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Mixing multiple basslines
Old 14th June 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Jomega's Avatar
Mixing multiple basslines

Hey guys, I haven't really seen this discussed much so I'd like to get some feedback from around here, since many people on here seem to be pretty savvy on the topic.

I'm working on a track that essentially has layered basslines (2) the first one is a bass guitar, This one is more important to the overall groove of the song.

the second bassline is an electronic bassline, rhythmic done with step sequencing.. it doesnt have as nice as groove as the guitar bassline, but it has more energy to it..

SO i was trying to mix the bass guitar REALLY low, then notch some highs where you can hear the fret and pick noises

then i'm trying to lo cut the electronic bassline and use it to fill in the mids..

does this sound right, and do you guys have any suggestions on which bass should be in which frequency ranges.. i'm having trouble separating them and getting the correct sound i want.

thanks.
Old 15th June 2006
  #2
Led
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A couple of thoughts....you can decide on which is the most important of the two, the one that gives the groove and set that up as your bottom end bass. Maybe scoop it out a little around say 350 hz - 500 hz and maybe low pass it down a bit in the tops rather than pushing the upper end.If you want to hear the frets and pick use a copmressor to bing them up, then sit the other bass on top, but hi pass it starting around 300, as high as you can without killing the drive. Do this with the full track running, not in solo. You could maybe compress this one a bit more than the lower one.
Or,
you could put a compressor over the drive bass, and key it off the groove bass, so when the groove bass hits the drive bass ducks in level.
Even doing that you should still carve out some complimentary space in each one with eq so they sit together.
Man I had an act with my little brother and we were bringing demos to each other for the album. He's a bass player and brought me this groove he'd recorded with like 40 bass parts.
Old 15th June 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

If I just HAD to mix them both into the cut at once I would let the real bass (with the groove) be the main deal.
Just get it good sounding and then add the sequenced part with a hipass that allows it to be heard/felt.
You could consider moving the sequenced bassline up an octave maybe?
If it isn't tracked and still lives in MIDI I'd experiment until I found a sound that worked with the real bass.

I have been FORCED to listen to a lot of electronica and dance/club music over the last four years and I have analyzed how that stuff is mixed with the HUGE bass drum sounds.
The actual bassline has the low end rolled off at a point that is above the kick drum.
It is pretty much "implied."

It's a psychological trick, but it's possible.

One has to be the "winner" in low end though.

BTW, I do a lot of stuff that is old C&W where I'll have standup (upright ACSTC) bass and a baritone guitar as well. I had to study older recordings and it is similar to what you are talking about. The upright bass is playing simpler 1/5 alternating lines like most people associate with C&W and the baritone GTR will be playing more arpeggiated lines.
The tone of the baritone through an amp is generally such that it doesn't have a lot of low end that clashes with the upright/string bass. It is fun combination! Tricky at times.

Good luck!

Danny Brown
Old 15th June 2006
  #4
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You might get some ideas from listening to Pet Sounds. Brian Wilson did a lot with a stand up bass part holding down the low bottom and Carol Kaye playing a very plucky Fender bass part against it, a lot like dbbubba just described for CW, but very complex harmonically. Different style of music from what you are doing, obviously, especially in that Hal Blaine's drums were not recorded anything like what you are doing.

Still, the part that would be most useful for you is to hear how Brian Wilson used the arrangements/sounds to get them out of each others way and make them each do their job. Clearly the arrangement is the most important part for issues like this, not the sounds of the instruments.
Old 15th June 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba
One has to be the "winner" in low end though.

Good luck!

Danny Brown


Yeah, you don't want 2 different sounds fighting for the low end. It makes a mess of the entire song IMO. Do whatever it takes to seperate the 2.
Old 15th June 2006
  #6
Gear Guru
 

I once mixed a tune that had two bass lines.

The 'regular' bass- a repetitive groove was mixed more or less normally and the 'melody' bass (for want of a better term) I put a lot of reverb on!

I made the mix very very dry so the only thing that had reverb in the whole mix was that second bass and it worked out pretty well. Normally, bass is the last thing I would put reverb on.

In my case I used a short, tight verb so it wouldn't get swimmy - but it separated the two lines quite nicely because one of them had it and the other did not.
Old 23rd April 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
bradb's Avatar
 

I've played baritone over a bass part, but the baritone part was a harmony or octave of the bass guitar part. Sounds really killer.
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