Mixing and taming your bass is one of the most difficult things to get right. You need amazing acoustics and room treatment and a great ear to make it sit well in the mix. If your bass is too thick and boomy it will overpower your mix and weigh it down; conversely, if the bass is too thin, your mix will sound weak and not have the impact and power it needs. A big part of controlling the low end lies in using proper EQ and compression to tame all the dynamics range bass creates. Furthermore, re-amping is a great way to turn a decent bass tone into an amazing one! Today I’ll show you how to mix a clean and punchy bass tone using EQ, compression, and re-amping with Amplitube 4. See the video below or continue reading.
how to mix a clean and punchy bass tone:
tame dynamics with compression
Firstly, I tamed the bass’ dynamics range with compression using UAD 1176LN REV E. I set my attack time pretty slow to keep the punchiness while still taming transients a little bit and set my release time to the fastest. With a ratio of 4, I was getting around -7 db of gain reduction on the peaks. See screenshot below:
re-amp using amplitube 4
Secondly, after testing out a number of reamping plugins, my favorite would hands down have to be Amplitube 4 SVT VR Amp. It sounds almost identical to the real thing. After a lot of tweaking, I chose to boost my low end using the mid boost and cut the bass. As a result, the bass came out really punchy. See screen shot below:
tone shaping with eq and dynamic eq
Thirdly, I tamed certain frequencies using Waves F6 dynamic EQ. The bass was a little muddy and boomy, and dynamic EQ is a great way to make surgical tone shaping changes without altering the sound too much. I then added regular EQ using Fabfilter Pro Q2 to carve out even more low and low midrange. I also boosted around 1k to give the bass some more bite, which would help it sound better on smaller speakers. See screenshots:
Finally, to mix a clean and punchy bass tone, I used Fabfilter Pro MB Multiband Compressor to even out the sub and bass frequencies. I heavily compressed the sub bass and turned it up about 5db as I was lacking very low end. I also compressed and tamed the low end at 150hz with about -4db of gain reduction. See screenshot:
And there you have it! Here’s the unprocessed and processed bass side by side:
So I hope you enjoy this tutorial and put it to good use to mix a clean and punchy bass tone. Above all, just keep producing!
For questions, feel free to shoot me an email by contacting me.
Pierre Andrews recording studio is located in Irving, TX and services the Dallas Forth Worth area and works remotely with clients all around the world via Soundbetter.