How to Make a Knife Party Style Formant Bass with FM8

If you are looking how to make a hard hitting, growling, metallic formant bass, the likes a band like Knife Party might use then this FM8 tutorial is for you!

Another good example of a huge complex sounding instrument, being quite simple to make with FM synthesis. With Electro House, Dubstep and other electro fusion genres of music continuing to push the envelopes of sound design and processing, you can expect to hear a lot more sounds like this one being made by FM8 (and it’s successors) for years to come. The video moves at a quick pace and assumes you are familiar with the layout and functions of FM8. So you may need to hit pause a few times a long the way.

This sound starts out with a very basic setup. Operator F, loaded with a Sine waveform, is modulated by Operator E, loaded with a Triangle waveform. Then moving in to the Master window, several changes are made. First the volume is lowered so the number of voices can be drastically increased to 40. Then the Unison Pan value is increased to maximum, as is the Digital Quality. A small amount of Analog is added to the sound and then it is transposed down 5 steps.

A quick stop back at the Expert window, and the attack is made longer on the envelope of Operator E to give the sound the familiar formant growl delivery. With this done, the effects can now be added. Some Overdrive is used to boost the sound a bit and generate some slight distortion. The EQ is then shaped by both Shelving and Peak EQs. Soem Tremolo is added to provide the movement weithin the sound, and is also a key to some serious modulation effects if you choose to automate this parameter. And Reverb is added to create more space for it to move around in.

A plugin called Camel Crusher is used to further process this sound, but you can accomplish similar results with other plugins if you do not have this one. That wraps up this session! If you have a request for a future post, please send us a message letting us know. Thanks for stoping by!


Category: FM8 Tutorials
  • TyR3x

    I have a major MAJOR synth im looking for, i need it very very badly, not trying to nag but im so excited if you can nail this because i want my ears to bleed haha plus i need it for a song im working on for my very first EP, ok so the sound i can only explain by you checking this source that i have, i think this is a feed me song, idk for a fact BUT the synth im looking for is this super high pitch WEEEEOOH sound in this the sound starts EXACTLY at 16:54 its the super high pitch with sub sound, please if you can get this sound almost perfect i will be in your debt sir.