Good frequency/key for bassline?
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Old 18-05-2016, 04:58 AM   #1
Narukami Music
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Good frequency/key for bassline?

Hey all,

I was wondering what's a good frequency/key that makes sure the bass sounds well.

I tend to put my basslines at 46hz to 90hz which I think is E1 to C2 (correct me if I'm wrong). The bass usually sounds big and present here but then it ends up clashing with the kick drums, where most of the presence is at around 47hz (at least with the majority of kicks I use). It also means that there's usually too much bass in my track (especially when I reference my track in the car).

Now if I put it in a higher key say C2 and above (62hz and beyond), it sounds more controlled but I end up losing that big sound. A lot of the track also ends up sounding "empty", if that makes sense.

What key do you guys normally put your basses in?



Thanks all and hopefully this question makes sense haha.

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Old 18-05-2016, 05:45 AM   #2
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Re: Good frequency/key for bassline?

I typically put a simple sustained sub-bass under 100 hz to fill in the space and keep my actual basslines above that (100-200 hz) It's worth noting that few systems get down that far accurately, so I have to depend more on my displays and such than I'd like.
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Old 18-05-2016, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: Good frequency/key for bassline?

I generally layer my bass. One layer for the actual bass line, and a sub layer of that too. the sun layer isn't always playing an octave lower. Sometimes it's just a low passed version of the main bassline but made mono, whilst the main line is stereo and high passed, normally from around 100Hz-2/300Hz depending on sound, upwards. Then glue together with compression a tad. This gives width and fullness and full depth too to the bass. If the kick isn't coming through so well, side chain it is. That doesn't mean it needs to "pump" that bass either, just duck it enough an short enough to allow the kick to kick through.
It's worth being very surgical with the kick drums decay sustain and release too. It's nice to have a kick full of booming bass, but shorten that mother fucker down if your bassline is playing constantly thoughout the bars it plays in as that'll allow both to breathe a but from each other too.

Some notes will always sound more present with bass due to room setup, monitoring, environment etc etc so it's not fair to say note X will jump through better for you. Because whilst it may do on your system, on mine with a sub it may be the note three below it that really rattles my chest and you can't hear or feel it because your system and setup and environment isn't the same. Hence checking on other systems when you get to a certain stage
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Old 18-05-2016, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Good frequency/key for bassline?

Yeah, the way a particular note sounds can have everything to do with your room so be careful of that. This is where some big ass bass traps come in very handy, especially in conjunction with a sub woofer. But without that you can still test on other systems, like headphones and in the car.

That said, I do head toward particular keys. Anything between the area of G - B, hovering around Ab / A seems to be in a sweet spot for sub sounds. On the other hand, don't get fussy. If you want to put something in Eb just do it.

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Old 19-05-2016, 02:30 AM   #5
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Re: Good frequency/key for bassline?

Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah, my room isn't really the best room for monitoring sounds haha. Sounds like I need to start checking how my bass sounds on other systems haha. I'll definitely have to start referencing my bass on other systems.

I'll also try and start layering my bassline with a sub bass too. I don't normally layer my basslines but I've also never had a lot of good results whenever I try haha. I'll start playing around and see how it goes.

Thanks a lot guys! Any more tips/info is welcome

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