Where the kick and bass sit (EQ).

Discussion in 'Drums' started by NCdan, Sep 14, 2008.


How do you EQ the bass in relation to the bass drum?

  1. I usually EQ the bass drum to a lower frequency than the bass

  2. I usually EQ the bass to a lower frequency than the bass drum

    0 vote(s)
  3. I usually EQ the bass and bass drum about the same

    0 vote(s)
  1. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Alright, I'm interested in finding out where you people put the meat of your bass and bass drum and how they sit in relation to one another. This is certainly subjective, so I'll just ask you to respond to how you typically adjust the bass and bass drum in relation to each other. Of course, for you pros, there may not be a "typical," but I do think that each person tends to do things in ways that work well for them: their secret formulas, if you will 8) . So, I appreciate any input. Oh, and please specify the genre you're speaking of, or give examples of multiple genres if you wish :D .

    Me, I record punk music, and I've recently found that I like the sound of reducing the subs on the bass and bass drum, and then boosting different low frequencies for each. I like about 125 Hz for the bass and about 190 on the bass drum, so I do the bass drum higher. Is that Kosher :lol: ? God bless.
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Have you tried tuning the bass and the kick to each other?

    A kick drum resonates at a certain freq, if you tweak this after you have tuned up your bass to what ever standard you want you can get the kick to pump a sub-harmonic of the bass guitar.

    Being a bit of a purist when it comes to translating sound I have never used an EQ, I also have never liked music that doesn't have bass in it. My sub is LPF'd at 100hz... In my book, anything over this is mids and can gtfo of my sub.

    So, when you talk about making the bass and the kick sit well with each other I don't really understand what you're wanting to translate. My kick drum resonates around 35hz and most of the groove bass guitar that I play along to is below 125hz, frankly quite a lot below it. the bass guitar only really voices above 125hz when some form of bass solo is going on and that gets highlighted differently so that it comes through the mid drivers with some conviction.

    I am keeping in mind your genre is punk and mine isn't. But I do listen to punk and I am aware of when the bass guitar and drums are working together to make a phat groove. Set it up live to sound huge then try capture it. If you have shortcomings with equipment or the room you record in, then maybe apply EQ to help bolster whatever particular band the meat is hiding in (which depends on the key of the song, the down beats of the bass/kick and a billion other things you need to listen for) or, on the flip side, use the EQ to drop out some mud that is caused by usually the room followed by the cheapness of the instruments but can be one of a billion other things you need to listen for.
  3. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    People's Republic Of Mancunia
    In punk, I'd tend for an atonal kick drum with just the slap, but every song has different requirements, sonically speaking.
  4. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I voted for bass lower than kick, but it really depends on the song. The last mix I did with kick and bass, the bass ended up lower, but it really depends on where the two are naturally, and if you want to emphasize that natural relationship, or go the other way.

    Putting the two at the same frequency sounds like a disaster. Tuning the kick drum to the key of the song, as Greener mentioned, is the norm in several genres . (There are about 2 octaves of "bass" frequencies, so the resonate frequency of the kick can be the same note, but a different octave. Also you could take down the fundamental of the bass to give it more fuzz, and less boom)
  5. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I like to have it lower then the bass guitar and alot of slap above depending on the song.
  6. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Actually, what I go for is a very distinct, clear voice on the bass as well as the kick drum, with neither being boomy or subby. I'd say I really like the way NOFX sounds, although the bass on their recordings can be pretty hard to hear sometimes, but I love the kick, which seems to be very strong around 200 Hz and seems to have almost no subs. Punk music really doesn't make much use of subs in my experience, but I'm sure there are people who will disagree. You seem to think that I'm EQing somewhat high, so I'm wondering what genre you typically record, Greener?

    Yeah, something like that. I'm really moving more towards 20" kicks these days, which I always thought were wimpy before I started doing home recording :p . But yeah, I guess you could say I boost that fine line between lows and low mids. I can see how boosting this frequency would be annoying in some genres, but I'd think a genre like techno employs similar strategies? Maybe? 8)

    That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid :lol: .

    Yah, even on myspace I can hear the subs on the bass. From what I've heard (literally), most bands that play in drop tunings seems to like a lot of subs and low lows in their bass drums.
  7. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Noise. :)
  8. It takes a lot to get me to belly-laugh at 3 a.m. Nice work.

    I don't have a standard as much as an M.O.: the kick drum get the lion's share of the 65-90 Hz real estate, and I high-pass the bass at around 100 Hz on a gentle grade. This is most successful with aggressive types of music where the bass has a distinct voice.
  9. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Interesting. I do the same "gentle" high pass on the bass, but also on the bass drum; I assume I'm in the minority by saying I don't want much rumble in my music, even when it's cranked? So, since I'm not giving the bass drum any real subs, I have to go higher, but 125 is the bass, so to give the bass room I need to go even higher, and that's when I discovered 190 Hz for the kick drum (which before I really thought would be way too high). It seems to my ears that a lot of the recordings of punk bands in the 90's (right when the quality graduated from marginally listenable to good) employed this sort of strategy. I suppose the bass drum loses some of it's tone and gets a somewhat unnatural sound when EQ'd like this, but it seems to get the bass drum to cut while still going "thump." And when you're playing something like NOFX where you use galloping drum beats, that kick drum clarity is really important in driving the music.

    Before, I had always taken the "low-cut" strategy with the kick drum: attenuate 100-200 in the kick drum and boost the subs for oomph and the mids for bite, but the kick was either boomy and unclear or it sounded like I was only hitting the skin. Now the only thing I'm unsure about is the low mid gap my recordings have, since my guitar has a low pass on at least 200, with the frequencies above the high pass up to 400 Hz being attenuated... but it seems to be fine to my ears (which are by no means experienced) :D .
  10. I agree 100%.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I try and apply the "Everything is louder than everything else" motif to my mixes.

    Sure beats trying to find just the 'right' EQ setting. :D :shock: :!:
  12. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    I read somewhere that to achieve "that sound" with your mix you are better off letting the bass gtr accent the subs and let the kick supply the punch just above it without too much sub.

    Their reason was that humans respond more to sub frequencies that move melodically i.e. a bass gtr that plays through various sub frequencies (while different notes are being played) as opposed to a kick drum with a boosted sub freq which stays constant. After reading that I realized that most dance music is mixed that way.

    my 2 cents,


  13. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Yeah, that's essentially my strategy that I've recently discovered. However, I'd say dance music makes much more use of subs than punk. I'll gladly be proven wrong, but if someone could find a speed punk band that makes much use of subs I'd be surprised. I think that's part of the problem with wimpy bass guitars in punk; because the subs are really reduced, and the kick sits up in the high lows, that just leaves about 101-170 Hz open for the bass. I can't seem to do much with boosting the high mids and highs on the bass: it just seems to add hiss and nasal sounds that don't get heard in the mix :? . Well, lots of good info in here... so far :D . Thanks.

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