Setting up a Channel EQ on bass guitar isn't all that different from an electric guitar frankly, especially in terms of how long it takes to actually do it. \n\n\n\nIf you've read my other articles on using EQ in Garageband, you'll know that I recommend using Garageband's pre-sets, which provide a great jumping-off point or foundation from which to work. \n\n\n\nAs usual, we're going to introduce the simple step-by-step process first, and then we'll explore a more in-depth and sophisticated version afterward. \n\n\n\nHow To EQ A Bass Guitar In Garageband \n\n\n\n1) Go into the plug-ins in the Smart Controls. \n\n\n\n2) Select "Channel EQ." \n\n\n\n3) Choose one of the following pre-set: Bass Boost EQ, E-Bass EQ, Electric Jazz Bass, Slapped Bass EQ, or Upright Standard Bass EQ. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n4) Select the one you think sounds the best, and then make further adjustments to your liking. \n\n\n\nThings to Know Before EQing A Bass Guitar \n\n\n\nAs most people know, a bass guitar is much lower in pitch than a regular electric guitar. As a consequence of this, the bass guitar's strings have to be much thicker, which introduces even more low-end frequencies. \n\n\n\nA guitar's frequencies, for the most part, lie between the 500Hz and 5000kHz range, whereas a bass guitar falls more between 20Hz and 2750kHz. \n\n\n\nPersonally, I find that the Bass Boost EQ found in Garageband's pre-sets sounds the best. \n\n\n\nIt gives the bass guitar a nice fat bass sound through a slight increase of the sub-bass frequencies, drops out a bit of the low-mid range, and also increases the high-end. \n\n\n\nYou can see what the Bass Boost EQ looks like in the image below: \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nOf course, I've followed my own advice, and I've attenuated some of the frequencies that I find less desirable. That's the point of the pre-sets: to use them as a guideline. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAnother one I like to use is the Electric Jazz Bass EQ, which is a little more nuanced in terms of its EQ increases and attenuations. \n\n\n\nThe Bass Boost EQ, in its default position, acts more like a volume boost than an EQ alteration because it increases the frequencies all across the spectrum. \n\n\n\nYou can see the way the Electric Jazz Bass EQ looks in the image below: \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n10 Tips For EQing A Bass Guitar \n\n\n\n1) Boost The Highs - 1500kHz to 2300kHz\n\n\n\nAs I mentioned above, the vast majority of the bass guitar's frequencies are in the lower end of the frequency spectrum. \n\n\n\nConsequently, in my opinion, it seems like it's always a good idea to boost the higher end frequencies, ie, 1500kHz to 2300 kHz, just to introduce more clarity into the bass guitar's sounds.\n\n\n\nFor the most part, I would almost always avoid huge increases to the lower end of the bass guitar, and instead, opt more for increasing the higher frequencies. \n\n\n\nThe reason being, in conjunction with all of the other instruments in the mix, there will be a lot of competition already in the low end as well as in the lower-midrange.\n\n\n\n It might seem like it's a good idea to boost the low-end if you want the bass frequencies to cut through, however, I would argue that boosting the higher frequencies of the bass guitar is going to introduce more clarity and presence, as well as simply make it sound a bit better. \n\n\n\nThis might seem like it contradicts the pre-set that I mentioned above, but it doesn't. It's ok to increase the lower end of the bass guitar's frequencies a little bit, as long as the increases are small and not massive. \n\n\n\n2) Attenuate the Low-Mid Range - 100Hz - 300Hz\n\n\n\nLike I mentioned already, the lower-midrange is a common culprit in the mix that almost always needs attenuation in several different instruments. \n\n\n\nFor instance, I almost always cut the lower-mid-range of an electric guitar, as I do with the bass guitar as well, especially the point around 200Hz. I would argue that this holds even truer when it comes to the bass guitar, simply because it already has so many lower frequencies.