Mixing Bass Part 3 – Compression and Limiting

This is the final post in this Mixing Bass Series.

In part 1 of this series, I talked about common bass problems. In part 2, I gave you some tips for EQ-ing bass. Today we need to take a look at how to use compressors and limiters to properly handle bass.

I’m writing this with the assumption that we all have a good basic understanding of what compression does. I want to look specifically at how we can utilize compression to make our bass parts better.

Does the bass need dynamics?

This is a question worth asking. Do we need the bass to have a huge volume range? Or do we want to tighten down and make it very one-dimensional, with every note being the same volume?

(more…)

Mixing Bass Part 2 – EQ

Yesterday we took a look at some of the problems the bass poses for us in our mixes. Today and tomorrow, I’m going to share with you some practical tips on how to use EQ and compression to reign in the bass.

While I’m primarily approaching this with regards to bass guitar, these principles apply to any bass instrument. So whether you’re having problems with a Jazz bass or a cello, a kick drum or a Hammond B3, read on.

High-Pass Filter

Wait…what?! Aren’t we supposed to be improving the bass rather than removing it? Yep, but stay with me. I’ll explain.

(more…)

Mixing Bass Part 1

If you asked me to single out one part of the mixing process that gives me the most trouble, it’s bass.

Dealing with bass frequencies in general is a frustrating task. Whether it’s bass guitar, or kick drum, or acoustic guitar, or even vocals, those low frequencies can cause all sorts of problems.

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to give you some tips for dealing with bass.

What’s up with the low end?

(more…)