Boosted bass is every audiophile’s dream. Sometimes, we just can’t get enough of that low pulsating, melodic thump-thump that you hear and feel as it blasts out of your high-fidelity mini speakers.
Are you an avid audio enthusiast who can’t seem to get enough of those satisfying low and soothing notes? Or are you a sound engineer looking for the best equalizer setting for bass?
Either way, you came to the right place. This guide will help you create a working setting on your equalizer for more affluent and fuller sound without being overwhelmingly loud or distorted. But first, let’s look at the equipment.
What’s an Equalizer (EQ)?
An equalizer is a physical device or digital software that allows the user to increase or decrease any selected sound frequency. An EQ is an electronic box that helps to enhance or balance out the sound quality of your music. The EQ has small levers on its front panel, which help the user adjust the volumes of varied frequency settings on it.
The EQ could be as small as a car equalizer or as large as a studio mixing console. The latter could actually take as much as half the space of a recording studio room. But no worries, just like most analog instruments of the not-too-distant past, the equalizer has gone digital too.
It is now fully functioning software that can be installed almost anywhere: on your PC, smart TV, and even on your android. The value of this is that the graphic equalizer has become digitally portable and is now even more accessible.
What Are Frequency Ranges?
Audio frequency ranges or waves are defined as the number of times a sound wave repeats itself over a certain period of time. Sound, in general, is vibrations that move at different frequencies.
An example would be the lower bass tone which vibrates at a slower frequency, and on the other end of the spectrum are the higher frequency ranges that can deliver a higher tone or pitch.
Incidentally, these frequencies are categorized and named as high and low bands in the audio world. They also have corresponding filters as well. Music and sound are far more complex than most people think. It contains thousands of frequencies that are intermeshed and in motion.
To make the science of it more manageable, scientists have categorized seven ranges of the most common frequency audio bands that we may or may not encounter in our daily lives. These measurable bands are expressed in units called Hertz or Hz.
Hz is the unit that is based on the International System of Units. Hertz is equal to one event/cycle per second. The range could either be higher or lower, depending on the speed of the vibration.
Below is a list of the seven frequencies that have been arranged and identified for the sake of study and reference. Anything else beyond that, we humans can no longer hear. It’s already either too high or too low.
- Sub-Bass 20 Hz to 60 Hz
- Bass 60 Hz to 250 Hz• High Midrange 2 Khz to 4KHz
- Presence 4 kHz to 6 kHz
- Brilliance 6 kHz to 20 kHz
These categories are further simplified by identifying Bass as Lows, Midrange as Mids, and Highs as Treble or highs. The Bass range, which is the sub-bass and the Bass, can be produced depending on the design and size of the speaker. The bigger, the better.
Simple Definition of Sound Ranges
The bass range includes the sub-bass or lower bass that is almost inaudible to the human ear. It can only be produced with bigger drums and larger speakers. This Sub-bass sound produced by the kick drum and other instruments of similar nature can no longer be heard but can only be “felt” instead by the listener.
For example, when we “feel” the thumping of the kick drum in our chest, it means what we are “feeling” instead of hearing” and what that is, is already the sub-bass range.
Mid-range bass is the sound range of the other standard drums in the drum kit, such as the small and medium toms. This range includes other bass instruments like the electric bass guitar and the upright acoustic bass.
In contrast, the upper bass range which we can clearly hear by ear includes the “woofing bass” sound produced by the drums, the lower bass parts of the piano, the guitars, and other stringed instruments.
The lower midrange frequency includes the lower-end notes of guitars, pianos, vocals, and other midrange instruments. The midrange frequency consists of the higher sound of snare drums, guitars, pianos, and other small and medium-sized stringed instruments.
The upper midrange includes the middle to higher notes that are produced by almost all the instruments presented above in the midrange section.
Presence and Brilliance
Both Presence and Birlliiace audio ranges belong to the upper end of the sound spectrum. “Presence” is the range from which the cymbals and higher notes of guitars and other small and mid-sized instruments are also made.