\n\n\n\nThis is going to free up space for other instruments in this area as well, including the kick, snare, and other parts of the drum kit. \n\n\n\nWhen I mix a song, I always try to create some sonic space in the lower mid-range simply because I think it eliminates some of the muddiness and just makes it sound a whole lot better. \n\n\n\nYou can see what this is going to look like in the image shown below \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nI would argue that this tip is perhaps one of the most important because the low mid-range frequencies seem like they're the most unpleasant. It's the "muddiness" frequency, and it really helps to get rid of these. \n\n\n\n3) Use a Wide Q (Wide Boosts\/Narrow Cuts)\n\n\n\nWhen it comes to boosting the lower range frequencies, and many other frequencies of the bass guitar, it's best to use a wide rather than a narrow Q, due to the fact that you don't want huge increases in frequencies on certain notes but not others. \n\n\n\nA wide Q will solve this problem, and make the sound of the instrument ultimately a lot more consistent. \n\n\n\nThis is what a wide Q looks like:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhen it comes to cuts, however, you want to use a more narrow Q. \n\n\n\nThis is what a narrow Q looks like:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n4) Cut the Mid-Range Frequencies Of Slapping Bass Guitar \n\n\n\nIf you check out Garageband's preset for the slap bass guitar frequencies, you'll notice that some of the middle range frequencies are attenuated by quite a lot, and then the lowest and highest frequencies aren't attenuated much at all. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThis is because when you use the slapping and popping technique on the bass guitar, you ultimately end up producing more mid-range frequencies.\n\n\n\n For that reason, it's not a terrible idea to attenuate the mid-range frequencies just a little bit, and then leave the other frequencies alone. \n\n\n\n5) Remember the Kick and Bass Guitar Work Together \n\n\n\nThis concept holds true for hip-hop production as well, regardless of whether you use a bass guitar or a boutique 808. \n\n\n\nIn other words, when you're EQing the bass guitar, try and pay attention to the kick drum as well, because they're working together. \n\n\n\nAdditionally, I would actually recommend checking out my articles on the Boutique 808s, because some of the principles in those articles apply to the bass guitar as well. \n\n\n\nHow to Make Boutique 808s \n\n\n\n10 Tips for Better Boutique 808s \n\n\n\nMoreover, it doesn't hurt to actually find out precisely where the kick drum is hitting on the EQ spectrum analyzer, and then attenuate or decrease it, and then in the same area of the spectrum analyzer of the bass guitar, you increase or attenuate it depending on what you did to the kick drum first. \n\n\n\nThis is a technique that's often recommended for creating bass and kick sound great in hip-hop. \n\n\n\nEssentially, it just molds the two together, creating space and complementing the other, that way there isn't so much competition for the same frequencies. \n\n\n\n6) Make Sure You Use Studio Headphones \n\n\n\nDue to the fact lower end frequencies tend to be much harder to hear, it's much better to use proper headphones for the process. \n\n\n\nUltimately you want to ensure that you're making well-informed decisions in the mixing stage, rather than just winging it and coming out with something that sounds good on your laptop speakers but then awful on everything else. \n\n\n\nI recommend getting the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, which you can check out on Amazon at this link here. \n\n\n\nIn case you want to read more about them, you can also read the more full review of them at this link. \n\n\n\n7) Use Solo Intermittently \n\n\n\nTruthfully, this tip can apply to almost any part of the mixing process.\n\n\n\n In fact, I do it all of the time. \n\n\n\nWhenever I'm mixing music, not only do I have it in Mono for a majority of the time, but I'm also switching between Stereo and Mono and Solo and Regular as I'm working. \n\n\n\nI find this makes it easier to make informed decisions on how everything sounds together. \n\n\n\nIf you're curious to read more about the benefits of mixing in Mono, as well, I recommend you check out my article here. \n\n\n\n8) Cut out the frequencies between 8000 kHz and 10,000kHz \n\n\n\nCutting out the aforementioned frequencies isn't a bad idea for a number of reasons.