Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

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Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby Captain Ironhelm » 22 Jul 2013 16:10

I've had no luck scouring the internet high and low for a couple things.

First, how can I synthesize the hollow sound behind good dubstep snares. Here's some examples:https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80581976/Random/DubstepSnares.mp3
Everything shows how to layer your existing sounds, but that's easy. I want to make the existing sounds.

Next, I need a little direction on how synth hollow sounds as I'm having no luck copying this sound:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80581976/Random/hollowfx.wav

Any help will receive eternal thanks.
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby PropellerEscape » 22 Jul 2013 16:36

I mainly use different samples for my snares. I try and find an acoustic-y snare with a good mid-low end and with some punch.I boost it with a very sharp peak in the 150hz range. A good step for a phat snare is to add some distortion to it (a good plugin for this is CamelCrusher, and it's free) I then layer it with another snare that has a decent high end, and high pass it to remove any unwanted body. Also I usually layer a clap with the snare to add some noise, along with some reverb.
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby itroitnyah » 22 Jul 2013 22:19

this sample pack has a ton of great snares and kicks for you to use and sample from. In order to get a "hollow" sound out of the kick and snare, just removing the middle frequencies where some of the body takes place, usually around the 2kHz region or something.

Also, the sound you're hearing in the synth sound is made from formant filtering (I think). In Massive just change "Spectrum" to "Formant" on the oscillators, pitch down to -36.00 and play around with the Intensity knob. Saw waves will sound like the sound you're looking for.
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby ChocolateChicken » 22 Jul 2013 23:01

I opened up a thread not too long ago on here asking for advice on synthesizing percussion, and there doesn't seem to be anybody on here who can help you in that department. I know a little bit though.

That "hollow" sound in those snares is the result of soft distortion/saturation being applied to the resonant frequency of the snare. Pure sine waves anywhere between 170Hz and 220Hz is the best place to start. Just remember that if you distort the pure sine on its own, you'll get nothing more than a square-like wave, so it's best to apply your distortion only after you've layered the sine with other sounds.

Also, the sine wave should have a pretty long volume decay of about 300 to 450ms.

I remember Assertive Fluttershy had that same snare sound in his "Clarity" remix, so you might like to ask him how he achieved it.

As for that bass sound, I think that it's using either a flange filter like the COMB FILTER in Massive, or the "format" setting like itroit said.
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby the4thImpulse » 22 Jul 2013 23:11

Found this link, I myself don't practice percussion synthesis but the info here sounds right.

https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=117181

From what I know a good place to start is a sine wave body (the fundamental frequency) and a noise generator (also noisy FM synthesis works) with sharp envelopes to create the initial 'tic' hit.
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 22 Jul 2013 23:58

Basses in dubstep are kinda simple in princaple. A lot of wet sounds you can get outta massive generally involve one or more of the Digital/hybrid wavetables on one of the bend options with an envelope or performer envelope modulating the WT Position, Intensity and if necesary the amp. It's tempting to go ahead and put all of the oscillators on -12 and go one your merry way, but leaving some at 0 or pitching others up 12 can add a lot more tonal variety.

A good vowelly type sound can be done with the double notch filter and some upward modulation, I generally use a second filter to add some more interesting sounds to the filtering. Adding some effects in the Modulation osc is usually good for making a sound more interesting or fuller. The filter fm effect is worth playing with a little, but it can be kinda hit and miss depending on the patch.

I tend to boost the high range slightly in the EQ section (SLIGHTLY), add some minor chorusing to thicken things up a bit without sounding as...off as the Dimension Expander does. Of course any good patch needs to be easy to customize, so throw around some macro controls creatively.

Aside from that - experiment with different wavetables. Find out which ones sound good together and use that to guess what other wavetables sound good with those wavetables. Experiment!


(also try cloning your patch, altering the wavetables and keeping the same modulation and then layer it under the original)
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby cplbradley » 23 Jul 2013 01:29

the only percussion i can synthesize is kick drums, which i don't do anyways because it's a pain in the ass
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby Captain Ironhelm » 23 Jul 2013 05:03

I get back from work and all these replies!

itroitnyah wrote:. . .
Also, the sound you're hearing in the synth sound is made from formant filtering (I think). In Massive just change "Spectrum" to "Formant" on the oscillators, pitch down to -36.00 and play around with the Intensity knob. Saw waves will sound like the sound you're looking for.


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. That seemed to do the trick! I have a bad habit of rarely changing from "spectrum". I added another osc detuned by a perfect fourth interval, added a few voices and widened it a little, added a nifty bandpass, and it's a good start. With a bit of obsessing I can get the sound I need.

As for all the other replies, thank you so much!!! I will go through all of it and test out the ideas, it looks very insightful. You guys are amazing!

With the snares I'm trying to synth, I've already got a collection of over 250 good samples, but in my human nature I want to make more on my own. :lol: I've also figured out that TR 909 styled snares with over compression are pretty good! I'll definitely go through all these tips later.
Thanks a ton, everybody!
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Re: Need help Synthing Dubstep Snares and Bass Sound

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 24 Jul 2013 02:11

https://soundcloud.com/bigglesworths-irregulars/tried-to-make-snare

So I got a 909 snare, EQ'd a lot of the midrange and the low end just leaving treble and the 200hz area, added a metal snare and EQ'd all of the lo end out of it, and added a punchy little vinyl sample.

did I do it right?
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