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Low end theory: EQing kicks and bass

8. September 2010

Ever wondered why your favourite producers’ kicks and basslines sound so gratifying? RA’s Jono Buchanan boldly crosses the low frequency minefield to tell you why.

Let’s be honest—at some point in our lives, we’ve all stood in clubs listening to mixes we admire and wondered why our tracks don’t sound the same. Somehow, by comparison, our own tracks sound thinner and less rounded and often, this comes down to the bottom end and how well integrated our kick drum and bass parts are. Through this article, we’re going to look at how easy it is to make a whole series of mistakes when it comes to programming and mixing bass-oriented elements and how we can turn those potential pitfalls into advantages and substantially improve the quality of our mixes, so that when it comes to the point of listening back on big club systems, those disappointments will seem like distant memories. Leaving things like compression aside for the moment, we’ll focus primarily on EQ and other such effect treatments.

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