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Thread: Mixing Bass and Kick drum

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    Mixing Bass and Kick drum

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    Hi guys,

    I was wondering how much to you cut the low freq on a bass for rock ? More specifically do you apply an HF on your bass so the kick drum can be heard if so around witch frequency do you cut ?
    Maybe you guy can paste a screenshot of your EQ and Kick drum ? Im trying to make my mix more clear, less muddy.

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    If you start with better sounds, sounds suited for the song, then you don't need to do drastic EQing. EQ is great for shaping and massaging, but if you're having to carve stuff out to fit things together like a jigsaw puzzle, you're doing it wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_L View Post
    If you start with better sounds, sounds suited for the song, then you don't need to do drastic EQing. EQ is great for shaping and massaging, but if you're having to carve stuff out to fit things together like a jigsaw puzzle, you're doing it wrong.
    Yeah I am trying to not got crazy on the EQ, but if I don't do it, there seem to be too much sub frequencies in the raw signal. I must admit we record live in a non acoustic treated room, all amps miced (guitar sm57, bass Audix D6, drum is closed miked) all going in the interface (16 inputs). I will be more careful with the mic placement of the bass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neoblasted View Post
    Yeah I am trying to not got crazy on the EQ, but if I don't do it, there seem to be too much sub frequencies in the raw signal. I must admit we record live in a non acoustic treated room, all amps miced (guitar sm57, bass Audix D6, drum is closed miked) all going in the interface (16 inputs). I will be more careful with the mic placement of the bass.
    That's great. I'm glad you're recording real instruments. Believe me, you are in the minority these days, so keep at it. Just keep working on source sounds, get the isolation you need, and like you said - placement. Then if you have to do a little EQing, it's no big deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neoblasted View Post
    ...there seem to be too much sub frequencies in the raw signal.
    Are you sure that it's all related only to the Kick and Bass?

    IOW...if you shave some of the "mud" from your other tracks, you can leave the Kick and Bass alone, or with less cut.
    Kick and bass are supposed to have that low end thump, but if other tracks contribute small amounts on top of that...then all of a sudden your whole mix has that muddy feel to it, and often people right away want to chop the Kick and Bass to compensate.

    Not saying you don't need to shave anything off of them too...just check for mud in all your other tracks, and adjust as needed.

    Also...you may find that only a certain area of the Kick and/or Snare is adding to the mud...so you can carve that out a bit, while still retaining the rest of the low end for each of those.
    You need to sweep through them a bit, and then grab a parametric EQ and find the right Q/Bandwidth and amount of cut needed.
    Sometimes if you sweep with the parametric with boost with a medium-narrow Q...you can find where the most muddy resonance lies....BUT...be careful, when you sweep with boost, everything will tend to sound bad...so you have to really listen to what area is the culprit, otherwise you'll end up cutting all the good stuff out.

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    Well, I guess by default, I'm in the majority because I use a VSTi for my drums. I notch out a small cut at 50hz on the bass and add a spike at 50hz on the kick drum. Just enough to get some thud from the kick without the bass conflicting. That's just a starting point. You've got to make adjustments as necessary for each song. Even with well tuned, good sounding sources, there is going to be some overlap, so a little sculpting is okay. When you first start to mix the song, you should solo just the kick and the bass to get them to work together.

    The higher freqs on the bass and kick will help further with separation. The bass will have a treble peak anywhere from 800- 1khz. The click of the kick will happen around 1.5khz - 2.5hz, so that provides a lot of definition between the two parts. That range will also carry the bass and kick if, god forbid, someone listens to your tunes on earbuds.

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    Depending on the type of music, I sometimes cut some lows from the bass so I can actually turn it up. That way you can hear the bass notes in the mix but you are not using all the headroom up with the bottom end. The same principle will work with kick and bass, if the kick has a fair bit of low end energy you don't need as much low end in the bass, this however also depends on the groove between the bass and kick. The same would work if you have a kick full of attack but not too much low end energy you can fatten it up with the bass, a lot of trial and error here but the result is worth it.

    Alan.

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    well generally whatever sounds good, sounds good. but of course it also depends on the situation and music style and source material. if you´re doing country you wouldn´t want to go crazy. if you´re doing metal go as crazy as you want. but if you want some numbers to get you started i usually filter the bass at ~60-80Hz and give the kick a little boost at ~50-60Hz. then i boost the bass in a nice spot somewhere between 100-200Hz and give the kick a little dip at the same frequency. and then you´d need to be careful the guitars and the rest isn´t too boomy or rich in the lower range so nothing will clash with the bass and muddy stuff up. i´m a metal guy btw so i like to process stuff a little heavier.

    www.youtube.com/c/ForTiorIJohnny

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    Lots of good advice but I'd recommend correcting kick/bass issues during tracking; If you go in with a "fix it in the mix" attitude you're more likely to end up doing a lot more work and never really getting what you want.

    I'd recommend starting with drum tuning (which is a must in every case IMO but is greatly overlooked) particularly the kick in this instance; make sure the kick drum "sound/tuning" complements both the bass and the style/song. Figure out which element (bass or kick) you want to provide the dominant bottom end in the song. Sounds simple but you'd be surprised how often these two elements sound like they're on different planets...

    You're using a D6 on the bass - are you also using a DI? What's on the Kick? What mic selection do you have to work with? Mic selection may be lees important - mic position will have a considerable impact.

    Assuming all goes well during tracking and you have a kick and bass that at least work well together it's time to move on to mixing.

    I generally (key word being generally)start by high pass filtering everything that is not the kick and bass around 100hz. This helps clear out room in the bass & kick frequencies. On a real kick drum (not samples) I usually compress then EQ - scoop out around 400hz. Depending on which element I want to dominate the bottom I will push a bit of 50-60Hz or 100-110Hz & I will cut the other by the same amount. Sweep the EQ and use your ears. EQ cuts wider Q - EQ boost narrower Q

    This is by no means a hard and fast rule and is just a recommended starting point.
    Last edited by Simman; 03-21-2016 at 10:00.

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    i use programmed drums and an amp sim for bass. Since I don't have much to work with other than the kick sounds as they are, I use EQ on it. I'll typically HP around 20hz on the kick, dip the mids, and just a touch up top around 2db at 2khz for that specific kicks beater sound. Or anywhere in that area (1khz-3khz) where it cuts through the guitars and vocals. I also bump about 2dbs at 50hz for the kick. On bass, I like a powerful and clangy sound, so i cut my mids. I try to do as much shaping with the amp sim knobs as I can. I'll HP bass around 40hz (i always use the same amp and mic combo, virtually, for the bass), scoop more mids, and make sure that 1khz-2khz is not cut. I may or may not boost there. I LP bass around 7khz.

    If I had different basses, different amp, mics, etc...I wouldn't be following any type of blueprint.
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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