How To Create Electro… Lead? Bass?

How To Create Electro Lead BassTo be honest, I’m not sure what this sound is specifically…  Some may call it bass, some may say it’s more like a lead, but it’s definitely something you can hear in many Electro House tracks. I got the inspiration for this while listening some sample cd’s and after experimenting with FL Studio this is what I came up with:

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Is this something in a style of Mode Selektor, Daft Punk, etc? You tell me. I can’t say exactly as I haven’t listened to these guys so much :)

Anyway, if you’re interested to replicate the sound, here’s how you do it, step-by-step:

1. Set the project tempo to 128 bpm (housy) and load 3xOsc.

Project Tempo And 3xOsc2. Select saw as the oscillator shape for each three oscillators and set the coarse tune to -24 semitones for each.

3xOsc Oscillator And Tuning Settings3. Assign the 3xOsc to a free mixer track, drop the volume level a bit as things may get loud later on and add Soundgoodizer to it’s effect slot and leave it to it’s default settings:

3xOsc Mixer Stuff4. Add Fruity Flanger to the second slot and load a preset ‘Feel This’. This’ll spread the sound a little and adds more life to it.

Flanger For The 3xOsc5. Load Fruity WaveShaper (for dirtyfying the sound) to the third slot and set it like this:

Fruity WaveShaper For The 3xOsc6. Drop Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to the fourth slot and boost the 260Hz and below using Low Shelf filter by 12dB (to bring up the lower frequencies), boost the 3.1kHz area via Peaking Filter by 10dB with a Bandwidth of 80% (to add some bite) and 13kHz area and above via High Shelf Filter by 7-8dB (for air and sparkle).

EQ Settings For The 3xOsc7. Go to the Playlist, add a new pattern (press F4), open the 3xOsc Piano Roll -view and add following notes:

Electro SequenceCheck the audio:

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Next, let’s create some pitch slides.

8. Open the 3xOsc Channel Settings -panel, set the Pitch Knob Range to 6 semitones and right click the Channel Pitch -knob and choose ‘Create automation clip’ from the menu.

Automate Channel Pitch9. Head to the Playlist and draw a following envelope:

Channel Pitch Automation EnvelopeCheck:

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10. Now, copy & paste the note pattern few times as well as the automation clip, make each automation clip unique (by right clicking on the left top corner of the clip and choosing ‘Make unique’ from the menu) and draw more envelopes:

More Channel Pitch Automation EnvelopesThis is how it sounds so far:

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Next, let’s make it pumpp via sidechain compression!

11. Add some kick drum sample  to a new Sampler Channel, add a new pattern to the Playlist and create a steady 4-to-the-floor beat. Assign the kick to a free mixer track. Head to the Mixer, select the kick drum mixer track to make it active and click on the Send -switch on the 3xOsc mixer track and choose ‘Sidechain to this track’.

Sidechain For Ducking Effect12. Drop a Fruity Limiter to the 3xOsc mixer track, and set Target: Compressor, Sidechain Input Number to 1, Threshold to -38dB, Ratio to 4.7:1, Attack to 0ms and Release to 116ms though feel free to experiment with the Ratio, Threshold and Release to create a pumping effect of your own, especially play with the Ratio and Release. Also, the type of kick drum sample you’re using to trigger the sidechain effect makes a difference how it will sound. You can also use the kick drum just to trigger the sidechain compression while keeping it muted (you do that by selecting the kick drum mixer track and clicking the Send -switch on the Master track). This is handy if you want to use another type of kick drum as the actual kick of your song, but dont want to use it for sidechaining (like I’m doing in this tutorial).

Compressor Settings For The 3xOscAllrighty. We are done, and this is the end results:

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And here it is with a beat, mastered and everything:

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To experiment further, try different notes in the sequence. Also, go wild with the pitch automation envelopes and test out different Pitch Knob Range -settings for even more radical pitch slide changes.

Have fun!

Check the video tutorial below and download the FL Studio project file:

Download Electro Bass Lead FL Studio Project File

About Petri Suhonen

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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Comments

  1. Hi, Petri!

    First of all MANY THX for this tutorial, man! I’ve just caught myself on idea to produce something epic after passing this lesson! ;-)

    Regarding styles – it’s something similar to: Dada Life / Bloody Beetroots / Crookers / Porter Robinson / Spencer & Hill / & even Tiesto to name a few! ;-) Styles: Electro Punk / Electro House / Trouse

    Regarding ‘Is it bass or lead?’ question I can say that mostly all modern Electro House tracks are build with 2 parts – hard (meat) & soft. Hard part is a single unit of both – bass & lead, so you’ve done everything right!

    • Thank you, Max!

