Hello. Recently, CDP tool’s creator afta8 posted a brand new tool: Offline Filter. It’s a niffty little tool that offers 4 different filter types, built-in cutoff envelope controls and 2 great sounding distortions. It works offline which means a different (and cool) workflow for mangling sounds. As in working with CDP. Definitely give it a try if you’re a Renoise user. And thanks afta8 for another smasher!
So this week we’re gonna give this awesome tool a try. I’m recently in a low-end mood so here’s our starting sound, a bassy sample straight out of Morphsynth (which is also another tool I highly recommend):
It’s a harsh sounding sample but a bit of harshness (high frequencies) usually works for doing filter movements. My carrier oscillators look like this in Morphsynth. It is nothing complicated, just 3 oscillators (pulse, chebyshev, sine) morphing into each other. The durations for the morphs are 377 ms and 307 ms respectively. The chebyeshev oscillator is also “shape” tweaked which means it’s asymmetrical. (I think.)
And this carrier is being modulated by a single sine wave, which is deformed by minus 30 percent, phase inverted and an octave higher (2/1 ratio). This last bit results in a metallic timbre.
Now it’s time for offline filter. What I do here is applying it 4 times, all with different settings as shown here. The specific parameters aren’t really important as it’s a matter of trial and error, but I’ll explain what we’re after below, hopefully to provide some perspective for the process. Between each filter application, I also apply some chorus (again offline via “apply track FX” button). It all turns out like this:
Now let me explain the key factors here:
-In some filtering steps, dry/wet setting is low, which attempts to prevent losing all the frequency information when doing a radical sweep.
-Each step introduces distortion, and that helps with keeping the sound powerful even though we’re taking out frequencies with the filter.
-In these kind of basses, the thickness and movement usually comes from distorting things that are out of phase. You can get that effect by detuning, ring mod, fm or in this case, chorus.
All right, next step: Even more filtering. I’m going for a recent favourite, Melda Production’s freebie MBandPass again. As usual I’m automating the lowpass, highpass and dry/wet. This adds another level of filter movement. There’s also one more chorus here using the same settings as above.
This is pretty much it. Using some basic effects & sequencing you can get a lot of mid rangey bass sounds from this sample. I’ll demonstrate an example:
Let me clarify what happens here:
– Sequencing part is pretty basic. Just triggering the sample, reversing it occassionally using B0/B1 pattern commands. There’s also a downward pitch slide at the end using 0Dxx. A cool thing I like here is using phrases for this. As they can have independent Lines Per Beat, you can really juggle some nice rhythms using reverse commands. (Usually using higher LPB values and fine tuning where the reversing occurs.)
-I have a Camel Crusher (great freebie saturation) doing it’s thing. Also a cabin simulator adding a bit of extra texture, especially to the high frequencies.
-As chorus Valhalla Ubermod, too add some more widening and thickness. This one isn’t free, but it’s cheap & fantastic.
-Reverb (only on non sub frequencies, see below), Compression and EQ.
-As I’ve demonstrated before, an excellent technique for making good sounding low end is just filtering out your sub 100 hz range with a highpass filter and adding a simple sine or filtered square wave, tuned to the appropriate note. You can usually do it in a single R3 instrument using instrument effects.
And that’s it. This has been a text heavy post, and I’m not sure if it manages to convey the information I wanted to share. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading, see you around.
(Image by Eric Leslie)