Whens it comes to low booms having sounds that can get you there quicker is always helpful!, but what happens when you need a sound that maybe you don't have right at your disposal? Sound design has been around for ages and is an art form in itself. Sound manipulation can be an amazing journey and make you learn completely new ways of achieving specific results. In cinematic music nothing is better then when you "feel" the music, so today we're going to be creating some "low booms" to help give your music that extra edge.
Starting At The Source
Crafting the sound of a low boom starts at its source. First you will need a sound with a big low end that resonates, This is essential for the overall sound. Sometimes you will need to layer other sounds as you might not have a one shot that does the trick. Don't be afraid to experiment and layer sounds! That's part of the fun!
Post Processing For Bringing The Boom!
Once you've found the sounds you want then its on to processing them. You can do this in many ways with different types of EQ, compression, reverbs and effects. Usually the first thing you'll want to do is chop of the top end. Most big impacting sounds don't need it being that you're trying to create a low sonic impact. Adding a low pass filter all the way down as far as 260 Hz should suffice, but experiment as the sounds you have might require more of a cut.
Controlling Those Dynamics With Compression
With all those low frequencies going crazy on your mix bus more then likely you'll need to add some sort of dynamic processing. This is where compression comes in to tighten up that low end, so it doesn't wreak havoc on your mastering settings. These can very depending on your mix, but usually an attack of around 25 ms and a release of 125 ms with a 4.1 ratio are good settings to start from. From there play with the threshold til you get the desired taming of the low boom. (Be-careful not to go TOO far as you can squash it and lose all impact)
Finally Its Time To Make It Epic!
Once you've EQ'd your low boom and controlled the dynamics to make it sit nicely in your mix then it's time to move onto REVERB! With thousands of reverbs on the market you don't want to get to crazy with it. If you don't own a fancy and expensive reverb hardware or software reverb you can usually reach for a stock reverb in your DAW. If you have options for modifying the EQ of the reverb that will be a bonus. Adjusting the lows and highs of this is the best place to start. Cutting the lows anywhere from 200Hz and cutting the highs to around 900-600Hz just to take out resonating frequencies that you will most likely not need and will just fog up your mix. adjusting the delay and mix of the reverb is totally up to you depending on how long you want it to be.
Have Fun With IT!
Sound design is all about exploring different sounds and creating something totally fresh and unique, so remember to just have fun! You might discover totally new techniques to add to your tool box.
To see how Spencer Nunamaker and Craig Peters do this make sure to watch the video below!
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