Questions for Optical…

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    • #225073
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      For those of you who have seen Matt’s awesome tutorial on sound design and have some questions about it, or other things you’d like to ask him, drop them here and he’ll give you a reply 🙂

    • #225078
      ,Matt Ayres
      Participant

      Ez! How did you make the bass in Watermelon!?

      • #225315
        ,mattshilston
        Participant

        Exactly what I wanted to ask!

      • #225515
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        It started as a pretty obvious distorted full frequency synth sound from the Pro-One with lots of harmonics and sounding like a fairly standard distorted bass sound. We used to set a DAT tape on record and then play simple notes from the Pro-One live whilst hand modulating the filter cutoff at the same time so we would end up with all kinds of filter and pitch moves on the tape….mostly too crazy to use but some small snips would be really cool or with great movement and shape and timing and pitch bending etc.

        We would then sample into the EMU the best snips from the DAT…sometimes we just used one from the whole DAT recording, sometimes we used a 3 or 4 to piece a riff together. Once in the EMU we then added another layer of filtering driven by ENV’s LFO’s and the Modwheel and tried to accentuate the characteristics of the initial sample from the Pro-One.

        Basically the simple principles are that heavy distortion adds lots of upper harmonics to any simple bass sounds (like the way the old reece house bass turned into a hugely gnarly dnb bass through years of distorting and sampling and filtering by many different artists)

        Watermelon bass was a technique I learned through a lot of experimentation over the years. I took a distorted fat sound and filtered it way down to just a sub type bass sound and made the bass melody as a kind of dub reggae bass sound. Then when I had the fat simple bass sound with a cool part I then added an ENV to the cut off of the bass sound but instead of making the filter cutoff go all the way up to the top I just let it go up to the 3rd harmonic like around 400-600 hz…so it just adding a pretty non aggressive shape that just gives some rhythm but not growling at all….kind of warm and soft again at that point but with that wiggle you hear in the final bassline.

        From there I took the still dub reggae sounding bass sound out of the sampler into the focusrite green eq which had an Input and Output gain plus 4 band EQ….all sections could be overdriven to get all kinds of distortion and saturation with the ability to tune it all with the eq bands so to me it was the ultimate saturation and distortion unit…it broke up in a really nice way and always kept the bass end very fat. So the final result was that bass…..it went from nasty to nice and then somewhere inbetween for the end result.

    • #225083
      ,Mark RickettsMark Ricketts
      Participant

      Hi Matt!

      I loooooooove sampling and really got a lot out of the tutorial – thanks so much for sharing!

      A couple of questions-

      I struggle with turning loops into whole tunes – particularly knowing when to move to arrangement phase. Would you have any general advice on how/when you do this?

      Thanks again,

      Mark

      PS – Do you still use an E6400? What Cord or Sample Processing tips would you give to get the most out of the device?

      • #225517
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I usually make a bunch of sample patches of various things I have come across, hopefully with lots of variety. Some single sample like strings and anything I want to play as an instrument I set up with all the controls I talked about in my tutorial. I also chuck in a load of random noises and weird stuff to play with.

        Then I get a simple beat Rhythm to work over and I go ahead and make lots of parts and try out ideas until I find something I definitely like to begin. Then its process of making lots of parts from all the things you have collected.

        From there you need to experiment whilst you still have just a bunch of 8 – 16 bar loops on what parts work together and which ones don’t and whether its all in key and one thing is not covering up another etc.

        Only one you have all the parts working perfectly is the time to start arranging everything and you should have a good grip on which parts are the peak and which are the intro and which are parts you can bring in for interest and development of the journey.

        Once you have the rough arrangement done you can go back and add the finishing touches and some extra modulation and effects to really make it great

        ;0)

    • #225152
      ,[email protected]
      Participant

      The worm in “The Host” plus many other tunes ———-Please maybe a quick explanation how you managed to get it to sound like an “Ed and Optical “ worm break.

      The bass in The Host ——— Sounds so simple but there’s more going on then we expect right ?

      That’s all. Cheers.

