These spills may be detected as notes. However, you can use the spill control in order to avoid detection of a spill signal if it becomes the problem.
In the end, after explaining the main parameters controls of the Bass Rider and setting the parameters let ‘s hear how it affected the original Bass sequence.
~Bass Sequence – Processed with Bass Rider
Feel free to download the project here.