How to make a good synth bass sound
Mylar Melodies Explains Kae Tempest’s PWM Bass 02/21/22
Mylar Melodies just released a video on how to create a great synth bass sound – what more could you ask for? ! This beginners tutorial illustrates how this simple yet stunning synth sound can be created using any synth or plug-in, using an LFO and PWM. In the video he uses an ARP2600M – showing what can be done with two oscillators, a filter, an envelope, a sine wave LFO and pulse width modulation. The first 7 steps of his instructions are:
1. Fully open the filter cutoff so you can really hear the PWM modulation clearly. This will sound too bright, but we’ll fix that in a bit.
2. Set the filter resonance to zero. High resonance sounds really cool, but it will probably also reduce the amount of bass you hear, so for the warmest, lowest sound, set it to zero.
3. Lower all your oscillators in the mixer section except one.
4. Set this oscillator, let’s call it Oscillator 1, to Square Wave.
5. Take a sine wave LFO (or a triangle if you have one) and use it to control/’modulate’ the amount of PWM of Oscillator 1, by a small amount…10% or so? (How you do this varies from synth to synth, check the Oscillator section of your manual)
6. Adjust the rate/speed of this sine wave LFO and listen to the rate of PWM that is currently happening, bring it to where you like it – something like a few cycles per second. You can also have an initial PWM setting on the oscillator, and you can adjust this, in combination with the “PWM amount”, to get different levels of PWM – the sound will be thinner or thicker. On some synths you might even be surprised to hear everything go silent for a split second and think you’ve broken it, but what happens is you’re squeezing the width of the square wave so tight that she literally disappears. Reduce the amount by which the LFO modulates PWM, and/or adjust the initial PWM control and you’ll find a balance where you get nice subtle animation/movement, without fading occurring. Less is more. Just shake it a bit.
7. Now lower the filter cutoff so that the sound becomes more muffled and dark, but you can still hear that “PWM” movement happening.
He continues the instructions in the youtube video info! Here is the referenced Kae Tempest track:
More Mylar Melodies videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz0l5LJhNQkktxKWcGUtWxg
About the Author [midierror]: midierror makes crafty Max for live innovative devices music equipmentpremium sample packs and hosts a podcast talk to people about the music world.
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