      • #225519
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I think you can hear that to make the Worm in The Host sound pretty close to the way it would have sounded in analog world kind of relies on the mix not having shiny tops like a modern mix…that was from every channel in the whole track being saturated and crushed and with a roll off on the highest frequencies and the very lowest to keep it crunchy in the mids.

        Most of the drum and bass distortion comes from Camel Phat plus I’m using my original break samples. I found that with some Camel Phat followed by Sonnox Limiter with the default settings and 25% Enhance Slider gave me that balance between old crunch and modern level plus the Sonnox Enhance has a magical way of curing lack of top end and makes a beat sound really solid and punchy and level compared to 99% of limiters. The downside is it can suck up the fundamental from a bass sound so I use it on drums mostly and then maybe once on a final mixdown master.

        The bass was made from several layers of resampling then 2 channels in the mixer with subs and mids separated and treated in the way I did in my tutorial except for all the filter moves where done with Camel Phat Bandpass filters which are really cool as you can mod the LP and HP separately and get all kinds of sounds from super fat subs to crazy mid stuff all in one place

        ;0)

    • #225159
      ,Christoph
      Participant

      Hi Matt
      First of thanks for sharing your knowledge. Not only here but on doa too. Learned a lot from you. My question is how you feel about the airwindows plugins. Especially now since Chris made the zfilters.

      Thanks in advance
      Criss

      • #225521
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I like Mackity a lot and I just got the new Zplane LP/HP/BP and on first listen the LP sound really good. To be really useful though it needs to modulate really smoothly and I haven’t figured out connecting it up to some mod sources yet. I will definitely be doing some experiments in the coming weeks on all Chris’s plugs. I’m dreaming of a really great LP filter like the one on the EMU-E6400 ULTRA, it turned it into a true instrument not just a sample playback unit

        ;0)

    • #225276
      ,BarkSide
      Participant

      Hi Matt!

      I loooooooove sampling and really got a lot out of the tutorial – thanks so much for sharing!

      A couple of questions-

      I struggle with turning loops into whole tunes – particularly knowing when to move to arrangement phase. Would you have any general advice on how/when you do this?

      Thanks again,

      Mark.

      PS – Do you still use an E6400? What Cord or Sample Processing tips would you give to get the most out of the device?

      I would also be keen to know about these questions, thanks Mark.

      And thank you Matt for such an informative and inspiring tutorial and of course the music

    • #225301
      ,Mircea
      Participant

      Matt,

      Can you give us a sane process for coming up with production grade samples? I want, if possible, to get a proper sequence of steps that would go from ‘no sample’ to a production grade sample. Where would you source them? How would you “clean” them up? After that, would you normalise them?

      I’m pretty sure there’s no silver bullet here, and its on a case by case, but I’m pretty sure there are some common steps that appear every time and would love to get your input on this as it would be great to have a process in place to procure / process samples before getting into using them, and by using them I also mean the ways in which you worked with them during your tutorial. So I guess what I’m asking is for the mundane process that should happen before getting into the DAW

      Side note, from what I picked up, and this might be wrong but, what I noticed is that for atmosphere sound beds you strive to cover the frequency range from around ~200Hz up to whatever it takes, ~12kHz. That way, the drums, percussion elements, bass, are all outside the range of the sound bed

      Thanks!

      • #225523
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Haha! Not sure if any of this can be done in a ‘sane’ way and it can drive you a bit nutty sometimes but I can give you some thoughts that might help.

        Firstly you should always look for the ‘best’ version of a sample, by that I mean if its a drum beat for example….can you get a really good wav recording rather than an mp3 for instance. There are sometimes lots of versions of something you are sampling…which one is best sounding? So you start as best as you can.

        But sometimes you really want to use a sample but its all ragged and noisy and crackly maybe…that’s when you can do some ‘clean up’. I talked about Adobe Audition in my tutorial and on e of the things its is incredible at is cleaning up crusty samples. It has the sickest noise reduction plug built in….you basically find a tiny moment of just the noise and it samples that then removes it all perfectly from the whole sample plus it has a super cool tool called Auto Heal which is pretty magic…if you have blatant pop or crackly or some kind of short unwanted noise in your sample you just select the offending bit of audio and do Auto Heal and it magically disappears with the hole left covered up perfectly.

