Bass Tuning circuit

Posted on Oct 24, 2012

A circuit that tailors the low end of particular items such as the bass drum and bass guitar to be used for individual tracks during mixdown, not across the entire mix. With the circuit, I can set the low end rolloff characteristic and stored energy of each of these items separately. There is stored energy in the speaker/cabinet combination that adds body to the bass guitar that you can not get with typical equalizers. The tuning device allows you to get the bass drum to sit well with the bass guitar. There is little point in boosting the area below the cutoff of most speakers. As strange as it may seem, rolling off the bass content with a 12 db per octave, tunable high-lpass filter can actually give you a fatter and more defined bottom end than you would have if you let the response stay flat to 15hz.

Bass Tuning circuit
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The closer the mike is to the sound source in a given room, the less the room will have an effect on it. The tuning circuit applied to each of these low frequency signals can allow you to improve your bottom end. It is beyond the scope of this article to provide a primer on drum miking. Let's just say, record it as best you can. It takes experience to get it right. There are two controls on the tuning circuit: Frequency and "Q". The tuning circuit is a variable frequency, low cut filter with a resonance control, which is referred to as "Q". Set the Q to minimum, and set the frequency to minimum. Things will sound pretty much as they did without the circuit. Then increase the frequency of the filter. Notice how the sound gets thinner. Then increase the Q control until you hear an audible ringing at the frequency you selected. Now decrease the frequency control slowly until the desired tuning is achieved. Vary the Q control for the desired amount of resonance. Do this separately for the kick drum and the bass guitar. You will find settings that make them compliment each other without stepping on each other sonically. In other words, the tunings should not be the same for both. You just have to fiddle around until it sounds best to you. Make a tape of this and listen to it on different systems, such as the car, the boom box, other peoples stereos. Make a mental note of what tunings sound best in most places, and get used to...

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