7 – Modulated Bass

The basslines in this category straddle various genres but are perhaps most often associated with more bombastic styles, with obvious influences being hardcore, rave and jungle.

This type of modulated bass is best explained by the fact that the melody of the bass part is usually very simple, with the modulation of the synth providing the interest:

Despite this, many of the harder UK bass styles have also referenced US house and techno. Check out Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce’s ‘Alien Girl’:

You can hear the harsher, continuously-tweaked, mid-range synths layered with the lower bass that utilises the fabled Reese sound, originally used by Kevin Saunderson under his Reese moniker on ‘Just Another Chance’. You can find out how to create your own version of the Reese here.

Paul Woolford frequently uses the Reese bass when creating tracks and remixes as Special Request, his remix of Tessela’s ‘Hackney Parrot’ being the perfect example:

Bass modulation took a different turn with the arrival of dubstep. Skream’s ‘Midnight Request Line’ mixes different lengths of bass note to create the precursor of what became a more overtly automated timbral ‘wobble’ on ‘Rutten’:

This approach may be dated in some contexts now – and even somewhat cliched – but it demonstrates a valuable technique where it’s not so much the notes as the sonic change which is doing much of the work.

Recent, and subtler, variations on this theme can be found on Om Unit’s ‘Jaguar’:

25th July, 2015

Comments

  • Easily one of the most informative articles ever on basslines, what a godsend!

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  • So good! Thanks, attackmagazine!

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  • Nice. A top educational post.

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  • This is awesome!! Thanks!!

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  • Great post. I will come back many many times to check this post again 🙂

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  • Great article & some really useful info there, I like the way you educate as you are explaining instead of the usual spoon feeding that goes on these days. I’ve been doing music for 20 years or so & still learnt & picked up some inspiration from this, thanks.

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  • Great article! Thanks!

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  • Nice!

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  • Wow! super article. very informative and well researched with lots of examples. Love it. Thank you

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  • You forgot the Reverb Bass used in Dark Techno tracks.

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  • hey guys!! as always great tutorial for every type of producer 🙂 Could you tell me which delay you used for this work? I can’t find these one with only the name relayer delay vst. Thank you

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  • John, that’s UVI Relayer http://www.uvi.net/en/software/relayer.html

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  • Fantastic explanations, thanks guys.

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  • Brilliant article! It would be great if you could put all these articles in a book or app format similar to what Sample Magic have done

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  • Much obliged attack magazine !

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  • Forget all those Youtube videos 🙂 Attack brings to the point…

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  • nice beats

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  • Great article!! I guess there’s another one: those subby techno lines with lfo on pitch

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  • well explained, systematically, without frills
    well done!

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  • Well done! Good information and great examples!

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  • Have not read a better article on low end theory. Thank you Attack!

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