Mixing / EQ-ing bass to set right in the mix - HELP!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tele_jas, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

    Dec 16, 2010
    Encinitas, SoCal
    Which brings up the question - what is HE using for reference when he tells you he doesn't like his bass sound? On the same car stereo where he hates every other bass sound?

    I have rarely had a player where I couldn't get a sound he liked even if I hated it. It looks like the two of you are just in disagreement about how it should sound.

    I once had a bass player that I thought was so bad I actually took the band aside and said "this guy is not at your level." and he wasn't. But they wanted to keep him.
    My usual bass sound (as a mixer) was real clarity on the notes and attack - so you heard every note. I like bottom end but I don't think a bass needs to be artificially bassy. It's working range of notes makes it a bass - not its tone.

    That being said - with this band in reference they said "well, he's our bass player so we have to work it out." - The solution was to take away the clarity of his bass and just have it provide a floor for everyone else - and it worked beautifully.

    I am having a problem understanding what your bass player wants. I don't find bass to be an impossible to dial in sound based on the ideas we gave you about cutting certain low-mid frequencies.

    Once again - I shelve the lows to avoid rumble, I boost somewhere in the 100-250 range for "bottom", I make a narrow V bandwidth cut somewhere between 400 - 1000 Hz, (sweep to find it) and then I add a gentle slope in the upper midrange for clarity.

    Sometimes you need to cut sharply in the 1.5 kHz range, if there is slap or fret noise.

    What format or you working in? The ProTools 7-band EQ should do everything you want - along with a good compressor plug-in.
  2. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    Hey dude. Send me a PM. Where are you guys mixing? Joplin? I can drop by and give it a listen. I might be able to help some. You're gonna have to talk him out of the sub-lows thing, though, at the very least. Do some carving for the kick, etc. Low mids is where the bass shines in a commercial mix. Did the engineer provide a DI and a mic'd speaker off one of those 15s? You may run into some phasing problems there. Did you try adding a little musical distortion to the bass, as well? He might be missing the sound of the 15 folding a bit. There are a lot of options.
    He should have recorded the tracks with a 10" mic'd, unfortunately. Reamping is a possibility. They just have to understand that it's not going to sound like it does live.
    Oh, another thing. Did you set up a bass master buss and put a limiter on it? Some variation on an 1176 might help smoothe it out and give you some punch.
    What DAW are you using?
  3. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Mt. Vernon / Springfiled, MO
    Sonar 8.0 Producer... I've got about 20 different compressors to choose from, from years of buying software suites and bundles, plus the Sonar Sonitus FX and several free ones.

    PM on the way.
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Fort Mudge
    100 Hz. is a great go-to frequency whenever instruments or voices need help down there, male voices especially. For bass I usually bump the low end just slightly lower, like around 85-90 Hz. Just my preference.

    2k might be perfect in your case, though I've found that it's worth the effort to nail the sweet spot just right. The attack/articulation frequency varies from instrument to instrument, but once you find it you're home free. I usually sweep the 800-2k area with a narrow +6 dB. spike to find the right spot, then cut it back and widen to taste.
  5. sleshnyc

    sleshnyc Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    run a 80-100 high pass filter on everything except bass. scoop some of the kick out, add more click to it, from 2.4-2.8k. often, it's the kick in the way of the bass. if you listen to a lot of rock records the kick drum not nearly as bottom heavy as bass. it's more click you hear. that leaves room for a nice round bass.

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