The A-Z Of Music-Making: The B’s – From Bandwidth To BPM


(For the best of each definition, click the title)

1. Bandwidth


The difference between the lowest and highest frequencies.

2. Bass

Low frequencies. Human hearing goes down to about 20Hz. Frequencies below 20Hz can actually be felt in the body. 20 to 60Hz is classed as ‘sub’ bass; bass is between 60 and 250Hz. Watch out for unwanted bass in your mixes – for example, microphone rumble or wind noise on a vocal take. In this case, use a ‘high pass filter’ to remove these rogue bass frequencies.

Make sure bass frequencies don’t compete – for example, your kick and your bass synth may be occupying the same sonic space in a mix. Employing side-chaining works well in this case, to keep your sound tight and powerful.

3. Bitcrusher

A lo-fi (low fidelity) digital effect producing distortion by reducing the bit resolution of the audio data. CD quality is 16-bit, whereas some old-school drum machines worked at 12-bit, imparting a distorted edge which sounds crunchy and can be a great asset to your mixes.

4. Bounce


To record the audio signal through the entire signal path onto a new track. The ‘bounce’ is also a term typically used to refer to the final .wav or .mp3 file of the project.

5. BPM

Beats per minute. Typical values for respective electronic-music genres range from hip-hop at 60 to 100bpm; house, which rises to 124 to 130bpm; going all the way up to trap, which is usually around 140 to 150bpm.

People react and dance in a different way, depending on the bpm. Up to 127bpm is good for expressive dancing, above 129bpm and a crowd will be bouncing on their toes. At 140bpm-plus, many people dance to the music in half time.