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Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

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Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby Wilko » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:30 am

Hi, this more of a mixing question than mastering one. I am trying to produce psy trance. what is the recommended -dB of the kick drum and then the -dB of the bass in relation to the kick drum? for example -10dB for the kick and then -9dB for the bass? i know it totally depends on the track in hand and one should use ones ears in a correct monitoring environment etc, but i'm relatively new to this and some general tips or advice wld be very helpful, particularly bc at the moment i keep changing the volume and switching from speakers to headphones and doing thing completely the wrong way. ,,,anyone...?
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby Badeshi » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:56 pm

Hi I dont know specific relationship as you said all tracks different. You could try watching a track you want to emulate through a spectrum analyser and making a note of the relative peaks, this is quite easy to do with a good analyser and can also give you an idea of the dynamic content and energy of different frequencies...
I find wavelabs built in analyser is good for this but also use nugen visualiser.

Good luck, be interested in your findings....
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby Remeniz » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:42 pm

I don't think there is a specific rule here. You just have to mix until it sounds right.

I was mixing my only dance track and had to duck the base with a side-chained compressor cause I wanted both the bass and the kick to be prominent in the track. But this is just one way you can deal with kicks and basses.

Just mix until it sounds right to you.
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby ElecTrika-MixTek » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:34 pm

For dance music I definitely wouldn't have the bass or kick as high as -9db. We did it on the last album and it caused a lot of problems with respect to limiting the headroom in the master bus.

I would recommend you average your levels around -18db or so and after that, while mixing, set your levels in relation to each other rather than the meter per se. The db meter becomes less relevant and really you want to concern yourself with having appropriate compression and EQ for each instrument - this is really what will define the mix, rather than absolute levels.

With dance tracks I am happy to mix them with plenty of headroom to spare, say averaging -12 or so in the master bus - this gives me adequate space to polish the mix at mastering stage.

With respect to switching between earphones and monitors be careful to try and keep some constancy between your sessions and listen relatively quietly - this will help you to get more clarity and power in the mix.

Naturally each track will have relative differences between kick and bass, depending on the sound you are after. And also, the addition of synths and other sounds will also affect your mix levels so be sure to keep your track clean and well focused with each instrument doing a specific job within the frequency range to which you assign it.

Good luck.
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:05 pm

For psytrance (I have a penchant for a little Goa I will have you know)

You would do well to do a search for "Side chain compression in XXXX"

"XXXX" being your sequencer, then you can key your bass/pulse synth
with the kick drum leaving a nice gap for it to punch through.

(i.e. when the kick drum hits you can pull down the bass/pulse synth a few dB making a nice hole for the kick.

Usually a detuned 808 "hi Q" is the order of the day for straight
psy kicks.

There are some great Psytrance production forums around which will get you where you want to be.

All the best with the producing.
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby elfabyanos » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:13 pm

I'd have the bass a little bit lower than the kick. Possibly about 3db lower peak. The Psyforums UK has a good section with production advice if you don't already know it. Plus top tips on getting the psy squelch etc etc.
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Re: Recommended -dB of bass in relation to kick

Postby elfabyanos » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:00 pm

Just been doing some psy mixing and mastering myself yesterday. I would say ensure that sub 80hz in the bass is at least 3db lower than the sub in the kick, possibly 5db. I found that the master comp gets woolley otherwise and its so important to have the kick punching throughout the track. Master comping/limiting will squash this relationship a little anyway, but this is how I ended up with a fairly OK result.

However, the level of the harmonics in the bass - to taste I would say. Obviously it can vary if you're opening up the cut off etc, but perhaps if you get the -5 db relationship sorted in the sub bass, then alter eq for the upper registers of the bass to make it sit with the rest of the mix.
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