Original Article By Michael Hahn
We all wish we knew how to mix kick and bass perfectly. You want that rock-solid, powerful low end that jumps right out of the speakers don’t you?
Getting your kick and bass right is hard. Bad low end is one of the most obvious signs that a track has been mixed by an inexperienced engineer.
But with a little insight, learning how to mix kick and bass properly is simple.
In this article, I’ll show you some of the best ways to EQ kick and bass to get the low end you’re looking for.
Before we start, the frequencies we’ve picked here are just helpful guidelines to get started.
Don’t do something just because someone told you to, or because “you always do it.” Use the information in this article to help you find the EQ settings that fit your unique tracks.
Remember—your ears are your first point of reference for every mixing decision.
Learn your listening environment
Don’t underestimate the effects of your listening environment.
The monitors you choose are definitely important. But even with the best speakers in the world, a bad room can still make a good mix turn out poorly.
You could perfect your mix in a bad sounding room—only to realize that it’s completely wrong when you hear it in a different environment.
That’s why studios spend thousands on acoustic treatment. The more “flat” your room’s response is, the easier it is to get a mix that sounds right on every sound system.
It’s especially true for low end like kick and bass.
How to judge low end
So what if you don’t have a perfectly tuned acoustic environment to mix in?
It’s not the end of the world.
Make an effort to know what’s going on in your space and you’ll still be able to get the low end sound you’re looking for.
To accurately judge low end in an untreated room, you should:
- Mix reference as often as you can: Referencing different tracks in different environments will help you get an idea of where biggest flaws are in your room.
- Use good open headphones to check lows: If you know your room is flawed, a good pair of headphones can go a long way to help you make mix decisions.
- Learn to identify frequency ranges: If you have a good idea of what frequencies are problematic, you’ll know to be careful when EQing them.
With that in mind, let’s talk about EQ!