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Bass Levels for Dance Music?

Member for

21 years 2 months

Is there any kind of guideline for how much bass there should be in a bass-heavy dance record these days? I'm thinking vinyl for DJ use -- ranging from underground house to euro-dance type stuff.

I know that "what sounds good" is important... but then I also don't want the DJ to be fiddling with the EQ to get the kickdrum in my song to be about the same loudness as the kickdrum in the song before and after. And I don't want to explode his speakers. And I don't want to cause some technical problem with the record lathe. (I do know to keep the sides short to make room for the bass...)

Any ranges in terms of the decibels of a soloed kick drum, or the low end brickwalled at some hertz -- versus the full mix peaking at 0 -- would be really helpful.

I guess another issue is recommended overall level -- is +4 dB standard for DJ vinyl?



Member for

19 years 10 months

Don Grossinger Tue, 09/23/2003 - 05:37
Dear Doug:
There is no guideline as far as I can tell. DJs being DJs, they will all mess around with EQ, so it's safe to assume that nothing is cast in stone. Each club's system is different, the mood & placement of the track in the evening's flow varies and all these things will practically guarantee that nothing is sacred.

If you really know your studio's monitors & they are full range down to 30 Hz or lower, you will eventually figure out how much bass is right for each track. Each situation is different. If you know what your LF situation is when mastering, then you won't blow out anyone's speakers. If you mix on small monitors that do not give you an accurate picture of the lows, then you might be in trouble.

This is the value of going to a mastering studio & getting a fresh point of view on the tracks involved.

I usually cut louder than +4 dB VU when side times allow.