Quick Tip: How To Make Your Strings Super Fat

One of the great pleasures of writing and producing film and games music is the broader bandwidth you get to operate in...no ‘car stereo mixes’ here; you’ve got 6 speakers to do with what you will! Well, almost. 

As Christian mentions here, he strongly advises against using the LFE channel as part of your bass management. Dubbing engineers will see that you’ve put continuous program in there, which is going to mess with all of their lovely subharmonic room rumbles etc etc. So they will simply hit mute/cut. So - get your bass management right in the LCR. However, alongside flinging the odd low boom or taiko in the sub as an episodic EFFECT, Christian demonstrates here how to add emotional gravitas to a string line by creating a sub bass or underbass part that you can’t really hear but can feel. It stirs you in a physical way.

Christian’s first port of call is his trusty EXS24 which loads up with a surprisingly functional sine wave. He then simply copies the CB or double bass parts for a section into this track, transposes an octave down and deletes any modulation information (this will make it wobble). He then adjusts the ADSR so it doesn’t jump in or out abruptly... Then, he pushes it into the mix so the effect is subliminal but present nevertheless. He also shows us using other sound sources how a unison sine following the basses with another an octave under can also be a very cinematic effect. For this he used the “underbass” components from Albion III, a whole suite of presets designed for this very purpose.