        So you scrub the sample of noise and crackle and pops and then the final part is really down to polishing the sound in your mix with nicely balanced reverbs and delays and perhaps some chorus to thicken the sample to hide the noise reduction artifacts and smooth it all out

        :0)

    • #225309
      ,[email protected]
      Participant

      What were the biggest challenges you faced, transitioning from a full analog studio, to digital (mostly) in the box? What tools in the digital realm have you found most useful for overcoming these issues? Like for adding color in place of using analog desks & samplers?

      I see you have a very similar setup to what I’m using to learn. Mine is Cubase Pro 11, also using a Nektar Panorama P6 as a control station for it.

      On a side note. I really liked what you did with Audition to pull just the midrange out of a sample with spectral editing. I recommend looking at Spectralayers 8, as a fellow cubase user. You can open it as an ARA extension directly in the cubase 11 audio editor on any audio event in the project & perform spectral editing, or extraction like you did in audition, without leaving the DAW 😉

      • #225524
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Yeh it took a long time for me to get my head around the change but as with anything new you just need to get your head down and keep learning until you are getting what you want.

        I have tried many different plugs to get the distortion I like but I regularly demo anything new that comes out but really I find CamelPhat, Trash 2, Decapitator and some of the Slate Digital op amp sims are really helpful

        I have used Spectralayers since it demo’d the first release and yeh its cool at identifying harmonics related to the fundamental you are looking at in a super cool way but my problem with it is the end result always seems way to digitized and comb filtery sounding. Very cool but not built around the end result sounding good.

        Audition has the Adobe paint tool which I am very used to using so I can literally paint over the frequencies I want to cut out perfectly and then when I extract them by copying to new it always sounds nice and more natural.

        And big plus….Audition runs all my vst’s so I can do everything I want to make a sound in one place….and in my vid I forgot to mention I had set it up as my default audio editor in Cubase so its integrated into my DAW directly.

        :0)

    • #225320
      ,Ghost_TrainGhost_Train
      Participant

      Hello,

      I’ve seen so many recurring questions over the years while searching for info (myself and others) trying to uncover the secrets of oldschool jungle/drum’n’bass from the 90’s era. Collecting dnb mix cd’s was an unending obsession. It also bleed over into breaks and sample collecting. The desperate search for knowledge of how artists were able to chop/edit breaks and samples with nasty bass. Just loving it so much I wanted to make the breaks banging around in my own head. I imagine in that quest for understanding we might be making it all more complicated than it actually was, to a degree. We all know it ultimately requires much time, passion and dedication to finishing something fresh within the limitations of that era. The sound and process of the genre has evolved so much. (soon as we get a time machines…)

        That being said, main question:

      What is it you miss most about the process, the gear, the samples, etc. from 20+ years ago? And, what is it (if anything) you love about what has changed in production?

      • #225530
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I guess one of the things I miss the most is that analog gear meant I was moving around my studio all day doing different things in different places and it kept me from falling into the screen for endless hours which I think is helpful to keep it feeling creative and fun.

        ITB is amazing though as it’s like having the world’s biggest craziest studio with endless possibilities.

    • #225321
      ,Ghost_TrainGhost_Train
      Participant

      Also: I really hope this doesn’t sound insensitive, but are there any artists you wish you had gotten the chance to work with in the 90s, but due to circumstance and timing, it just never worked out?

      • #225531
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Probably Rupert Photek

        😉

      • #225544
        ,Ghost_TrainGhost_Train
        Participant

        Honestly, if you could get him to come back to jungle/drum n bass… I don’t know the full story behind him moving on to other things, but I can dream that a collab with you could possibly be a convincing enough reason. Even if it were a one off. But I understand these sorts of things need to be inspired rather than forced. His early work is one of my biggest influences.

    • #225329
      ,Bad Syntax
      Participant

      Biggup Optical! I am interested in knowing your favorite methods for creating melody synths and atmospheres for songs. Its probably the one thing im the most stuck on in my production

      • #225532
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        The first part of my tutorial is pretty much my approach.

