I’ve been asked by a few people how I would go about getting a bass sound, since I mentioned that I’d approach things differently from the way Yossi Fine did in my Getting A Bass Sound In The Box post.
Actually, the sound of the bass isn’t as important as the relationship it has with the kick and snare drums, since they all reinforce one another if blended correctly.
Here’s my approach, assuming that both the bass and the drums are recorded well and sound pretty good to begin with, which is key.
1) Bring up the bass and drums together and have a listen to how they work together first. Don’t solo anything and especially don’t solo, then reach for the EQ just yet.
Just listen to see what’s needed.
2) It’s usually a good idea to take the high pass filter and set it to about 40 Hz (maybe a bit lower, depending upon the Q of the filter) on the kick and maybe as high as 50 Hz on the bass to get rid of any of the unwanted and unneeded frequencies down below that get in the way.
You’d be surprised how much this one trick cleans things up.
3) While listening to both the bass and the drums, add some low end on the kick between 60 and 80 Hz if needed. Some kicks also require a small (2-3 dB) dip at somewhere between 400 and 800 Hz.
To add some definition, boost a little between 3 and 5 kHz, but realize that whatever you do here might get in the way of the vocal.