Dealing with Tricky Transients in Bass Processing

Over at AMC (Audio Mix Club) I did a little mixing “duel” (actually there were 3 of us in it). The song used was from Cambridge Music Technology “Mixing Secrets” Free Multitrack Library, and the original mix and download can be found here.

The bass was particularly tricky to deal with on this song, so I created a little video about how I dealt with it in this mix. I thought it may be helpful for those who come across any similar challenges.

Here is my finished mix:


I might call that a “truel”? Like 3 people gathering before sunrise, choosing their pistols, and stepping off in a triangle (pyramid) formation to face off on each other. Gathering under the constellation Orion would make it even more symbolic. :slightly_smiling_face:

But to the point, interesting song, and I appreciate the time you put in to detailing the bass parts. I’m still working on absorbing this, and it may take several listens, but it’s one of the more unique audio things posted here in awhile.

Interesting song, I might even mix the tracks for the fun of it. It reminds me of some of the early 2000’s artists on record labels (Puddle of Mudd?).

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Really having trouble finding the download for the mixable tracks on this. All searches lead to mix MP3’s. Do you have a direct link to the downloadable mix tracks?

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I saw the word transients and was scared off. I do like seeing your avatar pop up because I know it will be good stuff.
I swear I jumped a foot up when the 40 sec guitars hit. Really like this vibe and singer.
I will give the same response that I say every time. Because of my failing ears or the power guitars, the vocal immediately disappears.
One thing I gained is to see most folks stay in a certain chord much longer than I do. I have to start trying that. haha congrats on the mix and having clients

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This is high-qual recording, and I am digging it.
Love the bass-vocal combination, and the result is very nice.
The the electric guitar is fantastic.
Your singing is superb, lovely full instrumentation.
Thanks for this beauty!

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I’ve always struggled with bass guitars in the mix, until our current bassist bought this expensive bass (no idea what it is):

That thing mixes itself, from what he told me it has Bartolini pickups.

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Thanks. It’s just one way of dealing with a particular problem that I sometimes come across. I felt this solution worked particularly well, so I thought it might be of interest to others.

You click on the “269MB” link shown here

Thanks Paul, but these aren’t my clients (see the original post)

Thanks Rene, but this isn’t my recording or production (see the original post).

Very true - the quality of the bass can make a substantial difference - particularly string-to-string volume differences. As is the case with most instruments, though - it generally comes down to how adept the instrumentalist is.

In this case, I don’t know what type of instrument was used, but I’m guessing the player’s technique and pick choice were a big factor in the massively swinging dynamics and the overly pronounced transient attack.


Rehearsal this evening - check on the bass, it’s a Warrior. The player is a pro, but last practice he switched to another bass and it was not as impressive.

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Of course I have to wish I would have learned about all this during the phase of formal and traditional instrument training in my tweens/teens and young adulthood. It is a chore just to try and keep up with the language never mind having to apply it to an engineering board. Do and or can old dogs learn new tricks, maybe after a morning nap they can and, I’ll need more than one, lol.

I have to give it up to all who can manage or wrestle well with all the tools and take the time to even out the minutest “imperfections” in sound and performance to build a better listening experience for the listener.

I am going to have to Google transients now however thank you very much! It hurts to learn, like my brain gets all mushy and begins to leak from wherever it can.

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Those look beautiful… And expensive… I’m guessing!

I think as musicians, we often initially underestimate the impact that the production and mix aspects have on how a piece of music is received.

It’s a long road to achieve firstly the listening skills to actually appreciate the differences, and then the know-how to understand how to deal with the issues. I personally enjoy the challenge.

Transients are the spikey things at the beginning of the waveform of any sound that has a percussive element to it.

Great job with the video! Can’t beat seeing the step-by-step like this. Awesome work @ColdRoomStudio!!

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Thanks Brian… I guess it’s mainly about the problem solving process, and the thinking behind it, as much as it is about the specific techniques used.

I really think the biggest advancement in mixing can be made in identifying issues and solving them, rather than just learning a bunch of random techniques and processes. Hopefully that comes across.

This was really interesting to watch and listen to. Thanks so much for posting!


They’re about $3k (I think).