        I’m looking for drone type sounds and anything that will make a really good top string and then some kind of rhythmic sound or noise to keep some idea of timing. I try not to put two of the same kind of sounds on top of each other so it ends up all mungy and unclear. Its about contrast but I try and get a really simple string or drone melody to start with and then lay everything else out over that to make sure it all ties together.

    • #225395
      ,milleborne
      Participant

      Massive respect Optical and Virus crew! Even beyond all the unheard-of sounds you introduced into dnb, I think it’s the composition and placement of them to create a groove and vibe that is untouchable. Things like the Josh Wink Simple Man remix off-kilter groove (mentaaal) or the vibe of Virus 01 (deeeep) immediately come to mind…

      I’m also in favour of more sampling and twisting up (rather than the synthesis) in today’s dnb…
      Anyways, a couple of questions:

      Will you ever work with the emu sampler again?

      Have you tried working with modular synths? (The emu was basically a modular synth/sampler in architecture, so how modulars work really makes sense, to me at least.)

      How did the To Shape the Future bassline come about, and what did you use? (such a legendary bassline)

      • #225538
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I have my EMU’s still but for them to sound like they did in Wormhole for instance would mean I would have to have thousands of pounds of wiring redone and then only use basic midi and no DAW audio because plugging the EMU’s into a DAW just doesn’t sound good at all…it loses all the good qualities of an all analog chain and trying to send DAW audio in to a mackie mixer for example sounds super crap…thin and nasty….so the two worlds just don’t play nicely no matter what I have tried.

        I have used most well known synths over the years but a really complex modular synth is a bit of distraction mostly when actually making a song under a time deadline which all analog mixing was under as there was no recalling your mix

        Shape Future bass is the just a rip from the Pro-One sampled into the EMU E6400 Ultra then it was distorted in the mackie by using FULL gain and Full EQ’s with a mid-parametric sweep to change the tone of the distortion plus a delay added then sent to the Focusrite EQ to make the rediculously distorted input nice again by having low input gain and adding back undistorted bass and treble boost and sending it all back to another Mackie channel at a nice balanced level. I hand modded the eq sweeps’s on the mackie and delay levels throughout the track to make it move around.

        :0)

      • #225553
        ,milleborne
        Participant

        Cheers for your knowledge, your music, and the response. It’s ridiculously satisfying to hear all the backstory info in this thread about tunes that have basically become the soundtrack for my life!

    • #225407
      ,Alex
      Participant

      Hey Matt,

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

      For me, a big part of your signature sound is the long booming kick drum (NOHA Start remix, Edtrafienical, Alien Girl etc.). Any clues on how you created these and how you got them to sit so nicely in the mix?

      Alex

      • #225539
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Yeh it took me ages to figure out how to get that type of kik to sit in a track without killing the bassline and without it sounding like an obvious short kik with long reverb that could be made in 2 minutes. Also getting the original kik which are all just kiks from breaks I was using to have that boom and it sound like one thing its really tricky. Firstly I realised through experiments that long plates would get you the boom but they bleed over the snares and each other if they are just run as a send over a kik. So then I tried sampling the reverbs from my outboard using each kik separated and recorded one by one with just the reverb output being sampled. Then I could control their volume shape and level and exactly where and how they ended to make sure they never went over the next snare or kik and possibly filter them down. After that I turned to resampling the whole thing again to have single hits to just drop in any beat I wanted.

        Another technique that worked really well but was a bit of work to do was playing just the kik really loud on my speakers and then taking a mic and placing it facing into the bottom corner of the studio and recording the super bass heavy clomping sound from the mic then adding it back into the sampler as a layer under the kik or sometimes snare….so real room reverb and very chunky from being in the corner of the room basically

        We used to record drums being played at top volume through my BM15’s to get a more chunky version of a break or to pad out a weedy break sample too quite a bit…to capture the feel of a lashing beat….The drums in Crisis were made that way.

