Syn­the­sis­ing mon­strous ‘wobs’

Xfer Records’ Serum is Mustafa’s go-to synth for mak­ing his trade­mark big, bad bass sounds. Here’s how he does it…

Future Music - - THE TRACK -

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Start­ing out with Serum’s ini­tial saw-based patch, Mustafa ac­ti­vates the low-pass fil­ter and mod­u­lates it with an en­ve­lope, tweak­ing the at­tack and re­lease curves of the en­ve­lope to get an ag­gres­sive feel. The Fil­ter’s Drive and Fat­ness get a rough and ready sound.

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Mustafa heads to Serum’s FX page next, ac­ti­vat­ing the Com­pres­sor in Multiband mode and turn­ing up the Gain to achieve a suit­able amount of loud­ness. “It’s in­stant fat­ness, ba­si­cally! You can automate the top, mid and low bands, which is nice,” he en­thuses.

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To make the sound more com­plex, the sec­ond os­cil­la­tor is activated and set to one of Mustafa’s cus­tom waveta­bles. He sweeps the Wavetable Po­si­tion knob to find a suit­ably filthy tone, and makes the os­cil­la­tor sound even richer by turn­ing up its Uni­son voices and tweak­ing the De­tune and Blend knobs to taste.

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In or­der to con­trol the sound’s over­all stereo width, Mustafa turns down the Uni­son Width. A cho­rus ef­fect is added next, and Mustafa turns its Mix and Low Pass Fil­ter knobs to max, then fine-tunes the De­lay and Depth knobs.

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Once Mustafa has the cho­rus sound­ing the way he wants it, he di­als the dry sound back in with the Mix knob. Next a Dis­tor­tion ef­fect is added af­ter the Cho­rus and be­fore the Com­pres­sor, and Mustafa pumps up the Drive level to make the sound even grit­tier.

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To process Serum’s out­put, Mustafa uses JST’s Gain Re­duc­tion, turn­ing up the Gain knob to sat­u­rate the sound. Re­verb comes courtesy of Val­hal­laDSP’s Val­hal­laRoom, with its low­est fre­quen­cies rolled off.

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