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Help!!! I don't hear the bass sound in any song!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by alexb83, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. alexb83


    Jul 14, 2005
    There are a lot of songs where the sound of bass doesn't hear or doesn't understand. How can i do? Is there a software that allows to hear only the bass sound in a song?
  2. I guess the only thing you could do is to boost the bass frequencies more. Messing with the mix itself would be a violation against copyright laws (I think) and the person credited for the mix.
  3. Paul182


    May 18, 2005
    If you don't hear bass, then it doesn't sound like you should play it. Do you mean you never hear it or you just don't know what it is?
    I think this is in the wrong forum.
    Duckwater and SunnBass like this.
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Can you give some examples? There are plenty of songs out there that either have no bass or where the line is buried in the mix. There are also tracks where the bass is nice and loud but playing a non-traditional role so you might mistake it for guitar, keys, etc.

  5. How are you listening to these songs? If you are using a small stereo with poor bass response, it may be hard to hear. If this is the case, then try a stereo with better bass (bigger speakers?), or good headphones.
    eukatheude likes this.
  6. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    what music are you listening to?
    it just takes some practice...if you're looking to learn some lines, i've heard this works well.
  7. If I'm understanding you correctly, what you would like to be able to do is to isolate the bass line from the other instruments in a particular song (from a CD, download,etc), as though you were pressing the 'solo' button on the mixing desk.

    To the best of my knowledge there is no software that is capable of doing that. There is only so much you can do:

    a) eq the track differently, lowering the highs and boosting the bass frequencies to bring out the bass. In my experience, this hardly ever works cause you'd be effectively muddying the sound up.

    b) you can sometimes download some songs in midi form and have the bass written down as separate. In that case, you could hear the line played on its own. The drawback with this is that you have a very limited supply of these songs on the net (as in you might find Celine Dion's "MY HEART WILL GO ON" but you'd probably not find "TEEN TOWN" by weather report (Jaco)). Moreover, you'd be trusting someone else's transcription of the line and the net is notorious for wrong transcriptions.

    c) The best thing to do, in my opionion, is to make the effort to transcribe the line from the recording, bad though it might be. This is what all the old school players did before tabs existed (heck its what I did and I'm not that old). This will force you to use your ears, effectively training them. Learning bass lines this way will give you a knowledge of relationships between notes in that eventually your ear will be trained to pick out say a fifth or a third easily.

    Give it a thourough try
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    In a lot of rock music, it is assumed guitarists have good tone... in reality, that is the bass backing them. If you take the bass out of a mix with a good guitar sound, you'll find the guitar is often thin sounding and the bass is strengthening it. But like said earlier, check out some non traditional bass playing. If you can't hear the bass in a Primus song... there is no hope for you.
  9. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Indeed. I have a feeling that the original poster listens to a lot of rock , where the bass is often distorted and can be difficult to distinguish from the guitars.
  10. Dude, see my post on the thread about the Tascam sampler...I recommend a software package called Transcribe.

    For $43 it's great. Not only does it loop, it can isolate the bass line AND shift it up an octave. Bingo, the bass line will almost always be isolated and identifyable.

    Of course it will change tempo or pitch or both, plus lots of other cool stuff.

    They give you a 30 day free trial too, just download the software and start it for free.


    I am not affiliated with these folks, but I've really been pleased with their software. :)
  11. are you in the middle of recording or just looking to isolate bass???

    my tips...

    Recording - make sure you have more high end than what you think "sounds perfect"... you'll never be able to put it back (for clarity) with much success...

    listening - actually i think alcohol and green things. your mind is working slower and will help you to SLOWLY differentiate (? close???) the different instruments. If it sound like a geetar, it most likely is, and sometimes you'll only be able to feel the bass.. close your eyes and focus. it's kinda like makin it with a "not so attractive" person of the opposite sex.... :eek:
  12. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    close your eyes and focus on the bass, ignore the other instruments. do the same later but also focus on the drums to see how the bass and the drums lock up.
  13. Here’s what you do. Find a friend who can hear the bass and sing on key. Ask him or her to play a song for you on a decent sound system that has at least one sections with a distinct and audible bass line playing a line that’s different from the other instruments. After listening to the segment, ask your friend to sing the bass line. Play the segment again, listening for what your friend just sang. If necessary, have the friend sing along.
  14. paz2


    Jan 4, 2009
    Hi everyone...im years late coming to this forum.

    I'm a rhythm/lead guitarist but of late I always use the bass line to learn a song.
    Nearly always once i've pinned the bass line down in the original studio recording i can quickly work out the chords and the precise rhythm pattern.

    This method stops me kidding myself about hearing chords that are musically correct but not actually what's being played. Also the bass line analysis will check my thinking about exactly where a chord change is taking place.

    For me the bass line is now everything..i think of it as the DNA of a song. Even more than the drums it defines the groove.

    I use software 'transcribe' ..raise the bass one octave...render the bass, and sometimes have to adjust the vocals so the result is still something that can be recognised against the original.

    Only problem is i'm now very aware if the bassist in my band is far from the original groove!
  15. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    +1 to that.

    Listen to Yes Close to the edge, the bass is ALL OVER, but not the typical root notes stuff.
    In other cases the bass run with lots of distortion and get less defined in the mix.
  16. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    My favorite basslines of all time are in "When Doves Cry" by Prince and "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. :bag:
  17. jef4490


    Jun 30, 2012
    Holy Necro-post, Batman!
  18. Necro-post indeed. Still a challenge. I find rather than EQ'ing, just turning the playback up helps. It increases the separation in the stereo image, and fills out the lower frequencies. I also find listening on different systems helps too, some resolve certain songs, or even parts of songs, better than others. And it's not always the system with the best fidelity that will disclose the most about a bassline. But some recordings the bass is just too quiet to really resolve all the notes played, and the nuance they are played with.
  19. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    During the Tonight Show intro after the monologue, I can hardly hear the bass. I can see that Rickey Minor is playing but he's got a huge band to cut through.
  20. the_hook


    Apr 9, 2008
    I've had a similar issue with not being able to hear the bass in some songs. This may be why I gravitated to bands and songs where I can clearly hear the bass.

    It made learning songs by Rush, Yes and some other Prog bands 'easier' than pop or dual guitar metal bands where the bass is buried and it's all down to guesswork.

    One of the best things for me was getting those separate instrument tracks for Moving Pictures. Having the sheet music and hearing Geddy's bass ripping through each song helped a ton. And once I'd learn a song I could play bass against the guitar and drums. And it's made me appreciate his bass playing even more.