Mixing Kick Drums and Bass Together.. Help!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by Roswell-CS, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Roswell-CS

    Roswell-CS Guest

    Hey all --

    Is there a rule of thumb when mixing kick drums and bass together in a track?

    Because since both usually occupy the low frequencies...
    Should they both be seperated?

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I usually notch out the kick around 200 to 220 Hz with a narrow "q" and then add a complementery boost in the same area for the bass. This makes the bass stand out on small speakers and makes room in the mix so you can hear both the kick and bass without them "stacking up" on each other.
  3. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I do the same as Cedar, but depending on the mix, my boost/cut is generally between 200-400 and the size of Q is somewhat narrow but depends on what sounds best in the particular situation. I often use a high pass filter or at least cut some lows on the kick to avoid a muddy bottom end. I do a lot of Metal bands and they tend to be bottom heavy anyway. Below 60hz can get ugly if the kick and bass stack on each other too much.
  4. LordAlvin

    LordAlvin Guest

    If you are fighting kick and bass sounds that do not sit well together, here is a trick that I have found useful.

    High pass the kick at about 350-400 hz with a -6dB/octave filter. Now boost 150 hz about 10dB with a very narrow Q. Slowly sweep this down until you find the fundamental frequncy that sounds right for the kick. Adjust the Q and the gain so that the sound fits the track.

    Now duplicate the same process on the bass making sure that you are listening to the tracks in context so that you can tune in the right frequency for the instrument and the song.

    This technique cleans up the sounds but leaves the essential parts in tact while allowing you to customize where the tracks fundamental energy is focused. Keep in mind that you should be focusing that energy in different areas for the kick and the bass if they are to work well together.
  5. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    You can also copy the kick...and trigger the sidechain of the bass compressor with the kick copy....
  6. wayne

    wayne Guest

    That's an interesting approach for tailoring and concentrating the kick's tone and energy. (Thank you. It goes directly into my 'toolbox'. :D )
    A question though re; the same on bass (having not actually tried it yet :roll: ) It seems like it would make for a bit of an uneven scale of notes for the bass (as opposed to the fixed pitch of the kick)?

    ...again, with the difficulties sometimes of getting them both smooth, balanced, and fitting to begin with, would it be fair to say that all that has to be in shape before any general 'boost/cut' technique has any hope of success?
    Thanks again.
  7. LordAlvin

    LordAlvin Guest

    Just try it. You may be surprised. The problem you are having is that there is too much low end information on the tracks. This is a good way of finding out what is important and what isn't. It doesn't always work, but it may be worth a shot if you are having trouble.
  8. Matt-Harper

    Matt-Harper Guest

    Hi folks, i've been a long time lurker so greetings to one and all from stormy Southampton UK.

    Just to add that I too have used the trick described by LordAlvin but also i've found it useful with other instruments on occassion, e.g. boomy acoustic guitar or male vocals i.e. hi pass the sludge then put back some low end "warmth" that is much easier to control of course getting the sound right during micing is preferable and is ones aim but it's not always easy to predict how all instruments will work together during mixing.

  9. praecox

    praecox Guest

    hello lord alvin:)

    it soundz very promising....but can u explain me one thing:

    is that fundamental freq. mean a lowest frequncy in the kick/bassline?

    i work with techno production so the low frequencies are very important so there is my confusion when u high pass the kick/bass:)

    sorry i just want to understand it right


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