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Bass Mixing EQ Cheat Sheet

posted on #1
Posts: 111
Joined: 11.07.15
The reason the kick and the bass tend to be mortal enemies in many mixes is they can literally occupy identical sonic space from a frequency perspective. So before reaching in with any EQ, listen to both and decide where one will take the lead over the other, and in which ranges.

40 to 80 Hz - Bottom: Especially with five-string variations, this is where the bottom resonances of most basses live...GET RID OF EVERYTHING BELOW 40.
80 to 200 Hz - Fundamentals: The primary fundamental of the bass. Right around 180 to 200 Hz is where you can try to cut in on a bass that is too "boomy" to clean it up while preserving fundamentals
200 to 600 Hz - Overtones: These are the upper harmonics of most bass tones, depending on the sound you're interested in. If you're having trouble getting a bass to cut through in a mix, especially a low-end heavy one or one that's getting played back on smaller speakers, this can be where to look. A 6 db DROP at 250 can clean up the muddiest bass mix.
300 to 500 Hz - Wood: Particularly in upright basses, it's that distinctive, woody bark
800 to 1,600k Hz - Bite: The growl and attack of most basses can be either emphasized or toned down around here
2,000 to 5,000 Hz - String noise: Pretty straightforward here, I think
posted on #2
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Posts: 479
Joined: 27.02.15
Excellent stuff! Always good to know this sort of thing and I know very little about EQ'ing basses other than keeping them out of my kick drum.

I'll add that, from a drum perspective, around 180hz is a good spot to notch down any kick drum. It's around this frequency where that horrible, boxy and muddy boom of an acoustic kick can be managed. Dropping this back can keep the punch but give a lot more clarity.
Edited by mpointon on February 26 2016 16:15
posted on #3
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Posts: 48
Joined: 18.01.16
Many thanks for this relativity...
Now I've got a complete EQ ranges for a bass...

But it's sometimes a hard to deal with an alredy done mix dowloaded here.
Choices are hard to do between the drums and the bass...

Talking about bass what about compression ?
Treshold, Ratio, Attack, release etc...

I guess I will have many questions... ^^
Thanks again it will be really useful for me...
posted on #4
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Posts: 282
Joined: 19.08.13
I have learned this EQ-method in the book of Hank Linderman: if you want to improve a recording just turn the midrange freq up by 12dB. Now move through the frequencies where it sounds really awful. This is the spot where you decrease by taste now. Never turn up, always turn down - as a basic rule, not a law.

Compression: Don't compress too high at an EARLY stage. People tend to compress very, very heavy to sound better. :)
Edited by Neronick on February 27 2016 09:19
posted on #5
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Joined: 07.03.14
Neronick wrote: Compression: Don't compress too high at an EARLY stage. People tend to compress very, very heavy to sound better. :)

And I have bad news for some: Compression doesn't make you sound better!
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