How to make a dubstep bass

In ableton, dubstep on October 22, 2011 at 16:48

Some days ago I found a nice tutorial by Danny Bonnic called How to make a Dubstep/Drum’n’Bass/Breakbeat instrument with Ableton Live. The result sounds interessting and the opportunities are really great. The secret of this instrument are to things: Layering of two instruments and usage of an oscillator. So take a closer look.

Start Ableton Live, go to the “Live Device”s and drag an empty Instrument Rack into a MIDI track.

Empty instrument rack

Drag a Operator instrument into this rack. If you use the instrument itself and not one of its presets, you should not have to edit a value. But of course this could be the first improvement of this aproach.

The operator in the rack

After that edit a simple bass clip like in the screenshot.

Four bars track

In order to get a nice modulation and layering drag a Analog instrument into this rack. It’s not necessary to use a preset. First you should adjust the balance between the volume of the Operator and Analog instrument. I think the second instrument is a bit too loud. So we get a first impression how the instrument will sound.

Analog in the rack

Now I will change some Analogs parameters. Set the wave type to square wave.

Set square wave

Select the Amp1 section. Set the Decay to 6.31s, Sustain to 0.64 and Release to 82 ms.

Edited amp section

Now there’s more excitment coming up. I activate the filter Fil1 and chose the band pass 12 filter typ BP12. The filter value could be 1.4k and resonance Reso to 40%. In order to let an LFO control the filter, we have to set the LFO1 in the Freq Mod section to a value like -2.96.

Filter section

Finally go to the LFO section activate LFO1 and set the rate mode to notes and a quarter note.

The LFO section

If you experiment with the LFO1 Rate you will get great modulations. Enter a modulation of this control like in the screenshot and listen to the result.

LFO rate modulation

So, we are almost finished and experiments are welcome. I for example have added a Redux effect to the Analog chain. The sound get more extrem.

Add redux effect

My tip is to check out the usage of the Vocooder effect. Maybe you get sounds like Native Instrument‘s Razor.

See you next time.



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