Bass Idea For Drum And Bass

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Bass Idea For Drum And Bass

After twiddling a bit with 3xOsc and Fruity Love Philter, I came up with a bass sound that seems to work quite nicely in such genre as drum & bass. This is not that typical reese bass that is often used in d&b, but IMO quite ok sound nonetheless. (Of course, this sound can be used in whatever genre you find suitable. It’s just a my opinion that it seems to fit pretty well to d&b style.)

Listen the audio clip below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Now, to replicate this sound, follow the instructions below. As always, I am going to show you the exact settings, but feel free to apart from the settings to create something of your own.

So here goes.

Set the project tempo to 170 bpm (typical tempo in d’n’b is somewhere of 160-190 bpm), load a 3xOsc and set it as follows:

  • Osc 1 shape saw, coarse tune to -12 semitones
  • Osc 2 shape square, coarse tune to to -24 semitones, mix level to 50%
  • Osc 3 shape saw, coarse tune to -24 semitones, mix level to 38%, stereo detune to +4 cents

Foundation For The Bass

Go to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Piano Roll view of the 3xOsc and create a bass sequence. In the example audio clip, I used following notes:

The Bass Sequence

Assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track, add Fruity Love Philter to it’s effect slot, load the “Default” preset to reset it’s settings and program it as follows:

  • Head to the the ‘Out’ section of Filter unit 1 in Love Philter and drop the output volume to around 55% (this is because things will get loud pretty soon).

Love Philter Unit 1 Output Volume

Now, under the ‘Filter’ section, use following settings (still in the Filter unit 1):

  • Choose ‘Mango low pass’ as filter type
  • Set the filter mode to ALT x2 (alternate dual)
  • Envelope amount (ENV) to 100%
  • Cutoff frequency (CUT) to 18%
  • Resonance (RES) to 89%
  • Drive to 100% (default)

Love Philter Filter Settings

Next, modulate the filter via LFO so in the articulator/modulator target (top row) section, click CUT (filter cutoff) to set it as the target and LFO as the articulator modulation source (bottom row) and use following settings:

  • First, enable the LFO
  • Enable tempo-based time
  • Set the LFO speed to 000:01:000
  • LFO tension to 100%
  • Leave the LFO skew to 0%
  • LFO pulsewidth to 66%

LFO Filter Modulation

In the LFO envelope editor grid create a following envelope curve (the curve controls the amplitude of the LFO modulation settings):

  • Add a new envelope point (right click to add) to position 001:03:000. This is the point 2/2. The point 1/1 is already there by default on position 001:01:000.

Add A New Envelope Point To 001.03.000

  • Set the point 1/2 as loop start point by right clicking it and choosing ‘Loop start’ from the menu.

Loop Start Point

  • Make the point 2/2 as loop end point (right click and choose ‘Sustain / loop end’ from the menu).

Loop End Point

  • Drop the envelope to 0% by dragging the point 1/2 to middle of the envelope editor grid

Envelope To 0

  • Add a third point to position 001:01:000 and drag it to level 38%

Third Envelope Point To 38

This makes the LFO filter modulation amplitude to ‘fade out’ over a time of two beats (half a bar) and defining the loop points makes it loop over and over again.

Next:

  • Under the ‘WS’ section enable the Waveshaper (Waveshaper is used for distortion), set Waveshaper pre amp (AMP) to 150% and Waveshaper mix to 100%.
  • The WS (Waveshaper) tab should be selected as soon as you enable the WS… now, draw a following curve (this is the ‘distortion curve’):

Waveshaper Settings

Next, go to the filter unit 2 and enable it by clicking the ‘ON’ switch and set the ‘Filter’ section like this:

  • Filter type: mango low pass
  • Filter mode: ALT x3
  • Envelope amount: 50%
  • Cutoff frequency: 5%
  • Resonance: 18%
  • Drive: 0%

Under the ‘WS’ section, enable the Waveshaper by clicking the ‘ON’ switch and in the Waveshaper editor grid, edit the distortion curve like this:
Filter Unit 2 Settings

