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Tips on isolating a bass line on Anytune?

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by TheIndieKid, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. I was just looking for help on isolating the bass line to a song in the best possible way. I use Anytune, a neat app for iOS, and raise the song by two octaves and also apply a preset 'isolate bass' EQ preset. However, I was wondering if anyone had any better tips about going about this task, such as placing a LPF/HPF on a certain frequency band or boosting/isolating a certain frequency range? I'm starting to try and figure out songs by ear, and my first is Arctic Monkeys-You And I. The mix is very dense though, with what I think is three guitars.
  2. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    I think it depends on the nature of the bass line somewhat. Up two octaves sounds high. Usually one is enough. Even then, sometimes I lose track of the original octave, so it pays to listen to the original. Eq helps (as you state), and the most effective frequencies to cut or boost vary somewhat. I know that doesn't help much. Have you tried different headphones? That can make a real difference. Also, I hear nuances in my car or through the Sonos that I miss through headphones. Also, the playback quality of different loop and slow down software varies, but I think Anytune is pretty good. In the end, sometimes it's just practice and knowing what you're looking (hearing?) for.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  3. Jamey Pittman

    Jamey Pittman

    Jan 14, 2016
    A 4-string bass has a fundamental frequency range from around 40 - 400 Hz. Setting a low pass filter slightly above this range can help to make a bass line more readily apparent in the mix when listening to a song. This doesn't always work for digging out subtle phrases and little flourishes (losing the overtone frequency ranges of the instrument can make this problematic). Another trick is isolating either the left or right channel; this is sometimes helpful due to other instruments being less dominant in one channel making the bass more audible. And yet another trick is to use a filter that isolates the center channel by attenuating any instruments that are not center-panned in the track (this works because the bass is almost always in the center). None of these are guaranteed to work for every track, but one or more of these techniques can often be helpful when a bass line is significantly buried in the mix.

    I use Audacity for all the above, and it does a fine job. But honestly, the best tools I own for figuring out bass parts are my high quality, flat response studio headphones and monitor speakers. If you enjoy transcribing music, they are worth the investment.
    LeeNunn likes this.
  4. Does it matter about the quality of the track you're listening to? Unfortunately, I listen to Apple iTunes tracks, since I've spent a lot of money on them over time. 256kbps AAC.

    Also would you recommend placing a high pass filter, attenuating frequencies below 40HZ?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  5. Jamey Pittman

    Jamey Pittman

    Jan 14, 2016
    Of course quality makes a difference, but a 256 kpbs AAC file has sufficiently high resolution for your needs. I use high quality MP3s all the time for transcriptions (although I transform them into uncompressed, 48K WAV files before messing around with them in Audacity).
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  6. Jamey Pittman

    Jamey Pittman

    Jan 14, 2016
    No, I don't encounter many circumstances where a HPF below 40 Hz is needed.
    TheIndieKid likes this.
  7. How do you uncompressed them?
  8. Jamey Pittman

    Jamey Pittman

    Jan 14, 2016
    There's an MP3 encoder/decoder plugin called LAME available for Audacity that handles it nicely.
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