Bass and Low End. How to add it in a mix with a Drain Pipe or Tube


Adding bass and extending low end with a drain pipe.
That’s what this blog is about.

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If you ever have hit a drain pipe, you’ll know the tube will produce a sound.
Depending of it’s length and diameter, the pipe produces a certain tone.
The pipe I use in the video produces an ‘’E’’ around 84hertz.

And this is something you can use in a very useful way in a recording.
I use several ways to use the drain pipe. For instance I  use it as an extension of the low end of the bass drum.
i set up the pipe pretty close to the bass drum front head.
At the other end of the pipe is a microphone which will record the sound coming from the pipe.
The sound of the bass drum will be used to trigger the tube. 

Pipe Harmonics and sound:

The harmonics of the tube give it it’s typical sound. And recorded togeter with a drumkit, there usually will be some bleed of for instance a snaredrum.
To use the sound of pipe as an extension of the lowend of the bassdrum I remove a part of the higher frequencies with a low pass / hi cut filter.

This will leave you with only the low end we only have low end.
The frequency of the pipe pretty high for bass extension on the kickdrum in styles like pop, rock and metal.
Usually the area around 60hz is what’s loved for bassdrum low end.
So what I do is this: I tune the recorded drain pipe.
By simply lowering the pitch, I will get the pitch I want.

Tube gating and more:

The cool thing is, you can do whatever you want.
If you lower the pitch even more, it will get in the sub bass area which is really cool for earthshattering bass.
Untreated it’s really filling in all low end, and this can easily be too much.

That’s why I usually do some additional stuff and mostly it’s gating the recorded drain pipe.
Often it’s the Fabfilter Pro-g I use, and it’s gate opens by the triggers I got from the hitpoints in Cubase of the drain pipe.

The trigger makes sure the opening and closing of the gate is much better controllable and it gives you a lot of flexibility on how little or how much you want of the low end.

Advanced pipe tuning:

If you tune parts to different bassnotes so it will always fit the song.
 It’s something which dance producers use and in a lot of bass heavy styles this often happens too.

I used this tuning on the end of 2019 year release by Dead Neanderthals.
We used the tube recording and we relaced the original bassdrum with this sound.

And in the track Megaira of the project I have with Freek Philippi,
I use this drain pipe to accentuate a tomtom rhythm.

And on a track by Kees Peerdeman I used the drainpipe as an extension of an programmed kickdrum.

There you have it. Drain pipe recording.
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Marlon Wolterink

Marlon Wolterink