1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

What makes a bass cut through the mix?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bass_drum, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    After listening to a few performances, I've noticed that in some bands the bass cuts through very nicely, yet in others its covered up by the guitar. So, what is it that makes the bass cut through? I know just by playing louder will make you get heard, but the bands were playing just about as loud as eachother.

    Is it a certain frequency that can be boosted?
    Im pretty clueless as to why the bass cuts through so much sometimes,and then can be almost completely covered the next song???

  2. boost the mids. The human ear has a frequency range tuned to hearing mids better. Don't turn up. That'll just make the problem worse.

    Also, most of the time when plays want "boo-tay" they boost the bass. Usually that just causes the amp to sound like it's being covered with a wool blanket. The key to "boo-tay" is to boost the low mids.
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Mid's is where it's at.
  4. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    Guitar players play their role in this too. If they just play power chords with too much distortion, then it's going to cover the bass.
  5. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    one of the guitarists in my band(my brother) has around 8 middle in his guitar settings and it sounds really goood. If i have to cut through with the mids surely by him having lots of mid to i would need to boost major amounts of mid to cut through or does bass mid still cut through guitar mid?if that makes any sence
  6. JohnnyA


    Aug 21, 2004
    I... um.... no, it didn't.

    As everyone pretty much has siad, Low-Mids are the way to cut through.
  7. Maybe, let me try... you're saying your guitarist has his mids set on 8. If you try to compete, your mids have to be really cranked to cut through cause they're competing with the guitar at the same freq?

    I think that is right, actually. Since the guitars (and every other freaking instrument on stage) is all mids and highs (call them "noise" for the sake of argument), your bass will sound great by itself, then when all the "noise" comes in and starts playing, they mask your mids, making you sound muddy.

    That means, unfortunately, that when you EQ your bass to sound great with the rest of the noise playing, your bass will sound mid-rangey when you're doing a bass solo.

    So you must sacrifice the bass solo tone in Brown Eyed Girl in order to sound good the rest of the time and cut through the mix.

  8. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    I have been acused of trying to steel my guitarists frequencies by another guitarist. I play both fingrstyle and slap (oh, and strumming) and I like a lot of mid and clarity. Should I listen to them?

    It seems to me that a lot of guitarists and other people want bass players to have a scooped sound so that they basically dissappear. But for me, the bass is an instrument that plays notes, not just filler. Am I being a rood guitar wannabe?
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    To elaborate on that point, the average human ear is most sensitive at about 4k, which is where most of our speech information occurs.

    4k would generally be considered high-mids, but as FF pointed out, the low mids give that punch that helps distinguish the bass in the mix.
  10. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    what steve said is what i was trying to get across. I have a 7band eq and i have the :mad: unhappy smile eq eg boosting the mids. It should be ok as my bass has got a very good tone. Is there any other specific frequency to raise/lower on a 7band eq?as i dont have 4k i have 2khz and 5khz.(if you want to get the idea of the frequncies they are 50hz 100hz 250hz 500hz 1khz 2khz 5khz. I believe those are the bands i have so are there any of those that need to be specifically raised?cheers
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Each bass is different, each rig is also different. I play a Spector which is all midrange. So in order for me to get booty and cut I have to scoup my mids. I boost the low mids and lows and also boost the highs around 2 and 4k to get some cut and string noise. This works for my rig, my bass, and with my guitarist's tone. Others have also said it also depends on what you guitarist is doing. You need to see where he is on the spectrum, if he has a lot of bass in his tone he needs to take some out because it makes mudd. If he has a lot of mids maybe boost some lows and highs. Try different settings in order to blend in your band without getting lost in the mix.
  12. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Futz around with your 250 and 500 Hz sliders. Those are the low-mids that give you the *grunt*