How To Mix Bass Part 1 Now Playing: The Mixing Workshop by Sean Shannon

Sean Shannon

Sean Shannon
 
MIX MONSTERZ
 

MIXMONSTERZ.COM

The bass guitar helps form the foundation of a track, and it’s placement in the mix is crucial to a big, professional sound.  Here are some tips to get the bass right in your mixes.

Align and Conquer
Many times an engineer will be mixing a track that has a DI (direct inject) track, which is a recording of the bass directly from the bass itself, and an amp track (or tracks), recorded from mics placed at the bass amp.
If you are using a computer DAW (digital audio workstation), you can zoom in on the bass tracks so you can see both the DI bass track and the mic track(s) next to each other on the screen.  You should zoom in so you can see a transient peak close up.  (See figure 1).  Then you physically slide the mic tracks, time-aligning them until the peaks line up with the DI track. (See figure 2).

Fig 1 Bass before
figure 1 – click to enlarge

 

Fig 2 Bass after
 figure 2 – click to enlarge

You’ll notice the bass sounds fuller and more defined with the tracks lined up, possibly saving you a lot of work dialing in a bass tone.  If you nudge the mic tracks while playing the track, and use your ‘undo’ button, you can hear the ‘before and after’ effect on your bass tone.

The Big Picture
The bass takes up a lot of space in the lower octaves of your mix.  Take a big picture look at your mix, and use the concept of ‘spectral eq’ing’ to make room for it.  The idea is to remove frequencies from instruments that are not needed, like low frequencies on a piccolo, thereby carving a space for instruments that do have necessary frequency content in that range.
See figure 3 for an example of how a high pass filter helps clean up unwanted lows on an acoustic guitar track, leaving more ‘room’ for the bass.  I have put a spectrum analyzer before and after the eq on the track so you can visually see the reduction in energy in the lowest octave after the eq, which would otherwise have cluttered up the mix.
Many times, cleaning up other tracks by cutting errant low frequencies is all it takes to get the bass to sound better.  Get used to the sound of your speakers in your room by listening to well produced music in there, and you’ll know what good bass should sound like in that room.  Then A/B (listen back and forth) your mixes to pro mixes to learn how to make your mix sound more like theirs.
Get used to using high pass (low cut) filters on tracks that don’t need a huge bottom, then many times all you need to do is turn the bass up a bit, and it fits better in the mix.

Fig 3 High Pass

figure 3 – click to enlarge

Why Size Matters
It’s a good idea to reference your mixes on a small set of speakers, like small computer speakers, Auratones, or other bandwidth-limited speakers.  Listening on these speakers will give you the ‘myspace’ view of your mix.  Many people listen to songs on their computers, their portable music players, clock radios, old crappy car stereos, etc, and the mix has to be able to stand up to the brutal reality of imperfect listening conditions.
One thing that happens when you listen on small speakers is that you get the midrange-only version of your mix.  These speakers expose the basic mix balances, and without all the high end sizzle and low end thump from a larger speaker system, you are forced to focus on the midrange balance.  It may take some work to get a big bass sound out of small speakers.  It should sound big, but controlled.
One technique for clarity in a mix is to turn the mix up on tiny speakers, like your computer speakers, to the point of distortion.  Don’t blow them, just take them to the level where they distort.  They distort because they cannot handle the low end in the mix.  (See my tiny speaker setup in figure 4).

