Mixing better bass

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by OTRjkl, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    Any body have any tips on carving out a nice, tight, punchy bottom end during Mastering? Is it a function of EQ? Multi-band compression? Both? Something else?

    Also, regarding M/B Compression:
    How do different attack/release settings affect the different freq. bands?

    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Masternfool

    Masternfool Active Member

    Dec 3, 2001
    Heres what I do..Try cutting some mud between 200-400, If the low end is bouncing all around I will use some multi-band compression on the lows anywhere from 80-200 fast attack, slower release to avoid distortion..These are just general settings of course, it all depends on the mix in front of you. Get your levels where you want them first because that will add low end to the whole mix when maximizing,boosting etc. then do the eq,comp. etc.
  3. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I find that I get most of that tight bottom by sculpting the mix and just polishing it in mastering. Trying to do it all in the last stage usually doesn't work for me. YMMV.
  4. brad

    brad Guest

  5. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    I believe you are right about that. So........
    Admittedly (ouch!), this is my weakest area in tracking/miximg - a real, punchy bottom end. What tips (or secrets) can you give me in developing this area?
    I have looked at FFT graphs of some really good commercial tunes that have "The Punch" & it seems that the bottom freqs not only resemble a tighter Q but also are usually actually lower in overall level. (Do you understand what I'm trying to say?)
    What are the freqs to zero in on? 110? 100? Lower?
    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!

    Thanks. :confused:
  6. brad

    brad Guest

  7. br0d

    br0d Guest

    Add me to the list of people who don't believe anything good can come of trying to significantly shape bass in the mastering stage. I mean come on, the lower an instrument is, (also depending upon the timbre of course) generally the more audible partials/harmonics its going to have, so the more its going to affect the rest of the frequency spectrum, for ALL parts. IMO, take on the task of altering that fundamental significantly in the mastering stage, and its going to suck. I've tried it, and tried it, and it's always failed.

    But when that bass is alone, in the mix? I say smash the $*^t out of it. Less is more the lower you go. The lower bass gets, the more the illusion of power comes into play. It's really that second octave that makes a song work, IMO.
  8. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Since I record a lot of acoustic stand up bass and electric rock and roll bass and synth bass, I have found there is no better way than to use a compressor and eq to get the bass right in the first place. I have one lady acoustic bass player that has a tendency to be uneven in her playing and I actually use two compressors on her bass to smooth it out.

    I agree that trying to make it better in the final mix is really tough. Especially if you have acoustic guitar or baritone vocals like in an acoustic bluegrass group. Anything you do to the bass messes up the other instruments.

    I do have an Aphex 104 that can add bottom punch and depth without increasing volume but I use it as a last resort for poorly recorded bass tracks.
  9. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    I seem to filter a lot off the 20-40 htz in a lot of the hip-hop and pop stuff I mix. Those seem to just push the speaker components without doing much for the low end (at least anything the commercial public notices)which causes smaller speakers to crap out. Then I boost usually from the 60-200 hz range, and dip somewhere around the 300 htz range which is usually just mud that takes from the punchiness. I wish I could get C4 to mutiband compress at lower frequencies with the resolution I'd like, but I don't usually achieve the results I want.
  10. Masternfool

    Masternfool Active Member

    Dec 3, 2001
    We are talking of course for people who don't have the luxury of re-mixing..I have an average of 80 songs a week going to compilations..I can only tweak the bedroom studios to sound close to the pro studios.

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