      Haven’t heard most of the artists you listed (except Tiesto of course), but cool that you could spot the similarities for them 8)

    • Adam Cooper says:

      Yes, the sound is very similar to that of ‘Warp’ by the Bloody Beetroots and Steve Aoki. Very cool :)

  2. BTW, does anybody know what happens to Fruity WaveShaper when you build a vertical line in the middle of the horizontal axis (in bipolar mode).

    When I’m trying to draw it WaveShaper starts to growl like crazy in spite of play button of FL Studio is not activated.

    Weird thing…

    • Yeah it does the same for here as well – I’m not sure if it’s a bug or something, but I found it’s best to drop the volume levels down when playing with WaveShaper!

      • pete says:

        where it says waveshaper to the right of it click it first than turn on 2x etc than move it around it wont growl

        • Good one, Pete, thanks!

          • doru iulian says:

            Goog work Pete i was listened the short song of your tutorial and i was wondering if you can give me the flp with the complete sound , i mean with the kik and other stuf it is on that beat because i love it and i want to extend it . If you read this please answer to me I am impatient!
            I will wait for your answer:D !

    • I had a similar problem, nothing else would play when waveshaper was activated. Turns out I’d left the initial point at the bottom of the graphic (so that the first line in the shape went vertically right from the bottom of the window to the top.) I corrected this and everything worked again.

  3. David says:

    Great tutorial! Waveshaper seems very usable. I will try it out =)

  4. bananaspy says:

    Seems like you would eat up all your headroom with that EQ. It may be fine if the instrument is playing by itself, but once you start adding other instruments to the mix, you’re going to experience clipping almost immediately.

    • Thanks for your comment, but remember that this is just a showcase how to replicate this sound. When you start to mix in more instruments you naturally need to tweak the EQ and channel volume settings in relation to those other song elements to avoid the clipping… It’s all just a matter of mixing.

  5. Chris says:

    Awesome tutorial. I wish I would’ve seen something like this a long time ago. If I had I wouldn’t have spent so much money on so many vst synthesizers. You can do a lot with a little if you have the knowledge.

    • Hey Chris and thanks for your comment! I have to say I’ve been spending quite a lot cash for VSTs as well, but recently I’ve found it is possible to do so much with just a handful of those basic FLS native plugins… funny thing :)

  6. fastwalker says:

    “How to make electro” and or any other music that sounds “good”

    1. start by uninstalling FL Studio (trust me I used it for years)
    2. find a better DAW!
    3. get the Native Instruments Massive VSTi
    3. watch this video and dont spend money on VSTs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mvpTUrpmgo

    • Hi. I have to completely disagree with you about FL Studio (and trust me I’ve been using it for years as well). You can make as good music with it as with any DAW.

      But I agree with you about Massive: it is really good VSTi indeed (been using it for quite some time in my own music production).

    • pete says:

      dont listen to this guy porter Robinson uses fl it works fine its easy to use people just like to find excuses when they cant make music trust me i have tons of flps that are def good email petedimaulo33186@gmail.com if you wanna hear a track i made on fl

  7. Anukai says:

    seriously if you have to use the “SoundGoodizer” on anything to get it to sound rite..
    you are doing something wrong.. sorry

    • Sorry, but I find your statement kind of absurd… I suppose by “anything” you mean all my tutorials where I have used SoundGoodizer… First of all, I’m not using it on anything, just with individual sounds I feel it gives more than it takes. Secondly, explain to me, exactly why is it wrong to use SoundGoodizer? What’s the problem? And in what specific context? Of course, you can use eq & compressor to achieve the exact same effect as with SoundGoodizer, but why not just use SoundGoodizer then? Does not using SoundGoodizer in this matter make you a better producer or something?

      Also, referring to “you are doing something wrong”: tell me, what is the right way?

      • El3ctronicPunk says:

        Hey Petri please make a tutorial on Remixing a house track! please please!!! or just remixing in general

      • Jimbob Squarepants with a falafel says:

        He doesn’t know himself lol. He’s just one of these wannabe producers who pops into peoples threads and tells them that Soundgoodizer is wrong, bad or ruins things because they heard it somewhere. Funny thing is they can never get into detail about why it’s bad when asked. No idea why people waste their time with criticizing something when they don’t have the knowledge or will to even explain why.

  8. Jonah says:

    Whenever I copy the “Channel Pitch Envelope” I cannot click the make unique button its hi-lighted grey and un-clickable. Could you please tell me how to solve this?

  9. Hey! Love this site and love these tutorials. Any tips on what you used to make that kick drum in the main beat? I can’t seem to get a good tight punchy kick. Tried layering stuff but i don’t think i have good enough samples to start. I program my own beats and would rather not use loops. Any tips?!

