This might be a really boring post, but I’m mixing a lot at the moment and don’t really have anywhere to talk about things I’m trying/ discovering…
My usual tactic (I know “it depends on the song”, but I’m usually mixing my own stuff…) is to give the kick plenty of sub weight 40-80hz, the bass guitar gets power roughly 80-150, and the kick gets scooped in the low mids to make room for guitars etc, with a decent treble boost to get clicky attack & clarity.
But last night I decided to get out my comfort zone, because aesthetically I really like records where the kick has more of a knock and some midrange space to have some sustain and tone. And I think I prefer it, and have been an idiot, mixing deliberately badly for 10 years.
I gave the kick some 200hz, and didn’t scoop out midrange. Didn’t boost the subs like I normally do, other than giving it a little thump way down at like 40hz.
And it had a few surprising knock on effects that I enjoyed
The bottom end was less dynamic (more bass guitar playing sustained notes, less kick punching subs ) which made it easier to control. The kick didn’t need as much high end click, which made the entire drum kit feel bigger and left space at the front of the mix for the vocal - I find the aggressive high boosts of heavier music have the effect of pulling the drums forward and making them sound smaller as a result. It actually meant I could compress the kick more too - I think when the kick is all click and subs, compression quickly makes it sound small and… “Lumpy”…I can’t really describe it better than that, but it starts to feel unnatural. Whereas with the kick having more midrange energy, compression was bringing out tone and controlling it better without causing problems.
Anyways… would be interesting to read other’s thoughts on the low end relationship.