- When layering make sure you only use one layer for your sub frequency information. Stacking sub frequencies on top of each other leads to phase issues.
- Side chaining the bass to the kick can really create room for your kick drum.
- Try adding a high pass filter approximately 10Hz above your kick. So the kick peaks at 60Hz, apply a high pass filter on your bass at 70Hz. In some cases this can really clean up the low end.
- Alternatively try adding notches in your bass EQ in areas where your kick needs to poke through the mix. Even small reductions can make a big difference.
- Keep your bass in the centre; it is also beneficial to sum your sub frequencies to mono. The energy of your bass wants to be shared by both speakers on a stereo system.
- Experiment with automating different things on your bass, for example automate high pass filter levels, and automate phasers or other effects to keep the ear interested.
- Group different layers together and treat them as one sound. Applying buss compression can make all the bass sounds gel together better. You can also easily sidechain the full group rather than separate bass layers.
- Try to get the source sound as good as possible BEFORE processing stage. If the sound can be made better at the source it minimizes the need for extensive processing.
- Experiment with effects on the bass but be careful with reverbs and delays.
- EQ out any resonant sub frequencies, or for that matter any unwanted frequencies within the bass. Use the sweep method with an EQ.
- Attack and release times on compressors when it comes to bass are crucial!!! Do not just overlook them.
- Your drums want to be in balance with your bass.
- Compressing the bass can help smooth off any unwanted peaks. Try combining compressors and limiters together to really catch those peaks.
- Be careful of your environment, producing in a bedroom tends to invite a lot of sound reflections so get to know your environment and test on different systems.
- Try not to play bass notes while the kick is playing, experiment with short bass notes when coupled with long kicks and longer bass notes when coupled with shorter kick. This is not essential but can really help your groove and create some space in the low end.
- Tuning your bass to your kick is good practice. Make sure everything is working together and is in key. Although this is not exactly gospel, it is good to have your kick and bass tuned.
- Experiment with NOT compressing the sub frequencies, sometimes this can flatten them out to much and really kill that thump.
- Remember louder is not always better. Use volume faders for volume over compressors.
- When treating your bass, playing it solo is all fine and well but you want to see how well the bass sits in the entire mix. Do not be afraid to make adjustments when the whole mix is being played back.
Some quick fire tips for mixing your bass lines.
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