Get consistent sub bass easily

Apr 2, 2022 2:51:00 PM

Do you struggle to get you sub bass to play on consistent level? Use this simple compression trick.
/files/entries/1648905763_splash-sine.png

It's essential for your mix to get your bass under control. It goes without saying, that it's best to resolve your mix issues before sending your mix to your mastering engineer, so let's take a look at how to get your bass to behave in more consistent manner.

All you need is a single-band compressor since we're focusing on sub bass alone and not on bass and mid bass.

  • Put your sub bass in a loop and keep playing it.
  • Use RMS analyzer and pay attention to the part, where your sub bass has the lowest energy.
  • Put the compressor on your insert.
  • Set the threshold to the level, where the compressor won't react to the lowest energy note.
  • Set the ratio to around 4:1 or 6:1
  • Set attack and release to what suits your sound. Usually a quicker attack and slower release works the best, however if the attack is too quick, you might get slight distortion going on.
  • Set the make up gain accordingly.
  • When the highest energy note playing, you should see your compressor turning it down in volume.

The result from this should be that the sound should be playing more or less at the same level. Your mastering engineer will thank you. 😊

Naturally it's possible to use steeper ratios or a limiter. The results would be even more consistent. The limiter can be setup the same way as the compressor, except you don't have to worry about the ratio anymore. Just remember if you stick with a compressor, pay attention to attack and release as they affect the sound.

Below are two RMS meters. Left one shows the lowest energy point and right one the highest after the compression. Before it, it was all over the place going from 0 to 8+.

Just remember that if you think your sub bass is weak after compressing it, either turn up the volume back up in make up gain stage or you have your Attack and Release set up wrong.