Old 05-09-2018, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default EQing bass

So here's how I approach bass,

HP follows the fundamental, LP for noise/garbage above. Automated boost of fundamental and 1st harmonic. That part in the middle with the steep boost is actually me playing my keyboard, triggering the EQ-boost melody.

Kick is triggering the cut around 90Hz. Song might still be too bassy; thoughts?

https://youtu.be/eTGSxZS_Qx8

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Old 05-09-2018, 12:33 PM   #2
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Snare is triggering a cut too.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:01 PM   #3
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Here's the static curve for the bass guitar from a recent track. I know having so many abilities ITB can be fun/tempting, but if I had to do what you just did to make a bass acceptable in a mix, I'd retrack it and/or fire the bass player.


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Old 05-09-2018, 01:09 PM   #4
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That is mathematically insane! lool
don´t do that!
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
if I had to do what you just did to make a bass acceptable in a mix, I'd retrack it and/or fire the bass player.
AMEN. But, I appreciate Mr.PC's Academic exercise.

It was probably acceptable before all of this. Now it's ~9.4% more acceptable. Bravo!

How do I approach processing a perfectly acceptable bass? I'm so glad you asked.

I'll use some parametric eq and a comp to get it to fit well in the track. (~4.14% improvement) Then I usually I add some sort of distortion and automate the wet/dry mix to get it grooving and punching in the right parts (~2.17% improvement). Then I go to ReaFir in comp mode to tame a wild note here and there...

ReaFIR's parameters aren't exactly automatable, so various shenanigans to get what I want ensue. (~2.8714% improvement)

To get that last 10% improvement on a track that's 90% there already, you have to use New Math. With New Math, luckily, there are no wrong answers!
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I appreciate Mr.PC's Academic exercise.
Yes which I've told him in threads past.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:26 PM   #7
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I DI the bass, so EQing is dependent on what virtual AMP and the settings.

If I mess up the Amp'ing then the EQing is a nightmare. Sometimes some really crazy looking low cuts are needed to make the bass sit right - nothing you can read about in a book or people would recommend on YouTube.

And then it depends on what role I want to bass to play in the song. Sometimes I want to hear the bass, sometimes it is more or less a percussion that participates in keeping time with the kick drum. I really like the bass to be audible in a song, but learning to tone it down so other instruments can play a bigger role.

What you have presented seem reasonable - on average - for the average role of the bass in a rock song - assuming it was not tracked or virtually amp'd awkwardly.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:45 PM   #8
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I really dig the EQ resonance solo! That was really cool.

It is still too boomy though. I've found that deep resonances on bass parts don't neatly follow pitches, and usually carving out a static notch, or using dynamic EQ at a set point, deals with too much boom. I used to side chain the kick all the time, but now I hardly ever do.

Still, without hearing it before you EQ'd it, it's impossible to say how much you improved it!
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:15 PM   #9
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In any sort of heavy rock music, the bass DI is copied at least once:
Bass Hi Crunch
Bass Low

The Bass Low gets high passed to based on the kick, and low passed around 240ish. Compress the living crap out of it, to keep the low end pegged.

Then the Bass Hi Crunch is high passed around 200ish, from here, I think your technique would be quite useful. In fact, Sound Radix has a plugin that already does this, Surfer EQ2... everything Sound Radix makes is unbelievable. Auto-Align is the greatest thing to happen to live recorded drums since Drum Leveler.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:13 AM   #10
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maybe some snare is bleeding in the kick mic? I'll have to look into that.

The track already was acceptable / pretty good. I could have actually just exported the original recording untouched and it'd sound good.


What I'm trying to do is push new levels of bass, without things sounding muddy / compressed. Looks like I've failed on that front, but w/e.

Next goal can be, as above, a 7.4% improvement on an already good take (at least I shouldn't make it worse, which likely everyone will say I have after hearing the unprocessed bass).

I *almost* decided to re-tune every harmony in this track to pure-intervals, but decided it wouldn't be worth the effort.

The bass was recorded DI actually. I tried some amp-models using Helix... but didn't really feel it improved anything.


"I've found that deep resonances on bass parts don't neatly follow pitches, and usually carving out a static notch, or using dynamic EQ at a set point, deals with too much boom." So wouldn't this mean what I'm doing, tracking pitch with EQ, would make sense?

I also thought about following the bass track with a LF sine-wave.

I'll have to try chopping the bass into 2 parts; never did that before... but on this track; I've already taken it so far, I don't want to start from scratch here.



