How to Make a Kill The Noise Style FM8 Dubstep Bass
This sound is not an exact replica of any one sound, but rather a nice lesson in how to design an FM8 dubstep bass or hard electro bass synth that can be easily modified to fit your needs. How you go about customizing this kind of sound is completely up to you and your style of music, as well as the specific mix of a song you are wanting to use it in. Although the sound is complete by the end of the tutorial, you may want to spend some time experimenting with further processing outside of FM8 in your DAW. Perhaps some multiband compression and saturation would work well!
This FM8 dubstep bass starts out in the FM Matrix where the set up and routing of the operators takes place. In a rather unique approach the main Carrier, Operator F, is set up with a Pitch Ratio of 8.0000, while all the Modulators, Operators A-E, are set up with the same Pitch Ratio of 0.2500. All five Modulators are routed into Operator F, hence the name. Rather than routing Operator F directly to the main output strip, it is first run through the Noise/Saturation Oscillator (Operator X) and the Filter (Operator Z). Before moving on, make sure that each of the Operators has the Key Sync feature enable to ensure a consistent delivery of sound every time a note is played.
Next, the Operator Envelops are set up. There is a noticeable click to this FM8 dubstep bass at this point, but extending the release of the envelopes will fix that. Using the Link feature can save you the time of setting them all up individually! Moving now to the Master window, the synth is set to run in Mono mode. Also, the total number of Unison Voices is increased to four. And just a touch of Portamento (Glide) and Digital Quality are added at this point.
One of the last big steps of making this FM8 dubstep bass is to set up the Effects window. An Overdrive unit is used to provide a bit of punch and drive to the sound, while a Cabinet provides some amp modeling. A Shelving EQ and a Peak EQ are used to shape the sound and accentuate some of the frequencies that make up the bulk of this synth’s character. The final touch on this FM8 dubstep bass is to set up the Mod window where the Mod wheel is assigned to modulate Operators A-E.
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