Processing a bassline, making it fit, and connect with all other elements of a mix is truly an art. There are many tricks you could apply for this, some better than others. Often alternative or creative approaches can lead to great results. With this in mind, in the next tutorial, we will guide you through such a process.
As usual, we will start with a previously created sequence inside our SoundBridge: DAW. It contains all the elements of a full mix. Let’s listen.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed Bassline
The main idea about this processing technique is to do it in parallel. This means that we will first make a copy of our bassline channel and place it right underneath the original, as shown in the picture below.
After that, we will do the actual processing, which will happen only on the duplicate channel, while the original will be left without any effects. First, let’s listen to the unprocessed track in solo.
~Bassline – Unprocessed
Distortion, chorus, and EQ
First, we will add distortion. This will help us make certain harmonics more noticeable. You can use multiband distortion, which often achieves better results, or a simple single-band one. For this task, we have chosen the Tube Amp plugin by Voxengo. You will notice in the picture below that the Drive knob is pushed to the maximum, while the Output Gain is decreased. This is to compensate for the additional gain from the extra drive. In short, we have exaggerated the mid harmonics to add more presence. Let’s have a listen.
~Bassline – Processed With Tube Amp
The next step would be to add some width since our original sound is quite mono. For this, we will add a chorus effect below the distortion. We have chosen the Thorus plugin by UVI.
We’ve set the speed of the modulation at 0.24 Hz, Voices value at 6, and Depth at 26 Cents. These settings will add a nice movement to our track and expand the stereo image. You can take a look at that in the picture below.
~Bassline – Processed With Tube Amp and Thorus
The last step in this processing chain is to use an EQ and apply a low-cut filter. For this, we have chosen FabFilter Pro Q–2. We’ve cut frequencies below 200 Hz. Let’s have a listen to that.
~Bassline – Processed With Tube Amp, Thorus and FabFilter Pro Q 2
Mix to taste
Finally, we will mix the original and processed basslines to taste. Here is how it sounds now.
~Bassline – Full Processed
You can notice the fullness we’ve achieved with the added harmonics and width.
To conclude, let’s hear how that sounds with the other elements of the full mix.
~Full Mix – Bassline Processed