        :0)

    • #225469
      ,healthy
      Participant

      Hey Optical! You’re the don! The Creeps was the first dnb album I bought on vinyl, really love your work so thanks a lot for doing this! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when you and Ed Rush made Watermelon, Bacteria & Sick Note!

      Thanks for doing this q&a and thanks for your recent tutorial, I really hope you make some more.

      Here are my questions:

      1) I know everyone uses Serum at the moment but I’d really like to get away from looking at a screen/mouse/keyboard sometimes and just create patches/make samples and learn/experiment with synthesis. I read that you like hardware synths and that having the knobs in front of you allows you to play them like an instrument. So my question is, what modern hardware synths would you recommend? E.g. Moog, Sequential, Waldorf etc?

      2) People talk about z-plane filters on the EMU, did you ever use them? Can you remember which tracks that they were used on? What were so special about them? What’s the equivalent of them today?

      3) I wasn’t going to ask this, but yolo… Without going into too much detail from my end, my life has gone pretty pear shaped in many areas, much of it out of my control. The only upside is that I’ve got some assets that produce an income. I’m thinking of quitting my office job here in the UK to move to Thailand to make dnb full time. I can survive fairly comfortably (but not balling) on the assets that are generating an income without working. I don’t expect to be the next superstar DJ, but I do aspire to improve significantly and eventually make tunes that I’m happy with with so that I would want to send them out. The thought of making sick tunes has been the only thing that has kept me going in some really dark and dire periods of life and because of that, it’s the only concrete thing I want to achieve in life. In Thailand I’d basically just be studying/experimenting and finishing tracks as much as possible, treating it like a job/career (in terms of time commitment), e.g. 8-10 hours per day relentlessly.

      What are your thoughts on this? I couldn’t put the same amount of hours in the UK due to work commitments but I could pull it off in Thailand due to the much lower cost of living. I have lived there before so I’m familiar with the culture etc.

      Thanks for your time and for making life changing, timeless music!

      • #225540
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I’m gonna answer your last question first if that’s cool. I’m no one to give good life advice here and you must choose your way in life as best you can and no matter what you choose then go for it. Music is a highly competitive area to live and work in but in this day and age if you are truly dedicated and you also are brave and committed to saying what you have to say then it is incredibly rewarding and lets you decide your own path. I have been working professionally for 30 years and I know from my own journey and then seeing how really talented and hardworking people who are dedicated do actually make a living with a bit of luck.

        It sound like a nice life living in Thailand and making music for sure. I might do the same one day

        I never used the Zplane filters in the EMU…they were weird and not very useful….The LP/HP/BP filters and once in a while the Notch filter were all I used….but 95% of tracks it was just the LP and HP

        I think this is the only tune I can remember using those Zplane filters on a bass…The Watcher by me and Fresh:

        As for hardware synths you mentioned I think investing in the best Controller Keyboard would be the best way to get creative. My Panamara P4 is great….it has all the controller types you could ever need and then you can hook it up to all the cool vsts out there and have a really good way to play sounds with proper human expression

        Good luck with whatever you decide to do mate

        :0)

    • #225511
      ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
      Moderator

      Sorry it has taken me a few days to get to everyone’s questions, I will try to answer all of them over the weekend ;o)

    • #225512
      ,John Aronson
      Participant

      Hey Matt! What’s your favorite stand alone filter for swept and resonant sounds?

      • #225541
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        In a DAW probably Filter Freak 1 + 2 for character or Fabfilter Volcano for Clarity

        :0)

      • #225908
        ,John Aronson
        Participant

        Awesome, I’ve been using those too!

      • #225542
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Oh and for good sweep I use the Bandpass Filter in CamelPhat with some distortion added to accent it

      • #225909
        ,John Aronson
        Participant

        Gotta try that bandpass trick, thank you! 😀

      • #225543
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I never use resonance on a filter ever unless I’m making an ‘acid’ type sound BTW….. Never on Bass sounds…like ever

    • #225518
      ,[email protected]
      Participant

      Honestly is it possible for you ..(meaning you yourself optical ) to recreate most of your old tracks just in the box ?
      For example your explanation of the watermelon bass was well explained..
      However do you nowadays know easier ways to get the same result or do you think that you couldn’t create the watermelon bass or any of your older stuff unless you did the exact same process as you did back then ?

