I’d like to preface this week’s post by saying I play several instruments, but I will always be first and foremost a bass player!
So, the tip I’d like to share this week holds a special place in my heart when I’m fighting with a bass part that doesn’t want to keep steady levels. How many of you have been there? I know I have. If you haven’t I want to live in your world!!! There are many factors that can cause an unstable bass part. It could be the player or maybe a cheap bass with dead spots or even dead strings. When problems occur, low frequencies stick out like a sore thumb. They aren’t tight, level, or consistent.
I have the great Andrew Scheps to thank for this great trick I am about to share. I’m a huge fan of parallel compression on bass. I still use it a lot, but I don’t always care to use it. I feel sometimes it can color the signal in a way I don’t care for. Maybe I’m just guilty of overusing this technique on bass from being a proud bass player! Ha! If you have a transient shaper this is where this tip is going to help you. Take a transient designer and side-chain to your bass track with the attack turn down all the way and the sustain turned up some, but usually not all the way. This in turn will keep the low end of the bass from neither jumping out or completely disappearing from the mix. I found this to work very well and a great alternative to overusing compression, parallel compression, and volume automation. This is a brilliantly easy and effective technique you can add to your arsenal granted you have access to a transient designer.
It’s the many small tips and tricks along the way that make the biggest difference in our mixes. Most importantly it’s how we judiciously and effectively use them. Here at MixCoach our members are learning these kinds of great concepts every month. If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend taking it for a test drive. Come on over and join the great community forum we have. Until next time I hope you guys get to use this tip and go mix some great tracks!
How do you go about mixing a stubborn bass line!