Speaker-setup

figure 4 – click to enlarge
Start engaging high pass filters and/or eq’s to roll off the bottom end in all tracks that don’t need it, usually everything except bass and drums.  Solo tracks to see if they are problematic, like tom fills that distort, or rhythm guitars, and cut the lows until those instruments don’t crap out the speakers any more.
Make sure to check drums, primarily kick and toms, and the bass track, for subsonic energy, then hone in on it and tame it on the tiny speakers.  Now your mix should play at that level without distortion, and you have effectively made your mix cleaner.
You may want to start inching lows and low mids back into the mix (only on tracks that may have suffered from cutting the lows on the little speakers) until everything sounds full, the bass sounds big, but it is not distorting.  Check the mix on bigger monitors, and you’ll see you have just cleared up your mix, and it holds up at higher volume levels now.
This exercise points out that getting a great bass sound is not always just about tweaking the bass.  Spectral eq’ing and cleaning up the low end in all the other tracks goes a long way toward making the bass sound big.
The Magic Bass Frequency
If you want your bass to be clear on small speakers, 900 Hz is your best friend. Crank up 900 Hz on bass, and it will jump out of the mix on little speakers (like those on your laptop or earbuds).
Obviously, this is not a silver bullet approach to the best bass sound you’ve ever heard, it’s just a starting point for making the bass translate well in the real world.  When listening on small speakers, use your ears and sweep through the mids with the boost turned up a bit, and you’ll find an area that works for that bass track.
Kick Me
The general rule of thumb when trying to find the right levels for the bass in relation to the drums is that the kick is the ‘attack’ of the bass, and the bass is the ‘sustain’ of the kick.
The blending of the kick and bass can be looked at just like that.  If you try to marry the two, making them a single, pulsing force, it puts the bottom end of the mix in perspective.  It means you must decide which of the two will carry more of the bottom octave of the frequency spectrum, and adjust accordingly so they don’t fight for space and clarity.  For example, if the kick is a fast, busy part, the lows can be rolled off on the kicks, while the bass is allowed to fill that lower space.
Sometimes the kick and bass can be sent together to a compressor through a bus, with both kick and bass hitting the same compressor.  This can really glue the drums and bass together, and the compressed bus track can then be eq’d as a whole for control of the overall bottom of the mix.
Last In Line
Another helpful tip for setting the level of the bass in a mix is to bring in the bass last.  Get a good mix up of all the other tracks, balancing for a while without the bass on.  Check the mix on a few different speakers if you can, and make sure that there isn’t a really big bottom, except maybe kick drum, by cleaning up the tracks for clarity.
Sometimes cutting the lows on a track, like our acoustic guitar example, makes it sound too thin when solo’d, but nobody is ever going to solo tracks in your mix, they will always hear it in the context of the mix. That’s why you should solo tracks just to sort out problem frequencies, noises, etc., but try to eq the tracks with the other tracks playing along.
When you bring in the bass, you will have already set up a clean mix, leaving room for the bass.
In the next installment of this series, we will cover eq, compression, studio tricks, and more tips for getting great bass sounds in your mix.

Here’s a checklist that sums up what we have covered in this segment of the series:
TIPS TO HELP MIX BASS:

Line up the DI track with the mics.
Clean up the lows in all the other tracks.
Marry the kick to the bass.
Balance the mix on small speakers.
Bring the bass in last.
A/B your mix against professional mixes you like.

Sean makes records, teaches mixing, and pounds the drums at MixMonsterz, Orlando, FL.  He is also the drummer/writer/producer for the band “Outbound Road” (www.outboundroad.com) and others. Contact Sean at mixmonsterz@aol.com, or visit www.mixmonsterz.com for more information.

355 thoughts on “How To Mix Bass Part 1 Now Playing: The Mixing Workshop by Sean Shannon

