How to Make the Zeds Dead Bass from the Song “Bassmentality” with FM8
This tutorial shows you how to make good use of the formant waveforms available in FM8 to recreate the Zeds Dead Bass from the song Bassmentality.
This tutorial can be broken into two main parts. The work done inside of FM8 and the processing that takes place outside of it in your DAW. The video features Ableton Live, but you can use any DAW and achieve the same kind of results. It kicks off with a nice example of intelligent FM Matrix routing. Using several operators loaded with various formant waveforms to modulate the main operator, which is running a sine waveform. Keeping things simple by only having one oscillator running to the main output strip helps to ensure a clean signal and gives our Zeds Dead bass a better chance of cutting through the mix easily.
On the Effects window, Overdrive is added for the extra edge and grit it brings. Talkwah is used to accentuate the vowel aspects of the formant elements. And the Reverb, although subtle, is used to create more space for the sound to develop in and move around in. The Mouth parameter of the Talkwah is automated to create the vowel movement that makes this a signature sound.
The rest of the process takes place in the DAW and includes an EQ, Compression, Saturation and Camel Crusher, which is a heavy distortion plugin. If you do not have Camel Crusher, you can download it free or simply use another distortion plugin of your choice. You can also experiment with using a multiband compression, distortion and/or saturation. This can give you much more control over what parts of the Zeds Dead bass are affected (accented or attenuated) by the effects and help you better match the sound to your project.
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