You may recall that a little over a week ago we did a little ear training with drums. If you missed it, finish reading this post, then head over there and check that out, too.

Today, let’s have a listen to a bass part. In my opinion, the bass can be the most unruly part of your mix. It can sound amazing, but it sometimes takes a lot of wrangling to get it right.

I’ve written about mixing bass before, but let’s take a listen to an actual bass part.

Ready Your Ears

I’ve got two clips for you. The first is the dry clip of a bass, as it was recorded. On the second clip I did some processing. Here they are:

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After listening a couple of times, leave a guess in the comments section as to what exactly you think I did to the signal. Be as specific as you can. Let’s see who gets the closest.

I’ll reveal the answer in a video tomorrow.

Ready? Go!

[Photo by tanakawho]

20 Responses to “Ear Training: Bass”

  1. EdGC

    I think the diference are located about highs and a bit of attenuation about 150hz

  2. Sigurdór

    Low cut or rolled down the lows in the 60-100 hz range (closer to 60 though)þ Upper mids boost around 1k. Possibly rolled of the highs above 10kz (or so). Mild compression and/or limiting. You EQ first then compressed/limited 😉

  3. Wayne Johnson

    The second one has a HP around 100 with increase in EQ around 1.5 – 2 hz. There is light parallel compressor. That’s my best guess.

  4. David

    honestly, i have no idea what you did. they both sound exactly identical. the drum one i could definitely hear a difference, but this one, they sound exactly the same to me. so, my guess is that nothing was done. 🙂

    • David

      wait a minute, i take it back. i’m gonna say a limiter was used on the second sample. yes, definitely a limiter.

  5. Ricardus

    I would say some mild compression, nothing too aggressive. Sounds like some mild EQ, too. Maybe a little notch at 60 and another at 300.

  6. Michael

    My Guess…..Nothing, two identical tracks.
    then again my ears and brain are a little old and shakey!!

  7. Brian

    My guess is that the first one has been touch, I think I hear it compressing but I am not sure.

  8. Nathan Beaupré

    Compression for sure, with room for punch in the attack (4-1, 3-1) and a slight high-pass. I didn’t notice at first, but after reading Sydney’s comment and listening again, I wouldn’t be surprised if you used MaxxBass or RenBass to strengthen the overtones. Or maybe you just picked out the EQs (250, 500, 750?) to give it a fuller sound.

  9. Neil

    I really have no clue, but my stab in the dark: a boost somewhere in the 600-1000hz range, and maybe a cut (or shelf) in the real bottom end, like around 100hz?

  10. Michael

    Low cut at around 60hz maybe? Then some low mid eq taken out, maybe at around 250hz. Then a boost somewhere around 4k. Then maybe some light compression, because the 1st sample isn’t consistently the same volume, whereas the 2nd one is. That’s my guess.

  11. Sydney

    Hi pass filtered, then applied a plugin like maxxbass to emphasize the upper harmonics of the fundamental, so as to have the bass appear louder by having it appeal more to our hearing range…?

  12. Joel

    (I’m so bad at this…I didn’t even know where to start on the drums…)

    …But you took some EQ out, I’m fairly certain. Took some of the “boom” out. I’m guessing you rolled off some low end and then took a specific low-mid frequency way down – but I can’t begin to guess which one just by listening.

    If you compressed it, you didn’t do a whole lot of compression, I don’t think.

    Is there a little bit of reverb or chorus on it too?


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