One of the quickest ways to muddy up a mix is to add reverb to bass frequencies. If your bass synth still isn’t popping out of the speakers, try using a stereo widening plug-in like GROW to help add space and depth. Whether it’s a powerful sustaining sine wave, a snarling sawtooth, or a bouncy plucked rhythm that makes you want to dance, a well-mixed bass synth can make or break a track. This will help fatten up the tone and create more consistent dynamics. Wide bands with low Q values usually work best for tone-shaping additive EQ. You should be able to hear a distinct ringing sound when you land on the resonance. Remember, these are generalized frequency ranges to help you get in the ballpark. You can even use presets to make sure your mix will sound good in any format. EQ is perhaps the most subjective part of mixing synth basses; some are … However, sometimes this can create a nasty build-up in the low-end. Start with a compressor to catch any transient peaks and create more consistent dynamics. Liam O'Mullane-13th November 2020. Each track is different and will require a unique approach. But you can use a limiter to emulate a "hold" stage in the amplifier envelope even if you just have an ADSR at your disposal. Use a dynamic EQ if you want to attenuate the signal only when the resonance is heard. But with GROW, you can focus the stereo widening effect to a specific frequency range, allowing you to enhance the width of the high frequencies without muddying up the low-end. This will help make room for high-frequency instruments like vocals, cymbals, and other synths, as well as keeping the mix from sounding harsh when we add saturation later (spoilers!). Let’s look at a specific technique using OTT compression. Medium to moderate ratios such as 4:1, 8:1, 12:1 or 20:1 can be used to apply anywhere from 1-12 dB of gain reduction. To avoid these problems, only apply reverb to the plucky midrange synth bass tracks to add depth to the percussive element of the sound, without smearing the sub frequencies.If you don’t have separate synth bass channels for each layer, send the whole track to an aux reverb channel and use an EQ to filter out the low end before hitting the reverb. For instance, the subby sine wave is sustaining the low end, so you probably want to preserve its low end, rolling off the low frequencies to about 60 - 80 Hz on the other layers.If you have a ‘pluck’ synth layer, it's probably being used as ear candy to grab your attention at the beginning of each note before quickly disappearing, so it doesn't need much low-end information; add a high pass filter and roll it off until you start to miss the character of the pluck, then bring it back a touch so you have only as much as you need.Make sure you’re listening in context with the other tracks and making the bass collage work together, rather than cluttering and creating mud.To identify other problematic frequencies, try using the sweeping technique: When using subtractive EQ it’s recommended to use narrow bands with moderate-to-high Q values. To make sure you nailed the balance between the kick and the bass, use BASSROOM on your mix bus and select one of the genre-specific presets to help you fine-tune the low-end of your mix. You can even use presets to make sure your mix will sound good in any format. This will pump your bass to the tempo of your track, with a few simple controls to get the effect how you want it.If a pumping sound is not what you're after, and you simply need to clean up the kick and bass in the low end, dynamic EQs like F6 are great for controlling unruly frequencies in a transparent way. Try to make the synth bass react to the track with tricks like bringing in more low-end during the chorus, adding distortion in the bridge or kicking on the spatial imager during for the drop. Using slower release times will help increase sustain for a more powerful and consistent synth sound. Are the upper harmonics subtle, or do they cut through the mix? Shorter, pluckier synth sounds will benefit from faster attack and release times to help accentuate the punch of the transients.To dial in the perfect attack and release times, follow these simple steps: When compressing particularly bass-heavy synths, try using a compressor with a high-pass filter like the API 2500's "Thrust" detector, or as found in the CLA-2A. Are you sure...? Low, bass-heavy synths will benefit from slower attack and release times to help smooth out the dynamics without creating an unwanted pumping effect. Use another bell curve to cut any muddiness around 200 - 250 Hz. This can help add weight to the initial transient. Bass synth tends to require quite a bit of compression. Reduce the frequency on that band so you’re attenuating instead of boosting, Start with the slowest attack and fastest release times, Slowly increase the attack time until you start to shave off the initial transient of the bass, then back off, Slowly decrease the release time until the compressor starts to “breathe” in time with the song, Send the kick drum to a spare aux channel, but don’t actually create an aux channel, Insert a compressor that accepts a sidechain on the synth bass channel, Select the aux input you’re sending the kick drum to as the key input, so that the compressor engages only when the kick drum hits, Set your compressor with moderately-fast attack and release times, Decrease the threshold until compression is applied every time the kick drum hits. 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