Automation Tip: Bigger Synth Bass for Impact at the Hook


Continuing on with automation.

We covered the kick and how to add some low end weight to that at the hook and only at the hooks. Now we’re going to look at a synth-bass that’s been given to me for a sweet little track. I am going to show you how I like to suck low end out of the bass whenever it’s in the verse. And then open it up when it hits to the hooks.

So, I’ll kind of take you from start to finish. A little… a pretty little sweet shortcut. I’m going to show you guys here in a second, that I’m using every two seconds in a mix. This, first we’ve got the bass track. You guys have seen some of those videos I’ve done with the aux’s and parallel compression. If not, go check those out.

But if you’ve got the bass here, bass parallel compression, and they’re both meeting at the bass of level. And if you see, I’ve got a Pro-Q from FabFilter. And I’ve got a low cut, high pass set at around 46 hertz. Now I kind of felt this out before I started the video to give us a good idea of where I want that. But I’m going to bypass that. I don’t want that on. I don’t want it to suck out low end anywhere except for the verses.

So what I’m going to do, I’m going to bypass it. So if you hold on that control and command and click on just about any parameter, it’s going to pull up that lane of automation. So when I click that, you’ll see an automation lane down here, snap to that parameter. And just to verify, you can see affects FabFilter Pro Q Master Bypass. So that’s what I’m playing with right here, now. So, let me take a listen and make sure I have an idea where the hook is. But let me make sure that we’re at the right spot.

Yup. So, that’s going to be the verse right there where everything’s dropping out. And then I’ve muted some of the acoustic for that until the B section. So, now I’m going to highlight from there until when I think the hook comes in. Let’s find where the hook comes in. Oh no. Pro Tools is glitching out on me. Let’s pull… I think right here.

Okay, cool. So there’s the hook. So, this section in here is the verse. I’m going to highlight that. And then I’m going to click, I use a smart tool. If you guys don’t know what that is, maybe I’ll do one on that. But, I’m going to bypass that effect. I’m going to turn the bypass off.

So, now, excuse me, if I hit play, you’ll listen to the bass. Let’s fast forward a little bit here to like right in there.

Very cool, right? So we sucked out some of the low end. Kind of cleaned things up for the verse. Mostly I’m doing this for perspective. When I get to the hook. When I get to the chorus, I want things to explode.

In most styles of music that I’m working in, I like to… if it’s pop, pop rock, rock, hip-hop sometimes, R&B… a lot of times I like to make it to where the hook gets bigger, taller, wider, fuller, brighter, beefier, more low end. I like it to kind of just have impact.

And if you have a little bit of impact in all of those area’s I described, you can really fill out a hook and make it be big and bold and beautiful. So, I’m talking a lot about it. But this is a quick trick I’m using on a lot of my mixes. And you can do this with a kick. You saw that we added low end to the hook of the kick in the other video. You can do this with snares.

Maybe don’t make the snare so bold and beefy at the verses. But then blend in a little bit maybe at the B section, or the pre-chorus. And maybe at the hook. Just let it explode.

Something I’m doing all the time, and I really love this tip so… One more time, I’m going to hit play. Let’s see, we’ve got the automation on. Everything’s set. So let’s listen to what that’s doing before and after the bypass.

Tell you what, I’m a goof. Let me do it in the track.

Right? So it’s nice and clean. And let’s fast forward to when it comes back in.

Yeah man. So that just gives some nice weight to the track when it hits the hook. And like I said, I love this, I’m doing it all the time. But feel free to try it on other things.

I don’t know if you’ve got an acoustic guitar, maybe suck out some of the lows in the verse and then let it kind of come back in. And I know Russ our Pro Tools Expert did a tip on the acoustic where he actually took high end out of it. And then at the hook brought it back in. I think it was the hook. He brought the high end back. I’ve actually been using that tip pretty dramatically.

David Glenn

David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at
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