Struggling with low end mixing? In this post I’ll share a simple technique that will help you to control your low end dynamics!
I suggest that you already have processing like saturation, EQ etc. This way you’ll be able to get the most out of this technique. So make sure you combine this technique with other processing
1. Group your kick and bass into one group
2. Apply multiband compressor to your kick and bass group.
3. Split the sound into 3 bands
4. The first band is going to be from 0 to 60 Hz. This is going to be the sub. Usually we don’t need a lot of dynamics in the low end. We want to make it tight and punchy. I set the ratio 8:10 and sometimes 10:1 if I need more compression. For this band I usually choose short to medium attack. You want to let enough of the transient to emphasize and control the low end dynamics. I use short/medium release here. Keep in mind that it’s going to depend on your track, so ALWAYS listen to how it sounds like in the context of the mix. It shouldn’t kill the dynamics. I do -8 and sometimes -10db of gain reduction.
5. Now let’s work with the second band. It should be from 60 to around 120-150 Hz. This is going to be the thump of the kick. For this one we’re going to use the same approach. Find the right attack and release values so it glues together your kick and bass. Usually when I go up in spectrum I use a longer attack. Play around with values and find the ones that sounds the best with your track. Aim for -8 to -10db of gain reduction here too. Here I will also use 1:8 to 1:10 ratio
6. And finally let’s work on the third band. It’s going to from 120-150 to around 300 Hz. Adjust the band if needed. As in the previous steps you want to find the attack and release that emphasize the groove of your track. The same ratio here as well from 1:8 to 1:10. Aim for -8 to -10db of gain reduction here
7. After you finish with previous steps set the MIX of your multiband compressor to 50%. Because we used heavy compression we want to keep the original signal too. This way we will mix the compressed signal and make our kick and bass sound tight and punchy.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to gain stage it properly. The loudness after compression should be the same as before!