Mixing: Electric Bass Guitar

Coming Soon and for now please read below for some great tips to get you started!


If you don’t set your speakers up properly mixing, in general, is close to impossible. We say this with decades of experience and Manny is an expert on this topic. You might be trying to EQ the bass but when you take it out of your studio it sounds totally different and certain notes are loud, others are too soft. Review those sections and get a sub ( or two ) if you can.

Start with a high-pass filter.

You might think that you should leave all the low end in on a bass guitar … not so at all. In fact we recommend using a high-pass filter on every track to keep the low end clear and punchy. Sometimes even filtering a bass up to 80-100hz is a good idea and don’t be afraid to try going higher so you can keep the really low bass frequency area free for the kick drum, if that what the song needs.

Add a little distortion to make the bass cut thru the mix.

Often it can be difficult to hear the bass in your mix. The low end body is ok in regards to level, but the bass is not clear. Adding just a little distortion can make it pop out without having to boost the overall level. Plugins like Sansamp PSA-1, SoundToys Decapitator ( LOVE this plugin for all kinds of instruments ), and even a guitar and cabinet emulator ( like Avid Eleven ) will do the trick. If you want something with more variety check out the McDSP Futzbox ( this is another fantastic plugin for all kinds of applications ).

Try adding a lot of distortion to see the effect then dial it back to where it works for you. If you are working on heavier styles of music, like metal or hard rock, you definitely can use more distortion than less. You’ll know what you like when you hear it.

Compression … yes almost always.

Even with a world-class player you will almost always need a little ( or more ) compression. Sometimes a warmer compression, like a LA-2A works if it sounds thin, or a more transparent compression. Try fast attack times as well to make the initial attack of the notes not stick out. Like anything it’s fun to experiment to find what you like.

We have videos on mixing bass filmed and only in need of a few more edits … stay tuned!


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