One of the keys to a great sounding mix in any genre is a big full low end. In some genres like hip-hop or electronic music it’s more important than others, but any mix suffers greatly if it doesn’t have enough of the low bass frequencies. As a result, it’s tempting to boost the crap out of 60Hz, but that usually means that your mix will be too bloated on a system that accurately reproduces those frequencies. If this happens to you, then the SubBass Doctor 808 plugin from Soundevice Digital can come to the rescue.
It Does More Than You Think
If you think that SubBass Doctor 808 is just a sub-bass enhancer, you’re only partially right. The Sub control does dial in some extra 40ish frequencies, while the Saturation control adds more compression and harmonics so the lows jump out of the mix a bit more.
The magic of the plugin really comes from the large Cure knob in the center of the UI. While there’s no documentation to describe specifically how it does it, the control acts as a way to keep the low end under control by shaping the frequencies in the low end. In effect, it prevents you from adding too much 40-60Hz that you probably can’t hear on your system, and pushes those frequencies up higher to a more usable area.
I always tell my students and followers that the bass sound they’re looking for really comes more from the frequencies above 100Hz rather than what’s below that point. While a good dose of 120 to 240Hz can make the bass speak better (especially on small speakers), you still need at least a little in the the 40 to 60Hz area to give the sound some girth. The problem is that most speakers found in home studios can’t reproduce that area, hence the mixer adds too much. This plugin tries to prevent that.
And It Looks Like. . .
As you might gather from its title, the SubBass Doctor 808 looks like the old Roland 808 drum machine, king of the low-end busting kick drums. One of the coolest things is how the input and output meters on the bottom of the plugin look like the old programming buttons on the 808, as well as the control layout.
Besides the obvious controls that were previously outlined, right clicking on various parts of the UI will bring up additional selections like Oversampling, GUI scaling, access to help, and more.
SubBass Doctor 808 is available right now for just $32 with a free 15 day demo period. You can find out more here, or watch the video below.