Many people have been falling in love with the sound Alok has been pushing recently.
I was just at Express buying some new shirts and blazers when I realized that over the past 20 minutes I had been listening to NU Disco type music with ALOK style bass-lines.
Knowing this I decided to make this quick little tutorial for you guys to create your very own Nu Disco Bass-lines.
You know I will always bring you guys up to date sound design tutorials to have you sounding like your favorite artist, and help you develop the sound you want.
Step 1 Pick The Right Wavetable and Detuned Settings
The most common waveforms we will see in Deep House / Nu Disco its the Square Wave and it's PWM(Pulse Width Modulation) counterparts.
The reason the square wave is so sought after is due to It's Weight.
Playing the Square Wave at a low octave will beat the Saw/Sine in terms of power and boomyness.
With that said pick a Square Style Wavetable
PRO TIP: Alot of the wavetables in Serum are created by distorting/fming the main wavetables like a Saw/Square. So you will be able to find a lot more variants of the square in the Digital Section Of Serum.
After picking our wave-table we need to set the right settings for our Unison (How many squares are coming out of the oscillator) and detunement (how in tune are all the square waves).
I go with a 4 Unison style with low detunement. (Keep in mind the more detunement you apply the wider the bass will be)
After that we will mess with the RANDPHASE (Random Phase) and set it to 0.
PRO TIP: Random Phase set to 0 Will make the sound be fully mono and you can ease it up to higher values for a more stereo feel in the sound.
Step 2 Use A Low Pass Filter To Shape The Sound
The low pass filter is easily the most used filter by Sound Designers in Analog Synthesizers and Digital ones. It's designed to really cover the harsh highs of a sound and shape sounds going from LOW Frequency to HIGH.
The moment we turn on the Filter in Serum we will notice a low pass is set by default.
We want to turn the Cutoff all the way to the left so we remove all the frequencies from the sound.
We will then apply a Envelope To Our Filter by dragging one of the 3 Envelopes provided to have the Filter open clockwise.
For these style of bass-lines these are the envelope settings we want.
You can choose to lower the sustain more so that you get a punchier sound but keep in mind if the MIDI Note is held down there will be no volume after the decay phase of the envelope has occured.
Apply the Envelope to the Filter CUTOFF By Dragging the Envelope to it.
Keep in Mind you could make the Modulation go all the open but you will lose the low frequency based sound and thump.
Step 3 Effects Are Everything
Effects will bring the sound to life.
The first effect we use is the Dimension Expander which will aid in giving us a wider Knock of the sound. The dimension expander makes sound wide by using something called the HAAS Effect.
We will also be using the HYPER which is a recreation of the infamous Virus TI HyperSAW Effect.
These will be the settings we add.
Finally the last thing we will add in the effects department will be Reverb to give it a room feel.
These will be settings
Step 4 Finalizing The Sound With A Pitch Technique
If you have followed this tutorial to NOW
You will notice your bass lacks something...
Well that one thing is the Punch Technique where we utilize a very fast envelope to shift the pitch of OSC A from lets say 100 + back TO 0.
This will create a slingshot effect which will add much needed punch to this sound.
These will be our settings for another Envelope
We will apply to the CRS of OSC A which will allow us to give it punch.
It should look like this
Make sure that the Pitch Envelope is UNIPOLAR (One Directional) If it's not Hold
ALT + SHIFT + LEFT CLICK
One the Blue Little knob to make it unipolar.
If you followed this tutorial all the way well now you know how to make a basslines.
Getting different basslines will just be picking a different Wavetable and Shaping the Sound Differently.
Experiment with the effects as well.
I hear Chorus sounds deadly on these ;)