  1. Pingback: Derrick

  2. Pingback: Gilbert

  3. Pingback: title loan

  4. Pingback: malware removal

  5. Pingback: bankruptcy information

  6. Pingback: chapter 7 bankruptcy

  7. Pingback: car title loans washington state

  8. Pingback: chapter 13 bankruptcy

  9. Pingback: filing bankruptcy

  10. Pingback: chapter 11 bankruptcy

  11. Pingback: bankruptcy forms

  12. Pingback: bankruptcy lawyers

  13. Pingback: online loans canada

  14. Pingback: instant payday loans

  15. Pingback: payday loans canada no credit check

  16. Pingback: direct payday loans directs only no fees lender

  17. Pingback: drugrehabcentershotline.com inpatient rehab

  18. Pingback: Gregory Smith

  19. Pingback: http://www.killbox.org/?q=node/60003

  20. Pingback: деньги займ

  21. Pingback: займы на банковский счет

  22. Pingback: yellow october

  23. Pingback: white wall

  24. Pingback: cat 4 brother

  25. Pingback: alkaline water machine

  26. Pingback: alkaline water

  27. Pingback: cvwdtcsdijcncbcyggv

  28. Pingback: alkaline water

  29. Pingback: xcmvbjsdfhjseurbhsdg

  30. Pingback: zwesxrdctfyvgjnn

  31. Pingback: etvyguhnimjihbuhb

  32. Pingback: zqazesxdryiygvygvyg

  33. Pingback: kangen water

  34. Pingback: zwexrctyghbkjgtdrxdh

  35. Pingback: qsergchbbdnjgvcgko

  36. Pingback: juega tragamonedas aqu�

  37. Pingback: awsgcvhjbcbccffsdfgcg

  38. Pingback: kangen water

  39. Pingback: wqaewsxchvjkiuhfytd

  40. Pingback: buy 5f-pb22 powder uk

  41. Pingback: bmi calculator

  42. Pingback: buy thj-2201 powder uk

  43. Pingback: flubromazolam

  44. Pingback: aqeomfierbgvsdgvbsfs

  45. Pingback: wkqdjosnvfxcngbskj

  46. Pingback: wxcmdjfjdhggbdv

  47. Pingback: cnvbsjhbfsdbfvewevkwsg

  48. Pingback: water ionizer

  49. Pingback: vxcbvnsnhgrfvcsmxjed

  50. Pingback: alkaline water system

  51. Pingback: what is alkaline water

  52. Pingback: qioehkfxcvdvslcnjshdv

  53. Pingback: Peter Smith

  54. Pingback: aewxlmknhdfxfdszsfds

  55. Pingback: sdnhfuywegsdnfuhsdu

  56. Pingback: pseudoscience

  57. Pingback: water molecule

  58. Pingback: dwoehfbgydbcnkehtyfgdvfdhf

  59. Pingback: Vanessa Smith

  60. Pingback: download google

  61. Pingback: firefox download windows 7

  62. Pingback: java test

  63. Pingback: skype download

  64. Pingback: oinxcvvsvcxcnvgdsfhf

  65. Pingback: alkaline water

  66. Pingback: prediksi bola

  67. Pingback: iPad pillow holder

  68. Pingback: Blue Coaster

  69. Pingback: entertainment news, food facts, mainstream news

  70. Pingback: venus fly traps

  71. Pingback: streaming movies

  72. Pingback: stream movies

  73. Pingback: tv online, online tv

  74. Pingback: streaming movies

  75. Pingback: alkaline

  76. Pingback: kangen

  77. Pingback: Website

  78. Pingback: TV for Businesses

  79. Pingback: DIRECTV vs Dish

  80. Pingback: 3gp mobile porn

  81. Pingback: stop parking

  82. Pingback: lan her og nu

  83. Pingback: laan penge

  84. Pingback: alkaline water machine

  85. Pingback: laan penge

  86. Pingback: alkaline water machine

  87. Pingback: parking

  88. Pingback: water ionizer pay plan loans

  89. Pingback: pay per day loans plan

  90. Pingback: pay per day loan plans

  91. Pingback: electrician b grade

  92. Pingback: klein electrician tool pouch

  93. Pingback: locksmith vs dizaster vs math

  94. Pingback: locksmiths grand rapids mi

  95. Pingback: house blue

  96. Pingback: electrician for hire

  97. Pingback: electrician jobs in indianapolis in

  98. Pingback: HD Coloring Pages

  99. Pingback: minecraft adventure maps

  100. Pingback: zak³ad szklarski piotrków trybunalski

  101. Pingback: alkaline water brands

  102. Pingback: loan payment plan

  103. Pingback: ppl electric

  104. Pingback: water ionizer

  105. Pingback: alkaline water

  106. Pingback: alkaline water

  107. Pingback: car insurance

  108. Pingback: see

  109. Pingback: weblink

  110. Pingback: cokolwiek

  111. Pingback: budowa

  112. Pingback: tier2

  113. Pingback: tier2 junk

  114. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/goldenvinepoolparty/

  115. Pingback: http://colorsofbeautifullife.weebly.com/

  116. Pingback: http://ammyslifeevents.tumblr.com/

  117. Pingback: http://sofiaharrison.blogspot.com/

  118. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Reviews

  119. Pingback: http://martynbroooks.blogspot.com/

  120. Pingback: http://www.crazybulksale.com/

  121. Pingback: https://dianaslifesuccess.wordpress.com/

  122. Pingback: Brestrogen

  123. Pingback: Breastactives