Go to the mixer and add Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the 3xOsc mixer track and set it as follows (but first, I suggest to drop the 3xOsc mixer track volume level to around -10dB):

  • Boost 100Hz by 9.8dB with a bandwidth of 49% (peaking filter)
  • Boost 3.6kHz by 10.3dB with a bandwidth of 39% (peaking filter)
  • Cut the 680Hz by -2dB with a bandwidth of 39% (peaking filter)

This is a heavy boost on the low end and upper mid sections to give the sound some attitude. That little ‘dip’ in the 680Hz area is just to tame the slight boost in the low mid/mid area caused by the low end and upper mid range boost.

Heavy EQ Boost

Open the Love Philter again and under the ‘Filter’ section create automation clip for the  CUT knob (filter cutoff frequency):

Automate Filter Cutoff Frequency

And do the same for the LFO speed knob (SPD) under the CUT -> LFO tabs:

Automate LFO Speed

Now, in the Playlist, edit the filter cutoff frequency envelope curve to add variation/movement to the bass. For more variation, copy & paste the automation clip and clone it using the ‘Make unique’ function (that is done by right clicking the top left corner of the automation clip and selecting ‘Make unique’ from the menu) and make changes to the envelope curve. Create different curves for each cloned automation clip. Repeat this all the way to bar 9 (or as long as you want, I’m just saying bar 9 as this example is 8 bars long). Alternatively, you can just extend the first filter automation clip in the Playlist and edit the curve so you don’t have copy & paste & clone so much. Whichever method works best for you. Also, remember to copy & paste the bass sequence pattern to bar 9 as well to hear the filter automation.

Filter Cutoff Frequency Automation Variation

Next, add a little variation to the LFO speed automation clip. First, I suggest you select ‘Hold’ as the curve type for the automation enevlope (hold is useful for creating jumps in position as it creates single steps between points). You do that by right clicking the envelope point 2/2 of the LFO speed automation clip and choosing ‘Hold’ from the menu.

Hold Curve

Now, copy & paste the clip, make it unique, open the Love Philter again, turn the LFO speed knob to  000:00:048 and copy the value (right click on the SPD knob and choose ‘Copy value’ from the menu).

LFO Speed

In the Playlist, hover your mouse cursor over the envelope point 1/2 (and I mean the copy & pasted LFO speed automation clip), right click and choose ‘Paste value’ from the menu. Now the LFO modulation speed switches between slower and faster values and this adds more life and variation to the filter action in the bass. (Try different LFO speed values.)

Paste LFO Speed Value

Copy & paste the LFO automation clips up to bar 9 (or whatever length your sequence is).

Copy And Paste

6. To add more ‘bite’ to the bassline, load another instance of 3xOsc. This is used for a filter modulated detuned saw lead sound that will be layered on top of the actual bass sound.

Program the 3xOsc #2 like this:

  • Osc 1 shape saw, coarse tune to -12 semitones, fine tune to +12 cents
  • Osc 2 shape saw, mix level to 50%, coarse tune to -12 semitones, fine tune to -12 cents
  • Osc 3 shape saw, mix level to 30%, coarse tune to -12 semitones

3xOsc 2

Assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track and load a Fruity Flanger to it’s effect slot and load a preset “Double Trouble”.

Fruity Flanger And Double Trouble

Head to the Playlist, add a new pattern, open the Piano Roll view of the 3xOsc #2 and lay down same sequence of notes as with the first 3xOsc.

