How do we solve the kick and bass relationship? These two are a actual sort if not treated right, it can depend on numerous things to get these two working together and its taken me a while to be honest to get to grips with how we can sort it.
We can make sure that our bass and kick are not hitting in the same frequencies or in the same key as each other, if this is not possible then we can look at EQ and side chain compression to sort it I will show you below.
The first thing we need to do is to know what frequency the KICK is at, we can do this by getting a EQ, we do this on the BASS too. Once we know this we can recgonise which frequencies are masking each other as shown below (some EQ's have masking capabilities to make it easier for you to know which frequenceys are overlapping)
Because we want the kick to push through in the mix we want to make changes to the BASS, so we select the masking option and then select KICK, this will be highlighted in yellow, on the PRO Q3 it is shown in the picture.
As we can see the area that is mainly effected is the red highlighted on this is around 57 Hz area, but there is also a area around 112Hz that could do with some EQing or compression.
There is 2 ways we can improve this the first is via the eq alone we can lower the frequencies at the which frequencies are needed, the down side to this is that it will effect the sound as a whole, OR we can use side-chain compression either a multi-band or a full range.
A multi band compressor lets you use selected frequencies that allow ducking to occurs once the threshold from a external sound source exceeds it.
A full range Compressor effects the whole sound, if we use side chain from a external source it will lower the sound as a whole in dB's.
A EQ allows us to exactly and precisely zoom in a frequencies that clash, this will how ever effect the whole sound but allows it to keep its volume level intact.
You will have to see what works for you the best if you have a sound that is higher up in the frequency range then you may want to use a high pass filter and remove all the low end, or if you have a bass ans kick that are in the same key it may be best to use multi band side chaining this will lower the volume of the bass in a selected frequency once the kick is triggered the basses threshold.
I set up the multi band compressor with a external input, this was the signal from the KICK, I used 2 bands the first was around 57Hz and used the following settings Ratio 4:1, Threshold -18, Range - 28 dB (this means the range of the compressor will not exceed -28 dB in the bands reduction this is ultimately cutting out the frequency of that particular band when the Kick hits, 48dB per oct slope. I found with taking the subs out there was still a bit of clashing between the two, I added another band around the 317Hz mark and I did similar settings but with this I made the range to -8.
Each track is different which makes it exciting to see the difficulties we may come across when we are mixing our Kick and Bass together, We have learned that we can subtly do this via 3 main means EQ, Multi Band side chaining or side chaining the full sound also what I call full range side chain compression.
To leave with this note on plugins, there are some specifically designed plugins that allow you to side chain audio I have listed my top 3 and my DAW's own below in case you would like to try them, this maybe a solution if your looking for a quick and easy side chain.
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