As an aspiring music producer, the process of mixing music would raise a lot of questions for you. While you're at the mixing game, tons of questions might pop in your mind from time to time, one of which is the million-dollar question: should treble be higher than bass.
Well, we'll answer this question in this treble vs. bass comparison for you and other concerns you have. But you should know that both sound levels differ, and learning which one should be higher is vital to creating your songs. Keep reading to learn most of the things you should know.
Treble vs bass
If you're familiar with the theoretical aspect of music, you should already know that terms like pitch, melody, texture, rhythm, harmony, and tempo all pop up in music.
Together, they create the music we enjoy listening to. Now, if you're wondering where treble and bass come in, these are terms under pitch. In musical notes, music genius uses the word clef to refer to the pitch of a music note.
With the piano playing in the mix, two music clef notes exist. These notes are the treble and bass notes. Both notes are almost like two sides of a coin as the treble is higher in sound than the bass clef that's lower in sound.
Of course, you always hear the word "treble" thrown around in the musical sphere, and you already figured out that it often refers to higher-sounding pitch music.
While that's great, there's so much more to learn about the treble. For starters, the frequency of sound that a treble note makes ranges from 6000Hz to 2000 Hz, making it a high sound.
In every musical device, treble is constant and consistent. It's one of the important notes in conjuring a song and is present in most musical instruments.
On music devices like an equalizer, you can control treble clefs by modifying their sensitivity. When you modify its sensitivity, you'll get a more profound and detailed sound.
On the other end of the musical clef spectrum is the bass sound. The bass sound is lower and can sound deeper. The frequency range for a bass sound ranges from 16 to 256 Hz. The best part about bass sounds is that, although they are low, they vibrate through your body, making you feel the impact and essence of the sound when it is on high volume. You'll enjoy the depths of bass sound with a good subwoofer.
Now that you know what treble and bass mean individually, it shouldn't be hard to tell their difference apart. For starters, the most obvious difference between both ranges is that while treble is the highest musical note in music, the bass is the lowest.
Furthermore, when it comes to the line in the staff, you'll realize treble sits on a space that's way higher than bass. Also, you'll find a treble sound above the middle C with the bass sitting below it on the staff line. When it comes to origin, they both get their names from two different languages. While treble was adopted from the Latin word "Triplus" bass gets its origin from an old English word, "baers".
Aside from the obvious names, people refer to treble and bass as other names on the music note. Treble bags the name "G" Clef while music people call bass "F" Clef. So, when next you're in music class, and your teacher throws the phrase "F" Clef and "G" Clef around, you'll know what it means.
Related: Best Songs for Bass
Should treble be higher than bass?
The quick response to if treble should be higher than bass is Yes. Stick with me longer, and I'll explain what I mean. Regarding an equalizer, there are three reasons you should make treble higher than bass. These reasons simplify your mixing tasks. Keep reading to find out.
The first reason is to eliminate the muddiness that seems to interfere at mid-frequencies efficiently. As a music producer, while mixing your song, you'd notice that mixing mid—frequencies that range from 400 – 800Hz is not precisely easy. During playback, you might often not like what you hear as you tend to get back too much muddiness. Don't feel downcast as mixing engineering because it happens every time. The mid-frequency region tends to be a bit problematic when it comes to mixing as that muddy sound always rears its head if you don't handle it with care.
It gets worse when you increase the bass sound on your track. You'll hear the muddiness louder and clearer as you increase the number of bass in it. The reason is that mid-range frequencies have a lot of bass sound elements already. So, increasing the bass sound element in mid-frequencies results in a problematic sound.
Another reason treble should be higher than bass is to prevent the low-end rumble from ruining your track or songs, especially while mixing an audio track. When music mixing gods talk about low-end rumble, they refer to the frequencies that are below 440Hz. Although they're referred to as low-end rumble, they are usually stronger.
The low-end is quite sensitive and can lack balance if the bass is higher than treble as too much or a little above the required amount can sink the treble notes so that you find it difficult to hear the treble notes, ruining the song in the process.
To clear the low-end rumble that ruins your song is to avoid falling into the trap of increasing the bass on a track in a way that overpowers the treble note on the song. You'll most likely not like what you get when you listen to the music.
Finally, you'll need your treble to be higher than bass if you want to cleanly and loudly project the vocals in the track. Any music producer knows that vocals are the heart of a song.
When your audience can hear the vocals in your track, they'll genuinely derive meaning and pleasure from it. With treble higher than bass, your audience would listen to the vocals better. However, if the bass is higher than the treble, the vocals won't be audible enough.
Nevertheless, your treble shouldn't be too much higher than your bass; otherwise, your track would sound out of place. There should be a balance between bass and treble. Keep reading to discover how to balance both.