Did anyone recognize Tolkien btw?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VOdv2RE4jg
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. PC View Post
"I've found that deep resonances on bass parts don't neatly follow pitches, and usually carving out a static notch, or using dynamic EQ at a set point, deals with too much boom." So wouldn't this mean what I'm doing, tracking pitch with EQ, would make sense?
In theory it makes sense, but in practice I think it might be a waste of time. Even on a well set up bass, the frequency response doesn't follow a neat pattern, especially the part involves playing the same pitches on different strings. I've personally found that overpowering low resonances tend to pop out of a certain fret, or couple of frets, of one string. It's because of this that I think an EQ, or dynamic EQ, in a fixed spot works well, and chasing fundamentals and harmonics might be unnecessary.

Splitting the bass into a deep, low and clean, and then a high-mid heavy ratty track works well. You can use the blend like a tone knob for different sections.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:39 AM   #12
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https://nofile.io/f/BGTqgVoskcu/song+4+v3.mp3

I added some EQ boosting automated to sound a bit like wah, it's in the 200-1k range, so helps the bass cut through a bit.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
... I know having so many abilities ITB can be fun/tempting, but if I had to do what you just did to make a bass acceptable in a mix, I'd retrack it and/or fire the bass player.
That's what I was going to say. Is the bass player still available?

If not... well, best success with that Mr. PC! I've done some science project style restoration work before but this looks just brutal.
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:16 PM   #14
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^

To further clarify my earlier response... if it's a creative choice, then all options are open, other than being tasked with that choice actually being effective. If it's just trying to get a basic bass tone to work in a mix in a traditional fashion, then I'd stick with my first (somewhat facetious) reply.

Now we could say "creativity has no bounds and traditional is subjective" which would be true, but knowing what one wants regardless of what that is; and being able to communicate it effectively, means they can be more deliberate with that vision, instead of taking blind stabs in the dark. Not that Mr. PC is taking blind stabs, just saying understanding what he's trying to achieve is paramount over any other advice.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. PC View Post
https://nofile.io/f/BGTqgVoskcu/song+4+v3.mp3

I added some EQ boosting automated to sound a bit like wah, it's in the 200-1k range, so helps the bass cut through a bit.
I don't know if an artistic choice or a monitoring problem, but it's all very boomy and muddy in the low range. Kind of gives it a 3rd generation cassette kind of vibe (but with better bass response!), so I'm not sure how deliberate it is.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:55 AM   #16
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Your file has a lot of bass low end, but no clarity or definition.

One thing I do is to run a send to another track, named "Distort Bass" and insert a distortion plugin on it. Mix that in with the original bass to get just the amount of 'dirt' on the bass.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:43 AM   #17
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The sound is a little disturbing.
I've never seen a bass-track treated that way.

Some interesting music and ideas here,
but somethings tells me you're far too much in your head when mixing. Keep it simple and use your ears.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Even on a well set up bass, the frequency response doesn't follow a neat pattern, especially the part involves playing the same pitches on different strings.
There is actually a predictable pattern to it, but it's complex and about impossible to compensate. It has mostly to do with the way that the harmonic series sets up along the vibrating length of the string and the position of the pickup relative to that.

The fundamental always swings the full length from the fret to the bridge. If any part of it is moving one direction, the whole string is moving that direction. The only nulls are at the fret and the bridge, and the widest excursion is at the exact center between them. On an open string, that's over the 12th fret, but if you fret at the 12th, the center is now where the 24th would be.

If we look only at the first harmonic - an octave above the fundamental - we find a null at the fret and the bridge, but also at the center point. The string swings one direction on the bridge half of the string and the opposite direction on the fret half, and not at all right in the center. It swings the furthest at the quarter points - the 24th fret on an open note, and the 36th fret when we play at the 12th.

Our pickups stay in one place, but the nulls and peaks of the different harmonics move around as we change frets, so the pickup...well...picks up a different balance of harmonics depending on where you're fretting. That IS a noticeable change in frequency response.

As the pickup moves closer to the bridge, this effect has less noticeable impact in the sound. A pickup right at the bridge (a piezo under the saddle for example) should be as close to perfectly even all the way up the fretboard as you can get. But this also changes the relative mix of the harmonics because the widest swing of the fundamental is much further away than that of the higher harmonics, so that they seem to be swinging about the same distance. That's a large part of why a bridge pickup seems to be brighter than a neck pickup, and a piezo pickup is so ugly andbright and brittle on the top end.


I'm not going to comment on the OP. I've found that for most things rock you can just pound it into an SVT and be done with it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:25 PM   #19
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It really is a question of horses for courses. I am a bass player. No, really. several decades of professional experience.
In my particular case, 99% of everything I record on bass is straight in, either using my focusrite Octopres instrument in or via my GAP 73 preamps instrument in.
Once I have the part properly recorded, I seldom if ever use an amp sim & very little compression. And stuff generally just sits in the track.
However I have been doing some stuff for other people lately, one of which involved a bunch of overdriven guitars, which in this case completely swallowed up most of the available space in the area from bass to upper mid. Guitarists of the RAWK persuasiuon are greedy buggers & the only way round it that I found was to carve out everything but the extreme bottom end on a copy of the bass track, and then add a LOT of high mid and a little dirt to the original.
Speaking purely for myself, I would have loved to have been let loose on the guitar tracks, which is where I think most of the problems relating to bass inaudibility or lack of clarity originate.

