5 Important Tips For A Perfect Low End
Updated: Feb 11
1. CHECK THE LENGTH OF THE KICK AND BASS
Not checking the length of the kick and bass is a common mistake that can ruin your low-end. Before you start mixing, always check if your kick and bass work well together. For example, you can use analyzers like oscilloscopes to show you what your soundwave looks like. It is not necessary, but it might be helpful if you do not have much experience in mixing. One more alternative is the LFO Tool VST, which can show you how your wave looks too. The key here is to make enough space for your kick and bass. REMEMBER, Short Kick/Long Bass; Long Kick/Short Bass. It is a very simple rule that will help you a lot with low-end mixing.
2. WORK WITH VELOCITY
I see so many music producers who forget about working with velocity. Heck, even big YouTubers sometimes do not do that in their tutorials. In fact, low-end dynamics are the thing that differentiates a beginner track from a pro. ALWAYS make sure you program the velocity. Here is a simple rule that will help you: Reduce the velocity when the kick hits together with your bass. Then, for the following note, you can increase it. Basically, your velocity should look like a ladder; long, short, long, short, but sometimes you may need to do two short ones. This is a good starting point that will help you to understand this concept better. Also, make sure to listen to how it sounds so you can adjust the velocity to your situation.
3. MAKE SUB IN MONO
I did not use to make sub in mono until I saw an excellent YouTube tutorial. I think it was called “Making techno with Tom Hades”, and he explained it in a really nice way and showed an example. Listen to how your kick sounds in the mix when it is not in mono. It may not seem to be a big difference. However, when you check it, you will hear that it is actually taking the stereo space in the mix and that space could be used for other instruments. Also, make sure you make your sub frequencies in mono. I recommend 120-150 Hz for your kick and bass in mono.
We need to use a sidechain for that signature pumping sound that is so common in EDM. Usually, I apply a sidechain to my bass, and I duck it so my kick has space. The LFO Tool is an incredible volume shaper VST you can use for this purpose. I do not apply sidechains to the whole spectrum but only to frequencies below 300 Hz. Everything above 300 Hz is not touched. Do not forget to apply a sidechain to your Busses/Groups.
5. SOLO SUB FREQUENCIES
Here is a super cool ninja trick you can use to check if your low-end sounds good. Even if you have monitors, it is crucial to check your bass on an extensive system, such as in a club or festival, for example. Apply an EQ to your master channel and cut everything above 120 Hz. You should only hear that part of your track. If you start hearing artifacts, rumbles, etc., that means that you have to go back and fix your kick and bass, as the issue might be with the length or sidechain. Usually, these are the most common problems, so ideally, you should hear the thump of the kick, and it should be noticeable. I use this technique a lot when mixing, and it helps me control the bass frequencies.