Using The SuprEsser To Shape Your Bass Parts
While the SuprEsser is a fully functional De-esser, it's also a useful Dynamic EQ tool for shaping bass parts. Let's take a look at a picked bass track recorded direct with an old Fender Precision, and see how the SuprEsser can deliver a variety of tonal options.
With traditional EQ and compression, you’re affecting the bass part as a whole when making changes. But the SuprEsser dynamically reacts to the audio signal, which gives you additional control over the parts you want to affect.
In this case, the original signal has a lot of low end. Usually, that’s quite good for bass, but sometimes it’s too much and can step on the kick.
Presets are a great way to get started. In the Bass Treatment preset folder, I’ve loaded the Bass De Boompreset.
I then grabbed the upper cut off drag handle at the top of the display and moved the frequency up to around 135Hz. By lowering the Threshold fader, the SuprEsser is dynamically reducing the low frequency information between 20 - 135Hz without affecting the rest of the signal.
If there’s too much bass being reduced, you can either raise the Threshold until more gets through, or adjust the Upper and Lower drag handles to the frequencies that work for your particular bass part.
Another option is to reduce the high-end pick noise of the bass. Here I’ve actually turned up the high EQ on the SansAmp affecting the bass.
But let's say that’s the way it was tracked and you wanted to dynamically pull that pick noise EQ down. Load up the Bass De Twang preset and adjust the drag handles once again.
Here I’ve moved the low handle down to 1000Hz and the high up to 7300kHz. The Threshold is pulled down quite a bit just to demonstrate that the 'edge' has been reduced, but the bass still sounds warm and fat. Of course, you can choose to affect the part any way that properly fits the track.
These are just a few simple ways to dynamically affect your bass tracks. The SuprEsser has additional controls to take it even further, but as you can see, with a few simple tweaks, those pesky bass frequencies can easily be tamed.
Rich Tozzoli - Producer/mixer/composer and journalist Rich Tozzoli specializes in 5.1 Surround Sound production, and has mixed for such artists as Blue Oyster Cult, David Bowie, The Maralis Family, and HD networks such as HBO and PBS. He's composed for Panasonic ToughBooks, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, NBC Olympics and many others.