IF you have control over both elements, have you actually tried carving out the guitars and the bass so they dont interfere with each other so much? Might give you better results than simply bashing around at the bass track.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:00 AM   #20
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About preamps.

The best (cleanest, punchiest) bass sound we get in rock music recording session was Passive Fender Jazz Bass in Radial JDI™ Passive Direct Box connected straight to RME MIC in.

Other choices was GAP73, dbx386, RME DI, SONUM H20, Fredenstein Artistic.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:47 AM   #21
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Just to be picky...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. PC View Post
...Automated boost of fundamental and 1st harmonic...
The first harmonic is the same frequency as the fundamental frequency...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
...If we look only at the first harmonic - an octave above the fundamental...
That's the second harmonic. I used to teach this stuff to engineering students.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:57 AM   #22
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I knew somebody was going to come along with that, which is why I added the clarification to my post. We actually hear it both ways. I don't doubt that you're technically right.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:19 PM   #23
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[picky]

Then the word you're looking for is overtone, not harmonic!

The first overtone is the second harmonic - confusing eh!

The harmonic series numbering makes perfect sense to a mathematician; I suppose the overtone numbering makes better sense to a musician.

I'm probably a mathematician first, musician second (and not much of either these days)!

[/picky]
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:14 PM   #24
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The bass sounds really boomy and lacks any sort of punch or clarity that is needed for all the runs it has.

I'd start again on this one, try multiband compression to keep it tighter in the lows if needed and a regular compressor to accentuate attacks (try 100ms attack and high ratio with subtle threshold).

If it isn't cutting, boost around 500. Carve out a spot for the kick but make sure you boost either side to compensate. Check the tuning of the kick, perhaps it would be better changed to avoid phase issues (such as if the song is in A and the kick is resonating at not-quite A or any other pitch which is not consonant with the key signature).
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:25 AM   #25
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Thanks everyone....

I've got 2 similar thread going now, ooops. Oh well.

I realized the main problem... he only plays fretless. The attack is not string, and there's a little swell after the attack. Should I just embrace the fretless tone? Because I think that's basically what I've been fighting.

Bass Professor is helping a bit here. What do y'all think of this version?

https://nofile.io/f/CTAKgnzTSNZ/The+...Trench+V11.mp3

I think I'm really happy with this last one, version 12
https://nofile.io/f/JoZN3Eb0S02/The+...Trench+V12.mp3
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:56 AM   #26
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Quote:
What do y'all think of this version?

https://nofile.io/f/CTAKgnzTSNZ/The+...Trench+V11.mp3

yo eh- still seems like the kicks are waaay too subby! guess your trying the 'ol 38hz trick? - but for this mix it aint working 'right' tbh..yet-
if u shoot over the stems_will take a peak n tweak if u like. y/n?
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:03 AM   #27
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I agree. V12 sounds warm and round in the low end. Good job!
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:29 AM   #28
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The Kick has a sub, a sine-wave tuned to whatever chord the song is doing, so if it's an A chord, 55Hz, E I think 33Hz.

I thought about tuning the actual kick itself - if people think it's worth it I'll do that. The actual kick is 83Hz.

Should I do stems in mp3 format? A bunch of .flac files will be huge, no?

How should I do it?
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:39 PM   #29
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Quote:
How should I do it?
^bruv ,it's upto you-but wavpack works nice here..
if your happy with your track + mix then that's that..be happy eh!



or ..this>
Quote:
Would you consider ZIPing the tracks and making them available for us to have a go at mixing a few examples? All track dry with no effects.

I know I'd enjoy mixing a song like this.

Heck I'd even use only Reaper stock plugins and send you my project file so you can see what is going on under the hood.

What do you think?



am actually curious to how you tracked and mixed this m8 tbh.. may be learning something here. =)

question= "does your mix sound like your band playing it in the room?"
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:11 PM   #30
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Sorry, my internet's been terrrrible. I might be able to do stems from Canada, but here's a very different mix. I cut the mics that weren't being used (manual gating).

https://nofile.io/f/eA2oQtCFVhE/The+...ch+v18-001.mp3


Nevermind, this one is better

https://nofile.io/f/ZJ5nFHNAATR/The+...ch+v19-001.mp3
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:22 PM   #31
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Oy, PM isn't working for me.

Y'all got emails or something I can send it to?

If you go to my website below, and click "contact" you can send me an email, and I'll return you some tasty stems.

{Edit, nevermind, here are the stems}

https://ufile.io/08yk5
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