REESE RECIPES WITH SERUM
Cook up tearing basses, woofer-shaking subs and midrange nastiness with Xfer’s uber synth
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.