Related: Songs for DJs
How to balance bass and treble
A great way to balance bass and treble in an equalizer is to master your equalizer settings so you can produce the perfect amount of treble and bass in a track. Trust me; it's not as easy as it sounds. But thankfully, the advent of a digital equalizer has made it easy for anyone to have access to it.
Hence, anyone with access to a mobile phone can attempt to balance bass and treble without needing a hardware equalizer. It's best to use an equalizer to balance treble and bass sounds in a track compared to other electronic gadgets because equalizers allow you to express yourself.
You get to dictate how everything goes to enjoy better music-sounding quality when you're in a weird environment like trying to cross a road or at the market.
In case you're wondering why using an equalizer to achieve a balance between treble and bass sounds in a track, I'll show you why. For starters, equalizers work to manipulate frequencies so that you can adjust each sound in a track to sound better.
Hence, if you notice that the bass in a track overshadows the treble, an equalizer – doesn't have to be a hardware equalizer, could be digital- is the perfect guy to adjust the bass sound to hear the details in the treble and bass.
With a tremendous digital equalizer, you can do more than balance your bass, mid and treble. You can redefine how a song sounds like, giving it an entirely different look and feel.
However, since all we intend to do is balance treble and bass, we won't need to go deeply into the other functions of an EQ. All you'll need to execute this task are the three basic equalization levels: the mid, bass, and treble on the equalizer.
Now, you have to start by determining the problem with the sound you want to adjust. If you need to add more treble to the sound, the treble control on the EQ would help with that. The same goes for the bass and mid-range level. Adjust the controls for these ranges to add or reduce them on a track.
Best bass and treble settings for a soundbar
If you follow sound speaker trends, you'll notice that soundbars have slowly started to take the place of loudspeakers. Soundbars are those long, sleek and bar-shaped-looking speakers that you can position anywhere in your living room to add to the aesthetics of your living room.
The best thing about soundbars is that they are as functional as they are beautiful. Also, some of the soundbars in the market today come with built-in subwoofers. But if your soundbar has no built-in subwoofer, you can always install an external one.
Soundbars have further gone through innovations that allow you to control and adjust the sound levels via a digital equalizer. All you need to do is download a digital equalizer, then connect your soundbar to it to adjust the sound levels. That way, you'll improve your music experience with the soundbar. Here are some of the best settings for bass and treble on your soundbar.
Try using the EQ modes for the best treble and bass settings, especially if your soundbar comes with smartphone apps. That way, you can adjust via your smartphone or iOS device. You can choose to use this mode via the manual settings or the pre-adjusted settings. If you're not too sure about setting the sound levels manually, you can resort to the pre-adjusted settings so you'll still enjoy your soundbar with all the sounds at the right levels.
Optimized modes also come in handy when it comes to getting the best treble and bass settings. The optimized modes that come with modern soundbars include game modes, movie and music modes. In these three modes, both the treble and bass sounds have been balanced and optimized so that you'll get the best experience with your soundbar when you play music, movies or are gaming with friends. Of course, you can rely on these modes as professional music mixers put in their expertise to get these modes.
If you're a professional, you can manually adjust the bass and treble levels. Simply adjust the treble and bass levels with the equalizer via the TV or your smartphone. However, one problem you might encounter is making the treble higher than the bass or vice versa.
While most songs might require higher treble than bass, certain would need higher bass than treble. But professional DJs agree that the general rule of thumb is that treble should mostly be higher than bass, except on different or rare occasions.
When it comes to music, every individual is different in how they love to enjoy certain songs they listen to. As a result, some people would enjoy higher treble than bass in every music they listen to. In contrast, others might want to hear the bass in certain songs.
Hence, they boost the bass with an equalizer. Thankfully, equalizers are now digitally available to every music lover. Sometimes, you might not need to download a digital equalizer as some of the music streaming platforms available these days have EQs like Spotify.
Nevertheless, the general rule of thumb is that treble should be higher than the bass in almost all the songs on the planet, and professionals have their reasons. You'll enjoy and hear the details in the vocals if you're not just all about music effects, etc.
More so, as highlighted previously, you'll keep the low-end rumble from ruining your music experience with higher treble than bass. With different ways to adjust sound levels, you'll have fun solving the treble vs bass war in any music you listen to henceforth.
HI, John Andrew here. I’ve been an audiophile since I was a little kid. I’m an original member of myaudiolover . It emerged as a way for me to share my passion and knowledge for audio technology. If you’re looking for tips, techniques, and insights about audio-tech, that can enable your productions that professional edge, then MyAudioLover is the place for you!