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Frequencies are the most basic part of sound. Vibration at different frequencies produces sound. The higher the frequency of vibration, the higher the pitch of the sound.
Bass, is the lower frequency of vibration. Everybody loves having bass in their music.
It is also the first thing they complain about, this is because it is the most basic component of a song, and it is the one component that keeps the energy high and continuous throughout the song.
There is always the desire to increase the bass in a song. Speaker and electronics companies are trying to boost the bass in their speakers, by using custom equalizers, and it’s the same story when you look at the headsets as well. This is known as the post-production process of increasing the bass.
There is a variety of software that you can install, in both mobile and desktop to increase the volume of bass.
Despite these techniques being a very good way to enhance your bass, having the highest quality bass sound, straight out of the box from the production software, is absolute gold.
You don’t even have to boost anything in post-production. That’s how much a proper bass sample, used in a song, assists the producer.
This is one of the reasons why certain songs sound way better than others with respect to bass. The building blocks of having better bass, is to make sure you have the bass frequencies in their proper positions.
Having clean bass frequencies is enough to get amazing bass through any audio system.
The bass frequencies are from 20Hz to 160Hz. The best frequencies to boost for bass in a song, are around 50Hz and 80Hz. These frequencies make sure that the bass sounds full and powerful. All bases should be subjected to a bell curve at the key of the song.
Just knowing which frequencies bass belongs to is one thing, but how to amplify and equalize bass properly will provide more assistance in understanding how to work with bass in a project.
In this article, I will walk you through all the aspects of bass production and usage through equalization. Let’s get started.
What is the bass?
Bass in an audio track is between the 20 to 400Hz range of frequencies. The frequencies are shorter and longer when compared to the higher frequencies.
The bass vocal range most often corresponds to male vocals and the higher-pitched vocal tends to corresponds to female vocals. When you take bass as an entire section of an audio track, it creates so much depth in the sound and provides balance.
Bass has more to do with the song than just creating depth. Bass adds vibrancy to the song and makes it move forward.
Although bass is used as an instrument in all the songs, the bass in a bass drum is also an integral part of a song. The combination of the bass drum and the bass is what you hear in the audio tracks.
This is where most people often get confused when mixing, as they don’t know how to mix the basses from two completely different instruments without causing trouble in the mix.
The bass in the bass drum usually lies in the upper range, starting from 70Hz; This is a simple trick to work with bass in the lower end. If you can’t identify them and separate them properly, you will have a hard time putting them together.
If you have two basses in a song, one way to work with them is by using compression. Compression reduces the dynamic range in both elements, thus bringing them closer, and adds more energy to the song.
Where does bass lie in the frequency spectrum?
There are various ways bass is added to a song. The use of bass guitar adds a certain frequency of bass, and the use of bass from a cello or double bass adds a different frequency of bass to the track.
The only way to work through this is to identify the key frequency. This is why knowing the range of bass in a frequency spectrum is very important.
The regular bass range is between 20Hz and 400Hz. You can find basses anywhere in this region in an equalizer.
If you have a visual equalizer, the left-hand side is where you will find the bass, as it increases and moves to the treble on the right-hand side. Once you know where to look for these frequencies, the next step is to identify the key frequency.
This is simply identifying the key of the song, and knit-picking the frequency in the spectrum. This is the hardest part of any mixing process.
If you are well versed in music production and mixing, you wont have a hard time doing this. If you are just starting out, don’t sweat too much about this, as this is a skill that takes time to develop.
How to amplify bass?
Amplification is the most important part of making bass sound strong and powerful and is what helps bass carry energy throughout the song.
Just increasing the volume knob in audio production software doesn’t do any good to a track when it comes to working with bass. It will do more harm than good as it can destroy the balance in the song.
The best way to amplify your bass is by using a combination of effects. The first one is compression; you can increase the overall volume without increasing the volume at all (stay with me here, it will make sense I promise).
This might sound silly at first but, if you increase the RMS value of the sound by compression, then you can get the sound to be more prominent in the mix. The second step is then to use a saturation effect on the track so as to make it pop in the higher frequency spectrum as well.
These two steps will make sure that the sound isn’t bad, and it cuts through all the other elements in the mix. The last and final step is to add a limiter at -16db as your max limit, and then boosting it until you see a little bit of clipping. This is the secret Sause to how bass sounds larger and more vibrant in a mix.
How do I adjust the bass on my equalizer?
You can adjust the bass on your equalizer by moving the bass at 100 Hz to +1db. This will add more boost in the low end thus adding more bass and kick to the song. Working with an equalizer around 250Hz and controlling the mid frequencies also leads to clean and clear bass.
Is 100 Hz bass or treble?
100Hz is considered to be bass. Any frequencies above 20Hz and below 130Hz are bass. Any frequencies below 20Hz are subsonic frequencies that are not audible to the human ear.
They usually contain rumble and vibration and no proper sound. These are naturally recorded during earthquakes.
What equalizer setting is best for bass?
When you are equalizing for bass, always work with the lower part of the frequency spectrum ranging from 40Hz to 300Hz. This is where you will get most out of the bass.
Tweaking the higher end might boost the harmonies in the bass, but it won’t add anything else to the track. The best way to add more bass, if you are using audio production software, is to find the key frequency and boost it.
What Hz is bass on TV?
The bass on TV usually lies between 60Hz to 400Hz as TV’s, nowadays, don’t have good enough speakers to reproduce all the bass frequencies. If you are looking to get more bass, getting a sub-woofer is the only way to go about it.
Bass has always been the heart of music, even though melodies have stolen a place in people’s hearts. There is always the quest for the best bass sound, and to get the best bass out of the samples we have in audio production software.
When you are looking at these, the one thing to keep in mind is that the original sample is what dictates how your bass will sound in the end.
Tweaking a bass sound to find the perfect frequency is one thing, but when you try to choose a perfect bass sound while writing music, you can identify more space to improve it later when you are mixing the bass with the other elements in the project. This is one of the places where most people make mistakes.
Learning equalization is one other way to understand the frequencies that are involved in each component of a song. This will give you more flexibility in choosing the right sounds to put together. The song or audio track will be as good as the ingredients in it.