Cook up tear­ing basses, woofer-shak­ing subs and midrange nas­ti­ness with Xfer’s uber synth

Computer Music - - Contents -

Get that iconic low-end weight with Xfer’s synth

“I’d think about the Par­adise Garage [New York Club] and get­ting some­thing dark that would work, that Larry Le­van could play.” In­spired by the brood­ing aes­thetic of dance mu­sic’s un­der­ground, Detroit techno leg­end Kevin Saun­der­son syn­the­sised the orig­i­nal Reese bass by mess­ing around with a Ca­sio CZ-1000 syn­the­siser. That rum­bling sound ap­peared on his track Just Want

An­other Chance (re­leased un­der his Reese alias), and it later took on a life of its own in the UK jun­gle scene once sam­pled by pro­duc­ers Ray Keith and Nookie for their sem­i­nal track Ter­ror­ist.

Nowa­days, the word Reese is a blan­ket term for any kind of de­tuned bass or lead sound with a men­ac­ing edge, and for the sound de­signer, plenty of Reese flavours are only a few moves away. Wob­ble the width of a low-passed pulse wave for that clas­sic rum­ble. Dis­tort de­tuned sine waves for wa­ver­ing bass pres­sure. Get os­cil­la­tors mod­u­lat­ing each other for FM nas­ti­ness. Or stack and mod­u­late mul­ti­ple wavetable os­cil­la­tors for mod­ern, com­plex tones.

Let’s flip the page and look at a few ways to syn­the­sise all man­ner of Reeses us­ing Xfer Serum – although you can, of course, fol­low along us­ing any ca­pa­ble synth plugin.

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