How do you process your bass?

It’s a funny question, that.

The first response that comes to my mind is: “Use your ears and figure it out yourself!”. Yeah. Ha ha. Like I’m going to reach through the Internet and magically train your ears for you.

But then I realise that people have all these astonishing tools available to them in software form (EQs, compressors, saturators, exciters, enhancers, various filters and modulation effects). And they all come in different flavours. And combinations. And each vendor is spruking their own brand of magic mojo. And everyone on the internet is talking about side-chained compression. And Mid/Side processing. And multiband compression. And layering sine waves. I guess it can be a bit daunting if you don’t really know how to navigate this mess.

And in many modern music styles, bass is pretty important.

But there’s still the problem of context. How you process your bass depends entirely on what it sounds like raw, and what you want it to sound like. Processing is just a way to get from one sound to another. Giving you my personal settings won’t work for you because your raw sound isn’t my raw sound, and my desired sound isn’t your desired sound (we’re working in different styles of music, with different mixes and different creative directions). Add to that the fact that we’re using different toolsets, in different studios.

So perhaps my arrogance is actually a way of avoiding the root problem: You want help, but I can’t hold your hand.

Maybe instead we can talk about some of the different tools you might want to use, and how using them might help you get from your raw sound to your desired sound.

-Kim.

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