Mixed a song this week.

It’s actually the song Dueling Mixes members will be mixing next month. Fantastic song.

Anyway, I was getting close to the end of my mix. As is (usually) my custom, I took 15 minutes to listen to the mix on three different systems. I usually change it up, but this time I listened on my little crap speakers (aka “Rolando”), Apple earbuds, and my studio monitors.

Surprisingly, one thing I noticed while listening on earbuds was a little too much low end in the kick drum.

When I checked it on my studio monitors, I confirmed that there was indeed a little too beef on the kick. After trying a few things, I realized that the level of the kick drum was perfect. It didn’t need to be turned down.

What I needed to do was use a fairly narrow EQ cut at around 60 Hz.

I know. I was surprised, too.

It turns out this particular kick drum sound had a lot of chest-thumping goodness in the 60 Hz range. Usually, if anything I’m boosting a bit in that area.

This time I needed to cut to make it sound right. The end result was a huge kick drum sound that no longer had weird, rumbly resonance.

That’s what mixing is all about.

That’s what MUSIC is all about.

You try things, and sometimes the most unexpected solution is the perfect fit.

If you need to practice flexing you “unexpected solution muscle,” it’s time for you to become a Dueling Mixes member:


Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

  • kanz

    Yup, I struggle with the kick drum/bass issue all the time. But whats surprising is the amount of cut in db. I always assumed the rule of thumb was don’t cut more than -3db. Just asking.

    • That’s kinda like asking, “How much salt should I put on my eggs?”

      Enough to make them taste better, but not too much. 🙂

      3 dB is a great place to start, but sometimes you need much more, sometimes less. It all depends on how it sounds.

  • Jerome

    Timely video Joe. Balancing kick /bass frequencies is my nemesis right now. Notching an offending frequency helps retain the initial energy. Great tip.