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The bass provides the power to the mix, but it's the relationship between it and the drums that really makes the mix sound big and fat. That's why some mixers can spend hours just fine-tuning this balance. If the relationship isn't correct then the song will just never sound big and punchy. In this video I'm going to show you just how to get that balance. First thing we're going to do is we're going to have a listen to what we have. This is just the drums and bass. (Music playing) This doesn't sound too bad, but it's a little murky in the low-end.
There are some times when we can't hear the definition of the kick and there are other times when we really can't hear the definition of the bass, and that's what we're trying to get: definition plus some power. So the first thing we're going to do is look at how the kick is EQed. Now the first thing we see is it's EQed at almost 80 Hz. Now if we go and look at the bass as well, we can see that it's at 60 Hz. Well it should work in that they're not boosted at the exact same point. The only problem is if we add a lot at 60, we might not be able to hear it, because maybe our speakers are too small and they don't reproduce 60 Hz very well.
So what ends up happening is it just gets muddy down there. Even if we can really hear 60 Hertz, even 40, what ends up happening is that this just becomes one big ball of mud down there. So the first and we want to do is we want to solo the kick and the bass, and just have a quick listen. (Music playing) This isn't too bad, but again we're trying to make everything clear and what we have is a lot of mud, especially from the bass.
So the first thing we're going to do is bring this frequency up above where the kick drum is, and the other thing we're going to do, instead of having a shelving EQ, we're going to go to peaking EQ, and what this will do is it'll just peak in this case a 100 or so, and let's have a listen to what it sounds like. (Music playing) You can hear they're both working together now. You can hear each of the notes from the kick and from the bass guitar, but they're a lot more distinct because there are in frequency ranges.
Next thing we're going to do is add just a little bit of definition and on the bass, the best way to do that is add something around 700 Hz or so and what you're going to hear is some sudden definition that you didn't hear before. (Music playing) Although we have that, we have to add the same thing, not the same frequency, but the same definition to the kick. So we come over here and when we look, we see there is no high end here at all.
Usually what we'll find with the kick drum is somewhere between 2K and 4K is where we're going to hear some definition and that's really the sound of the beater hitting the head, so let's have a quick listen, hear what we get. (Music playing) I can really hear the definition. The real key here is the fact that if we look at the bass, we'll find that the frequency points are completely different than what we see for the kick, and that's what we're always trying to do. When we are juggling frequencies like this, we're trying to keep the frequency boost that we do or cuts different from every other instruments slightly.
Whenever there's an instrument that seems to get in the way of another one, it muddies it up or veils it. The reason why is there is probably a frequency that's in the way and the best thing we can do is move one of those instruments out of the way frequency wise, by either boosting a little up above the frequency or cutting at the same frequency. Either one will work. Let's look at our kick again, and another thing we can do is get rid of the beachball effect and that's kind of down here in the 200 to 400 range. (Music playing) Let's add our snare drum in. Have a listen.
(Music playing) And also let's add our sub kick in. The sub kick captures just the very lowest frequencies and it's usually somewhere below 100 cycles and actually what we're looking for is something that's down around the 60 or even 50. We're not going to hear it, but sometimes you feel it more than hear it. Let's solo it up, have a listen. (Music playing) Let's listen with all the solos off, listen to the whole track.
(Music playing) Now we can hear the kick and the snare distinctly, as well as the bass distinctly. There's a lot of power between them, and that's what we're trying to do. Now what we probably do is spend probably another hour or so just tightening this up so it sounds even bigger and fuller. But what we're going to be doing is just tweaking these frequencies a little at a time until everything kind of melts together so it sounds like one, instead of all three instruments, the kick, snare, and the bass, are distinctly different.
We want them sound like one, yet we want to hear them all individually, and that takes a little bit of time to do, but this is how you do it.
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