Suggestions for Kick and Bass Guitar Mixing

Discussion in 'Drums' started by cunardsoundconcepts, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. So,it seems most of my business is metal/metalcore music.I can get an acceptable sound.But i want better than acceptable.Its not good enough to get a great kick sound and bass sound because i cant get them to sound like the cds im referencing.Im lacking a presence in the bass guitar usually.Most songs in this genre just bury the bass and bring the kick out as much as possible but id rather not follow that trend.Any advice will be greatly appreciated. TIA!
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Many issues of mixing bass guitar and kick drum concern the stereo placement and dynamics, as well as EQ. In the "old days", when material was cut for vinyl records, it was pretty much mandatory that the bass instruments be panned to the center. This was because the phonograph needles would jump out of the grooves if bass was on one side and not the other...strictly a physical drawback. But also because the human ear tends to "center" bass frequencies. So, how are you panning these instruments? How are you compressing them? Hopefully, with the bass guitar especially, you are setting the envelope parameters (attack and release) slow enough to capture the entire waveform and not chop it and "muddy" it up. Try slowing down the bass's compression if it's getting "buried" (especially the attack time) and see if it doesn't start popping back to life...and then you can pan the bass and kick slightly away from each other and the center of the mix...No more vinyl to hinder that, eh?'s what's for dinner!
  3. I dont usually compress the kick. I usually get the sound i want with EQ and limiting.As far as the bass guitar is concerned, i use the compressor built in to my hartke(to taste).If you have a better suggestion pls share.Thanks for the reply.
  4. rc86mike

    rc86mike Guest

    A technique I use every blue moon when I'm having trouble blending the kick and the bass is pan one hard right and the other hard left (just for reference). Mix and tweak them like that and then once you have the sounds you seem to be happy with slowly pan them to the center and see if they blend and can live happily in the center of your mix. As the other poster said, that's really where the kick and bass should be anyway. If they sound too seperate in the middle then pan them back out do more tweaks and then bring them into the center again. Maybe it'll help, let me know if you try it. Good luck!
  5. freaky

    freaky Guest

    moonbaby, I always look forward to your posts. They're both informative and entertaining! :cool:
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I find that the times I just cant get any tone from the bass its up too loud and the room is killing it. At these times I baffle the crap out of the cabinet and record it at a whisper. Using multiple mics with this really lets you select the mic for tone not its SPL rating. You'll find a LOT of mics that you normally would not use on a bass track to be just what the doctor ordered. Another technique is to turn the players phones down a touch and let him bring up the volume with his pick or fingers. This eliminates the need for limiting as he will be hitting hard on every passage to hear himself....This alows you to set a decent level and keep it steady. I NEVER use a compressor at the recording stage simply because both I and my partner play the bass and we both have good technique......It also helps to have recorded a trillion hours... :wink:
  7. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004

    Some of my metal customers liked when I eq the kick like: bust at 60 Hz, deep around 250-300 Hz, then bust 4 kHz (or sometimes even at 8 kHz) on close mic. Then mix that with the distant/ambient mic(s).

    Try to loose tension on kick head and use harder beater.

    You can replace kick track with samples or mix together.

    As always with powerful instruments, small recording room is the worst enemy. Phase related problems too.

    IMO, right balance in bass range is big challenge and hard work to do.

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