These MP3 audio examples accompany my August mixing workshop article available here:
Alternatively, download the ZIP file of hi-res 24-bit WAVs and audition in your own DAW.
1 DI bass isolated clean DI
Clip 1 is a portion of a DI'ed bass track, soloed so you can hear it in isolation. Not terrible on its own, but there is far too much 1kHz-ish middle, making it unlikely to work well in the context of a whole mix.
2 DI bass isolated with EQ
Clip 2 is the same section with the processed bass soloed. I wouldn’t say this was a stellar tone on its own, either, but the whole point is to make something that works for the mix.
3 DI bass in mix straight DI
Clip 3 shows us the clean DI'ed bass sound in the context of an extract from a mix. Perhaps most notable is that the amount of perceived bass varies with pitch in an unhelpful way. Also the high-pitched ‘outro’ phrase is just thin and has little ‘bass-guitar’ character to it.
4 DI bass in mix final EQ
Clip 4 is the whole clip with the fully processed sound, sculpted to deliver a rich, full bottom end throughout the track, whilst staying out of the way of the other instrumentation — the kick drum can be clearly heard as a separate source. With an emphasis on the harmonics of the lower notes, rather than the fundamentals, the pitch of the bass notes remains discernible on smaller speakers.
5 DI bass in mix EQ InOut
Clip 5 demonstrates the difference most clearly, swapping between the straight DI sound and the two-way processed sound described in the article. The clip starts with the plain DI and then alternates every four bars. The ‘outro’ fade stays on the processed sound to contrast with Clip 3 — now it sounds like a bass, but playing in a high register.
Mix extract used with permission: I’ve removed the lead vocal from the examples as it belongs to a mix client (thanks TM).