      • #225520
        ,Matt Ayres
        Participant

        Great question… Would love to see a video attempt at recreating the bass from watermelon without hardware. Not sure it would ever sound quite as good.

      • #225529
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Not Identical for sure but I think the same process still works….I have just been trying it out but the hardest part is getting the right balance of saturating just until the 3rd harmonic hits the point where it distorts and adds a couple more higher harmonics which bring it from being just a fat reggae type bass to the more in your face result from watermelon…I find that digital plugs never capture that smooth breakup in the mids still…it always has too much edge when you get to the right amount of overdrive

    • #225561
      ,Christoph
      Participant

      Another question from me.
      From my own experiences i mostly didn’t like distortion itb. So i started to build myself a hybrid studio for processing and distortin audio. Atm I’m creating most of my samples outside the box but use the computer for al other stuf like noise removal and arranging all my created samples.
      Did you ever thought about something similar to catch the analog flavor? Not a whole hw studio but maybe only two channels for processing?

    • #225600
      ,Alex
      Participant

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks again for doing this 🙂

      Do you have any tips for creating solid bass sounds in the Pro-1?

      • #225939
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        If you make sure your two OSCillators are up at max volume, one Sawtooth and one Triangle or two Sawtooths with one being the octave below the other and then slightly detuned from each other as a starting point. Then bring down the filter cutoff until all you can hear is fat subby bass. From there you want to dial in some ENV to the cutoff to get some kind of shape to the rise from the subs to mids and back, add some Keyboard too to the Filter cutoff which will raise the filter cutoff the higher the note you play, plus in the mod section switch LFO to filter cutoff with a slight wobble to add some movement. Then I generally record a riff or just play notes and hand modulate the cutoff to add even more movement but with an eye on making sure there are subby parts and growly parts and everything in between. I just record a big long section and then go back and sample it and cut it up into useful snips to put back together in the way I like

        :0)

      • #225940
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Oh and make sure you setup the Glide Portamento function to Legato to get bends of pitch with overlapping notes to really make it more expressive. Plus in the mod section the coolest thing on a Pro-One is that you can switch OSC B output to the Filter Cutoff…if you think this through its moving the cutoff so fast in the shape of OSC B that it ends up being a whole other OSCILLATOR with crazy tones that no other analog synth can make, this is really useful for making stabs too….the stabs in Shape The Future Remix are live from the Pro-One with all the weird filtering coming from that mod switch trick….it makes the Pro-One totally unique and capable of really weird tones you can add into bass and stabs

        ;0)

    • #225612
      ,milleborne
      Participant

      Just curious which tunes of yours you’re happiest with, in terms of personal favourites as well as production?
      Do you have one where you thought, yeah right, now this is mental…?

      • #225936
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I think Satellites is one track that I feel really seemed to create itself somehow into something that was so different with the bass having a different time signature from the drums and still working somehow plus the bass was one of the deepest results I got from my setup in SOHO where Wormhole and all the early Virus tracks were made

        ;0)

    • #225896
      ,ACID
      Participant

      How did you proccess the Bass_FixationBassModernStyle2_172 sample? This is such a cool bass. Has such a great texture. Gritty but not neuro. IS it all done in serum?

      • #225937
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Its all made from my custom wavetables taken from the original Fixation bass and put back together in Serum. I went over the whole process in the last part of my tutorial if you want a deeper look at how its done.

        ;0)

    • #225977
      ,Adam Ratana
      Participant

      I’ve always loved the midrangey bass sound in flight path (ft. Matrix), especially how dynamic it is – what can you remember about what went into it, and anything about the modulation?

      Also, do you recall any happy accidents/discoveries in the studio in the early days that got you super giddy?

      Thank you so much for doing this!

      • #226179
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        I think it was made from further mangling of the bacteria bass sound as I remember….more distortion, more mad pitch bending and then filtering and EQ sqeeping followed by final layer of distortion saturation in the EQ and back into the desk for some stereo send fx to give it some width.