  124. Pingback: Brestrogen Reviews

  125. Pingback: Holiday Deals

  126. Pingback: Crazy Mass Reviews

  127. Pingback: PhenQ

  128. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Coupon Code

  129. Pingback: Phen375

  130. Pingback: Phen375 Reviews

  131. Pingback: Creative Mind Quotes

  132. Pingback: Where to Buy Crazy Bulk

  133. Pingback: https://reviewsmonsters.wordpress.com/

  134. Pingback: https://meychoysnoringjourney.wordpress.com/

  135. Pingback: Karlie Beauty Journey

  136. Pingback: Ehealth Harmony

  137. Pingback: Fitness N Glamour

  138. Pingback: Monteyblog Wordpress

  139. Pingback: https://sarahweightlossjourneyblog.wordpress.com/

  140. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Anadrole

  141. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Anavar

  142. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Bulking Stack

  143. Pingback: http://karliebeautyskintips.weebly.com/

  144. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Clenbuterol

  145. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Cutting Stack

  146. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Dianabol

  147. Pingback: http://meychoysaeleejourney.weebly.com/

  148. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Decaduro

  149. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Gynectrol

  150. Pingback: Crazy Bulk TBAL75

  151. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Testosterone Max

  152. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Winidrol

  153. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Ultimate Stack

  154. Pingback: http://sarahnutritionscountdown.blogspot.com/

  155. Pingback: Crazy Bulk HGH-X2

  156. Pingback: Crazy Bulk NO2-Max

  157. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/sarahsnutritiontips/

  158. Pingback: Anadrol

  159. Pingback: Good Morning Snore Solution

  160. Pingback: Anavar

  161. Pingback: Clenbuterol

  162. Pingback: Dbal Max

  163. Pingback: Dianabol

  164. Pingback: Saffron Extract Select

  165. Pingback: Deca Durabolin

  166. Pingback: Boost Breast Milk

  167. Pingback: Beauty Skin Talks

  168. Pingback: Mens Review Monster

  169. Pingback: Diet Review Monster

  170. Pingback: http://sarahdanielhill.tumblr.com/

  171. Pingback: Crazy Mass

  172. Pingback: http://musclestoryofrhyme.blogspot.com/

  173. Pingback: http://beautytipsbymeychoy.tumblr.com

  174. Pingback: Anadrolone

  175. Pingback: Clentrimix Elite Series

  176. Pingback: Crazy Mass Ultimate Stack

  177. Pingback: Crazy Mass Cutting Stack

  178. Pingback: Crazy Mass Bulking Stack

  179. Pingback: DECKADROLONE ELITE SERIES

  180. Pingback: Dianabol Elite Series

  181. Pingback: Hgh Elite Series

  182. Pingback: NO2 Max Elite Series

  183. Pingback: http://jacvapourcoupons.blogspot.com/

  184. Pingback: http://provilluscoupons.blogspot.com/

  185. Pingback: http://zetaclearcoupons.blogspot.com/

  186. Pingback: http://forskolinfuelcoupons.blogspot.com/

  187. Pingback: http://capsiplexsportcoupons.blogspot.com/

  188. Pingback: http://cigeescoupons.blogspot.com/

  189. Pingback: http://crazybulkscoupon.blogspot.com/

  190. Pingback: http://sarahdanieldiary.blogspot.com/

  191. Pingback: https://sarahsdietthoery.wordpress.com

  192. Pingback: http://emillyweightlosstricks.tumblr.com/

  193. Pingback: http://sarahdanielhill.livejournal.com/

  194. Pingback: http://sarahweightlossjourney.weebly.com/

  195. Pingback: http://sarahsnutritionsjourney.yolasite.com/

  196. Pingback: http://meychoysaeleediary.blogspot.com

  197. Pingback: https://meychoysaeleebeauty.wordpress.com

  198. Pingback: http://meychoysaeleelifejourney.yolasite.com

  199. Pingback: http://karliebeautytips.tumblr.com/

  200. Pingback: http://rhymemusclejourney.tumblr.com/

  201. Pingback: http://sarahweightlossexperience.webs.com

  202. Pingback: http://legalsteroidsforsale.blogspot.com/

  203. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpvGMLQhq28

  204. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8mAW0HeWKM

  205. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/crazybulkcouponsdeals/

  206. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/phenqcoupons/

  207. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/creativemindquotes

  208. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7mfa45NRZk

  209. Pingback: https://t.co/93eEho6SCU

  210. Pingback: http://www.dr-garciniacambogia.com/

  211. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/sizegeneticscouponcode/

