EDM and Techno Music Basslines to Show Off Your Subwoofer
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Fans of techno, EDM, and electronic music know that low frequencies are front and center. Nothing gets your pulse racing like a chest-thumping bassline that holds the rhythm or a massive bass drop signaling a musical transition, and the artists who make this music are only too happy to oblige.
Even the names of some groups and albums reflect the importance of low frequencies—like, Bass Mekanik's album King of Bass and Techmaster P.E.B.'s album Bass Computer 2000, which includes a warning label saying "Caution: Ultra Low Bass, May Damage Speakers."
To show off some of the more subtle and aggressive forms of bass response present in electronic music, we've assembled a Best EDM Basslines Spotify playlist that includes tracks with some of the deepest notes you'll find in recorded music, not to mention plenty of midrange and tons of high frequencies, all of which will test the limits of your speaker system.
Do You Need a Subwoofer for Techno and EDM Music?
Typical loudspeakers, even those labeled full range, are unable to create bass you can feel with authority. To hit those lowest notes, you need a capable subwoofer, which is a speaker specifically designed to reproduce low frequencies (bass) with plenty of volume. It's critical to have a subwoofer that's up to the task of reproducing the ultra-low tones present in this genre of music.
But like all home audio equipment, not all subwoofers are created equal. There’s a huge difference in sound quality between a cheap, boomy, distortion-laden, one-note bass box, and a bona fide high-performance subwoofer that can deliver bass cleanly and accurately, with crisp transients as low and as loud as you want to go.
What are Good EDM and Techno Tracks for Showing off a Subwoofer?
For a great track to test your system’s low end response and its ability to let you “feel” sound, check out "Computer Love" from Bass Computer 2000 by Techmaster P.E.B and the reggae-inspired "Long Way Down" by Bass Mekanik for some ultra-low synth-bass tones that make your insides quiver.
Aside from low-frequency extension down to 20 Hz or lower (the threshold of human hearing), a great subwoofer should pump out those frequencies at high sound pressure levels that pound your chest. Just listen to "Warrior's Dance" by The Prodigy with the volume cranked if you want a visceral listening experience.
And the subwoofer must reproduce those frequencies accurately without adding any distortion—except, of course, any distortion the artist intended, as in "Phat Planet" by Leftfield. Also, it must respond to the all-important transients with lighting speed to do justice to rapid-fire bass such as you hear in "Punish" by Code:Pandorum.
In addition, the subwoofer must blend seamlessly with the main speakers, which extend the frequency range of the entire system up to 20kHz or even higher. The goal here is to faithfully reproduce the full audible range—in fact, this is more important in techno and electronic music than just about any other genre, since there is often a lot of crispy ultra-high-frequency energy, as in "Under The Influence" by The Chemical Brothers.
What Are the Best Speakers for EDM and Techno?
Just like the subwoofer(s), the main speakers should be able to reach high volume levels with low distortion, producing a clarity that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Plus, all the speakers and subwoofers should be able to handle a wide dynamic range. For example, "Watermelon" by Ed Rush and Optical begins quietly and doesn't start really cranking until about 45 seconds into the track.
Equally important is the soundstage and imaging. A high-quality speaker system creates a wide and deep soundstage in front of you with the sound of each instrument coming from a distinct location or moving around the soundstage. To get a strong dose of this effect, check out "The Afterlife" by Funki Porcini.
The EDM Basslines playlist includes other tracks that really test the mettle of your subwoofer and speakers, so give it a listen! Of course, there are many more worthy tracks, and we invite you to share your favorites with us in the comments.
Not sure where to start? Drop the SVS Sound Experts a note and we’ll recommend the best home speaker system for your specific needs.
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