The bass is a critical component of any record. Whether it provides the backbone for the rhythm section, or lays out a bass line to be followed by other instruments, bass is an essential part of every song. Yet not all bass sounds are created equal: some basses can get lost in the mix while others seem to cut through and dominate. In this blog-post we'll cover four tips that will help you make your bass cut through your mix!
Low-end Dominance: Often times bass can get lost in the mix because there is so much other low frequency content going on. This can be especially true in modern music where bass frequencies are often exaggerated in order to create a more powerful sound. One way to combat this and make your bass cut through is by using EQ to boost the low end frequencies while cutting the low end frequencies of the non dominate instruments. This will give your bass more space to cut through.
Presence: Another way to make your bass cut through is by using compression or other effects (distortion) to increase the level of the bass in relation to the other instruments. This can be especially effective when there are a lot of high frequency sounds competing for the bass frequencies. Using effects like EQ or saturation to boost bass levels will allow you to cut through the mix and be heard more clearly.
EQ-ing: If boosting low end frequencies doesn't work, try cutting bass at one of your speaker's crossover points instead. For example if you have a subwoofer hooked up to one of your speakers, try cutting all the bass frequencies below 80 hertz or so. This will help clean up the mix and make your bass stand out.
Playing Styles: Another thing that can affect how well your bass cuts through is the playing style. If you're playing a lot of fast, intricate bass lines then it's going to be harder to hear the bass as well as if you were playing a simpler, slower bass line. In this case it might take more work to make your bass cut through but even something like changing up which note of the chord or scale that you're emphasizing can help with making your bass stand out in different ways.
In conclusion, there are a number of ways that you can make your bass cut through the mix. By using low-end dominance, presence, EQ ing and playing styles you can adjust your sound to fit any situation. Experiment with these tips and see which ones work best for you.