How To Make Your Basslines Cut Through The Mix
Since the kick and bass is the foundation of almost every dance track, you want to hear these elements just as much as the other instruments no matter what sound system you’re on. Through this article, we discuss the importance of the lower midbass in your tracks. You will also learn how to make a powerful bassline that cuts through the mix.
When hearing the word “bassline“, many times upcoming producers may think of “sub bass”, however that’s only 50% of what a “bassline” is in most cases. Of course, this depends on what you want to accomplish with your bass sound, but to make the bassline cut through most sound systems available today, it is essential to focus just as much on the bass in the lower-mid frequencies.
Let’s start with the sub-bass.
The sub-bass is mostly covered in the 20-120Hz area, roughly, depending on which note hits the highest and lowest. It is the foundation of the whole track, it’s more felt in your body than it’s heard by your ears.
After the EQ, you may need some foundational saturation for the frequencies around 50Hz, Waves Rbass is a perfect tool for this.
Now your sub-bass should have the depth you’re looking for and from here, you can process it however you want accordingly to the track you’re working on.
After getting the sub-bass right it’s time to add a low-midbass.
A midbass is what’s going to cut through the mix. The low midbass stands roughly in the area of 100Hz – 500Hz.
Start by opening up your favorite VST, Sylenth1, Nexus 3, Diva etc. Take the same notes that are performing in your sub bass and start by pitching them one octave higher than the sub bass first, if that sounds too high let them be in the same notes as the sub. Look for a preset that’s more gritty here than just a regular sine-wave, some sort of saw-wave or saw tooth-wave usually do the work.
Send the channel of the low mid-bass to the mixer, add an EQ that looks somewhat like this:
After the EQ is set to the right settings with a highpass filter to around 120Hz (to let the sub-bass do its job alone under that specific frequency area), you may want to spice it up a little. This can be done by distortion, saturation, etc.,
Below you’ll see an example of Logic Pro’s built-in Distortion plugin, and adjust the “drive” knob accordingly to what you want.
Adding another EQ with a little boost to the frequencies around 140-160Hz and 250-350Hz (which is the main areas in the lower mid-spectrum) can also be helpful in some cases.
After following these techniques shown above, you should now have a good foundation to create a powerful bassline that cuts through the mix.
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Image credits: Heartifact Studio on Instagram