Getting the low end of the mix is one of the most difficult things in mixing in that if you don’t get it right, you may lose the power of the mix, make the mix too muddy, or cover up either the kick or the bass.
The idea is to hear both the kick and the bass and have them work together so you can feel the pulse of the song. Here’s an “Into the Lair” segment video from mix master Dave Pensado as he explains how to control the low end of the mix.
If you’re hip to Pensado’s Place, you know that Dave is all about sharing what he knows and what his guests know in order to help you improve your mixing and your music.
Having known Dave for a long time, I can tell you that he’s a southern gentleman who’s exactly the same in real life as he is on his show: genuine, true, passionate and insightful, and all that comes across in this video.
Here Dave demonstrates many of the techniques that are covered in The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook (here’s an excerpt from his interview in the book), such as:
1. Using a high-pass filter to attenuate some unwanted frequencies that can cloud up a mix.
2. Add both girth and clarity to each instrument.
3. Finding space in the frequency spectrum for both instruments to live so neither covers the other up.
4. Using the compressor to bring out the punch and low end of the instrument by controlling its attack and release.
Check it out.
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. Get The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook here.