Logic X Safe Bass
Get Control Over Width and Frequency In Logic
November 1, 2018
What's a safe bass?
The term safe bass started popping up in stereo processing and widening plugins a few years ago. It's something that I apply to nearly every mix and track I do. It's a simple idea. On a stereo source, especially one you're applying stereo processing to, select a crossover frequency where anything below that threshold, will be mono or narrower in the stereo field.
Generally, low frequencies, under 200 hertz, are easier to mix if they are mono. Keeping the low frequencies more narrow, usually equates to a tighter and punchier mix. A lot of soft synths, like Serum for instance, are stereo plugins by default. So if you use those plugins for your sub, 808, or bass, you're going to have a lot of low end frequencies filling out the stereo field. Using this safe bass technique also works well for other sound sources like supersaws, top basses, pianos, etc.
Enter Logic X Directional Mixer
You can use Direction Mixer to decode middle and side audio recordings or to spread the stereo base of a left/right recording and determine its pan position. If you want a full how to on the directional mixer, check out this support article at Apple.
A newly-added feature is a Frequency-Split option—a crossover lets you divide the frequency range at a chosen frequency, and apply independent stereo panning to both the high and low frequency ranges. A useful example could be splitting the lows and reducing them to mono or near mono.
The Direction Mixer is located in the Imaging folder of plugins. You can see where to find it in the GIF above.
Check out the video below to see how to apply the Direction Mixer to any stereo sound for tighter, more mono compatible bass.