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Which should be lowest? Kick or bass-guitar?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by simenandreas, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. simenandreas


    Jan 23, 2011
    I just got into mixing, and I know kick and bass are pretty much in the same frequence area, and which one should be lowest or deepest in the mix?
  2. Depends entirely how you want each to sound, go listen to a bunch of different genres and analyse how they sound and how the drums & bass are mixed. I know it's a vague answer but there really is no set rule as long as it sounds good.
  3. I tend to start by deciding which one needs to sound fuller for the given song. If I decide the bass needs to be more prominent, I start by eq-ing both instruments to my liking and then backing down the conflicting frequencies in the bass drum.

    If that doesn't yield satisfying results, you could duck just the conflicting frequency range in the bass track by sidechaining from the bass drum track.

    This, of course, applies to any instruments that are conflicting in the mix.
    Good luck.
  4. I am not a sound engineer but as a bassist I like it when the kick and bass are close

    I use to always think bass had to be lower and round tone only to be had off fingers but with an ongoing commitment to trial error in live rehearsals I tend to now work for good mid range and with a pick

    A little eq off the head under a less is better approach plus smooth control off a pick with a standard tuned bass can provide a very tight tone that can almost bounces off the kick

    The other ingredient being a decent kick tone and good timing between bass and drums
    It's just one approach but that's where I am at
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    My opinion is that in a recording the lows of the kick should be set to a lower freq than the bass, but the bass still lower than the guitar. However, I'm a rock guy. Some R&B, Funk, Hip Hip acts might want the bass to have more of the sub-bass lows that make it more like a kick drum.
    I suppose it comes down to your application.
  6. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    IME this can only be decided on a song by song basis. Trust your ears...
  7. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Interesting. I'm not a sound guy either but I always thought there was a general consensus that 125Hz and below belong to the kick, 200 and above belong to the bass.

    There are some YouTube videos for how to EQ bands, but I don't know how authoritative they are.

    Subbed because I want to learn also.
  8. simenandreas


    Jan 23, 2011
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Very interesting. I think the main point of "EQ swapping" to prevent bass & kick from competing for frequencies in order to prevent muddiness. With the bass boosted & kick cut at 60Hz the tonal aspect of the song sounded fuller and the kick kind of did the same job as a floor tom usually would. Notice all you hear in the drum track is the kick, snare & ride cymbal. The kick carried most of the rhythmic interest but did not (and was not meant to) be a driving dance pump beast. So I guess the "bass lowest" is good for tonality-forward music and (from my experience) "kick lowest" is good for rhythm-forward music like live club dance & rock. I think another factor might be recorded vs. live. Most clubs I have been in are pretty boomy so we wind up cutting everything below about 80Hz (depending on the room) except the kick, and we give the kick everything up to about 125Hz where the bass begins to dominate.

    Cool video, thanks for that.

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