\n\n\n\n For one, it makes more room for other instruments in the mix, such as the hi-hats, cymbals, synths, and arpeggiators, but the highest range frequencies aren't really necessary anyway, due to the fact that the bass falls between 20Hz and 2500kHz anyway. \n\n\n\nIn other words, the bass guitar doesn't have many super-high range frequencies, so you might as well attenuate them altogether. \n\n\n\n9) Use 1-5dB Adjustments \n\n\n\nThis holds true for many other instruments in the mix, as well. It's always best to make very small changes to the EQ because it's really not that necessary to attenuate or increase frequencies to the point where it's completely unnatural, unless, of course, that's your goal. \n\n\n\nIf you've made huge adjustments to the EQ, as well, you may find that you'll wind up with something that sounds out of place and weird, even so much to the point that listeners will notice, which is really saying something because the casual music listener doesn't notice many subtle changes. \n\n\n\n10) Understand Each Frequency Range \n\n\n\nIn other words, here are some ranges to concern yourself with \n\n\n\n15Hz to 60Hz \n\n\n\nBoominess, Warmth, Power \n\n\n\nThis range represents the sub-bass frequencies.\n\n\n\n For the most part, these frequencies are so low that if increased too much, they'll make the mix sound booming to the point of discomfort, but on the other hand, if you eliminate them altogether, it will just sound like there isn't any heart or soul in the track. \n\n\n\n60Hz - 250Hz \n\n\n\nWarmth, Fat or Thin.\n\n\n\nThis range, similar to the sub-bass frequencies, is still quite warm and boomy, but they're getting to the point where they're beginning to sound more like "openness," to me. \n\n\n\nIn other words, it starts to sound like the bass guitar frequencies are literally opening up, and the lower notes on the bass guitar are more audible and easy to hear. \n\n\n\n200Hz to 500Hz \n\n\n\nHollow, Boxy, Muddy \n\n\n\nAt this stage of the frequency spectrum, we're getting to the point where increases and attenuations are starting to become way more obvious and easy to hear. \n\n\n\nFor that reason, I usually err on the side of caution when adjusting this range, regardless of whether I'm increasing or attenuating. If you increase the frequencies within this range, you'll introduce more boxiness, as they say, or muddiness. \n\n\n\n500Hz to 1000 kHz \n\n\n\nPunchiness, Audibility \n\n\n\nAt this area of the frequency spectrum, I find that each note kind of sounds like it's more defined and easier to hear. \n\n\n\nIncreases at this range kind of highlight the actual pitch of the note more, rather than having the bass guitar all kind of have the same vibe regardless of what note you're playing. \n\n\n\nMoreover, increasing the ranges in this area is going to make the bass guitar punch through the mix a little bit more. \n\n\n\n1000kHz to 3000kHz \n\n\n\nPick Attack, Clarity, Definition \n\n\n\nIncreasing this range often illuminates the sound of the pick hitting the strings, assuming you're using a pick to play the bass guitar. \n\n\n\nLike many other instruments, the range between 1000kHz and 5000kHz tends to make everything sound "lighter" so to speak. There is also more clarity. \n\n\n\nHowever, this is the range where a lot of the imperfections might shine through as well, including amp hiss, weird picking technique, the sounds of the environment, and so on and so forth. \n\n\n\nAdditional Frequency Tips \n\n\n\n40 - 80Hz = Thump \n\n\n\n650Hz = Attack \n\n\n\n2000 kHz - 2500kHz = Snap \n\n\n\nYouTube Video Tutorial\u00a0\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=nVtScRUvn_c\n\n\n\n\nConclusion \n\n\n\nThat's all for the bass guitar, for now. \n\n\n\nWhen it comes to using EQ, less is almost always more. \n\n\n\nThis applies to nearly every instrument used in the music production process, so always err on the side of small boosts and cuts, rather than substantial adjustments.