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Kick and Bass guitar on VU meters

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Kick and Bass guitar on VU meters


Post by bligovdashakh »

Hello all,

Recently i've been metering on the VU meter (-18db) i'm setting my kick on -3db and introducing my bass guitar until i read 0db on the VU meter, this tip is all over the internet, It works good with electronic music but whenever i try it with an actual recorded bass guitar, the bass sounds much higher in volume than the kick and it's not balanced at all with the kick, any suggestions what i'm doing wrong here?

Thank you!

Re: Kick and Bass guitar on VU meters


Post by pursgo »

What your doing wrong is not using your ears. no one consumes music looking at a meter. To steal from andrew scheps "the only thing that matters is what comes out of the speakers." There is no technically correct for mixing (if there was we all would be replaced by a computer.) If it feels good. It is good. I would say focus on the emotion of the music. Music is all emotion. As an exercise watch a scary scene in a movie muted and unmuted and notice how you are affected emotionally by it.
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Re: Kick and Bass guitar on VU meters


Post by Mister Fox »

Please check out my post on "Gain Staging with a VU Meter", @bligovdashakh.

Not only does this depend on the frequency content, but also the feel. What works for Rock, might not work for Electronic. It's just a "general rule of thumb", a starting point. Fine-tuning is just as important.

(also: moving this to Production Techniques)
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Re: Kick and Bass guitar on VU meters


Post by JavionAyala »

The tip you mentioned works well for electronic music, but it might not be the best solution for recorded bass guitar. Instead of solely relying on the VU meter, you could try adjusting the levels of the kick and bass individually. Play around with the volume of each until you find a balance that works for your mix. Remember that different instruments have different tonal characteristics, and the bass guitar naturally has a lot of low-end frequencies. This might make it sound louder compared to the kick. To address this, you can try using EQ to carve out some space for the kick in the low-end. Another option is to add compression to both the kick and bass to even out their levels. By the way, if you're interested in learning more about guitar strings and their letters, you might find some helpful information on staytunedguitar.com. Just wanted to share that and update this thread.
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