Bass is like love. Some like-em full figured, some like-em slim and bossy. Some like-em noticed but covered up just enough to leave it to our imagination.
- How do you like it?
- Are you hearing what I am hearing?
Over the last few years I've noticed a very wide and confusing preference to how we all critique bass and sub frequencies in a mix.
If there is one thing I've noticed since I was a kid, Mom and Dad don't like it as much as I do so this leaves me to think, why would I ever listen to my Dad when it comes to bass?
But, there is also a flip side to this. Capturing and mixing Bass is subject to personal taste AND each and everyone's room acoustics and monitoring system.
Are your speakers lying to to or or are mine? Or, are you stupid with bass or are you like my Dad?
Critiquing a mix:
Do you hear what I hear?
When someone suggests I should add or remove bass in a mix, how do I know you are actually accurate?
Is there a norm?
Some music I listen to has subs that would keep mice from breeding, others like it completely tucked in the background behind a floppy kick. How do we know whats right?
Remember the 80's? tick tick tick. Are you still caught in the 80's? Or, are you from the Elvis area? Or Jazz of the 40's?
Speed metal, OMG, if that doesn't sound like a stick metronome on top of every 16th kick on quantization... How do you even mix bass without HPF 250hz.
30 years ago there was less confusion. Do you think that was subject to our capture and playback systems? I do. I think music is inspired around sound. Styles are formed from the sound of our times.
When you have a drum, you bang it! When you have a violin, you bow it. When you have a sampler, you sample it. and thus... a style happens.
The limitations around vinyl, which imho, suffered massively for both top and bottom end freq capture and playback, no wonder everything sounded like it did. And a generation was formed. Today, we have serious control and this ability to capture wide bandwidth, so, where do we go from here? Are you leading the pack or following and dragging along the past, hoping it will fit in some where?
Not until digital audio arrived, was bass and the kick drum even a focus point. Subs were a supporting role back in the day. Today, sub freq are as important, if not down right dominate and this is where, "whats right for you, may be the complete wrong things for me" Style and taste of bass is all subjective to more than we might even know about ourselves.
I propose a mixoff of some kind to try and find out "discover in our selves" where we belong in this constant craving so many of us want but can't seem to get right. Lets demystify some confusion.