Home Beatmaking & Production How To EQ A Bass Guitar In FL Studio

How To EQ A Bass Guitar In FL Studio

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

This article will cover EQ, compression, and sidechaining bass kicks in FL Studio. We’ll go over what it is, as well as a couple of different methods: one with a limiter/compressor, and another with a Peak Controller.

But bear with me as I unpack this. There’s a reason for it.

If mixing bass properly isn’t a sound decision, I don’t know what is.

There are many things I re-iterate constantly on this website because they are things I believe in.

Headphone company after headphone company ruining the bass response of their headphones and then selling it to the public is not something I believe in.

Thus why I’m always bitching about it. Stop tuning your headphones this way and I’ll shut up. But until then, I’m going to keep repeating it while also telling people not to buy your products.

As a producer, the absolute last thing I want to happen is my bass comes across sounding like shit; i.e., I don’t want it to mimic what 95% of companies do: boosting 200-300Hz into oblivion because more must equal better, right?


And then, to add insult to injury, the sub-bass is rolled off to the point where the only part of the frequency you can actually hear, the mid-bass, now sounds like complete ass because it was tuned incorrectly.

The way most companies operate is completely counterintuitive to how a good mix sounds and a huge reason why I want to gouge my eyes out every time they send me a product like this (it’s 99% of them).

How To EQ A Bass Guitar

To mix bass properly, we’re doing the opposite.

You should opt for some sub-bass roll-off or a variation of a High-Pass Filter, some presence at roughly 60-90Hz (use your judgment based on the mix), followed by a cut in the mud/bloat regions of 200-300Hz.

Then a boost somewhere in between 750-2kHz for presence, but this is up to your discretion and optional. Past that, there is no relevant information on a bass guitar past 5kHz. 

Here’s an example that’s working nicely for a track I’m currently mixing. Keep in mind I’m still fine-tuning it, but this general curve works well.

To do this in FL Studio, we’re simply routing the bass guitar to a mixer track and choosing “Fruity Parametric EQ 2” from the effects drop-down menu on the right. I’ll show you how to route in a bit.

Now just click the EQ and start playing around with it.

For bass roll-off, right-click the first button > Type > High pass.

Then right-click the 7th button > Type > Low pass. From here you can sculpt the rest how you want.

I should also mention that frequent breaks are incredibly beneficial; both for your sanity and your mix. If it’s just not coming together, walk away and revisit later with fresh ears and a good night’s sleep. 

Oftentimes, any issues will manifest immediately after some time off.

Also, keep in mind most systems won’t play any of the sub-bass frequencies anyway, so there’s no real reason to boost anything below 40Hz.

It’s important to understand that sub-bass in the 20-40Hz range is more felt than heard, and can ruin a track if too prominent. This usually comes in the form of bleed/hum/fuzz that makes your ears feel like they’re about to pop.

Not good, and it’s precisely why headphones like the Meze 99 Neo (and its awful butchered bass shelf, pictured below) are ones you should avoid at all costs. I could honestly name dozens of headphones with similar issues, but I’ll refrain for now.

Meze 99 Neo Review

Put simply, if your kick is dominant and hits nicely around 60-90Hz, there’s no need to have the sub-bass boosted too as they’ll simply be competing for mixing space.

Oftentimes what I find is that my mix sounds “pretty good” until I balance the 2 correctly. That is, the bass sits a bit under the kick drum and usually doesn’t need to be front and center. The kick is what drives it and gives it the extra oomph.

After making this adjustment, the beat usually soars to new heights like the Dude. Using the kick to drive the beat and keeping the bass line secondary has always worked for me.

If you have a powerful, wet, clean, and hard kick, just the right amount of bass makes it really pop. Anything more than that tends to be overkill.

On the other hand, boosting the mid-bass may sound logical on the surface, but it’s a recipe for disaster if you desire any sort of resolution out of your listening experience.

An exaggerated mid-bass tends to completely obliterate the rest of the sound signature to the point where you may actually believe you’re listening to music underwater.

Crazy, I know. Companies make millions off of ignorant consumers who don’t have a clue what bass is supposed to sound like.

You can’t hear snares, you can’t hear vocals, you can’t hear instruments, you can’t hear anything. It’s all drowned out by the horrendous mid-bass.

It’s a nightmare, so please avoid it at all costs.


I have been writing about this for years now. Don’t be like the headphone company that just never listens, ever.


Side Chaining & Compression

Depending on the kit you’re using, Sometimes the kick and bass overlap to the point where a side chain is necessary.

A side chain effectively ducks the bass every time the kick hits, in essence helping it to cut through the mix and hit hard while avoiding mud and bloat. This works especially great for 808s.

It’s important to understand that every track is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all scenario.

Let’s take a look. In this example, I’m using FL Studio 21.

First, you’ll want to route both the kick and bass guitar to separate mixer channels.

To do that, hit F6 to bring up your channel rack, and to the right of the volume/panning knobs, you’ll see the target mixer track (Below in red).

Left-click and scroll up or down to choose where you’d like to route them. I used channel 2 for the bass and channel 3 for the kick.

Now press F2 and rename the tracks. You can also choose a color.

From here, hit F9 to bring up your mixer, select the kick track, and right-click the arrow on the Bass Guitar track.

Choose “Sidechain to this track.”

Click the bass track, go to the effects rack, and choose “Fruity Limiter.”

Once opened, go to the compressor tab.

Right-click under where it says “Sidechain” and choose the kick we just side-chained.

From here, decrease the threshold and increase the ratio.

Play around with the threshold until you get a nice balance. Every track is different, so be patient and use your ears to determine what’s appropriate for your mix.

You’ll know when you’ve hit the sweet spot. The purple represents the bass ducking a bit on each kick drum hit.

The above image is what’s working for this particular beat, but I’m still fine-tuning it.

Next, you can adjust the attack and release.

  • Attack: The time it takes for the signal to become fully compressed after exceeding the threshold level. In other words, when do you want the compression to start?
  • Release: How long does it take for the volume to go from its compressed state back to normal? Remember: the compression lasts for as long as the release time.
  • Threshold: Determines the level at which the sound will be compressed.
  • Ratio: How much the sound is compressed when it goes over the threshold.

Method 2

Route the kick and bass the same way we did in the first method.

Now select the bass track and find the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 in the effects rack.

From here, go to the kick mixer channel and find the Fruity Peak Controller in the effects rack.

Open both, go to the EQ 2, right-click the first band, and select “Link to controller.”

Now go to the internal controller tab and choose “Peak ctrl – peak” from the drop-down.

Set the mapping formula to inverted and Accept.

Go to the Fruity Peak controller and set the base to around 50%.

Now the bass will duck every time the kick plays.

You can also use the decay knob to determine how fast the side chain will happen.

Closing Thoughts

I sincerely hope this has helped clarify why EQing bass properly is so important, and the reasoning behind my zero-tolerance policy for companies who do it wrong when tuning their headphones.

This guide on how to do it properly with your mixes should get you started in the right direction, but if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on How to EQ Bass and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Do you have a better grasp of EQ, side-chaining, and compression/limiting? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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