basic mixing question!

hey guys i was hoping you can help me… i was wondering how to handle mids when mixing drums bass guitar etc.

Specifically when do i take away and when do i add? i know it all depends on the way itys recorded etc. but im wondering in general do i scoop some mids out to let the bass peak through or should i leave them on the bass ? not sure what the rule of thumb is… any help is appreciated!


The rule of thumb is: There is no rule. Decide what it should sound like, then do what is necessary to get there.

I agree with Sven… or Len… i…

It’s going to depend on more than the recording; also the genre and sub-genre of music, the song, the other instruments that are playing at any given time… what you want to achieve…

If you take something like Rage Against The Machine and compare the electric bass on “Try Me” to the bass on “The Ballad Of The Sin Father” (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists) to the bass on “If You Make Me Happy” (Sheryl Crow) you’ll see different amounts of clean vs distortion, bright versus dark, panning etc… It all depends.

Best thing you can do is study. Pick the stuff you love in your genre and listen. How loud is the bass? How is it balanced? Is it static or does volume / EQ / effects change throughout the song? If it’s loud and distorted is it playing a more melodic line perhaps? Is it doubling electric guitars? How does it sit with the kick drum - is the kick drum more ‘peaky’ and less ‘deep’? Or the other way around?

One thing to definitely look out for is the arrangement. Good musicians/arrangers know how to complement each other. A lot of ‘average’ ones don’t. So in the latter case you’ll have problems because the keyboard player ends up playing voicings that sound great by themselves, but the low notes interfere with the bass line. Or it’s the guitar player making that mistake. So then you choose. I do mostly music for picture but I’ve definitely had cases where a composer made that mistake and I either just muted a part or high-pass filtered it pretty heavily to make space for the bass.

Whatever works.