After checking out What Is Mixing, today I want to share a few tricks you can use in order to understand bass eq. For those who don’t know, an eq is short for equalizer. This is one of the most important tools that will make your bass sound sit well in a mix.
For someone who is new to mixing music it can be hard for them to listen to a song and know which frequencies to boost or cut to make the bass sound good in a song.
If you’re a newbie then the best way I know how to guide you to know where to cut or boost is to give you a list of useful frequencies for several instruments. For this post I’ll give you some useful eq frequencies for the bass sound.
But remember, music production is all about practice, tweaking and testing what will work best for the song you’re currently working on. There’s no one size fits all, each song will require different settings.
Useful Bass Eq Frequencies
bottom (60Hz -- 80Hz)
Attack (800Hz -- 1000Hz)
String Noise (2.5kHz)
Other Bass Sounds
Bottom (50Hz -- 100Hz)
Fullness & Punch (100Hz -- 250Hz)
Muddiness (250Hz -- 500Hz)
Attack (900Hz -- 3kHz)
Bass Eq Tips
Before adding an eq in your inserts you need to have some vision/idea of the end results. It is very important to understand why you’re adding an eq to a bass or any other sound.
Not a lousy reason like “I want it to sound better…” or “because so and so said I must boost 4kHz to make the bass notes more clearer”, which is true but you have to be careful because 4kHz is where you also find the kick drum presence and punch as well. So they might clash.
Use the eq frequency list above to determine what needs to be done to the bass of your song so that it sounds good in the mix.
Don’t boost the high frequencies (treble) hoping the bass will sound bright, it’s a bass sound so anything above 5kHz is not always necessary. Boosting the treble wont make it bright instead it will become high-pitched and piercing.
It’s also not always necessary to cut out the muddiness and never boost the mud either. Around 250Hz to 500Hz is where you find the growl of a bass, cut that to get your bass sounding clean if you need to.
Practical Advise + Video
In the video below I’ll give you some practical advise on how to equalize a bass sound. To get the best settings, always eq your bass while the drums are playing.
Your eq settings will mostly rely on how you mixed your drums especially the kick.
Most of the time, boosting below 100Hz will add a lot of boominess and mud. So make your decisions based on the material you’re currently working on.
Remember, these are just guidelines. Hope you’ll find this bass eq tutorial very helpful and you’re going to implement the techniques.
Leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts, even if you just feel like adding something or asking a question. Just comment below I always respond.