Here's a technique I sometimes use to beef up a weak-sounding bass. It's for those occasions where you just can't fix the problem with EQs. For this technique, I'm using the MDA plugins pack from mda-vst.comThe plugins I'll be using on the signal processing chain are:
  1. Degrade
  2. Sub-bass Synthesizer

The rationale behind this method: downsample the original bass track to get a grittier feel to it. Then, apply the sub-bass synthesizer which generates the low-frequency harmonics required to make this work. You can take it a step further and apply bandpass filters at the end of the signal chain, to further control the harmonics that appear.

Here's how I did it in Harrison Mixbus; you can apply the same method in whatever DAW you use:
  • Add a new mono buss (I name it BassMultiplier)
  • Create a new send on your bass track, and route the signal to BassMultiplier
  • Take the bass track out of the Master buss, so you can hear the changes to the bass sound as the plugins are activated
  • Add the Degrade plugin to BassMultiplier with the following settings:
  • Add the Sub-bass Synthesizer plugin to BassMultiplier, with the following settings:
  • Adjust the settings on the two plugins as necessary to fit the sonic landscape you're trying to sculpt.
  • Bring down the level on BassMultiplier, then bring the original bass track into the Master buss.
  • Slowly bring up the level on BassMultiplier until the mix between these two tracks achieve the desired sound.
Some additional tips:
  1. Group the two tracks together, so when you change the bass level both tracks are adjusted together.
  2. Route the two tracks into a mixbus, and apply other elements like EQ, compression etc.

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