I was a student of mixing foundations last year, and I have a question regarding low end that has really been stressing me out lately. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible and quick. So basically my main issue is deciding how much low end is needed, and figuring out when it is too much. To start off, I will say I am prone to enjoy more sub and bass in my mixes and in the music I listen to, and am drawn to mixes that have that aspect…which leads my mixes to inherently have more (and even too much) bass/low-end.
When comparing professional mixes, the range of low end is so wide. I’m talking mostly electronic style here. The good example of the range I am talking about is songs like “Rasberry” – by Saje (very apparent low end, and deep and noticeable kick…more ambient) and “Closer” – by Elephante (much more ‘dancy’… less bass, more high frequencies cutting through…less ‘boomy’ kick…seems less ambient). Both sound GREAT to me, but where do you draw the line between what you WANT the bass to sound like and what it SHOULD sound like…and what technically sounds good? Would more low end in “Closer” take away from the other aspects…ya know, why did he choose to have less than say the amount of low end Saje decided to put in their song?
Another things is for example, if I cut my kick at 40Hz and bass at 100Hz or something, sometimes the low end is still way too much (after the channel strip)…even though “technically” I have gotten rid of the mud below 40Hz. For example, I was working on this song yesterday and I was cutting the kick at 75Hz and the thing was still punching straight through and was very deep…lots of low end…but I’m having a hard time finding whether it sounds better cut at say 50Hz rather than 75Hz. My trouble is figuring out how much more muddy my mix would be if it were to cut at 50Hz versus 75Hz…and I’m afraid to lose warmth from those low frequencies…but also afraid to take away from other elements in the higher frequency range.
I have been referencing, and I know that’s one of the best ways to know if your song has too much or too little bass, but I feel like it also depends on the reference track itself and what you are trying to recreate. I could listen to one reference track and say comparatively my mix has way too much bass, but then I’ll listen to another track that has WAY more low end and resembles my mix much more closely.
If anyone could shed any light on this I would appreciate it greatly!!
Thanks so much!