  212. Pingback: http://dietpillsguides.blogspot.com

  213. Pingback: http://weightlosssupplementz.tumblr.com/

  214. Pingback: http://www.phen375coupons.com/

  215. Pingback: http://vtightgelreviewer.com/

  216. Pingback: http://www.garciniacambogiaselectbuy.com/

  217. Pingback: http://www.raspberryketonemax-reviews.com/

  218. Pingback: http://www.greencoffeesbeanmax.com/

  219. Pingback: http://puregcselect.com/

  220. Pingback: http://www.garciniacambogiaselect-review.com/

  221. Pingback: http://garciniacambogiaselectofficialwebsite.com/

  222. Pingback: http://reviewsmonsters.blogspot.com/

  223. Pingback: http://www.greencoffeebeanmax-reviews.com/

  224. Pingback: https://sites.google.com/site/newsonlinepressrelease/

  225. Pingback: http://slimmingdrinks.blogspot.com/

  226. Pingback: http://hardmusclegainers.blogspot.com/

  227. Pingback: Crazy Bulk

  228. Pingback: Phen375

  229. Pingback: PhenQ

  230. Pingback: Weight Loss Pills 2016

  231. Pingback: SizeGenetics

  232. Pingback: Dianabol Steroids For Sale

  233. Pingback: Muscletronic

  234. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Legal Steroids

  235. Pingback: Legal Dianabol Steroids

  236. Pingback: Breast Actives Reviews

  237. Pingback: V Tight Gel

  238. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Reviews

  239. Pingback: Zeta Clear

  240. Pingback: SnoreMeds

  241. Pingback: Skinade

  242. Pingback: Hiprolean XS

  243. Pingback: PEYRONIES DEVICE

  244. Pingback: Phen375 Review

  245. Pingback: Provillus

  246. Pingback: FORSKOLIN 250

  247. Pingback: Forskolin Fuel

  248. Pingback: Phenq Weight Loss

  249. Pingback: Breast Actives Cream

  250. Pingback: Penomet

  251. Pingback: Legal Dianabol Steroids for Sale

  252. Pingback: Provillus

  253. Pingback: Weight Loss Pills

  254. Pingback: Phenq Diet Pills

  255. Pingback: V Tight Gel

  256. Pingback: PhenQ

  257. Pingback: Phen375

  258. Pingback: Boost Breast Milk

  259. Pingback: PhenQ Weight Loss Pills

  260. Pingback: GARCINIA CAMBOGIA VEDA

  261. Pingback: Crazy Mass

  262. Pingback: Vigrx Plus

  263. Pingback: Garcinia Pure

  264. Pingback: Crazy Mass Steroids

  265. Pingback: Phenq Coupon Code

  266. Pingback: Crazy Bulk

  267. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Steroids

  268. Pingback: Phen375 Weight Loss

  269. Pingback: Buy PhenQ Here

  270. Pingback: Phen375 Discount Offer

  271. Pingback: Chris LaFrance Tampa

  272. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/chrislafranceta/

  273. Pingback: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108354611682668676610

  274. Pingback: http://pview.findlaw.com/view/1598854_1

  275. Pingback: https://twitter.com/lafranceattorny

  276. Pingback: http://www.yelp.com/biz/lafrance-law-tampa

  277. Pingback: http://chrislafrancetampa.blogspot.com/2016/01/chris-lafrance-tampa-professional.html

  278. Pingback: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lafrance-law

  279. Pingback: Phen375

  280. Pingback: Buy Crazy Mass

  281. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/ehealthharmony/

