Creating a Screech Bass Stab with Native Instruments FM8

We have a wonderful worldwide community that is growing every day and this FM8 tutorial comes direct from one of the community members, showing you how to make a killer screech bass stab synth.

With a little help from the three hour FM8 instructional videos, this community member has learned how to design some very impressive sounds and is happy to share how he did it. As with most FM8 tutorials, there is a lot of programming information on several windows to keep track of, so you may need to pause the video to keep up and ensure you don’t miss anything crucial. Watching it in full screen HD mode will also help make following along easier. This sound is ready to be dropped into a few different types of music as it is, but if you spend a few minutes tweaking some of the parameters, you can quickly customize it to your own needs and have some thing original sounding.

Let’s start with the Master window and set up the voicing, quality parameters, etc. To begin with, the Polyphony voicing is set to 8 and it is running in Mono mode. The Unison voices are set to 10, running in Dynamic mode and both the Detune and Pan parameters are increased slightly to widen the sound right from the beginning. Also, the Analog Quality setting is tweaked a bit to provide it with more character.

Next we move into the FM Matrix window where all of the main programming and routing of the operators takes place. This sound is a bit complicated, so we suggest pausing the video here and duplicating the settings if you are following along. He does a good job of explaining how it is all set up, but it’s best to make sure you have the routing percentages, pitch ratios and waveforms correct now rather than later when your sound doesn’t match up with what is shared in the video. Also note the envelope curve of the filter in Operator Z.

Several parameters have been linked to the Mod wheel, via the Expert Mod window. This allows you to give the sound an extra boost in several areas at once with ease. Another window you will need to visit is the Expert Pitch window. Here the pitch envelope will be set up and you need to apply the curve via the Amplitude Envelope knob.

The last big step in this process is adding effects. There a total of four introduced via the Effects window. Overdrive adds some punch and grit to the sound, while the Shelving and Peak EQs help further shape the sound. The Reverb provides more space for the sound to develop in. You can also try playing around with a Cabinet for some edgy character or perhaps even a small amount of delay for soem extra movement.

If you have a request for a future tutorial or have one of your own you’d like to share with the rest of the community, we’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!


Category: FM8 Tutorials