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Author Topic: EQ - Bass Guitar  (Read 2883 times)

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November 16, 2012, 09:02:45 PM
Hi all,

I know there are no set rules, but how do you typically EQ a Bass guitar track?

I usually gently roll-off the low end starting at 100hz, gently going down to 20hz.  It's more of a curve, and starts getting steep about 60hz.  I then take a 2-4db notch out for the kick to fill about 60-70hz.  I normally boost around 300hz, wide, about 2-4db, and then boost around 800-2k a few DB. 

The 300hz boost was learnt from 'tips', and works on the basis that you cut the kick in this range.  I also find it gives a bit of warmth, and makes the bass clear on small speakers.

However, recently I've seen tutorials that say you should cut 300hz as that is where the mud is.

I must admit that boosting the bass guitar @ 300hz doesn't leave much room for guitars, so I'm just wondering what you do.



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November 17, 2012, 02:48:48 AM
I usually split the bass guitar into two tracks. One, the low end, gets a HPF down low, around 2 hz, and LPF around 120 hz or so. I compress the snot out of this, fast attack, slow release, pretty high ratio, maybe 4:1 to start. I sometimes put a stereo effect on this low end, like a flanger set real slow, or a stereo detune (nice for big post rock, or death-metal type things.) I'll typically duck this track with the kick, just enough so the low end stays solid.

Then, the 2nd track is the high end, so it gets a HPF at about 350 hz or so. The slope on this hpf, as well as the LPF on the 'low end' track determine how much of those warm, yet muddy frequencies survive. This track often gets some distortion or amp simulation, and gets compressed pretty hard, too, though I might use a slower attack if I want something percussive (faster release times, too, depending on the track.) I boost a little around 800hz, if it's something I want to have a lot of pick tone.  I always think of those GK 800RB amps as having a lot of 800 hz, they get that Green Day 'Dookie' type bass tone.

All of this is very dependent on the track, of course. But I find breaking the bass into two tracks with different purposes helps a lot.

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November 17, 2012, 05:30:49 AM
I also split bass to two tracks like John.
Both tracks get whatever EQ is needed but almost always I make a small and narrow cut to low channel at the fundamental frequency of the kick drum.
This gives a little more clarity to low end when kick and bass aren't fighting for the same frequency.

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November 17, 2012, 01:47:53 PM
I've personally never heard from anyone about boosting the 300 Hz region in bass guitar, only cutting. If you compress a lot, usually the mids start to build up and bass guitar is no exception (and quite often you need to compress it quite a lot). I usually boost the high end like crazy and control it with a de-esser; quite often I find myself putting an >5 dB high shelf boost around 2 kHz. I also tend to compress the low end with a multiband to keep the bottom end consistent. There also might be some booming fundamentals which I help with some notching EQ. If I have only a DI track at hand I really don't do multing, at best I might add small parallel distortion if the song needs a slightly grittier bass tone.

If there's both a DI and an amp signal, I spend a lot of time with delaying and phase aligning the two so they reinforce the low end as much as possible; I hate it when phase eats the low end away; you can't really get it back with an EQ IMO. Quite often I find myself (after getting the delay right) putting a steep highpass filter at the DI track around 30 Hz not to cut the low end, but to twist the phase to align (the phase) with the amp signal. Most speakers (and dynamic microphones) are cutting the low end (a transformer is essentially a highpass filter), therefore twisting the phase and one needs to counter this effect by doing the same with an EQ. I personally think that this is the only way of getting the healthiest low end from a bass guitar, anything other is a gamble.

EDIT: had a typo: You CAN'T get the low end back an with EQ, not "can" :D
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 12:35:45 PM by Spede »
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"

November 17, 2012, 04:09:42 PM
Typically what I end up doing with an Electric Bass, is finding the notes played, watching for any notes that are too loud or too soft, and help them with a little EQ. Every single electric bass I have ever come across has that one note or string that is too loud or to  soft in relation to the others, so I just help that one out.

As to compression, I don't put any until very far along the mix, if need be. Most electric basses already sound quite compressed, unless the bass player is all over the place, which is rare.

Acoustic basses are very different.

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November 17, 2012, 06:10:56 PM
In rock I appreciate 130something Hz growl, I don't leave too much sub stuff unless song calls for it. I don't like too much 200Hz in my bass, I try to emphasize an octave bellow and above that. Also, boosting upper mids is good to hear bass articulation.

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November 24, 2012, 10:53:33 PM
I've tried a bunch of things, but now default to the "make it sound good at the source".  On rock or funk I tend toward a GT Brick into a dbx160XT when in my bedio.  I then high-pass gradually from 40Hz or so, and usually low-pass at 7kHz.

When I need to make it more obvious in the mix without level increases, I might boost a 1.3Q between 800 and 1,200Hz, depending on the key.

I'd always rather notch drums or high-pass guitars vs. notching the bass.

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March 05, 2013, 12:54:03 AM
Pick the bass capture or blend of captures I like and set levels. Disable master fader or group send and go out an aux channel to sum.
1176, 4:1, slow attack, medium release. Pultec attenuate at 30hz if it's boomy, or boost and cut 60hz if I want it subby, boost 1k for string buzz if I want it.

Nothin' else to it, unless I'm getting creative.

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June 17, 2013, 07:21:13 PM
Pick the bass capture or blend of captures I like and set levels. Disable master fader or group send and go out an aux channel to sum.

Can you expand on this?

August 06, 2013, 07:44:02 AM

I keep my Bass eq'ing and comping pretty basic these days (after 5-6 years mixing)

Here is a nice little recipe for Eqing bass.

Lots of decent info on this site (do a search)

I was searching drum panning earlier which was helping my mixes...snare is panned slightly and not dead center (which makes sense to get out of the way of the vocals)