My bass is killing my mix - Help!

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Threeskinmusic, May 3, 2005.

  1. Hi. Let me preface this by saying, although I consider myself a decent musician, I am pretty new and very green to recording. I find my problems to always be with mixing. What ends up happening is that when I record the tracks, I really love the individual sounds I get, but once I go for the final mix, with everything going at once, my bass sounds like crap, and makes the whole mix sound muddy. The weird thing is that if I solo out the bass and drums, I love the way they sound together. On the other hand, if I mute the bass and run my Guitars (lead, rhythm, and acoustic), drums and piano with no bass, it sounds good and everything seems to fit nice in the mix. Now, I add the bass back in, and with everything going, the bass just sounds like low end mud, no definition in the notes, just a wide rumbling. Now, I know it probably has to do with EQ, but I don't really know how to EQ properly, and not even sure if it is the bass causing the problem, or if it may be the rhythm guitars and bass fighting for space. I actually have a feeling that this is a common problem with beginners. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to solve this, and and tips on places to really learn and understand stuff like EQing and mixing? Thanks for your help.
  2. This is a good post to read: (Dead Link Removed)

    I know it says its a snare drum being lost, but it is the same principle of why your bass is screwing up your mix.
  3. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    You're on the right track :wink: with that statement. Unfortunately, exactly what needs to be done is not something that can be answered. There are a number of options that you have and you'll have to go with what you find to sound best. It could involve cutting the lows from the guitars, changing the tone of some of the instruments, changing the arrangement, or a combination of all of those things. It is very common for something to sound good on its own, then become a mess in the whole mix. Think of it as mixing paints together to make new colors. You may have the most beautiful blue, but then when mixing it with several other dark colors you end up with a mucky color. You may need to water down (like EQing or changing the tone of an instrument) some of the other colors before mixing them together.

  4. Hey guys, thanks for the replies. Reading that other post and following the advice you guys gave, I took another approach last night. Since I have been adjusting my bass track for about 2 weeks, with no good results, last night I cut some low end from my drums and my rhythm guitars and it made all the difference in the world. I realize now, that I thought the bass was the problem, but it was really the bass being suffocated. Once, I cleared up some room for it to breathe, I could hear everything. I still have tons to learn about mixing, EQ'ing and frequencies, and that will come over time with experience, but this was a huge breakthrough for me to actually start understanding this stuff, and learning the interplay of the instruments. The paint analogy was a very good one, perfect way to describe it. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.
  5. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    Its great you figured it out. I used to do that a lot, the big problem is I'd have the floor tom, the kick and the bass all at or near the same Hz. I learned that the similar frequencies can cause everything to get really muddy so now I just make sure I keep all those far enough away from each other so they don't get in each others way and my mixes are much less muddy. again awesome to hear you figured it out.
  6. Thanks man, I Love this site. I have really learned a lot here

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