  10. shamielv says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! Your tuts have really given me an eye-opener as to the way music is made. I have a new-found respect for what goes into production and mastering of tracks that we all love so much!!!

    Thank you once again!!!

  11. Jonathan Figueroa says:

    Wicked awesome!!!! YOU NEED TO PUT YOUR STUFF OUT THERE!!! Better than Deadmau5!!!

  12. Victor says:

    Hello Petri!

    Thanks for another great tutorial!!

    I just have one problem! have sent you this on another tutorial that you made.
    When I make an automation clip on the pitch knob it doesent turn anything from 0-50%, but
    when it reached 50% it turns all the way from -600 cents to +600.

    Do you know what could be the problem? please help me!
    Thanks again!

    • Hey Victor, can you send me the .flp file so I could check the problem? thanks!

      • David says:

        Hi Petri,

        Great tutorial!

        I have the exact same problem with my pitch bend automation. Did you resolve the problem? It’s driving me crazy as I can’t figure out why it is doing it!

        Thanks so much!

        • Hey David!

          I haven’t solved the problem yet: can you send me .flp file so I can have a look? You can send it to info @ howtomakeelectronicmusic.com

          Cheers!

  13. FABIAN says:

    Hi, Great tutorial! I can’t seem to see the notes you used in the piano roll. The pic is too pixelated when I zoom. Could you tell me which notes you used?

    Thanks!

  14. Jake says:

    Hey i get a really strange almost galloping clicking sound at the end of the sound, its not especially loud and its not clipping from my buffer size or any of that. Not really sure what’s going on?

    http://soundcloud.com/jakemercadante/clicking

    that’s a sample of what i’m talking about.

    thanks.

  15. rosco pache says:

    Hey Petri! I am brand new to producing, I bought a Edirol PCR-800 keyboard controller yesterday and I have no idea where to begin. any tips would be great, I’ve messed around in FL studios for about 30 mins and been trying to scrounge up any information I can find but I feel so lost. I dont know anything about VST’s or how to play loops if I dont want to make my own sounds and what not. Any tips for someone brand new at the starting line?

  16. danny says:

    Hey petri im currently using fruity loops and when i reach the step with automation i become a bit lost considering i cant use automation clips. Got any alternatives?

  17. ClimaxBeat says:

    All I can say is that this is one of the sickest sounds I have ever heard anyone produce, and the fact you are willing to show young enthusiasts like me how to replicate it is very charitable and kind of you! I am currently working on a project using that sound, and it’s turning out great! Thanks a ton!

  18. spectrik says:

    I downloaded the project file but it didn’t work because it was created using a more recent version of FL Studio (10.0.8), I’m on (10.0.2). I know this is going to sound like a stupid question but, how do I update to the latest version without buying it?

  19. Jiminy says:

    I am really new at using FL. All I see is a patterns play list and not the Track 1, 2, 3, … whatever the window you got there in the tutorial. Oh, thanks so much for the tutorial by the way! It’s really easy to understand for a beginner like me.

  20. Edwin says:

    Hi, just wondering if this tutorial would work with Massive instead of the 3xOsc?

  21. La'Vonte Pugh says:

    For some reason my sidechaining doesnt have the same effect as yours. It either doesnt do anything or it just keeps the 3xOSC’s volume low. Any tips?

  22. There is a problem with this FLP file,the kick sound wave Kick 15 is missing even more it won’t play at all. You should at least include the original content so we can figure out how it truly works.

  23. The sound file is here but it won’t play the sound in FL studio,but it plays when I reinsert the file in a new slot. Really odd.

  24. Nicholas says:

    I could listen to that loop all day.

  25. vahid says:

    very nice.Thanks…

  26. VaNG says:

    This Lead , or bass , whatever , is awesome .

  27. Banothy says:

    Hi Petri, yet again another inspiring tutorial, they’re really starting to help. I’m still getting the problem with the pitch envelope automation with 3xOSC. I had the same problem on the riser tutorial where by adjusting the semitones to in this case 6, has no effect on the range and if I use the same envelope as you it will start from the highest pitch and go to the lowest. Any light on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  28. hafiz says:

    where i can get the vst plugins????

  29. Next Calvin Harris says:

    Dude I have 2 words for you:

    YOU. ROCK.

    hats off to you!

  30. Awesome awesome lesson man.

    Thx so much and greetings from Peru ;)

  31. thanks for this tip on this “lead” I’m actually going to apply it to producing a funky bass for house music

  32. Radio Funk says:

    hey! thnx a lot man! i luv you tutorials, i just have a question! where can i find de XF_128bpm_LP221?

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