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lion-audio says

hey fellow audiojunglers.

I just listened to my new item on a crappy little netbook with consequently crappy speakers and noticed that the most important instrument in this track (bass) is not audible AT ALL! I know that speakers like that tend to not fully playback lower freqs but there should be at least something..!? So here comes my question:

what would be your mixing/mastering techniques/approaches to make the bass audible on tiny speakers, without making it sound unnatural (i believe, many potential customers listen to aj-tracks on tiny speakers, so i think raising the question as an “audio education thread” as has been on the forums before, would be interesting to all authors)?

cheers, alex

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Music-Smith says

hey fellow audiojunglers.

I just listened to my new item on a crappy little netbook with consequently crappy speakers and noticed that the most important instrument in this track (bass) is not audible AT ALL! I know that speakers like that tend to not fully playback lower freqs but there should be at least something..!? So here comes my question:

what would be your mixing/mastering techniques/approaches to make the bass audible on tiny speakers, without making it sound unnatural (i believe, many potential customers listen to aj-tracks on tiny speakers, so i think raising the question as an “audio education thread” as has been on the forums before, would be interesting to all authors)?

cheers, alex

If it’s a synth bass I would add an oscillator with more harmonic content, like a square, but filtered out so it just pokes through more. If it’s electric bass I would be tempted to saturate that channel a bit but also create a parallel channel and saturate and distort that then place that channel lower in the mix.

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SoundFix says

Great idea for a thread, and a question I’d love to hear some answers too.

Sometimes I bring out some higher frequencies on the bass EQ to bring out the attack/picking of the bass a bit more, but I am a bit slack I admit and quite often don’t make much effort with this.

Another thing you can do is double the bassline an octave up, all though this could interfere with other instruments.

I was also recommended this tool by Mat Steiner which sounds like it’s may be suitable for dealing with this issue as it adds calculated harmonics to the bass: http://www.waves.com/plugins/maxxbass

Looking forward to reading all the responses! :)

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EvAndree says

Great idea for a thread, and a question I’d love to hear some answers too.

Sometimes I bring out some higher frequencies on the bass EQ to bring out the attack/picking of the bass a bit more, but I am a bit slack I admit and quite often don’t make much effort with this.

Another thing you can do is double the bassline an octave up, all though this could interfere with other instruments.

I was also recommended this tool by Mat Steiner which sounds like it’s may be suitable for dealing with this issue as it adds calculated harmonics to the bass: http://www.waves.com/plugins/maxxbass

Looking forward to reading all the responses! :)

Music-Smith and SoundFix already covered two tips (parallel chanel with grit and raising finding the frequencies where the presenc is sitting and give it a gentle boost) :D.

A third tip would be to find some of the bad frequencies that are muddying up the clarity of the bass and taking those out!

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petrenj says

Also take care of your kick drum!

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NoizMan says

For Electric Bass: boosting around 400 Hz or/and 800 Hz makes the bass audible. I also double the bass channel, cut below 120-130 Hz and insert a guitar amp plug-in for a little overdrive. If you balance two channels good, you will have the bass in your face without disturbing the ears.

It is also very important to isolate the bass and the kick drum. Try not to boost them on the same frequencies.

If you have other instruments with fat bottom ( synths or strings maybe) EQ them to make a good space for your bass guitar.

I hope these tips may help :)

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TheStoryShop says

Yes, thank you for opening this thread! Was just trying to do something about this just yesterday. Could use the tips. Was trying to match the bass from this song as we are doing our first Ukulele track and this bass sounds pretty good on my crappy MacBook speakers: http://audiojungle.net/item/upbeat-ukulele/2524316

Thanks! :bigsmile:

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RomanosMusic says

Noizman kinda summed it up. Always remember to check the final mix on various sound systems though.

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Digitallush1 says

Hey Alex:

I think catering your product to a specific set of low end speakers is bad practice; why? It may grab the attention of your buyer… but what happens AFTER they purchase that track, put it into their presentation, and play it for their monthly creative rally meeting through their company’s PA system? You are correct! It sounds awful, muddy and distorted. (nothing like the preview they heard on their macbook -> 1 star rating)

What’s more important? Grabbing the attention of a buyer once, or providing a quality product that they want to use over and over, and sends them coming back for more? (—>5 stars)

What I recommend is finding a happy medium. As others have said; listen through multiple systems. I find myself alternating between my monitors, studio monitor headphones and finally the macbook speakers. I have to admit though, by the time I get to the macbook, it’s much more of a “confirming all is ok” than mixing to those speakers… I would mix so that your track sounds the best they can on as many different speaker set ups possible.

Just some food for thought: Have you ever heard of ABC or NBC adjusting their footage to look spectacular on average T.V. sets? With the exception of letter boxing… probably not.

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NoizMan says

One more thing… Compress the hell out of bass :)

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