In addition to drum sounds and overall rhythm, the bass is surely one of the most important elements which need a lot of attention in the mix. Making it stand out in the mix, especially in today’s electronic dance music, can be a tedious process. This is definitely something that requires time.
Try to Experiment
Bass frequencies can represent a challenge for many producers. In my opinion, a good thing would be to take a somewhat experimental approach when treating them.
For this reason, I believe that in most cases a good start would be to make a low cut up to 40 Hz of the bass spectrum range. I’m doing this simply to cut unwanted muddiness. This will leave room for the kick drum that usually has some frequency content in that particular range. Bearing this in mind, let me try to guide you through the steps needed for the bass to stand out in the mix.
Sub Bass + Melody
I will make a solid sub-bass sound from a sinus waveform, accompanied by a touch of distortion, and last but not the least, I will also play a melody from it.
Once done with that I will insert a REQ 2 Equalizer by Waves on the instrument channel rack, then cut the low frequencies below 40 Hz and make a high cut until 200 Hz.
After making sure it is in mono, let’s add some sidechain compression. By doing this, the kick will stand out in comparison to the sub bassline.
~ Kick drum and Sub Bass with a side chain effect
Furthermore, I will make a new instrument and copy the exact same melody from the bass channel. For example, a good choice for this sound would be to make two or more voice saw wave oscillators. Additionally, I will apply an equalizer with a low cut on this synth, let’s say on 200 Hz, and further process it with distortion.
~ Sub Bass and second bass layer
Carefully blending those two sounds together will result in a layered bass sound that really stands out in the mix.
~ Full Mix