Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

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Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by MidiMadMan » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:20 am

Hi, I was hoping someone out there could help me out with something. I have been making electronic music since I bought Ableton. In my songs I would put midi bass tracks in and jack the EQ8 low end frequencies way up. I have decent speakers with a decent subwoofer, nothing fancy, but I thought it was a fair interpretation as to how the bass would sound. Then i got subs in my car and the bass was so loud that everything else was barely audible.

My question is, how can you tell when your bass frequency is at a level that corresponds with the rest of the song, since my speakers clearly don't give a realistic representation?? Is there any tricks or tactics you guys use? Is there something I can do with the Spectrum to figure this out? Anything will help!!!

Thanks for any replies!!

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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by tstu102 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:56 pm

This is a very complex questions, but the short answer is: your monitoring is inaccurate. Speakers, and many bass traps around your room will help. In the meantime, buy accurate headphones (Sennheiser HD 580) to listen on.

If you can't get it right, it's better to have too little bass than too much.

High pass at around 30 Hz kick and bass.

Find out what frequencies your kick drum occupies, and write your bassline in other frequencies. Or vice versa.

Use an eq to cut the kick frequencies out of your bass; use an EQ to cut the bass frequencies out of your kick. If it sounds bad doing thing, you may have chosen the wrong sounds.

This takes years, good luck

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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by 102455 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:13 pm

One thing you can do is to use tracks that you know well as a reference.

Listen to how those sound on your system and try to make your own productions sound like that.

Study the frequency responses of your fave tracks to see how the freqs are spread across the spectrum, and mix your tracks to have the same spread.

Best solution though (and most obvious) is to get better monitors!

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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by Dragonbreath » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:27 pm

Do you have actual monitors or just regular speakers? Having actual monitors will help you make better mix decisions. But the basis is that you have to know your reference. Your system is not giving a true representation of the content. From what I understand it seems you like music with alot of bass, so when your mixing you mix it to your taste. So you have to remember that things will sound alot tammer in your mix enviroment and turn it down from what you thinks sounds right. try bringing your mix back and forth from the house to the car. This way you can teach your ears the diference in sound bettewn these diffirent contexts, with time you will learn to adapt, but having some decent monitors would make this process alot easier. I mixed trough a 70's sounds system and headphones for a couple years till I got monitors and its the best purchase I have ever made. My mixes are alot better since. Now If I could treat my room :oops:

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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by Sage » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:32 pm

With a lot of synths these days, there is rarely any need to boost the low end. A mid-scoop will probably work better.

Another thing to do is to play some sine waves at various frequencies below 100Hz and walk around your room. You may find that at certain points in the room the frequency disappears completely and others, scary loud. The position this happens will change with frequency.

If this is the case, then your problem is the room and not the speakers themselves.

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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by memes_33 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:35 pm

this is likely more of an acoustics issue than anything else. i'm imagining a small room with parallel wall surfaces (i.e. square or rectangle). you need bass traps. also, you need to 'know your room' better. if you repeat the same process over and over (mix in your room, listen in your car, adjust, repeat), you will soon know what frequencies your room is 'leaving out' (i.e. which frequencies the bass waves are cancelling each other out at). if you have access to a 'big system' (like a good sounding club system), that's even better than your car.

bass frequencies are absolutely the hardest thing to tame, especially for us home producers with small rooms, hard surfaces and low ceilings. i work in a small, rectangular room, and i currently have 6 bass and bass/mid traps and am still thinking i need more.
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Re: Bass Question: Frequencies and EQing

Post by Tone Deft » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:42 pm

use Spectrum to see how things are shaping up.

you can also study songs that you like with Spectrum for guidance.

good news is that you're on your way to sounding much better. 8)
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