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How to Enhance Bass Guitar with Parallel Processing

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How to Mix Bass Guitar with Parallel Saturation
How to Mix Bass Guitar with Parallel Saturation - youtube Video
Hey guys. Matthew Weiss here,, Today we are going to be talking about bass guitar. I’m going to show you a trick for thickening it up, so let’s just check out this bass, and hear what we’re working with.


Not bad. But let’s listen when the instrumentation gets really dense.


Still not bad, but it could be a little bit thicker. Let’s solo the bass and give it a listen.

[bass guitar]

It’s got a nice mid range, it’s got a good texture to it, but it’s a little bit ghostly sounding. All the frequencies are there, but it just doesn’t quite sound very thick and rich. So, I’m going to blend in this.

[bass guitar]


So what is that? Well, it’s a parallel return, and I’m using this SoundToys decapitator plug in. I’ve got the decapitator plug in on both the original signal and the parallel. The difference is, is that on the, here, I’ll bring them both up, on my dry signal here I’m doing just a touch of drive, not really too much else with the decapitator plug in. On the wet, I’ve got a lot of drive. I’m, you know, I’m past 12:00 here, and on top of that there’s this tone control knob. I’ve got it turned almost all the way to dark, and I’ve got a lot of the low cut, or the high cut filter turned down. That’s mostly just to get rid of some of the noise. But this tone knob is turned way down, and so the overall sound is like this.


It’s pretty grisly. Then, I’ve got a compressor and I’ve got very fast attack, very fast release, and I’m doing quite a bit of compression here, then turning the signal way down.


That’s what I’m blending back in. So it’s basically this sort of concentrated, muddy, grisly thing. I mean, ideally the bass capture would have been fuller to begin with, but it wasn’t. So I have to made do with what I have and figure out a way to make that work. So this is a way of stirring up some harmonics, blending in that tonal lower bass frequency that needs to be sort of thicker, and getting it in there in a different way. So, before and after.


By the way, the song is called ‘At 35.’ It’s by Donovan Rice and the Standing Cinema. Really awesome band, check them out. Anyway, thank you for watching. Hope you learned something. Please subscribe and take care.


Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is the recordist and mixer for multi-platinum artist Akon, and boasts a Grammy nomination for Jazz & Spellemann Award for Best Rock album. Matthew has mixed for a host of star musicians including Akon, SisQo, Ozuna, Sonny Digital, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development and 9th Wonder. Get in touch:

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