Synthesising modern bass
There’ll always be a place for the bass sounds of yesteryear, but as technology advances, so do new sounds and styles. Technology often dictates the bass sounds of the time: the TB-303 and DX7 bass being classic examples. So as technology moves on, the sounds move with it…
The massive power we have in our workstations allows for complex, newer methods of synthesis such as granular, and breathes life back into older techniques like wavetable synthesis. The latter can produce some highly aggressive, unusual and distinctly digital sounds which bring some much-desired bite to a bass patch. Essentially, a wavetable is a series of single-cycle waveforms which the synthesiser scrolls through to create a tone. As this happens in the digital world, we can use extremely complex waveforms and alter them on the fly. When you combine this with the near endless modulation possibilities available in modern instruments, you can create hyper-complex patches that weren’t possible before now.
Synthesis is one thing, but don’t forget the seemingly endless scope we now have with processors. Modern plugins give us supreme freedom, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it – just check out Plugins, or the wealth of awesome freeware out there.
All this power in your workstation is nothing without creativity, however. Layer up your sounds, chain up distortion stages, automate controls, use modulation effects, record the output into a sampler… the possibilities are endless. The technology is freely available, so get creative. New bass sounds are hiding everywhere – and it’s your job to find them!
Getting to grips with modern techniques and technology is the key to fresh bass sounds