Hi 2 @ll!

Some day our music comes out of home-studio. Average stereos don't have precisely calibrated monitors, but it's not the worse. The issue to be discussed here is when the bass line in the mix comes to the limits of particular speaker's frequency response...

Let's say, we have the bass line playing a simple C-A-C-A-C-A pattern. The monitors have a neutral sound stage from 60 Hz to 22 kHz. As a result the C (65 Hz) sound comes out with no problems but A (55 Hz) can be seen on VU's only, and the speakers reproduce just higher harmonics. That makes a huge difference in timbre and warmth of the whole mix - A is thin (and even boomy when we try to boost at 110 Hz), C is fat and sweet in comparison.

I'm sure most of us are familiar with that issue, but my question is: what to do if the bass line frequently crosses the limit of the monitor's speaker?

a) change the monitors to lower their limit (some 40 Hz in this particular case should be a safe number). In home-studio it will be possible to balance the mix knowing what's in it. But who will listen to your music on monitors? Most even fine home stereos have the bass response limit somewhere about 50-60 Hz and we can be quite sure that at least one of our C-A notes won't be heard;

b) stay with the current monitors and treat their bass frequency response limit as kind of warning: man, most people won't hear these strings at 55 Hz! Move to the higher harmonics, they're much safer! With that in mind we can cut C and A on their lowest 55 and 65 Hz and boost at 110 and 130 Hz. The bass will be thin and cheap, but should pass through almost every speaker;

c) change the monitors for better responding ones to avoid the unwanted mess in sub-bass area, wcich sometimes completely destroys proportions in the mix when the song is played on subwoofer stereos. Cut 55 and 65 Hz for safety reasons (as written in b) ) and try to find a place for the bass line at more reliable 110/130 Hz;

d) mix as in b) and then do a bass-mess check-out at some subwoofer monitoring (even non-calibrated one). But just to be sure nothing's wrong, the balance in the mix still comes from a session made on the same 60 Hz-22kHz speakers.

So which way would you recommend?

Is it logical to put the main power of the sound (both musical and electrical) in the areas that won't be heard on most stereos?

And maybe you know a remedy for the problem, when one bass string is heard very strongly and the second one disappears because it's low frequency (in particular the lowest harmonic perceptible by the ear) exceeds speaker's limits?

peace,

Mike