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EQ to correct weak bass?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by misterk73, Jul 11, 2002.


  1. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hi. I've got a live recording of my band that I'm trying to cut up for demo purposes. My question is this: is there anything I can do via EQ to bring out the bass without the whole recording getting boomy, distorted, and/or muddy?

    Unfortunately, I'm stuck with a premixed, stereo soundboard recording. Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated.

    BTW, I'm planning to use a Steinberg WaveLab demo on a PC or SoundEdit on a Mac to do this...

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Bahh...

    That´s a tough one, the only thing I can recomend is to expirement. Keep a backup copy of the song and then do your best to EQ it to hell and back. But unfortunately your choices are very limited at this point.
     
  3. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    That's what I was afraid of. Part of me says I should just leave it as is and save myself the aggravation, because my experiments so far have NOT paid off.

    Grrrr...
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Maybe you can try to use some compression on the lows.
     
  5. jrich

    jrich

    Jul 10, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The best thing you can do to bring out the bass is to compress it. You can compress the crap out of a bass signal. Also, it depends on what type of music you want to play. I generally start a slow roll off at about 100HZ if it is direct, there are a lot of bass tones there so don't get rid of it all, but it helps it become less muddy. Also I would experiment with a small, narrow boost around 250hz, that can add some punch. Another boost somewhere between 500-800hz, can help bring it out. and a boost around 2500hz can bring out some snap if you want that. Generally a cut is preferred to a boost, cut some of the frequencies that the guitar and kick drum are taking up instead of boosting that can help. But again Compression is the most important for bass.

    I'm fairly new to all of this so experiment, this is just what I have found helpful. Try to start the compression with like oh, 20ms attack and like 250 release, with like a 3 or 4:1 ratio so that you are getting an average of about 15db gain reduction. This gave me a lot of punch (this is for rock music style)

    Hope that helps. Experiment, but those may be some good starting points.

    josh

    wow, that was my first post in like a year:)
     
  6. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Welcome back! You're new to "this," but in your experience so far, the kind of adjustments you're talking about might work on a premixed audio track? The problem I've been having so far is that anything I do to correct the bass has had a very negative affect on the rest of the sound. You do have a good point, methinks, about cutting other frequencies rather than trying to boost the bass, though. I'll have to give it a try.
     
  7. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    BTW, I'm now going to be using Peak LE and Toast w/ Jam to handle this little project.

    Any suggestions specific to those software apps would be appreciated in addition to general tips.

    Thanks!
     
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    There's a DirectX plugin that is a software version of the BBE Maxmizer, maybe you want to check that one out. It's from Virsonix and distributed by Cakewalk I believe.
     
  9. jrich

    jrich

    Jul 10, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    hey lushfreak,

    I'm sorry, I misunderstood, not realizing that this was an already mixed song. I would do what JMX suggested. If you can find a multiband compressor, you can compress just the low frequencies. This will help give them more punch, but it will also allow you to bring them up more in the mix after they are compressed. This should help a lot if you have a muddy sound. Also, I would roll off everything below about 50Hz, unless the bass is a 5 string or more. I know that there are a few shareware and demo multiband compressors out there, but I don't know where to find any.

    Have you ever been to www.home-recording.com/bbs ?? Its a great bbs that could help you out. You shouldn't even need to make a post, just do a search, or go to the mixing or bass forums. I've been surfing that site for about a year and have learned a ton just by reading, I've only had to ask like 5 questions. Theres more out there but this one seems a bit more novice-friendly (although there are a couple "pros" who might get on your case but its no biggie)

    josh
     
  10. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hey, guys. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I may look into multiband compressors and the like later, and I'll definitely check out that BBS for some home recording tips. However, I thought you might like to know all that was required for now was...(drumroll, please...)

    INCREASING THE GAIN!

    It seems one of the problems with this recording was a weak overall signal, not just weak bass. The mix itself still leaves a bit to be desired, but boosting the overall gain allows the bass to be heard. (On a stereo system, anway -- I found out moments ago that crappy computer speakers are another story. Grrr...)

    Regardless, it should be good enough for a demo -- and who care about bass anyway? ;)