Newbie here would be glad to guide me. I want to know if it's possible for example to cut the bass drum maybe by 6dB while keeping the bass guitar or horns intact? The problem is my neighbors. I found out that a bass drum sound is much more pronounced than the rest of lower frequencies out of my apartment even with the physical isolations I already applied to doors and windows.

So is this possible with a dynamics processing or anything else? And if so, should I edit all my tracks or is there a player capable of doing so? Thanks in advance.

  • Just take an EQ and roll off some lows, it will change the nature of the sound though. Stopping bass frequencies is hard. Consider headphones if it is an option.
    – frcake
    Mar 19, 2018 at 22:40
  • Are you just playing music through a stereo, or editing music in audio software? Mar 20, 2018 at 10:27
  • @SimonBosley I'm playing the audio on my pc which the output goes to amps and then speakers.
    – user174174
    Mar 20, 2018 at 10:40
  • @frcake If I kill the bass with EQ then I'll end up with a gramophone type sound! Headphones are better but not for all the time and what about others in house?
    – user174174
    Mar 20, 2018 at 11:02
  • @user174174 what you have to understand is that a mix works together , you can never be too sure that the kick is the problem , as many kicks have great impact only because the bass hits at the same time. Frequencies are frequencies , you might call them kick / bass guitar but it's the same thing 90% of the time. You can try fighting the issue with proper bass isolation techniques on the physical layer , or end up with a mediocre solution after processing a million files. This is not the way it works.
    – frcake
    Mar 20, 2018 at 11:20

3 Answers 3


Assuming you are playing back stereo files via two speakers, there's no sure way to isolate/mute instruments in the mix without losing fidelity in some way. There are indeed certain "de–mixing" tools that will attempt to perform this procedure, but the actual results will be highly dependent on the source material, and in many cases, when reconstructed back, the mix quality will not be acceptable at all.

Rolling off the entire low end with an shelving EQ is your best bet.


There are techniques of separation of musical instruments using a combination of timbre recognition (spectrum analysis) and real‐time harmonic/inharmonic filtering.

Most of these approaches require to process the audio signal with advanced processing software, such as Matlab or programming languages like C/C++ or Python.

  • So I guess there should already be some plugins and/or players available?
    – user174174
    Mar 20, 2018 at 10:42
  • I don't know any ready-to-use plugin to achieve this, but yes libraries like this one to process audio files.
    – Evhz
    Mar 20, 2018 at 10:48

Short of applying ridiculous amounts of DSP (which would likely be ineffective anyway), here's the reality: you can manipulate a specific frequency range with filtering, but you can't distinguish between instruments that share that range. Cut 6 dB at 80 Hz, for example, and you'll reduce the bass of every instrument with sound around that frequency. Bass guitar, bass drum, timpani, cello, synth--all would take the hit.

The only time you can practically apply frequency-based processing on individual instruments is at the mix, when you're working with individual audio tracks.

You can reduce overall bass for better neighbor relations, but you can't decide which instruments are affected. Sorry.

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