Making a bass "bounce" more, with silence

I just finished tweaking one of my songs, called "Playa de Caleta."

In the end it was part remix, part remaster, and I even re-played one of the bass lines.  I did it because I felt like the song should have been one of my best, but when I listened to it, it just didn't quite get there.  It was a little disappointing.

That also agrees with all the online metrics I have that keep track of how "popular" all my songs are;  it does well, but not as well as I'd have guessed.  I decided it wasn't the music in general (of course it can't be the music) but what was it that was going wrong? I couldn't figure it out.

The tune is kind of a carnival of energy: funky drums, two different bass parts (one a hammer-on repeating line), some vibes, rhodes, lots of Moog-y sounds, and even some horns, with a funky Latin feel.

After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that the syncopated bass wasn't bouncing around in the way that I wanted it to, and that was taking away from some of Latin/dance vibe of the whole thing.  The bass line has a repeating 3 note pattern, sometimes it falls on the beat, sometimes off.  It's one of those lines that sounds simple, but how it's played really changes it.

At first I experimented with things like increasing the attack on the bass and some other minor sound tweaks.  I think I finally figured it out though, and was surprised at what I found: the key was occasionally dampening the middle note of the bass pattern, so there was an appreciable (small) silence before the 3rd note sounded.  It has the effect of changing up the pattern and giving it life, and more of a bounce. Sometimes the key to music is the rests (even brief) as much as it is the notes. 

The bass line I'm talking about starts around the 1 minute mark.  See what you think!

Playa de Caleta, Mexico 1968 by MadeofWood


Mashabub December 13, 2017 @01:45 am
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