So, recently I’ve been working with a band that have a sort of psychedelic trip-hop, massive attack sort of vibe. If you’ve ever listened to anything by massive attack or similar artists you’ll know that the tracks sound phenomenal and an aspect that really stands out is the definition of the low end that they somehow achieve. If you listen to anything off the Blue lines album you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Creating this low end response is something I have been tinkering around with for a little while now and here are some little tricks I’ve found that work fairly well.
Multitrack EQ method
So, this method of mixing bass involves having multiple bass channels. One with a mic, one DI’d! The DI channel provides the clean low end that that can be boosted and processed easily. The mic track is then low cut. Mix these two together with appropriate plugin choices and it provides a big clean bass sound capable of driving the groove.
Pultec Low-end trick
This technique is reliant on a Pultec EQ. Like many sonic phenomenon within music mixing, this method exploits the physical design of a piece of hardware. This technique also works on emulations of this hardware because of the way that it functions. The Pultec EQ allows frequencies to be boosted and attenuated at the same time. So to get a rich low end we sweep through looking for a nice sounding frequency range between 70 and 180 and we boost and attenuate the same frequency, by the sam amount. The nature of the Pultec EQ finds the frequencies slightly out of line with one another creating a unique sonically interesting EQ curve. Which creates a full, warm and rich low end signal to be mixed in to the track.