    • #225981
      ,laserrain
      Participant

      Hey Matt, thank you for taking the time to answer questions!

      Travel The Galaxy is a favourite of mine, is there anything you’d care to share about making the album? What was your workflow in the studio like at the time, where were you at in terms of moving from hardware to software, anything really!

      Not very fashionable atm, but I’ll always love the late 2000s chunky drums, any tips for blowing up drums like in G-Force Jesus, Kindred, Space Monkey, etc? CamelPhat? Vengeance plus breaks?

      Any plans for Virus digital back catalogue? I’d love to pick up releases like Baron—Redhead / The Way It Was, Mistabishi—Pleasures / Brunt, Noisia—Endgame / Unveil, etc in lossless.

      Thanks again king

      • #226178
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Yeh use some parallel distortion (Trash, Camelphat etc.) over a copy of my whole drum buss to get crunch and then buss both the clean and distorted final drum buss/tracks together and then my favourite thing to use is simply the Sonnox Limiter set to default, no gain added, no gain removed, with exactly 25% Enhance Slider which brings back the crunchy but smooth top end from all the distortion and melds it all together into one clear channel. This setting works for just topping it off level wise and adding some polish. I also keep my rides and cymbals and really high frequency stuff out of the clean main and distorted drum busses and send it straight to the final grouped buss to keep it out of all the distortion and give the clean drum buss more bite and clarity. I use stereo fx and enhancing on the clean cymbals which are all sends outside the drum busses so they stay independent and clean and then only get squashed in the very final group bus which keeps them nice and clear and sparkly

        :0)

    • #226018
      ,milleborne
      Participant

      Which Virus tunes featured your OSCar synth (besides Socom)? What a gnarly beast of a synth — had the chance to play with one and wanted it ever since — but couldn’t believe how rickety the keys were!

    • #226022
      ,Adam Ratana
      Participant

      One more Q if allowed – thank you again for sharing in such depth both in the videos for this season and in here. I really loved how the bass drops in Viper (the Jonny L ft Optical tune) – seems to have a really resonant layer in there, and for me was a huge tune back then, would love anything you can remember? In those days almost every set you’d see a spinning “L” on the decks – whether from Sawtooth or Magnetic. It would be great if you had any interesting stories you could share about working with Jonny L (another GOAT), or Grooverider back in those days.

      • #227654
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        The OSCar is really useful for the more unusual acid type sounds and for weird bleeps and strings and arps because it has 2 analog OSC’s plus a digital Wavetable OSC and also because it had 2 independent filters that could be chained or mixed together which is very unusual for an old mono synth. It isn’t particularly good for big bass sounds like the Pro-One for instance but for really out there tones for mid range sounds it is amazing even now. Its the bass fill part in Watermelon that is slightly like an acid bass sound but doesn’t have much sub in it for instance and it made many of the electronic bleep and stab sounds in our early songs

        :0)

      • #227655
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Jonny is a really cool guy and he created so many new vibes in the 90’s so it was a pleasure to work with him.

        The resonant layer on the bass in Viper you mentioned was the result of a technique I was using a lot around that time…it’s simple in todays terms but it works much better in analog world because of the saturation being very ear pleasing…In most standard outboard and desk eq’s you would have 3 or 4 bands: a low shelf, a low mid parametric band, a high mid parametric band and a high shelf plus in and output gains. The parametric bands come with a Frequency position, Q width and Cut/Gain level, the shelves just Frequency and Cut/Gain level. If you put all the gains up to maximum you get a fair bit of distortion but the trick to the resonance is to have the upper mid parametric eq set to the thinnest Q setting and having the low mid set to the widest Q setting…then you just sweep the upper mid bands Frequency band by hand to get the resonant sweep and the fact that the other 3 bands are up full and wide means that you keep the fat bass sound intact whilst having the mid band as the very thin movement on top…if you don’t push all the other bands then the mid sweep would sound too horrible and scratchy and bad for the ears when loud and with no bass end….the final gain section in the eq will just squeeze it back together into one pretty level bass sound but with movement added

        :0)

      • #227680
        ,Adam Ratana
        Participant

        It’s a revelation to me in this and another response, that people were pushing those desks so hard back then – not just gain but also abusing the EQ! Appreciate all your responses, thank you for doing this.

