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How To Make Sub Bass That Sits In The Mix like a PRO

Are you still struggling with mixing your Bass sounds with another element in the music?

All the genres of music use Bass instruments and sounds in their compositions, be it EDM or an orchestral piece Bass is always required to fill in the low end of the Audio spectrum. Audio spectrum range for humans is 20Hz to 20 KHz which means we can’t hear bass frequencies below and above 20Hz TO 20 KHz, respectively.

If you don’t have a good Sound monitoring system and Subwoofer installed you might not be able to hear the sub bass as loud as the Sub Bass is. I suggest using a good studio headphone until you get a sound system for monitoring. Additionally using few simple techniques and tools, you can make your Sub-Bass like a Pro.

How to make your Sub Bass like a Pro

To get to the pro bass sound quality, you should first know the basic difference between:

  • Sub Bass frequencies below 50 Hz to 60 Hz towards the lowest spectrum, which are rather felt than heard.
  • Mid-Range Bass frequencies above 50 Hz to 2 KHz, mostly modulated by different parameters and also have a stereo panning on them to make it sound Big.
  • Upper Bass frequencies above 1 KHz to 18 KHz which gives the sharp texture after some modulations and effects.

Layering plays a very important role in today’s electronic music, you can use these layering techniques to create really interesting sounds. All the above mentioned Bass sounds are layered together in the mix after cutting the required frequencies and if played together, it gives a Huge sounding Bass effect.

For a clean Sub Bass, we will be using a single Sine wave. You can use any VSTi with Sine wave. I am using single Oscillation of “Sin- triangle”wavetable in Massive’s OSC1.

Massive Basss

Write a midi note using C4 Key which is one octave lower than the standard note C5.

In Massive select the 1st OSC table and select Sin-Triangle, move the wavetable position towards 10 o` clock and pitch it down to -24.

In the Filter setting select Scream filter, change the wavetable position for Cut-off towards 8 o` clock as well as Scream and Resonance wavetable towards 10 o` clock.

In EQ settings turn Low Shelf wavetable and Boost wavetable towards 1 o` clock and the High Shelf towards 11 o` clock.

By this, you will have a heavy sounding Sub-Bass sound.

Open your Effect unit for EQ-ing (I use PRO-Q 2 by FabFilter) so that you can check if there are any unwanted frequencies that you don’t want in your mix. For Sub-Bass, we don’t need any other frequency above 50 Hz to 60 Hz.

How to EQ Sub Bass

Right now we have made a Sub Bass in which you can see all the unwanted frequencies above 50 Hz. Using the High Cut setting cut the frequencies till 50 Hz.

How to EQ Sub Bass in Pro-Q2

Once you have cleared all the unwanted high frequencies give it a slope at around 18 Hz so that it can mix properly with the frequency of Kick.

How to EQ Sub Bass in Pro-Q2

A valuable tip for mixing Sub Bass is to keep the Low frequency in Mono by which you will have a Sub Bass with balanced left and right channels. If your Low-end frequencies [Sub bass and kick] are in Mono you can layer up the bass with Mid-range bass with stereo imaging on it to give you a huge Bass sound with tight and clean low end.

How can you Mono a specific signal in FL studio?

Mono a specific signal in FL studio

Assign the Sub Bass instrument to Insert 1 and turn the stereo separation knob towards 5 o` clock, to effortlessly convert the stereo signal output as Mono. If you are using Ableton live, try using Utility mono effect to achieve mono sounds.

How about adding mono signal while working on a complete mix? Can you change just the lower spectrum in Mono without messing up the other frequencies?

Yes, you can. I am using iZotope Ozone 7’s Imager for this part. By using Imager function, you can divide the whole spectrum into 4 adjustable bands as well.

Sub Bass iZotope Ozone 7

Above picture shows that the Imager divides the frequencies into 4 bands starting from 20Hz to 20 KHz.In order to change the setting on any specific band, increase or decrease the amount on the Band which helps to widen or narrow the character of the stereo effect.

I hope these tips will help you and if you liked this article, please share it with your friends.

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5 thoughts on “How To Make Sub Bass That Sits In The Mix like a PRO

  1. Phil Young says:

    Interesting, however I would have preferred the references to clock position to have been complimented with a description of their values (eg. +/- %…) and specific functions. Sort of like telling a man why the fish will bite in certain circumstances, not just what has had them biting before in a specific situation, (although that is helpful). The clock positions can only really be trusted by someone using the same software and there are many other good applications with different interfaces.
    Thanks for the article though.

  2. Chris Telford says:

    After you do your high cut in Pro-Q, do you need to open up a second EQ on the channel strip to perform the low cut and slope around 18Hz or can you do this in the same EQ?

    • Vikram Bughani says:

      You can use two EQ’s, however, It’s better if you use only one per channel. With FabFilter Pro-Q 2 you can add up to 24 EQ bands as well as It also saves the processing power.

  3. Christian Coopersmith says:

    I love how you suggest putting the midi note at C4 and then pitching the Massive oscillator down 24 steps. Why not just put the note at C2??? Kind of makes you lose confidence in the rest of the article…

    • Vikram Bughani says:

      Certainly we can use C2 for sub bass but, the idea behind this technique is to use the same MIDI note or notes for all the three sounds related to Bass[sub, mid and high range.] Pitch shifting not only alters the sounds with subtle harmonic resonance but also changes the texture of the sound, which is usually not easy to recreate.

      This technique is also used in allot of Techno music production for creating unique textured percussive sound Bass by pitching down 909 or 808 Kick, Toms or any other organic sound.

      + It also makes the process of writing music faster and effective.

Comments are closed.

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