This blog was written for primeloops.com – check them out for some ace samples and to see my blogs 2 months earlier!
So you’ve exhausted the conventional simple start of “generic wave into modulated filter cut-off” as the extent of your dubstep wobble and are looking for something a bit more interesting to make your sounds stand out?
You’ve come to the right place, my friend! Here are 5 sweet suggestions that will help you keep wobbling innovatively into the future!
1. Comb Filter
Fancy giving your wobble some metallic over/under tones? Or perhaps turn it into some sort of obscure high pitched alarm sound?
Throw on a comb filter with a short delay and high feedback to turn your bass into a robot, being careful with that delay time, since a tiny difference can mean the difference between a mean mechanical menace and WALL-E.
For that alarm, take the delay time up a bit more and leave it there with a decent feedback amount. Make sure you inform the local police in advance or they might ask questions about the recent break in!
For piercing overtones, head towards some digital distortion in the shape of a bit crusher and reduce the resolution to taste. A whole new parameter to control even more dirtiness will be at your disposal!
Go for a more conventional tube distortion to add some rocky thick wall-of-sound-ness (Totally a word) to your bass. Be sure to try notching out the fizzy parts of the distortion with a parametric EQ afterwards to make it more focused!
3. Formant filter
Fancy making the wobble sound like a laughing black man? Put a formant filter in the signal chain, then turn the “Gender” to fully male with the x slightly above half and the y slightly below half. It’s like the most sarcastic laugh ever.
However, try modulating the formant to get some really messed up sounds!
Space-Dubstep? I think so! Add plenty of feedback and sync the LFO to the existing wobble LFO to get some crazy sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in Pac-Man!
Or go for a lower rate to get that familiar sweeping sound on top of that other, familiar wobbling sound!
5. Granular synthesis
For some really crazy sounds try playing with a granular synthesizer and modulate the grains with the LFO. Now there’s some messed up noise! These can work really well when layered with more conventional dubstep wobbles.