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Im currently using the following track for inspiration:

I've been really trying to understand/replicate the bass in this track, introduced at 1:02. Im wrestling with how the kick and bass is sitting so well together. Usually Im able to mix ok as I dont usually occupy the same frequencies. Im wrestling with how it sounds when the bass comes in. Im not sure if its just sub freqency mixed with the kick, or if the bass has some sort of pluck in it. If you listen to the kick fully opened before the bass comes in, it has a good amount of low end, however when the bass comes in, it ads like this layer of thump that I cant describe, but I adore the sound. Not sure if thats due to the kick or to the bass coming in.

I've tried equing my kick and bass to fit together. I have sub basses/basses that I've used on previous tracks which are sine waves mixed with low amount of square or triange to give it a tiny bit of edge, however Im not sure if Im just not mixing it well or if my bass patch is off entirley. I just can't seem to get the sound I want. There's alot of clashing going on. My kick sounds great probably has same amount of low end as in the song above. Is it the bass patch im creating that may be throwing this off or is the kick what is being manipulated with the introduction of the bass?

Not really sure what Im doing wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated as to whats going on in this track.

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What this guy actually does (to my ears), he has the kick with some "ok" low end and then when the bass part comes he adds the sub.

The context is a very powerful tool when mixing, makes things sound in certain ways when it's used it the right way and the bass in this actual example is 100% context for me, because it just adds a wobbly sub layer but not making any actual difference. Imagine adding the kicks sub frequencies and then leaving it alone in the <=60 HZ, so he thinks, I need to manipulate the context so it can support the kick, as lower the kick goes the lower the bass has to go to create the classic kick bass tightness.

But then there's another problem, when you actually go this low with a bass you can't really introduce harmony because you will have places in the octave where the bass is just not audible from the most speakers and then have some regions in the octave where the bass pops out cause the speaker can actually respond. So what the guy does (given the freedom of the electronic music) he hits one note or one bass frequency and just let's it wobble down there.

The kick now has a context in which can actually exist with its own sub frequencies and make a very heavy beat.

I listened to the track with in-ear headphones before moving to my a7x's and it really shows what's done in the bass area in a way that's not so bassy but reveals some overtones of the frequencies laying down there.

Totally a subwoofer track but nothing very special about the mix.

  • Thanks man. I listened to it again with my eyes closed only headphones, makes it pretty clear to me that the kick may not be changing at all with the bass, like there is really no thump. The bass is very juicy though. What are you referring to when you use the term Wobbly? Is just a sine wave low end bass? Ill admit that the kick , what do you suggest rolling the kick off to? starting at 60hz or so? Also, I understand partly ure explanation regarding the overtones, but do you mean the kick is much higher allowing frequencies in the sub range that mix well in the key of the kick? – Dom Feb 2 '16 at 1:55
  • the idea of context by the way is very spot on, opened up my mind on the track alot – Dom Feb 2 '16 at 1:59
  • The kick actually has sub frequencies but they can only balance well in the mix when the sub bass comes. So until 1:02 the kick has just some natural bass, then he adds the kick SUB layer AND the bass sub. --- what i meant by wobble is some modulation in the bass which i cannot really understand in the exact point but it's clearly not a continuous sine... --- by overtones i meant that hearing the track with in ear headphones like cellphone style , because they can't produce the sub and they have a natural cutoff at some point you can hear the bass without the sub, which reveals a lot! – frcake Feb 2 '16 at 15:43
  • to make such a heavy kick you can do it various ways, one easy could be adding a channel with Waves RBass plugin and using the kick as KEY . You can set the RBass at pure 50Hz for super heavy kick. also after the rbass you can use a gate to shorten the length of the bass if its too long. Tip: add some ms to the attack time of the gate and keep the scan in RMS setting so you don't get clicks! – frcake Feb 2 '16 at 15:45
  • The RBass in the above example is the sub layer! others could do it simply with a low octave bass synth note, hitting the same time with the kick again length is the tip here, don't let it roll to long cause you'll lose the groove! it has to be in balance with the kick and the tracks bpm – frcake Feb 2 '16 at 15:47
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This one is pretty simple actually. It's purely sounds like a sidechained sub line. I'll break it down in more detail with what I think he did.

It sounds like a kick with mediocre low end but actually is getting it's punch from some frequencies higher up on the spectrum, aka more from the mids and maybe even a tad from the highs. He may have actually rolled off the low end of the kick around 30-40hz and boosted it a bit around 100.

The next step in achieving the sound is to create a sub/bass that is sidechained to the kick. It sounds like they did it in this with a super fast attack (around or less than 10ms) and also a release that is quite short. This will make the sub only duck out quickly when the kick hits and won't give it the "ducking effect" from using too much release common in a lot of dance music. Also, specific to the song you referenced, it sounds like their may be the slightest amount of square in the sub.

That's about it. Good luck ^_^

  • i thought it was sidechained too, but give a listen with the in ear headphones or apply an HP filter and you'll see that the bass doesn't actually duck or maybe a little from some overall compresion in the master since the kick moves the GR. And he plays 2 notes and detunes one i think. – frcake Feb 4 '16 at 22:51
  • I was listening on some loseless headphones, and it sounded to me like it was but ridiculously fast to the point of being hard to notice. – Travis Crum Feb 4 '16 at 23:08

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