002 MixCoach Minute – Getting a Fat bass tone starts with your hands

That elusive bass sound is something we all strive for… in this MixCoach Minute episode, I’m going to tell you where it all starts.



Raw Transcript:

Hey guys, it is Kevin with MixCoach. This is the second episode of MixCoach
Minute where I answer questions from my members and my subscribers from
around the world about things that work for me. These are not necessarily
the textbook answers, these are answers that have worked for me or these
are solutions that have worked for me.

First let me tell you this; the MixCoach Minute is brought to you by
MixCoach Member. This is where we train hundreds of mixers just like you to
mix different styles of music. We’ve mixed jazz, we’ve mixed pop, we have
mixed stuff with brass in it, and we’ve mixed country. We’ve mixed blue
grass, we have mixed Folk. You name it, we have mixed it. Well, not
everything, not every style. We have not done polka yet but do not count us

There are hundreds of people in this community that will be mixing the same
song that you do every month. They will be able to give you their opinions
on what they have done and has worked and I have found that from the
beginning, which we have been doing this for a little over a year, the
mixes have gotten so much better. Our mixers have notably made strides,
huge strides in the way they mix. I know it works and I think it will work
for you too. Check out MixCoachMember.com for more details, okay?

This is a question from Philip Holbrook. He said, “How do you get that big,
huge bass sound?” I’m a bass player so this is a subject that is near and
dear to my heart. First of all Philip, let me tell you that my answer is
probably going to be a little counter-intuitive. Bass doesn’t necessarily
need to be huge all the time. It is one of those instruments that is a
piece of a puzzle and a lot of people try and make it the puzzle and fit
everything else in around it. That is not necessarily what needs to happen.

I also find out that it is harder to get a huge bass tone than it is for a
bass player to give you a bass song. It starts at the source. It starts
with these. I find that good bass players can make a bad bass sound good,
they really can. By the pressure they use on the strings, how they sustain
the strings, the instrument, the strings, the preempt that they go through.
Sometimes they use old vintage preempts and sometimes they use limiters and
compressors and amps and things like that.

If you want a big, huge bass sound and you’re not getting it now I would
either have a heart to heart with your bass player or I would try
experimenting with other bass players if you do not think it would be too
offensive to anyone. Or if you really want to get ahead, throw caution to
the wind and start using some other bass players. But I find that my
favorite bass players get me my favorite bass tone every time.

That is where it starts. Now, what I do to a bass when it gets into a
track, even when they give me this big, huge bass tone, is probably the
counter-intuitive part, is I usually sometimes filter out low end on a
bass. I know that sounds unusual but I find that sometimes the tone that
they give me is so big that it’s taking up too much room in the track.

So I will take out, I will filter a little bit, probably nothing below 70-
ish. I filter a gentle slope below 70 to make sure that things are carved
out below there and that’s only sometimes. Most of the time, and I do live
in Nashville, the music capital, great bass players everywhere, I find that
they give me bass tones and a lot of times I do not do anything to them.

So if you find yourself struggling with bass all the time, try another bass
player. I know that’s not the mixing thing you wanted to hear, you know
like you wanted to add 20 kHz of this and stuff like that. I wish I could
tell you that but most of the time that’s not the case. Usually you are
fighting against a force that you are not going to be able to beat and
that’s bad bass tone.

Now with that being said, I’m trying to think of a tip I can give you. Big,
huge bass tone comes down to the bass player. It really does. I don’t know
if you play bass, if you are the bass player, if you are you might need to
swallow your pride and find another bass player so that you can learn from
him. I would not be counting you out. If you do use another bass player
it’s not that you have to not use him forever, it is just that you know how
to ask, “Hey, can we try this bass now?” or “This sounds like a bass that
would be great for a jazz bass,” or “This is a five string kind of song.”
That sort of thing.

I really, honestly hope that helps and I know that probably was not the
answer you were looking for or maybe the answer that a lot of my
subscribers were looking for. You are looking for geeky mixer answer I
know. But the thing about mixing is that it usually starts at the source a
lot. If it is a good bass player you will find that you will not have to do
a whole to it and if you end up doing a lot to it, listen to the last video
that I did, episode one, you may be trying to overdo it, okay?

Anyway, I hope that helps and I will see you on the next episode of the
MixCoach Minute. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Click HERE to watch the next episode of the MixCoach Minute!

MixCoach, Bass, Huge Bass

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