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Hi all,

I've struggled with this for years. How do you all go about eq'ing and mixing a bass line in a heavy beats stlye track and make it sound good/tough coming through laptop speakers. I'm aware that the frequency response of the speakers will remove the low frequencies, but in my case when I check the mix from headphones/monitors to laptop speakers my bass line is barely audible. It always disappoints me that I can no longer hear what note is being played.

Is there there a mixing trick for this? I've often wondered if people layer in a mid to high version of the bass line so that it pokes through the mix.

Thanks

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7 Answers 7

up vote 0 down vote accepted

mix out the Eq's that clash. You don't want much sitting in there in the same EQ range affecting your bass. Try some Side-chain compression as well with the bass drum to make it punch through a mix.

What kind of music is it anyway?

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Thanks for your answer, music style is electronica/beats. I work at a games company so I often have to present music on an ipad/iphone/laptop which is often where my basslines' go missing. –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:26

Just make sure you have reserved appropriate space for the bass in the mix and your bass actually has some mid / hi frequencies as well. I usually have 2-3 different layers of bass in my tracks, sub, mid and / or his. I then mix all of these layers into additional sum bus, thus giving me more control how the bass sound actually sounds.

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Ahh, ok so I thought this might be what some people do, this would give me more control when trying to get the bass into a sweet spot when switching from monitors to lo-fi speakers. Thanks for the tip! –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:41
    
You can also pinpoint more accurately which elements fight for the same space in the mix with bass by turning on other tracks one by one and listening which of them collide with the same frequencies as your bass sound. Goof luck, practice makes perfect! –  Ville Sorsa May 12 '12 at 5:49

Lots of great stuff already mentioned, but I'd also recommend checking Bobby Owsinski's blog too.

Saw a recent blog post that you might find useful.. http://bobbyowsinski.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/5-tips-for-balancing-bass-and-drum-mix.html

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Looks like a great resource, I'll check this out, thanks, wish I'd asked this question years ago. –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:28

Whack an analog distortion thing on it, VintageWarmer maybe? Very little, very subtle. Also play with EQ, boosting frequencies that are -not- bass at all. Your brain will then reconstruct things in its own wonderful way.

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I'll give this a go, thanks! –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:26

As a quick answer, have you tried investigating MaxxBass/RBass and/or LoAir? They operate off of different principals but that's a way to introduce to low end punch which tends to read. I'm sure there's other plugins like it as well - those ones just come to mind though because I work with them.

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I'll look into this, thanks for your answer –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:31
    
@Nevis try playing with sidechain compression as well. Done right, it can sandwich the bass in the mix nicely without muddying anything around it. –  Stavrosound Jul 16 '12 at 20:39

If you use a harmonic generator you can introduce additional harmonics of the low notes, which will allow the notes to cut through a bit more. The listener will hear phantom notes or difference tones, even though the laptop was not capable of reproducing the low frequencies. You will obviously need to tune the harmonic generator and use appropriate EQ, it is not an on/off effect.

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Thanks for your answer –  Nevis May 12 '12 at 0:30

Hey guys i also had trouble with bass recording being barely audible with cakewalk guitar tracks pro,i fix this by switching all software eq sliders to high shelf then adjusting the eq as needed it makes a world of difference.

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