How to Make a Simple Driving FM8 Distortion Bass
There is literally no end to what kind of bass instruments you can design with this killer synth, and this FM8 distortion bass is a perfect example of just how easy your sound design sessions can be if you follow the rule of less equals more. Although FM8 makes plenty of unique waveforms available to you, you really only need a small handfull at a time, if that. This is especially true of bass synths, due to the nature of there common frequency fingerprints and the need to keep the sound from becoming too complex or being spread too far in any direction, as it needs to work with other mid-to-low range instruments and sounds in a mix. It also needs to cut through that mix without being weighed down with muddiness or obscured by excessive EQing.
Looking at the FM Matrix, you can see right away just how simple this FM8 distortion bass is kept. Only one operator being routed directly to the main output strip. And two modulators, each with a different waveform, combine to add a serious edge to the sound immediately. The feedback on both Operators E and F provide the distortion we’re looking for here. The pitch ratio of Operator D is set to 0.5000 to generate the low tonal character of the bass. It is at this point that you can easily add a filter to the mix, or even a small amount of noise, if you need a bit more uniqueness to match up with your own project.
Moving now to the Master window, this synth is set to run in a Mono polyphony mode, meaning that only one note can be played at a time. The Portamento feature is turned on to allow for gliding between notes. The total number if Unison Voices is increased to three so we can take advantage of a couple more features like the Detune and Pan parameters which provide more width and depth in this FM8 distortion bass. A small amount of Analog and Digital Quality are also introduced here.
The last big step of this session is adding a few effects. First, an Overdrive unit is inserted to give the sound a touch more distortion and drive. The Shelving EQ and Peak EQ units are used to accentuate the frequencies that make give this FM8 distortion bass the punch and edge it needs.
Below is a small audio sample of this FM8 distortion bass in action alongside some drums.[audio:https://www.fm8tutorials.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Driving-Distortion-Bass.mp3|titles=Driving Distortion Bass]
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