So you've got an 808, a sub, or a bassline (DI or Synth) and these frequencies naturally take up a lot of space snoically. How do you give your mix more dynamic range?
You can not add dynamic range. It is determined by your bit depth. 24 bit has more points of dynamic range than 16 bit but you can get quantization noise from the conversion if you decide to convert your 24 bit recording to 16 bit. The best thing to do is use 808's sparingly and cut some sub frequencies from the 808.
I like to carve out space for the bass to fit. I hi-pass everything that doesn't need the bass to be heard. Voice, guitars, pads, keys, anything. Just make sure to use your ear to where it sounds good in the mix. You'd be surprised that you may hi pass higher or lower than you'd think. Do it in the normal mix, NOT solo'd.
Totally agree w/ this. I only started doing this recently b/c I got real nervous about cutting the lows.. especially for voice lol. Didn't have enough balls to do it lol. Thought it sounded too thin compared to the original take.
... and then... local started to take over, and I did it. I was surprised how clean the vocals sound inside the mix, as opposed to standalone. Very sharp... got rid of a lot of mud. Same w/ other instruments.
In regards to the original question... do you mean you want more space between the 808 and the rest of the song? If so... I can tell you what I did on my last song. Worked pretty good. It has a strong bassline and drives the song along w/ some dance lead chords. I mixed it so that everything sounded clean and clear. In the mix... the bass isn't loud at all, but I gave it a bump at 60hz. However... after the bump, the bass was only reading -3 on the VU meter. MIxed the rest of the instruments so they don't clash w/ it. Then.... on the master out, that's where I made the bass really come through. I did some compression heavier than I normally do.. but because the song was actually mixed well this time, there's very little dynamic range, everything comes thru clean, and the bass is strong as all hell.