how do you mix bass with other frequencies?

Discussion in 'Production' started by JungleFever, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. JungleFever

    JungleFever Member

    Apr 11, 2008
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    every time i make some deep bass it clouds my mix, i cut my kicks at 60 hz and fine comb out some red areas in the eq yet it still sounds like its clouding all the other sounds ? should I be working on eqing the bass or do i have to go back to the other samples and eq them?
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  2. d-low

    d-low I know you got soul

    Jun 1, 2011
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    I was thinking about this the other day but with the prospect of the fact you might have different notes in your bassline its impossible to (for example) EQ the right bass frequencies out of a kick drum, you would have to EQ it differently for every single different bass note!! fuck that. I think its much more sensible to try and tune your kick to the key centre of your piece than trying to duck out (every single) opposing frequency - which can leave your kick lacking in THUD. But i may be wrong

    another option may be using a hard sidechain with no attack so the kick cuts out your bass exactly when it strikes. could be a goer
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  3. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2012
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    i would only do the sidechain thing tho when the kick is in key with the tune, (doesn't have to be like the root of the key, but it should be in the scale of the key) because otherwise it sounds a bit out of place in my opinion

    sadly you really do not have much choice as for tuning your kickdrum (i don't go below 70 hz and not over 100, mostly around 85ish for the kick), so i have a lot of tunes/projects in the same key, so I am looking for a better solution myself
  4. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

    Feb 2, 2009
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    Do you cut the low frequencies out of all your samples?
    It's quite handy to look at every single sample in a frequency analyser, it's amazing how many low frequencies are present even on hats and other high pitched sounds.

    Also remember the high frequencies on the kick are just as important in getting it to cut through the mix.
  5. N3GUS

    N3GUS Member

    Jun 16, 2011
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    definitely cut unnecessary low frequencies in all the track elements..... 100% essential.

    a little eq cut in the bass on frequencies that are prominent in the kick can help too.

    I dont tend to side chain, I see it as a technique that can squeeze dynamics and groove out of music.

    Sometimes it's wise to just sit back and ask yourself what is necessary in the tune......

    If you've got things clashing, then you have two things, or more, doing the same job.

    Work out the important element and strip out what is clashing with it.

    Maybe, if you've got a really busy kick pattern and it will change the vibe of the tune to strip out clashing hits, try a couple of kick tracks, one repping fully and one high passed for clashing sections.

    Maybe its just a case of poor sample selection. Maybe you need to consider what you already have when you are adding to it, or vice versa, e.g. don't use a sub heavy kick if you are planning on making a sub bass roller.

    Maybe try and work the groove of the bass lines around the drums.

    I've learned it is better to avoid problems in the production of the tune than to try and fix problems in the mixing and being smart in the construction saves trying to force things to work in hindsight. Look at spectrum during construction and once a frequency is filled, move to other areas. Use bass noises that span your kick rather than share the same frequencies.

    I may be stating the obvious, but awareness of clashes in the production process removes the need to 'fix' the mix later on.

    *edit: Vodka disclaimer.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  6. Rajstah Vibe

    Rajstah Vibe

    Jan 14, 2011
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    It is really possible that you are using a very wrong eq during the mixdown on the concept to get into a compressor and limiter for your master.
    I'm sure you are aware about the fact that any tune should be cleaned up below 30hz, cus that range of freqs can only create unwanted lower noise, wich is not so bad for you, but the mastering compressor and other processors can be heavilly affected from the extra heavy job that those freqs are giving to them and therefore your overall mix can get shitted up.
    Sub it's fucking annoying when coming to mixdown and mastering... It is actually the major problem...
    Finding the right balance between sub and rest of tune it's a delicated compromise that the producer must understand. Most of time, we (producers) want to push that 50hz into the bones of a fucking whale, but it is not so important how loud those 50hz are. It is more important how many subtle harmonic resonants has... Because the 50hz they will come up like bombs anyway in a rig's PA. But the shuffles of a good modulated bassline will also work on a wider range of freqs than a 50hz, taking no limits of choice on the whole range of the 20 to 20000hz.
    Now I feel I can talk about this because finally, after many years I was after the same problem you described, I did understand where my problem of lose of dynamics was when the sub was dropping in..
    1. the levels
    2. the compression ratio
    3. the eq before comp rather than after comp
    4. the wrong mixdown on each single channel, including subgroups of drums and all the rest.
    Also, it is extremely important (to don't say vital) to have a pragmatic view of the dynamics before mastering chain and most important: THE HEADROOM!!!
    Load of new age producers they use to mix everything up to the 6db ceiling in almost every channel... red everywhere... and then, they put a gain reduction before the master channel compressor to avoid clips and gain headroom... wtf is that??? The headroom should be into the mix, into the origins.. every channel should marry the other, it should be an harmony of dynamics and levels and freqs... not all spreaded all around and then cutted just before the master! Cluttering of disgusting Skrillex style sidechains.. Horrible, an offence to a mix master.
    When all your channels are well balance in levels and freqs, givinga a good 15db's of RMS dynamic range, when you feel that all it sounds glued already, that's the moment when you can start to bounce your mixdown and give the last fine tuning and boost... and the limit of your master compressor it is when you feel that compressing too much you tune force your bass to take away too much dynamics from other parts ... Think phisically, think how a low freq waveform it is in physical world.
    That's how it work in reality.
    That's also the reason why it is forced to be mono in vinyls...
    A lol:
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  7. refeyggn

    refeyggn New Member

    Mar 4, 2013
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    it differently for every single different bass note!
  8. mr meh

    mr meh Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2010
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    Hull, UK
    Have you tried playing around with the stereo spread on your bass? Try moving the bass field a bit with a vst, you may find that fixes this problem.

    Or if you have frequency split your bass for instance, you could put the low end at 0% (mono), the high at 100% (stereo) and the mids at 50%. Doesnt exactly have to be at those values but you get the idea.
  9. Eternaloptimist

    Eternaloptimist Active Member

    Aug 29, 2011
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    did you mean eq it differently for every single different bass note!??

    very interesting you say this. i saw a claude von stroke video and he say he eqs and compresses every bass note differently which of course makes sense.
  10. Attire

    Attire Last Winter

    Jun 8, 2011
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    Okay, but please don't 'stereoize' your sub bass..
  11. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

    Aug 6, 2009
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    Essex, England
    Id firstly consider spending more time on the EQ of your bass sound as opposed to all the other elements. If you have a bass sound that fills alot of your frequency range then this is gonna cause issues throughout the spectrum. Use Surgical EQ on your bass to notch out all the unwanted rezzy spikes along the spectrum. To do this, open up an EQ and turn a point up full, with a high Q gain so it's a steep spike, then sweep through the spectrum and you will hear the odd spikes clearly, at these points, lower the gain right down, thus cutting out that unwanted frequency from your bass sound. Repeat this a few times and you will notice the bass sounds a lot cleaner, without losing to much of it's original flavour. From here if there are still issues, then you can notch out where your kick and snare peak in the frequency too.