Furthermore, “Brilliance” is the highest range or pitch that anything an instrument can make in as much as the human ear can hear or tolerate. You can also hear these extreme upper-range sounds produced by the “tweeter” component of surround sound systems of most home theater setups.
Tips for Best Bass Settings
1. Know What and Where Your Bass Levers Are
You will find the bass levers on the front panel of your physical EQ or digital equalizer. It should start from the left side of the panel to the right, as you can begin at 20Hz or less, moving to the right to the maximum range of 250Hz.
2. Adjust Your Bass Volume According To your Preference
There are no set bass settings for any individual or audio enthusiast. Everyone has their own idea of how they want their bass to sound. A decrease or an increase in your bass levels will depend on how high or low you are going to push the lever up and down. This move will determine the volume and intensity of your bass sound.
- Low Midrange 250 Hz to 500 Hz
- Midrange 500 Hz to 2 Khz
However, as a rule of thumb, you may want to keep your bass levers all at the same flat baseline with 0 decibels on the equalizer console before making any adjustments.
3. Strike a Balance While Trying to Maximize Your Bass Frequencies
Too high decibels for your bass levers will increase the bass volume but may drown out the lower and higher midrange frequencies. It could result in a big muffled sound from your speakers with very little midrange essentials.
Expert Tip: If you don’t have an exact setting that you have already tried in the past, try to adjust by ear first and find that balance between trying to maximize your bass frequencies without overwhelming the mid to high-frequency sounds.
After making the necessary adjustments, write down the exact decibels for each lever that you have adjusted, both up and down. This way, you won’t be confused in case someone touches the dials and loses the settings. You can always refer to your notes. Note the gradation on the sides of the panel is marked in decibels, the units for sound.
Best Equalizer Settings for Bass
Sometimes users just want to get more bass (which we all do), regardless of the type of music they are listening to. We especially want to hear that woofing quality that makes us even enjoy music all the more.
You can raise the sub-bass lever located on the extreme left of the EQ and push it halfway to the top of the volume. The “Bass” frequency lever then follows it at a slightly lower level. Eventually, all other lower bass frequencies should be lined up in the same descending fashion.
This is done starting from the left all the way to the 500 Hz level, just slightly above the flat line. The rest of the mid and higher frequencies should remain at the flat line decibel.
The whole configuration should look like a straight line that is slowly trending up to the left, starting from the 500 Hz frequency lever. Pretty simple, huh? Just remember not to touch the mid and high-frequency levers as they should stay on flat line decibels. This could be the simplest way to enjoy added bass.
You may also want to keep in mind that before you make any adjustments to your equalizer, you will want to check the size and capacity of your speakers. Are they compatible with your amplifier?
Smaller speakers with less capacity to produce lower bass, or even sub bass for that matter, will fail to deliver your desired settings regardless of your adjustment.
Check with your local sound and electronic shop experts on what kind of amplifier and speaker you will need to suit your space and specifications. It is important that you will be able to configure your equipment to produce maximum bass sound without damaging your speakers.
Best Equalizer Settings for Acoustic Music
While keeping all levers at 0 decibels, increase the volume on levers within the frequency range of 200 Hz to 250 Hz. The 200 Hz range is the best bass register for acoustic instruments like guitars, pianos, and other stringed instruments.
Slowly continue increasing the volume of the chosen frequency until you get the maximum bass output without any distortion.
An increase in the 200 Hz range frequency volume will allow for a louder and more pronounced acoustic bass while allowing clarity for higher frequencies to continue shining through. Feel free to experiment with the other settings near or within my 200 Hz. Adjust to increase or decrease the desired level just above the 0-decibel line.
This goes with bass frequencies as well—nothing too high nor too low, just right above the 0- decibel range too. Remember, adjustment means either boosting or lowering down on the bass to see if you can achieve that deep bass sound with clarity.
