I’ll come right out and say it… I love bass! I have since my first live concert featuring Sammy Hagar and Boston. Just like David Banner’s exposure to copious amounts of gamma rays resulted in The Hulk, something changed in my chemical makeup after those 64 foot pressure waves, powered by rock concert gear, passed through my vital organs.
The result of that formative experience, and subsequent reinforcing experiences like it, is that I have an unnatural affinity for deep, bone rattling, hair blowing, neighbor annoying bass in just about any audio experience I have. That infection disqualified me as a member of our Golden Ear committee since subtle nuance of a detailed female voice, which is the holy grail of sonic reproduction, lacks what I love to hear and feel.
Turns out I’m not the only one infected with this audio disease. For those of you similarly affected, I thought I’d share my top 5 list of impactful bass tracks for your listening pleasure and as demos to show off what a great powered subwoofer was designed to reproduce.
These slices of movies and music have excellent segments of bass nirvana. In no particular order, my top five subwoofer demo tracks include the following:
The launch sequence of Apollo 13. That happens to occur in chapter 13 on the DVD. The ignition and burn sequence of the Apollo V rocket actually moves my pant legs when turned up to the proper level.
Crazy from Seal’s Debut Album. This song had its time in the limelight and there’s a segment beginning 4 minutes and 50 seconds into that almost 6 minute song that has what I call a “hyper bass” element I can listen to again and again.
Dire Straits: Money for Nothing. That song is my “Wait for it… Wait for it…” demo. Cranked up, the soft vocals anchored by the ever increasing drum sequence at the beginning of that song make me smile every time… particularly at 43 seconds in.
AC/DC: Hell’s Bells. Like the tracks above, we’re talking segments here. Hell’s Bells from AC/DC’s seminal “Back in Black” album contains a great bass element. The first minute and 28 seconds of that familiar guitar riffs and droning drum are compelling for me… right up to the moment they are interrupted by lead singer Brian Johnson’s acrid voice, at which point feel free to turn it off.
Lord of the Rings trilogy: As a huge departure from the micro management of segments that re-infect me with bass envy. Peter Jackson’s trilogy is simply packed full of sudden explosions of bass bliss. From the fireworks at the beginning of his first offering to the earthquake that swallows up the army of Mordor in Return of the King, I settle in for one delight after another.
I’m not recommending prolonged exposure to ear damaging levels of sound. What I am a proponent of is the occasional transcendent experience that you can have when deep, penetrating bass is part of the audio mix.
If you are unfamiliar with these tracks, give them a sample. If you have your own favorite bass button segment, please share with the rest of us… what good is an infection if it can’t be shared.