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The Psybass Production Thread

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Generally wobble, squelch and growl are about LP cutoff, resonance, and frequency modulation respectively, and different synths are good for different sounds.  Any specific examples of the sounds you want to make?  Could potentially help you  deconstruct and reproduce.


I edited my first post and included a track by Kalya Scintilla, trying to deconstruct the whole tune in Ableton and dissect the different parts currently in order to make my first track in this style. The bass sounds sound very FM-ish in a way, can't really wrap my head around them though, any idea on how to make them sound soft like that, and also any tips on how to widen them out in the stereo field?

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There are tons of different patches in that song but the bass stab that seems to come in the most and at the start of each phrase sounds like a fairly simple FM patch with some low pass filtering.  You can get stereo width using the synths 'unison' property and turning up the pan spread, although try not to go nuts with this as it causes stereo phase problems, not good for bass and mono compatability.  Generally with bass noises (especially FM noises) I find it is good to have a separate sub bass doing the bottom end warmth and filter out the bottom of whatever is giving it the texture and 'growl'.  Generally you will get 'softer' FM sounds working with modulating sine waves with each other rather than eg saw waves.


I knockup up a patch in FM8 that sounds roughly in the same ball park, its obviously not identical and might not be as pleasing to you but tweaking the FM amounts changes the tone quite a lot, I only spent a couple of mins on this but one could potentially fiddle around for hours finding the sweet spots.  If you want to do FM stuff I highly recommend FM8 its fantastic, although many prefer Massive which you can get similar sounds out of and its a good all rounder.


With this kind of music the trick seems to be to use each sound sparingly but have lots of them





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Wow, thanks for all your responses guys! Really informative.

Sadly I don't have all those fancy native instruments/xfer synths y'all be talking about, however I applied some of those techniques to ableton's native synths and started twiddling about, this is what I've come up with so far!


Some feedback regarding structure/flow and mixing would be very encouraged! I've got a slot on a compilation album waiting to happen and thought that I might send this one once I have it finished!




Oh, and iacchus, checked your soundcloud, top notch stuff mate! Really crystal clear sounds, I'm in awe!


Ta :) And if you are trying to get something like that Kayla Scintilla sound i'd say you've nailed it, I'd have a hard time telling them apart in a double blind trial.. good sounds, good drums (especially like the triplet fill-in type things), and nice squelchy noises. 


In terms of structure, the song starts a good groove, then carries on for 3 minutes in that same groove.. I'd say at least a song should have a breakdown in the middle and some kind of build up to a second drop, ideally with some major differences to the first bit.  eg different drum groove, new synths or instruments perhaps that start to come in over the breakdown


My favourite songs are real journeys.  Consider a song like 'Around the world in a tea daze' by shpongle, skip through the track and listen to how many different grooves it does, how different the end is from the start.  That makes for epic songwriting in my opinion.  I know psybass is going to be a bit different as it's more 'dancey' but I think having any track evolving is a good principle.  I tend to listen to my stuff repeatedly on headphone when its work in progress, in bed our out and about - do I start to lose interest towards the second half?  Would i be tempted to skip that if i was listening to it on a train and it was someone elses music? Is the end bit less good than the first bit?  If so, it needs to change.  Sometimes making that decision, sitting down for a few hours and starting 'a new bit' in the track can take it in a new direction that improves it as an overall piece no end

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