Music production

7 Ways To Get Great Bass Sound In Music Production

Want to create deep, fat and exciting basslines? Use these tips to help you improve the bass sound in your music production.

Nothing like a big, clear bassline to create a groove. Whether you like to start your music production by writing a clever bassline to build up the rest of the track, or you prefer to add bass afterwards as a solid foundation to complement the rest of your instruments, the bass is a fundamental part of any song.

To help you think about the best ways to use bass in your production, here are seven ideas to help you improve your bass sound.

Variation is the key

Keep things interesting for the listener by changing your bassline, just slightly, every now and then. Small variations in MIDI, like a little stroke here and there, inject a bit of creativity, because even if you like your solid, funky bass loop repeat, it quickly gets boring.

Fight the muddy bass

Record live bass? The boosted bass can sound muddy, so try using a squeeze touch to counter it. The uneven levels of an enthusiastic bass player can also be tamed through compression.

Check out our compression tips here.

Go wide

Use panning to open up the sound of your bass line. While the bass is usually placed in neutral for grounding, playing around with the panning can give the mix space. Try to duplicate your bass part in two tracks, moving each to the left and right.

Then consider using the EQ plugins in your DAW – use a low pass filter to bring out the lower frequencies and a high pass filter for a wide sound.

Going deep

It might sound obvious, but an easy way to make your bass sound deeper is to play with the pitch, with surprisingly creative results. If you have a synth bassline, either turn your oscillator down or move your bass sample down an octave. Get creative and see what works best with the other instruments you use.

Raising the bass a few octaves is also essential for the sub bass to verify that everything is in the right key.

How far can you go?

Give body to your song by providing a sub-bass line with a deep sound that makes your bones vibrate. The sub bass can play the same line as your main bass as a backup, or act as the only bass part.

If you don’t have professional speakers or a subwoofer, it can be difficult to hear frequencies, especially for mixing, but there are some good tutorials to help resolve this issue.

Create a slide effect

Want a smooth bassline? You need the pitch of the notes to slide into each other smoothly. Try using the control slider on your synth. It can also help the bassline sound less robotic.

Bass and kick are best friends – until they aren’t

The kick and bass parts anchor the whole song and should blend together and work in harmony. Make sure your bassline blends perfectly with your kick, emphasizing it.

Problems arise, however, with the similar frequencies of the kick and bass, which can cause conflicts in the mix. Equalization can help solve this problem, by making room for both sounds. If you add a frequency to a kick, try cutting the same frequency from the bass.

Panning, as discussed earlier, can also help with separation to make room for the kick. Keep the kick central and pan two bass tracks on each side.

Next time you start a new track, why not make the bass the star of the show. Do you have any bassline secrets that changed the way you make music? Let us know in the comments.

Are you satisfied with the bass of your new mixed and mastered song? Let RouteNote know and we can distribute your music for free on all major streaming platforms and stores. Start making money from your music today – find out more here.

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