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Whether you're making pop, rock or dance music, bass is the anchor of your tune. It provides rhythm, groove and lays the foundation for the rest of the mix to be built upon. Producers often run into issues with bass. Not only is bass difficult to monitor in a reliable way in most home studios, but certain attributes of the sound itself can cause problems. Much like when dealing with drums (see These Are Your Drums on Compression), producers reach for compressors when processing their bass for specific reasons.
Most producers don't include instruments in their songs that are playing out of key. The reason being instruments playing out of key sound dissonant (or bad depending on your point of view) and can be unsettling to the listener. However when it comes to drums, many skilled producers load up a sample, put it in their song and process it with EQ, distortion, and compression without giving a second thought to pitch. This could be that many people assume drum sounds don't have a distinct pitch. These people are wrong.
No tool is more important than EQ when making a mix. EQs allow you to carve volume away from select frequencies of a sound in order to make room for the other sounds in your song. Having a clean mix means that every element in your track has its own place and can be distinguished from the other elements in the song. Of course there are other mixing tools producers use to achieve clean mixes but every sound is comprised of frequencies and if you can get those straight your mixes will really shine. Try applying these EQ tools to take your mix to the next level.
Have you ever been working on your mix and a certain element just won't fit? Despite your best efforts, with gain staging, EQ, compression, phase-correction, or other effects, a certain sound falls out of the mix. What's the best course of action when all else fails? The answer is simple, change the element(s) that is/are causing the problem. One cleaver function in Ableton makes changing a given sound for another almost painless, "Hotswap."
Flangers, phasers and choruses are from a family of effects called modulation effects. These effects work by creating a series of frequency notches that are slowly swept across the frequency spectrum (hence modulation). Because the notches result in frequency attenuation you don’t really ‘hear’ the notching but you hear the frequencies that are not affected by the notching.
When I make songs I almost use all the same insert effects on every track. The settings will be different depending on the nature of the sounds but I tend to use the same key effects. In order to save time while loading up the same effects I saved a default Channel Strip as an Effect Rack and mapped the macros of features I use regularly. My default Channel Strip consists of a Utility, an EQ Eight, a Glue Compressor and a Limiter.