In this tutorial I will show you how to make a monstrous vocal sample based bass using Harmor. I got inspired to make this tutorial after watching SeamlessR’s How To Bass -videos so lots of credits goes to him from the techniques I’m using here!
First, here’s an audio example:
Okay. To re-create that, first load Harmor.
We are going to use the Harmor’s audio resynthesis feature and there’s a section under the Advanced -tab (ADV) where you can tweak the resynthesis and performance quality. The default settings are fine, but if you want better sounding resynthesis (and your CPU can handle it), you can try higher quality settings:
- The Precision sets the computation precision. Try High or Perfect.
- Under the Image / Resynthesis try High Precision.
- Also, turn off the Denoising (Denoising removes noise from sample material, but we don’t need that in this example).
Now, go to the Image resynthesis tab (IMG).
In here, you can import images and audio files to let Harmor create good quality reproduction of sounds or take advantage of it’s image-based synthesis. Check FLS manual for throughout explanation of Harmor’s resynthesis features and remember to check SeamlessR’s How To Bass -videos for more cool stuff you can do with it.
Now, drag a sample to the image window – preferably vocal sample if you want to create something similar you heard in the audio example. I’m using a vocal sample from the FL Studio’s (FL Studio 11) sample library (Image-Line\FL Studio 11\Data\Patches\Packs\VOC Improv.wav).
Use the Post FX volume fader to control the Harmor’s final volume level (post FX controls the ‘after effects’ volume level).
Now, drop the Image frequency pixel scale to 0%. Depending on the quality settings in the ADV -tab, this makes the vocals sound a bit more grainy (or robotic/monotonous).
Turn the Mix (formant mix) to 100% if you want to avoid those chipmunk -type of voices when you play higher notes.
Turn the Image gain pixel scale to 0%. This makes the vocal sample sound ‘noisy’ (I don’t know if that’s a correct term – check FLS manual for better explanation).
Tweak the Image sharpening to all the way to left (100% transients only). This makes those ‘grains’ or ‘particles’ (or whatever they are) in the audio more sharper.
And lastly, drop the playback speed.
Now, go to the effects section (FX -tab).
Enable distortion to make the vocals sound horrible. Choose Cube as the distortion type (but feel free to test out the other types as well).
Set the Filter (it’s a low pass filter) to fairly high to let those high frequencies pass through (or use your taste).
Set the Distortion asymmetry to few percents to stereo to add a nice little stereo effect to the audio. Set the Distortion amount according to your taste.
Apply the compression to fatten the sound. Set the compression type to Burning and increase the low and high band levels.
Next, enable the Unison mode to thicken the sound. Choose Classic as unison type (but feel free to test the other modes as well).
In the Unison order box, set the number of unison voices to 3 or more.
Set the Unison panning (stereo spread) according to your taste.
Use the Pitch to control the unison pitch thickness (this will be automated later so it doesn’t matter where you leave it at this point).
Ok. Next step is to map the Image time offset -knob to keyboard so go to the IMG -tab again.
The Image time offset is used to relocate the play start point in the image (meaning, where in the sample the playing starts when you hit a key in your keyboard or trigger a note in the Piano Roll).
Now, map the starting point to keyboard to make each key use slightly different play points in the audio (we do this to add more variation to the sound/sequence). First, right click the Image time offset knob and choose ‘Edit articulator’ from the menu to open the Envelope and articulator editor section.
As you can see in the picture below, the Image time offset is now set as Editor target.
Set the Articulator part as Keyboard mapping.
The editor grid represents the piano keyboard from C0 to C10. By editing that purple line (middle of the editor grid), you can define different play start points for each key. If you leave it as is, each key will trigger the same play position (but of course, different pitches).
Now, edit the line as follows:
This adds a nice variation to your sequence when you use variety of notes/keys.
Ok. The sound itself is ready (excluding the EQ boost which follows later).
Here’s the sequence of notes I used in the bassline in the audio example:
Ok. Next I’m going to show you what kind of automation I used.
In the audio example, I automated the Harmor’s Unison pitch thickness slider using automation clip.
And here’s the automation envelope:
I also automated Harmor’s Vibrato depth knob (the vibrato speed I set to max).
And here’s the envelope:
Next, I’ll show you how I made the bass sequence to work with a beat.
About the beat: I created a simple (dubstep style?) beat using Vengeance Essential Dubstep vol 1 drum samples.
Here’s what kind of Mixer settings I used for the Harmor bass sound and drum beat (note that I used Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to boost the low bass and mid area of the bass sound):
I also made some minor tweaking to the Image time offset to adjust the play start point (to make the vocal bass ‘articulation’ or ‘movement’ sit better with the beat).
That’s about it. Here’s couple of tips to develope the sound further:
TIP1: You probably got the idea already, but to quickly and easily change the articulation and movement of the bass, tweak the Image offset time knob (and experiment with the Speed as well).
TIP2: If you want to make the sound scream, tweak the Resonance, Resonance width and Frequency knobs.
The end. Credits to SeamlessR for teaching the Harmor!
Watch the video below:
Download The .FLP File (requires FL Studio 11.0.1 to open)
Download The Harmor Preset (.FST file, just drag and drop it to Step Sequencer to open it)