Bass tracks are one of the hardest elements of any mix, don’t you think?
They’re often difficult to hear, take up loads of space, and are always fighting with other low-end tracks. It seems like no matter how much EQ and compression you throw at them, they never feel quite right.
The first line of defense when mixing bass actually starts with the non-bass instruments. By high-passing unnecessary low end from your vocals, keys, and others, you can make room for your bass.
But what if you’ve done all the high-passing you can, and your bass still sounds muddy and unbalanced? What then?
Bass tracks can be tough because they’re so bottom-focused. That’s why the bass is there! But our ability to perceive the bass lies in the mid-range and upper mids. Which are often not as well represented.
Not only that, but bass tracks are notorious for inconsistent levels. The lower down the spectrum a bass track goes, the harder it is to hear.
So we know that:
- Bass is all about the low-end
- But we need a well-defined midrange to help us perceive the bass
- And the level of the bass can vary quite a bit note-by-note
I’ve found that the easiest solution to mixing bass tracks is to simply separate the lows from the mids and highs. And then mix each low and high separate from one another. Specifically with compression and distortion.
By compressing the lows and highs separately, you’ll have a waaay easier time balancing your bass tracks.
- Compress the snot out of the low end, which will allow you to stabilize inconsistent levels
- Compress and distort the mids and highs, so you’ll have more stable and discernible bass tracks
It’s pretty crazy how well it works. So in today’s video I’d like to show you this bass mixing technique in action.