CREATING A DEEP/HOUSE BASS PATCH IN SERUM

CREATING A DEEP/HOUSE BASS PATCH IN SERUM

 

In this new installment of our patch design series, we are going to show you how to create that classic “organic” bass sound often heard in contemporary house tracks. We are going to use Serum’s factory wavetables to achieve this.

1) Open an instance of Serum and select the “init preset” from the drop-down menu.

 

IMG 01

 

2) Go to the first oscillator and select the “Basic Shapes” from the “Analog” wavetable submenu. In order to select the shape we need, we will increase the value of the “WT POS” (wavetable position) knob to around the middle (to select the square wave).

 

IMG 02

 

3) Set the “RAND” knob to zero% and the “PHASE” to 251

 

IMG 03

 

This is what the patch should sound like at this point

 

4) Now we will set the SUB oscillator and the Noise generator. First, switch on the Sub oscillator and shift it down an octave. Set the level to 54%.

 

IMG 04

 

5) Now switch on the NOISE generator and select the XF_KikAtk_01 wavetable form the “Attacks_Kick” submenu. Turn on the One Shot mode and also Keytracking. Then shift the PITCH to -7% and set the LEVEL to 67%.

 

IMG 05

 

6) Let’s set up the second oscillator. Switch it on and choose the “Anti-Stasis” wave from the “Digital” submenu. Then proceed with setting the semitone value to +7 and adjust the following parameters to these values:

UNISON: 3
DETUNE: 0.04
BLEND: 67
PHASE: 316
RND: 2%
WT POS: 66
warp: BEND+/-, Value: -70%
LEVEL: 74%

 

IMG 06

 

This is what our patch should sound like now

 

7) Now, let’s adjust the filter and shape the sound with the envelopes. First switch the filter on, choose the MG Low 24 type and apply it to both oscillators and also the sub.
Set the knobs as follows:
CUTOFF to 236
RES to 12%,
DRIVE to 10%
FAT to 2%.

 

IMG 07

 

This Moog-type lo-pass filter will add a particular bite and character we need for this patch.

8) And now the envelopes. The ENV1 controls the volume by default, so we’ll set it as shown in this image:

 

IMG 08

Now we’ll set the ENV2 to control the filter. First, decrease the CUTOFF to zero (or 16hz) and then just drag-and-drop the modulation handle onto the filter’s cutoff knob. Then set the modulation intensity to 65 and adjust the envelope as shown in the picture:

 

IMG 09

 

At this point, our patch is starting to take its final form and sounds like a proper house bass patch.

9) We will now add subtle movement to the second oscillator with the LFO. Choose one of the three available and drag-n-drop it to control the OSC B’s warp knob. Set the intensity to 70 and adjust the LFO to these values:

 

IMG 10

 

Tip: If you prefer the keyboard action of the monophonic voicing mode, you can turn it on now.

10) We will now finalize the sound with some effects. Go to Serum’s FX page and turn on the EQ. We will add some openness to the sound by setting the EQ as follows:

Low band:

default, with the GAIN set to 0.4db

High band:

FREQ: 1382
Q: 77%
GAIN: 1.7

 

IMG 11

 

Now switch on and set the compressor to following values:

THRESH: -19.5
RATIO: 4.1
ATTACK: 95.3
RELEASE: 87.4
GAIN: 2.9

 

IMG 12

 

Our patch should now become more present and fat. To feel the difference, bypass the effects and see if you “miss them” now.

We will enhance our patch further with some tube saturation. Switch on the Distortion module and set it as follows:

DRIVE: 93%
MIX: 7%

This will subtly “warm up” the sound.

 

IMG 13

 

Finally, we will add bit of reverb and set up the macro controls.
Now turn on the reverb and set it as follows:

SIZE: 37%
PRE-DELAY: 3ms
LOW CUT: 7%
DAMP: 80%
HIGH CUT: 44%
WIDTH: 100%

MIX: 0% (We’ll set up a macro for this)

 

IMG 14

 

11) To set up the macro control for the Reverb’s mix level, just drag’n’drop the MOD knob’s control handle onto the Reverb’s MIX knob. Set the intensity to 53 or so.

Now do the same for the second macro knob and make it control the MIX level of the Distortion module, with the intensity set to 93%.
Once done, name the macros and you’re done!

Our bass patch is now finished and should sound like this at the end (with the macros tweaked in realtime)

You can hear how, in the lower octaves, our sound now has that organ-like vibe, so popular in current house productions.

Tip: If you want to experiment with this particular patch structure, try switching between Serum’s numerous wavetables and see what other flavors are possible.

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