The balance between the bass and drums is critical because it provides the power of the mix. The key is to make the bass, kick, and snare work together to provide the foundation of the pulse of the song yet still be able to hear each one distinctly. In this video, I am going to show you how that's done. So now that you have a drum mix that you've gotten either from using any of the approaches before from starting with the kick, from starting with the toms, from starting with the overhead, from starting with the snare, now that you have it, we're going to put it aside for a second and mute it, and we're just going to listen to the bass.
I am going to bring that bass up so it's about -10 on the master mix bus meters. (music playing) And once again, it's not going to be exactly -10. It's going to peak a little above it. It's going to go a little below it. And a little bit later when we get into compression, we're going to look to see how we can make that bass sound a little more even so we can keep it closer to -10, but for now it's okay if it drifts above or below.
So now that we've got the bass sound right around -10, now what we're going to do is we're going to unmute the drums, but we just want to listen to the kick drums. So we're going to mute all of the other drums, just listen to the kick, and we're going to mute the bass as well. The whole idea here is we want the kick to be somewhere around -10 as well. In the end, it's going to drift a little above, a little below. Now let's unmute the bass. (music playing) They should be about the same level. And let's unmute the snare drum.
(music playing) The whole idea here is you should be able to hear all three at about the same level. Now, we're going to listen to all the other drums and especially listen to see if, when we put all of the drums in, if the bass gets masked in any way, if all of a sudden it seems like it's diminished the level or the definition is diminished. So, let's unmute them all and have a listen, and we're going to listen at the drum fill.
(music playing) So the whole thing here is ask yourself if you can hear the kick and the snare and the bass distinctly. If you can't, don't worry about it because what we're going to do a little bit later is we're going to fix that with EQ and with compression. But right now, we'd just want to get it in the ballpark where all three sound like they're about at the same level.
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