a quick and dirty guide to 'getting the bass right'
My biggest piece of advice is to use what you have, trust your ears. To get really great at mixing takes time and practice. Focus on geting the best sound you can from the tools and knowledge you've got. Trust that as you do more and more, your skillset will improve, and so will your mixes
let's say you're looking for a deep-warm tone. It sounds great on a good sound-system, but it doesn't show up on small speakers.
what do you do?
What do you do is not a question that can be directly answered yet; that is, unless you already know what your options are, and in that case, you probably already have your problem solved.
what are you trying to achieve?
let's start here instead. Okay, so lets say your genre is indie rock. It's a song that's driven by the guitars and the vocals.
great, now which instruments live in the low-end. commonly this will be drums and bass (kick, toms, Bassline, the bottom of the guitar, and the deepest part of the vocal. The bass doesn't cut through? ask yourself which instrument and why?
what is happening in the low-end?
The kick drum sounds good, the guitar/vocal sounds fine. the bassline doesn't cut. It doesn't always need to be front and center, It can act as the glue to hold the song together. When you move away from your good sound-system to your laptop/earbuds/car stereo/mobile. it seems to disappear completely.
how can you approach this
A few areas to consider.
Imagine your low-end in 3 bands. you've got sub-frequencies, Low-frequencies, and precieved low-frequencies (low-mids and above)
Check for trouble areas in the context of these three 'bands'
EQ is your most powerful tool! try to find the frequency range you're looking for using your solo function to listen for which tracks might be competing for 'space',
for example, the bass if it's most present at 80Hz, but the guitar is 'masking' the bass up between 160- 300Hz. You might also have low-frequency energy competing in tracks where it has no business being. here, a hi-pass filter would be your friend.
For example, The bass is warm and present between 60-160hz, but adds nothing above that. because it's being covered up by another instrument,
A small set of laptop/phone speakers may lack clarity at frequencies below (approximately) 200-300Hz. They have the most presence between 1-5kHz. if you can let the bass through within these ranges (again these numbers are guestimates, every mix is different) you can achieve a more consistant tone across sound-systems.
Hey welcome, today we're going up. Taking a look at the landscape from above. The view from 24,000 feet. What does this have to do with music Cody? Let me tell you...
This is the big picture and how to see it.
If you're serious about your music as a career, as a profession, then you might want to consider the overall picture of where you are, where you want to go and how to get there. This is called planning.
"No $%^T Cody, I already know what planning is. "
Do you really? well why then are you living day to day, paycheck to paycheck, with some nebulous dream of being a rockstar and no actual strategy for how you're going to accomplish that? With that little voice inside your head telling you that it's not possible, that you should go and get a 'real job'. It's time for a manifestation check my friend.
Let's Zoom out - Looking at all aspects - 24000 - 12000 - 1000 - 100 - 10 - 1
Imagine for a second your goal, with you zooming out. Out from where you stand/sit. up to a view of your life from above. Start at the top - 24,000 feet up for today's example. This is where you see everything. what your vision looks like when it's done. Be as detailed as you can. This is called Casting your vision. 24,000 feet represents the long-term. could be 10 years, 25 years down the road from now, you decide, and ask yourself what your life looks like from that persepective.
Next, we'll drop down to 12,000 feet. Here, we'll be looking at the halfway mark. What have you accomplished during that time-frame? what might your challenges look like? What obstacles have you overcome? Try to put yourself in the perspective of yourself x ammount of time in the future.
We'll repeat the process again and again from these different elevations. You get the idea right? As we get lower and lower to ground level, we can start getting more and more specific about what's next, and more importantly, whats most important right now towards accomplishing our desires.
Gauging the scope and time frame
It's pretty much whatever works for you. The important thing is that you understand the big picture and what it means to you in relation to your vision. Everyone thinks a little bit differently. We all have our own processes that we have to go through, but as we gain clarity about the big picture, we become more adept at adapting to the specific details about what to do next in order to get there. Things Like how far ahead you're looking (your elevation) and what you're looking at can have a big impact on the path you walk at ground level.
A few considerations
In Your personal Life
In Your professional life
Next actions + how to get there
If you're looking at each moment, and seeing the view from 1' all the time, simply living day to day or moment to moment, without considering your destination, or the implications of your actions, what kind of things might be out there to disrupt you? How will you spot them? If you're here, you might feel trapped. How many artists have I met who once had a dream, but failed to plan how to actually get there, and are now stuck in a job they hate because they listened to their mother-in-law and quit too soon - or continued laying blue-collar butt rock in a one horse town instead of making new connections and expanding their horizons. I sincerely hope this is not your tragectory. I'm grateful to you for taking the time in reading this article. I hope it helps you draw some insight. I'm not saying this is the only way, or a be-all-end-all approach for guaranteed success. Success is a mindset. It starts with what you believe, but once you do believe (in yourself and that your goals are possible) You will start discover that your overall vision is actually quite attainable, and in that, start to anticipate obstacles that may stand in the way.
want to work together?
If you read this article to the end and have questions, I'd like to invite you to reach out via the comments below, or feel free to send me an email via the contact form
Welcome To the Blog. Today we're talking about songwriting and composition. I've been capturing ideas for an irish Jig.
banjo jigs and reels with Ol'brother Paul
We started off our run by approaching the plan with a song idea.
Three parts, we'll call them parts A B and C.
The main lick. the kind of lick that was meant for a Tenor banjo. We didn't have much else to go-on Except a sloppy old recording found in the Archives. So knowing only the root of the song was a big-ol' D chord, we set off to lay down some Banjo tracks.
An ascending lick with a change of tone-centre. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening, but if I could add an A-chord over top of this new riff, It could bring a much-needed change of energy to the song. I'll figure out the exact chord-progression during my practice session later. For now, It's a good idea, lets capture it...
This part came later. Paul got back to me with a new idea for an outro for the song. This one feels more like a slow-down after a late night celebration. He wrote the part for the mandolin... Sounds great! lets do it.
Same idea, new theme different instrument, but hear how it sounds on that banjo too. lay these down on separate tracks, to see if we can combine them in cool ways later.
challenge for Indie Rockers and songwriters
Good day, If you've found this page, welcome. My name is Cody Gene, welcome to the blog.
Today is an exciting day because it marks the launch of a brand new contest.
So what is it? who is it for? âwhat do i win? More details will be coming soon.
My hope is to start to build a community around the contest, a place where songwriters can meet like-minded creative folks (like you) and work together to become better as both artists and as humans, as creatives, entertainers, and entrepreneurs.
Sounds good, How can I Help?
At this moment, the contest is a massive undertaking, meaning that we're starting off right from square one. In order to make this contest Larger-than-life, we need to let the indie-world know that "HEY Cody is holding a Contest at www.genemediacreativestudio.com/contest."
Tag 3 songwriters on instagram who NEED TO SEE IT. Guarantee your song is featured in the first 100...
tag 3 musicians who you think would like to participate, over on my instagram page, and I'll guarantee your song is featured in the first 100 contestants.
Act fast, once we reach 100 contestants, this offer will expire.
Click below to visit Instagram
Gene Media Productions
Cody Gene is an Independent Record Producer from BC
Music Methodology & Creative Lifestyle