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Panned bass?
Old 28th January 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 
mindglow's Avatar
 

Panned bass?

Hear me out on this one,

I recently recorded and mixed a few songs with a local band, I did the mixes at home and then later e-mailed them to the band for them to audition.

After some days one of the band members said that he ran the mix through one of those "karaoke-plugins" (you know where they phase out everything that is in center so that the vocals will disappear), and when he did that, not only did the vocals dissapear but also the bass. "Well it's because the bass is dead center in the mix" I explained, but he answered that when he ran other "commercial" mixes through that plugin the bass was still intact.

They later said that it was a pity that we only recorded the DI from the bass head and didn't mic up a cab aswell, because if we had recorded both mic and DI we could pan them L/R to get some stereo width on the bass. I have recorded both miced up cab and DI many times with great results, but i have always put them center in the mix, I never thought of the bass as something you wanted stereo width from.

Do you ever pan the bass if you have several channels, and do you have any explanation to why the bass is not cancelled out on the commercial mixes when he ran it through that karaoke-plug?
Old 28th January 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I pan basses a lot. Someitmes I have a synthbass that doubles the bass player. It really crowds the mix if they're not panned. I might do like a 30% pan and it really clears up the middle and keeps the low end really big.

This goes for any two instruments of the same relative freq range covering the same melodic content - pan em to opposite sides. Mix will open right up and stay big.
Old 28th January 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
dokushoka's Avatar
 

More than likely its because on the tracks he's doing it to, the bass has gone through some type of stereo effect like some of the popular eventide "stereorizing" patches. That, or some mid-side processing has happened on the mix.
Old 28th January 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I use a slight pan on the bass track to give it a little seperation from the kick drum and make them both pop out a bit more, typically between 3 and 6 percent. At my first studio gig, my boss (who was a very well respected mix engineer in Boston) ran the bass track on a particular song through a very short delay and panned the dry and delayed signals hard left & right, EQ'd with a rather midrangey sound (think Chris Squire). It worked really well!
Old 29th January 2008
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
blackwatch5805's Avatar
 

good tips
Old 29th January 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

Panned bass can be cool if you've got the space for it in the mix. The mix I have up now has a very "pick-heavy" P-Bass track that needed some love. I took the insert off the channel on the desk into a Transient Designer with 80% of the attack gone and exaggerated sustain and returned it to another channel. One track panned a little left, the other a little right. It has an effect of the bass shooting across the stereo field, and leaves room in the middle for a really snappy but bottom heavy kick drum.
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