  282. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/phenqp/

  283. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/purchased/

  284. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/crazybulksale1/

  285. Pingback: Muscle Building

  286. Pingback: Noocube

  287. Pingback: Noocube Nootropics Review

  288. Pingback: La France Law

  289. Pingback: LaFrance Law

  290. Pingback: Dianabol Cycle

  291. Pingback: Crazy Dianabol For Sale

  292. Pingback: Legal Anabolic Steroids For Sale

  293. Pingback: Dianabol

  294. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Coupons

  295. Pingback: DigestIt

  296. Pingback: Garcinia Cambogia

  297. Pingback: Gynexin

  298. Pingback: Green Coffee Bean Max

  299. Pingback: Idol Lash

  300. Pingback: GCB Max

  301. Pingback: EvoTea TeaTox

  302. Pingback: Phenq

  303. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Anvarol

  304. Pingback: Vigrx Plus

  305. Pingback: Good Morning Snore Solution

  306. Pingback: Phen375

  307. Pingback: SizeGenetics

  308. Pingback: Boost Breast Milk Enhancer

  309. Pingback: Crazy Bulk's HGH X2

  310. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Reviews

  311. Pingback: DecaDuro

  312. Pingback: Growth Factor Plus

  313. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Bulking Stack

  314. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Tbal75

  315. Pingback: Breast Actives Buy

  316. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Winidrol

  317. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Ultimate Stack

  318. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Anabolic Steroids

  319. Pingback: Yacon Molasses

  320. Pingback: E-Cig Vapor Kits

  321. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pm7SLh-WUk

  322. Pingback: Legal Steroids

  323. Pingback: Crazybulk Dbal

  324. Pingback: Legal Steroids in Australia

  325. Pingback: Legal Steroids Australia

  326. Pingback: Provillus Hair Loss

  327. Pingback: Penomet

  328. Pingback: Sizegenetics Device

  329. Pingback: https://vimeo.com/155220684

  330. Pingback: Zotrim

  331. Pingback: Green Coffee Bean Max

  332. Pingback: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3s6brk

  333. Pingback: Phenq

  334. Pingback: Nootropic Supplements

  335. Pingback: Buy Forskolin Fuel

  336. Pingback: Dbol Cycle

  337. Pingback: Raspberry Ketone Plus

  338. Pingback: Harvokse

  339. Pingback: Buy Crazy Bulk Legal Steroids

  340. Pingback: DietReviewMonster

  341. Pingback: AskWomens

  342. Pingback: Free Rush Sale

  343. Pingback: Sante Fitness Avis

  344. Pingback: Phen375 Coupon Codes

  345. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Muscle Building

  346. Pingback: PhenQ Avis

  347. Pingback: Penomet avis et teste

  348. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Avis et consommateurs Commentaires

  349. Pingback: Forskoline 250 Avis – Brûleur de graisse

  350. Pingback: Phen375 avis et teste

  351. Pingback: SizeGenetics avis et teste

  352. Pingback: Crazy Bulk Australia

  353. Pingback: more info can be found

  354. Pingback: the best legal steroids for sale

Leave a Reply