3xOsc 2 Sequence

Next, load Fruity Love Philter to the 3xOsc #2 effect slot, load the “Default” preset to reset it and set the first filter unit as follows:

Under the ‘Filter’ section set the parameters as follows:

  • Filter type: Vanilla high-pass
  • Filter mode: x3 (triple)
  • Envelope amount: 50%
  • Cutoff frequency: 52%
  • Resonance: 57%

Under the articulators / modulators section, select CUT as the editor target and LFO as the articulator part and edit the LFO parameters as follows:

  • Enable LFO
  • Enable tempo-based time
  • LFO speed: 002:00:000
  • LFO tension: 0% (default)
  • LFO skew: 0% (default)
  • LFO pulse width: 0% (default)

Love Philter Settings For 3xOsc 2

In the Mixer, drop Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the 3xOsc #2 effect slot and set it like this:

  • Use high pass filter filter with a steep 8 slope and a bandwidth of 56% and cut everything below 118Hz area
  • Use peaking filter and boost 3.1kHz area by 7dB with a bandwidth of 64%

This will cut the bass frequencies out of the sound and boost the upper mid range. We need this sound only to be the ‘bite’ element of this whole bass sound.

EQ Boost For 3xOsc 2

Next, set the volume levels between both 3xOsc sounds in balance. In the Mixer, set the first 3xOsc level to -11.9dB and 3xOsc2 #2 to -4.0dB.

Volume Balance Between 3xOscs

That’s the bass sound.

If you wonder how I did the drum sequence, here’s a quick walkthrough:

  • The kick, snare and crash samples are from Vengeance Ultimate Dubstep Vol 1 sample pack and shakers, hihats and ‘little snares’ are from BHK Drum & Bass Rough Connections Vol 3
  • The basic rhythm is simple. Using the step sequencer: kick on steps 1 & 11, snare on steps 5 & 13, shakers on each two steps (1, 3, 5, 7, etc), closed hihat on step 10, little snare #1 on step 4 and little snare #2 on step 16
  • I set the volume levels between the drums in balance using the channel volume knobs (channel volume knobs are really fast way to create a quick mix. You can later on assign the sounds to mixer tracks for effecting and such)
  • For variation, I used copy & pasted the drum pattern and used the make unique -feature and made a changes to the original drum sequence – mostly to the kick and snare

Here’s images of the drum patterns in the Step Sequencer. First drum pattern looks like this:

First Drum Pattern

Second pattern:

Second Drum Pattern

Third pattern (same as the first drum pattern, but the crash has been removed):

Third Drum Pattern
Fourth drum pattern:
Fourth Drum Pattern

Fifth drum pattern:

Fifth Drum Pattern

Sixth and seventh drum patterns are same as the fifth pattern and eighth (final) pattern looks like this:

Eighth Drum Pattern

That’s it. Watch the video below:

I am sharing three different .FLP versions of this FL Studio project (requires FL Studio 10.0.9 or later) . First version contains only the 3xOsc sounds (layered together using Layer channel), second version contains the sounds, sequences and automations and third version got everything plus the drum sequences included as well. If you don’t have the Vengeance Essential Dubstep Vol 1 and BHK Drum & Bass Rough Connections Vol 3 sample packs, FL Studio won’t find the samples when you try to load the project file and will notify you about that, but you should be still able to open it though and you can replace the samples with your own samples. (I can’t share the original samples as they are from commercial sample packs. You need to buy them if you wan’t to use them.)

Download first .FLP (only the sounds layered together)

Download second .FLP (sounds, bassline sequences and automation)

Download third .FLP (sounds, bassline sequences, automations and drum sequences)

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About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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9 Comments on "Bass Idea For Drum And Bass"

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Cyan
Cyan
4 years 1 day ago

Thank you so much!!! I wanted that sound for so long!! 🙂

DJ Spyke
4 years 22 hours ago

thanks….gotta try this out

Swifton
Swifton
4 years 8 hours ago

Great work!
Ive also sugestion for another tutorial. Could you make some tutorial for Tech Trance?

Bucio
Bucio
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for this tut 😉 Very useful bass. I’ve made a simple track with this sound http://sendfile.pl/217303/Bucio_-_Beat_236.mp3

BRK
BRK
3 years 11 months ago

Hahaha! “And now, the mouse dance!”
Nice tutorial dude, thanks!

Mohamed Haridy
Mohamed Haridy
3 years 8 months ago

dude i laughed so hard when u made the mouse dance ,, 😀 u r such a great mentor

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