Best Equalizer Settings for Electronic Music
Electronic music can be varied when it comes to style and combinations. We recommend finding the levers within the Presence range, which is between 4 kHz to 7 kHz. When found, make the necessary up or down adjustments as desired.
Although it is on the higher end of frequencies, the Presence range will pronounce specific sounds that are intended to come out in the recording.
It will give the digital format of electronically-produced music the much-needed character it needs. This frequency will create depth and clarity that will also somehow enhance the bass line of any electronic song.
More often than not, electronic music tends to be bass heavy right off the bat In so much so that, for some, it may no longer be necessary to make adjustments on the lower bass range of frequencies.
Expert Tip: However, please do feel free to go on and experiment with other possible adjustments and combinations using both bass and presence range frequencies. Can’t wait to go out and achieve even better clarity and added dimension to your electro-music.
List of Best Equalizer Settings for Different Types of Music
Rock music mainly consists of amped-up frequencies producing a wall of sound. It can really be loud and overwhelming. Rightly so, since that wall of sound is intentional and is actually the essence of rock music. But what if we want to be able to enjoy rock and roll without the grating from the in-your-face, mid-level frequencies?
What we can do is create the V configuration on the levers on the equalizer. The V form literally means making the letter V out of all the levers on the equalizer device. Increase the lever high on both ends of the spectrum, which are the sub-bass and Brilliance.
These frequencies should both taper down from the sides all the way to the center, with the lowest level for mid-range frequency. Watch out for your speakers and make sure to adjust the decibels according to the maximum capacity of your speakers or in some cases, your ears.
For the most part, pop music is composed of high to mid-range frequencies, which are mainly focused on enhancing the vocals. Rember to make boosting adjustments within the 1500 Hz to 4 Khz area levers. Boosting mid-range frequencies like 2 Khz with a slight rise to low midrange and high mid-range frequencies will be perfect for getting that clarity.
Anyway, the vocals and other instruments can be specifically heard on mid-range frequencies. Sub bass and bass frequencies can take a slight dip right below the 0-decibel line. It then slowly rises to the right, peaking at 2 Khz. Then tapering down again to the Brilliance of frequencies.
Hip-hop music relies mainly on upbeat crunchy bass lines that playfully bounce around. It creates that tight, danceable rhythm that can be quite irresistible to many. The secret sauce to this is in the emphasis on recording with higher 60 Hz frequencies to create that catchy punchy beat known as the hip-hop sound.
You can enhance that bass by boosting your 60 Hz lever starting from 0 decibels up to midway on your way to the top of the volume. Avoid muddying the punchy bass by keeping the sub-bass frequencies below 60 Hz or 0 decibels at zero. Raising lower-frequency basses could also muddy up the supposedly punchy bass sound.
Some other ways you can set up your hip hop sound can either be a simple boosted 60 Hz or combining it with mid to high-range frequencies your choice. Additionally, it is best to leave the other lower bass frequencies alone for hip-hop.
Latin is strong in bass and treble at the time that it was recorded. So, you may want a good balance between the two while adding a little boost beyond the 0-decibel lines for both extreme highs and lows. It may seem similar to the rock configuration, but it is shaped more like a wide and shallow letter U rather than a flying V.
Raise the sub-bass about just one level shy of halfway to the top of the volume and do the same thing on the other end with the Brilliance frequency. Allow all other settings to descend incrementally to the middle to form a shallow bowl. Make sure that the 500 Hz to 2 kHz range is just below the 0-decibel line and not much lower.
The key to a great bass mix is knowing which frequency will make the difference for you to adjust your bass lines well enough to either stand out or blend in well. We learned that to increase the bass volume for an acoustic song without overwhelming it is to make adjustments somewhere in the middle of the EQ and not on the lowest tones of the device.
Otherwise, the sound might be muddied up. Keep your adjustment to 200 Hz up to 250 Hz range to produce the clear acoustic bass line of your acoustic guitar. Enjoy!