8 – Multi-patch Bass

Although the analogue resurgence continues apace, there is one area where digital audio has opened up new possibilities – sound editing. The ease with which audio can be cut, copied and pasted, the potential for the complicated automation of synth parameters and availability of plugins geared specifically toward ‘glitching’ meant that it wasn’t long before this approach was applied to the low end.

In many respects this is a natural extension of the ‘bass as lead’ archetype discussed earlier, but this time with multiple sounds and/or multiple tweaks to a range of sound parameters – filtering, distortion, bit-crushing, etc.

A great example of this approach can be found on Justice’s ‘Genesis’, where distorted sawtooth bass parts are merged with sampled slap bass and numerous wobbles, reverses and swift edits:

We can take a similar approach by creating a few different bassline parts…

…and editing, rearranging and reversing them.

The addition of some serious side-chained compression across all the parts helps gel them together.

Further examples include ‘Ghosts N Stuff’ by Deadmau5 and the bombastic commercial dubstep stylings of Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’. Both tracks have informed – for better or worse – the subsequent direction and success of EDM as an international pop genre.

An example of a lighter-touch approach can be found on Madeon’s ‘The City’, where bass is linked sonically to most of the other parts to create a wash of harmonically interconnected elements:

In fact, Madeon first rose to fame showing off a Launchpad-led mashup-fest, which gives a hint as to how his production style developed:

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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