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4 Bass Mixing Tips to Help Your Bass Guitar Cut Through on Small Speakers

If you have big monitors in your studio, chances are you have an easy time getting the bass to fill out your low-end.

But how does it translate to smaller speakers?

Does your bass get lost when your song gets played through a laptop?

If that’s the case, let me give you some helpful tips to solve that particular problem

1. Focus on the Mids

If you just keep boosting the lows too much you’ll eventually end up with a very muddy and boomy mix.

For your bass to cut through speakers that have a narrower frequency response you’ll have to focus your energy higher up on the frequency spectrum.

Instead of boosting at 100 Hz, start hunting in the 250 Hz area for low-mid weight.

Sometimes even that can get muddy quickly so adding a few dBs at 600 – 800 Hz will bring out the harmonic multiples of the fundamental note (whatever that note is in your case, depending on the key of the song and the playing style of the bassist).

The middle frequencies, even up to the high-mids, is where you’ll get the attack of the bass. If you want to hear the sound of the bass strings more, hunt higher up on the frequency spectrum.

2. Tame the Mids in the Guitars

The bass and kick drum aren’t the only players that keep clashing. The guitars can easily get in the way of the bass guitar as well.

If you’ve found some nice boosts in the mids for the bass, try cutting those frequencies in the guitars to make room in the mix.

3. Tame the Lows

Maybe your bass guitar just needs to be louder but you can’t figure you add some subtle cuts in the lows, or even a smooth low-shelf to take the boom away you can increase the volume of the bass without cluttering up your low-end.

4. Duplicate the Highs

A more advanced trick to get the bass to cut through the mix is to duplicate the track, filter out all the low-end and then add big boosts in the mids. That way you won’t muddy up your mix but you’ll have plenty of bass guitar energy in the middle frequencies.

Here’s a video on how I do that using a parallel bus:

Try Those Bass Mixing Tips Out

Making your bass guitar stand out on small speakers is all about frequency control. Try these four tips next time you’re struggling with this problem. I’m guaranteed one of them will help you.

For more tips on EQ, check out EQ Strategies – Your Ultimate Guide to EQ here.

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About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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