    • #227012
      ,milleborne
      Participant

      The tutorials to me were so much about creating an original vibe and feeling. The results of the pad breakdown in optical’s hands for example sound like classic Virus spookiness. Such a sick technique to come up with something that doesn’t rely on synthesis or sound classic synthy if you know what I mean.

      Also great to hear the shining pad and Simple Man drone used in a different way. Also instant vibes.

      As an aside, Izotope Iris 2 is a sampler that has the same function, allowing you to tightly snip out/bandpass a section of audio. Pretty sick and underrated sampler/synth.

    • #227148
      ,djtuskan
      Participant

      Ez Matt Optical, I always loved that vibe you and the Virus guys brought when the label was formed with LPs like Wormhole, sleepwalking and even mysteries of funk lp that you worked on. What were the main influences you guys drew from to get that funk and those grooves?

      • #227658
        ,Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn
        Moderator

        Both me and Ed grew up listening to a really wide variety of music. Me personally, I grew up in West London in a mostly Irish and West Indian neighbourhood and I was really inspired a lot by the huge bass sound systems at Notting Hill Carnival in the 70’s and 80’s and also funk and disco music was very popular in the parties where I grew up too. I have always loved any music with a great flowing beat or fat bass like funk and reggae or rap music.

        🙂

    • #227686
      ,GENIE HQ
      Keymaster

      And that’s a wrap! 😀

      Huge thanks to Matt for being so generous with his time and for writing such fascinating replies.
      Considering his latest video lessons, together with these extra insights, the most striking feature of the Optical mindset has to be just how much care goes into each sound. Each hat to each harmonic seems to be cut and sanded with such thought and artistry; all about a vision for the tone of the individual parts.

      Well done everybody for the great questions: stay inquisitive & keep pushing your sound forwards!?☣?

    • #231027
      ,Fusilade
      Participant

      Great set of videos from Matt I’ve got a question that’s bugged me since I saw the first seminar you did at digital labs you have the curved fades on everything in cubase have you worked out a way to get them shapes as default in cubase instead of having to open the fades editor every time mine always seems to revert back to the straight line everytime it’s drove me mad for ages Ableton just grab the fade and shape it how you like not cubase tho

      • #231436
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        Great set of videos from Matt I’ve got a question that’s bugged me since I saw the first seminar you did at digital labs you have the curved fades on everything in cubase have you worked out a way to get them shapes as default in cubase instead of having to open the fades editor every time mine always seems to revert back to the straight line everytime it’s drove me mad for ages Ableton just grab the fade and shape it how you like not cubase tho

        Thread is closed for Q’s now, sorry fella.

    • #231419
      ,TJ Phillips
      Participant

      Ez guys,

      I just signed up a few days ago, new to dnb production so I’m picking up the techniques as I go so bear with me but I can’t run the latest version of Audition and Iris was the first alternative that came to mind, do I need Audition or can I get along with something like Iris?

      I also have UVI Falcon and wondering if i can get by with a combination like this to apply the principles right now and keep it simple before going deeper into apps like Audition and Kontakt as i primarily use Abletons’ stock instruments, maybe something in Max4live offers similar features?

      Cheers!

      • #231437
        ,GENIE HQ
        Keymaster

        As always… if the tool does the job, don’t worry!
        Iris will do it, also RX.
        Strange you can’t run audition though…
        Can you install an earlier version of it? You won’t need the latest one 🙂

        This comment on our FB page may be of help to you too: https://imgur.com/a/DDTNOPMRX

      • #231465
        ,TJ Phillips
        Participant

        Thanks, i’ve never seen this approach before so a bit of a learning curve for me; i was trying to be strategic with mine! My first thought was to grab Iris as it’s usually on sale so i can follow along with it. BF round the corner as well so there’ll doubt be some good deals around.

        Do you know where i can find an older version of Adobe? I’m on high sierra so i can’t run the latest version but i could at least use to follow the process in the videos.

        Cheers!

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