Before Mixing: Creative Stage
Before mixing, you can already make decisions for your bass to make it fit better in the mix. These choices can be made in the already.
- In the creative stage, you want to firstly make sure your bass is monophonic. This means that only one note plays at a time, so no chords or overlapping notes. As you have heard when examining frequency groups, sub has no clear note definition, but more of a low rumble. If you mix multiple notes in this section, it will not blend well, and will result in a blur of low sub sounds. So make sure you use one note at a time.
- Secondly, you want to make sure the bass is in key. Bass is also part of the melodic elements of your track, so you need to make sure it is in key with the other elements. Sometimes, it might be hard to hear if the bass is very low. A tip to solve that is to raise the whole bass pattern one octave. You will hear the notes more clearly, so you can put them in key. When the notes are in key, lower the pattern an octave again.
- Thirdly, you want to make sure your bass melody is not too fast. Because low frequency sound waves are large, they cannot move very fast from one to another. So if you play a fast melody with a bass, the notes will blur together and sound messy. A guideline for this is to not make bass melodies faster than about a quarter note.