Last time, we explored some of the more subtle ways to get perfect kick and bass sounds. B ass is the very backbone upon which so many genres of music are built. From driving rock to cutting-edge dance, there is a huge variety of ways to approach bass and ways in which you should play or program your low-end notes.
Plugins and sounds
Part of the use of compression is to keep the bassline consistent and solid, very much keeping things in order. Like we say, some music demands the tamer bass sounds that we covered last time; other music demands something with a bit more movement; something a bit more in-your-face, bass-wise!
Essentially, dance music often demands that bass moves in many different ways. For acid and rave, this was pretty simple stuff. The Roland TB bassline was the machine of choice for many producers back in the late 80s and early 90s, and it lent itself to being abused well beyond what it was deed for.
How to take your bass sound to the next level in reason
With both filter frequency and resonance parameters so easily accessible, bass sounds could be twisted into just Sounds for reason 4 type of ecstatic squeal, and it became such a famous sound that it is still in demand today. So having a good sub underpinning your sound is a wise idea. Then, the trick is to introduce more interest and movement into this bass sound by adjusting the filter frequency and resonance. You can then edit how these change over time by adjusting the Filter Envelope section. Experimentation will often get much more excitingparticularly in the LFO section which provides our final interest and movement, where we use an LFO to slowly and then quickly change parameters.
First, drag a Combinator into your rack. Not essential, but we might find ourselves needing another instance of our main synth later, and this setup offers that flexibility down the line. Now drag a Line Mixer from the Utilities folder and your first Subtractor into its first channel. If you like, you could also drag another one into Channel 2 to be used later.
It should now say Init Patch as the preset and sound pretty rubbish.
The sound is too high for a bass sound, so reduce the Octaves dial for Osc 1 to 2. Like the TB, the Filter and Resonance dials are key here. Set them on about 70 each, although this is very much to your taste. The Filter Envelope section is where you can start bringing in some movement. Experiment with the Decay slider in particular here. The higher it goes, the slower your filter sweeps. Funnily enough, while we concentrate on bass in this workshop, you could easily apply the principles of movement and dynamics here to any sound, particularly le. Still in the Filter Envelope Sounds for reason 4, now experiment with the Sustain control.
The higher you go, the more raspy the sound. We settled on around 30, for a nicely rounded sound. This should give you more clout and keep everything nicely ed up. You can either repeat the above steps 3 and 4 to initialise the synth and then choose low Filter Frequency settings. Or, rather than loading in another instance of Subtractor, another option would be to simply introduce another oscillator to add some low-end strength.
The sounds of psy trance using reason part 4
Click on Osc 2 to hear this in action. Depending on which one you select, each parameter here will alter according to note strength. Make sure you have a programmed bassline, with varying velocities to hear how each one alters around a loop. Time to experiment, Sounds for reason 4 the F. Env is a good place to start. As long as they let you access the filter envelope and have LFOs to modulate, you can get all the movement you need. Adjust the F. Dec dial in the Velocity section to get a pleasing rising sound as the velocities increase.
This is very much like the acid squeal from the originalbut a little more contemporary.
Click on the LFO1 dial as shown. Now apply it to F. Freq and gradually increase the Amount dial to really hear the bass sound starting to pump. Well, we wanted in-your-face bass…. Keep F. Freq as the selected destination for the LFO at the moment and now select the Random wave which gives you a completely different filtered sound for every note hit.
Very cool. Finally, you can use the mod-wheel section bottom left. Increase both F. Freq and F. Res by about 30 to Moving the mod wheel now pushes Sounds for reason 4 values to squealing levels. Remember: experiment, experiment!
Propellerhead reason 3 & 4
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