This second segment devoted to the bass instrument underscores the thought, time and energy Brian Malouf puts into getting the bottom end of a mix right, and continues to delve into the challenges that come into play in 2016, where the bottom end of a mix has become extreme in many cases. The synth and sub-bass components are discussed here.
- If you've listened to popular records…over the past six decades, like I have,…one of the things that stands out, to me,…as time has marched on,…is the content of the bass instrument.…Lately, you're hearing, and getting, as a mixer,…more and more sub-bass elements…to deal with in your mix.…And, oftentimes, like in this case,…you're getting a regular electric bass guitar…and a synthesized bass sub-harmonic, together,…and with all that bass build-up,…you can end up with a very muddy mix.…
So, let's figure out how we don't get that.…Play the song from the beginning.…(loud rock music)…So, really, you can see they're playing…exactly together, here.…(vibrating guitar notes)…One of the first things I listen for…when I see two basses playing the same part…is, I want to make sure they're dead on, in tune.…And these happen to be but if they weren't,…I would tune the most out of tune instrument…with Antares auto tune set on the bass instrument setting.…
There's nothing more detrimental to a bass presence…in a mix than it being slightly out of tune,…
Brian starts with the basics of creating a mix template and getting a good raw balance of the instruments in the mix. He then dives deep into signal processing techniques on many types of instruments, including drums, bass, guitar, keys, vocals, percussion, strings, and brass. He'll pick out and treat individual tracks with compression and EQ, add space with reverb and echo, and modulate the sound with flangers and phase shifters. Pro Tools is used throughout the course, but the techniques will work equally well with the DAW of your choice.
- Customizing a mix template
- Understanding the interplay of volume, panning, EQ, and dynamics
- Processing drums
- Processing lead and background vocals
- Gain processing
- Treating the bass guitar and synth guitar
- Placing piano in the mix
- Treating strings and brass