In addition to drum sounds and overall rhythm, bass is surely one of the most important elements that needs lots of attention in the mix. Making it stand out in the mix, especially in today’s electronic dance music, can be a tedious process and definitely something that requires time.

Bass frequencies can represent a challenge for many producers and, 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, simply to cut unwanted muddiness and leave the 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 thru the steps needed for the bass to stand out in the mix.

I will make a solid sub bass sound from a sinus waveform, accompanied with a touch of distortion, and last but not the least, I will also play a melody from it.

Bass melody 1

Once done with that I will insert an 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.

EQ 1

After making sure it is in mono, let’s add some side chain compression in order for the kick to stand out in comparison to the sub bass line.

~ 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 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