Mixing Bass - To Translate on Device Speakers

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Today I want to talk about mixing bass guitar and how to get it to cut through on laptop and cell phone speakers and other mono output devices, since so many people listen to music this way. Even though they are not very good and don’t really allow any low end to come through.

These types of speakers are very midrange focused and the mix has to translate on these devices. And a good mix will hold together when listening through these types of speakers. So no matter if it’s a recorded bass guitar, a synth bass, a loop, whatever is represented as the bass, how do we get it to come through these less than ideal speakers?

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There’s a simple technique you can use to add some more mid-range and clarity to enhance the bass sound so that it translates well on all music listening devices.

First, set up a bus track.

Add a little filtering so that you aren’t processing any super low frequencies.

Then add some saturation. I really like the Soundtoys Radiator for bass. I think it sounds authentic and kinda tape like, it even adds some hiss noise but you can put that on clean to quiet that down some. This is what enhances the string sound on a bass and that is what is going to be present when listening through these low quality mono speakers.

Next, add a send to the bus in pre fader mode. This is so the volume fade doesn’t effect the level we are sending to the saturation. Then blend in the amount of saturation you need to get the mid frequencies to stick out a bit and sound present in the mix.

You can also do this with the sans amp plugin that comes with pro tools as well.

And that’s it. Lets me know if this works for you and if you enjoyed this video hit the thumbs up and share with anyone who you feel might benefit from this technique. Also don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so you won’t miss any new videos.

And I will see you next time. Thanks for watching, Y’all!

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