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How To Sound Design Bass (Multiple Genres!)

Who doesn’t love a good bassline?! It’s true though…You can’t have a good dance record without a great bass. It’s important to ensure your bass sounds work well within your record, specifically with your kick drum. You must make sure it is the right sound for your genre(s) as well. This blog will help you to understand a little more about the basic fundamentals of creating your own synths and understanding some key components of two common bass sounds.

How to use vocals properly in your music.

Table of Contents:


1 - Tech House Bass

A tech house bass is a good place to start in order to learn basic synthesis. Being able to achieve an amazing boomy bassline that will roll underneath those groovy tech-house drums will prove to be important.

To start, choose a square wave for OSC A, set RAND (random) to 0, and make sure that there is no panning! Basses such as these are best in mono! You also need to make sure that your VOICING is set to mono. The glide of the synth can be adjusted to taste (I prefer a little glide to make it more fun!).

How to make different genres of bass.

Making different genres of bass.

In terms of the FX, firstly I added a lot of distortion to achieve some nice harmonics. Then I filtered out the high frequencies not needed for this kind of sound. After that, the famous OTT multiband compression gives that final edge to the sound!

How to produce bass.

The future house bassline comes in many shapes and sizes. I always love the ones with nice harmonics that add character to the sound. Let me show you a cool future house bass you can create:

Firstly, we are going to modify ENV1 so that the bass sound is a pluck sound. Move it so the envelope looks like this, pulling the sustain down to 0s and the decay time to your liking. I set it to around 500 so that it still has a presence and isn’t too short. I added some release on the envelope too (which will be handy later!)

Producing basslines.

Next, I like to choose a waveform that is what I am imagining in my head. I chose “Dist d00t” in the Digital folder because it has rich harmonics which are great for this sound. Then, I enabled OSC B and kept the normal saw wave. This time though, I wanted a little stereo width and detune, so I changed the number of voices to 3. Adjusting the detune knob will determine how wide the sound is.

How to produce different types of bass.

Producing different styles of bass.

Next, the important part – is the filter! I turned on the filter and chose the standard “MG Low 12”, and brought the cutoff to around 35Hz (this can be changed later – the higher the cutoff, the more open and brighter the sound will be). Adding some drive (which I always do too to add some nice saturation) will give the sound a fuller and richer tone, but don’t go overboard! I attached ENV 3 to the cutoff to control the amount and set it to around the same as ENV1. But with a decay time of around 1.5s.

Producing future house bass.

Producing tech house bass.

The next step is adding some FX! Firstly, adding a little distortion (using the Asym preset) and setting the DRIVE to 25% adds further harmonics and makes the bass fuller. Then, some classic Serum OTT Multiband COMPRESSION, with the threshold set to -8.0, and the Multiband enabled to really give that squashed, but fat sound! To remove some of the high frequencies, I like to add the EQ and remove some of the high frequencies. Finally, to add some depth to the sound, REVERB was enabled, and I changed the following settings – Size at 16%, Decay at 2.6s, and mix at 15%.

Of course, once you have the basic sound, you can modify any of these parameters and make it more unique to you! Make sure to save your presets so you can come back to them later.


Breeve - @breevebeats

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