Bass has always attracted musicians and listeners with its peculiarity: low frequencies can not only be heard, but also felt with the whole body. True, for this you need a suitable audio system with a subwoofer that allows you to reproduce frequencies below 60 Hz. You can check the sound quality of a subwoofer using reference tracks or just listening to music with a lot of bass. Here are 10 tracks to help you with this.
Noisia & The Upbeats – Dead Limit
From dance electronics, drum & bass and dubstep most often use sub-bass – an additional layer of very low (below 60 Hz) bass. The Dutch Noisia work at the junction of these genres. Their tracks are distinguished by excellent production, diluted with a decent share of sound design solutions, but at the same time they do not lose musicality. The main feature is a mathematically verified bass, the texture of which changes from track to track. Collaboration with New Zealand duo The Upbeat resulted in the track Dead Limit, which received the Drum & BassArena Awards. Sharp bass drops will test the sub’s responsiveness and frequency response.
Massive Attack – Angel
Among non-dancefloor electronics, there are many experimental genres in which the use of indecent low frequencies is common. For example, trip-hop veterans Massive Attack from England have created the track Angel, which does not disappear from all sorts of tops of songs for testing acoustic systems. The reason is the massive bass riff, which is the centerpiece of the track and sounds from start to finish. The repetitive part, coupled with a low thumping kick, creates a mesmerizing effect. Its timbre changes throughout the song and unfolds on an audio system with a good sub: the attack and decay of notes, the division of the bass into layers and other details become audible.
Childish Gambino – This Is America
Bass has always played a special role in hip-hop. The standard of the genre is a looped bass riff to the beat with a minimalist arrangement that yields to vocals. This is also done in Childish Gambino’s single “This Is America”, which made a lot of noise thanks to the provocative video. The fat, two-note bass line creates an unsettling mood until it turns into a hefty breakdown at the end of the song that will test the ability of any sub. The track received two major grammys (Record of the Year and Song of the Year) in 2019.
Hans Zimmer – Time
Movie soundtracks are a special genre of music. It is thanks to the low frequencies that the viewer gets the lion’s share of the wah effect in the cinema, so film composers know how important powerful bass is. For example, Hans Zimmer (Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean) loves to mix the sound of analog synthesizers (it’s not hard to recognize the sound of the Moog Modular , famous for its rich bass) with big drums, strings and trumpets sections. Most importantly, thanks to multi-million dollar budgets, blockbuster soundtracks are always perfectly mixed and sound great. Therefore, they can be used as a reference for checking acoustics, especially when it comes to dynamics and natural sound.
Muse – Hysteria
Rock music is often built around bass, but it is usually tuned quite high to keep the subwoofer out of the way. True, Muse guitarists are obsessed with pedals – hence the unique character of the sound and the fat, almost synthetic bass sound. It is recorded here in 4 tracks : the main clean signal, two processed by overdrive and the last – a take of the bass part on the Roland lp8000 synthesizer . An audio system with good dynamics and natural sounding will allow you to hear all layers of bass.