I'm struggling with a piece of audio. Answers here on this site and my own searching suggests it is phasing, but I am very hopeful if some can clarify.

Here is a link (download MP3), although I will also try to explain the issue in case the link every becomes dead.

The audio includes 3 instruments; bass guitar, electric guitar and a kick drum (with some bleed of the rest of the kit on the kick drum, but I don't think this matters). The first half of the track displays a lot of low end frequencies (bass) when only the 2 guitars are playing, but, as soon as the kick drum starts (about half way through), it kills almost all the bottom end from the 2 guitars.

I think this is phasing; I am using Cubase and inverting the phase does nothing to help.

Further investigation shows the fault is only with the bass guitar and kick.

I have checked to ensure there is no side chain / compression going on so it's not that!

What options do I have to solve this? Killing off the frequencies in either the bass guitar or the kick drum resolves the issue but is such an extreme frequency cut that it ends up with an instrument sound I'm not happy with. Changing the volume does help but only to a small degree.. Do I have any other options?

  • Tim - please migrate to Sound
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 9:02
  • Why has this been moved to Video to then be closed as off topic?
    – Dave
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 15:48
  • Dave - it wasn't. It was moved to AVP, where it was on topic. But now Sound and Video have been split out we need to migrate it over to Sound. This site is now going to solely focus on Video.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


Take a look at this (I made a quick snapshot of it as the fist kick came in. To the left is guitar and bass unadulterated, in the middle is the kick and to the right is no kick but reduced guitar and bass until the next kick comes along: -

enter image description here

I don't think it's side-chaining, I think it's regular compression with a long sustain i.e. the kick comes in and gets compressed (because it's loud!) and the compression remains for a considerable period afterwards keeping the guitar and bass at a lower level probably about 6dB lower.

  • Thank you. The fault was indeed a long release on a compressor... and I had routed it to the wrong channel where a compressor was on but this led me to the answer very quickly.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 7:36

Actually, this is when you want to apply side-chain compression. You want to compress the tracks you don't want to be the most present using the output from the channel(s) you want to preserve.

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