G Funk Tutorial Day 2: Making a Synth Bass [7 day song]

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Hi, I’m Dave from boyinaband.com, and welcome to day 2 of the 7 day song tutorial on G Funk, sponsored by Tyson Willert!

Yesterday in day 1, I taught you how to compile a seriously punchy hip hop beat. Today, I’ll be showing you how to make a bassy synth patch that’s perfect for cruising in the projects to!

So, let’s start by creating a combinator, call the bass “Booty Bass” ’cause you know it’s gon’ rock dat trunk! Ahem. I really don’t know what that was. Perhaps I was spiritually chanelling Lil’ Jon.

Inside it, make a nice shiny instance of Thor. If it’s not shiny, it won’t work. Init, open up, set to monophonic legato and let’s get to work!

I’ll add in some notes now so we can hear how it builds up. I’ll explain these notes later.

First, we want 3 oscillators. All analog, the first two a saw and square wave – these will provide the main tone of the bass. The third, take down an octave and make it a sine. This is a great technique for making basses super heavy, as it adds in a sweet sub-bass element.

Take the sustain to full.

Now, I’ll show you how to make a few different alterations to this bass to achieve different G-Funk sounds. For that Eazy-E bass that’s cheesy-e, take the env up a bit, then bring that decay on the filter envelope down to 500ms, bring the freq down to 300hz-ish and sit back for some serious edam. Bring the resonance up a bit for extra chedder.

For a conventional dre synth bass, remove the square wave and take off the env, then just bring up the freq until you hear that high end creep in there, around 4-5khz. This can be focused more with an EQ, which we’ll be doing in a moment.

But we’ll do it on the effect we started building up. Put the square back on, reset the freq to default (ctrl+click) then create a scream 4 distortion unit.

Turn off the cut, Turn damage to 3/8ths on tube mode with 1/4 contour and full bias. This gives a crunchier tone, then turn body to full res, for serious bassiness, full scale to remove that overtone, then my favourite type E. Bring the master down to about half to compensate for the volume change.

Now we’ve got some tone sorted, create an MClass EQ and we’ll do a bit of boosting! We’re going to bring up the bass around 140hz – does that ring a bell? Remember that we cut the kick at that point, meaning there’s space in the frequency spectrum for our bass to really live up to its potential. For all we know it might go on to become a world-renound philanthropist or something as a result, but for now all we can see is that the mix is much less muddy than if we boost lower down.

boost 140 by 10dB, 2.7Q. Then bring up that crunchy mid tone by 5dB at 1.7q so we don’t lose it altogether.

now, this really peaks out the audio if you’ve boosted too much, so to compensate for that, either go back and cut every frequency that aren’t the ones we’ve boosted using a bunch of EQs, or just accept any soft clipping as “tonal goodness” and create a compressor , taking the output gain down a bit. We can also use the compressor to beef up the punch of the bass as well – bring the attack down to about 1/4 to make it a short blip of volume at the start of the bass, followed by a nice, consistant volume.

Okay, so listen to it with the beat – dayumn, dass fonkeh!

So, I’ll explain a bit about the notes now. We can see it starts on the root note of Bb, playing a couple of on- beat notes to start the driving riff, then there’s this fiddly bit with a G#,A, then a little gap before returning to the Bb. This is interesting because the A isn’t in the key, it’s what we call an “accidental” note – when a note out of the key is played for effect. It’s used a lot in jazz, and jazz and funk were very good friends growing up, so they borrow a lot from each other. It just makes it sound that bit cooler.

next I repeat the rhythm with different notes, dropping down to this Eb, which I then use as the basis for the next two little parts of the riff. These ones quickly go from the Eb to another note, which then hits the octave above, emulating those funky octave basslines. This is where that monophony is useful, as the overlapping notes here don’t matter, it just quickly jumps up to that second note without any untidy overlap without having to be massively precise about where you place the notes.

But yeah, that quick Eb gives an extra little bit of swing to it – it’s known as a “Grace note” as it’s so short. Wow, accidental notes, grace notes – who’d've thought that G-Funk would be the tutorial that delves into music theory the deepest?

And there we have it! A seriously funky bassline for our G-Funk song. Join me tomorrow for day 3, where I’ll be delving into a dirty, whirly lead synth to counterpoint the bassiness of the track so far, as well as adding some big strings and a bassy pad to add a cool, epic section to the beat. See you tomorrow guys!

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2 Responses to “G Funk Tutorial Day 2: Making a Synth Bass [7 day song]”

  1. [...] Click here for day 2 of the 7 day song G Funk tutorial! Related Posts…Reason 4 Tutorial: Making a G Funk Beat!Top 10 Dancing Styles to Electronic Music in the UniverseTop 10 G Funk artists everFree Sample Pack – 40 Ass-kicking G Funk samples!What is G Funk? June 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm by Dave Category: 7 Day Song, G Funk, Hip Hop Tutorial, Reason TutorialTags: G Funk [...]

  2. Really informative article.Really thank you! Great.

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Hi! I'm Dave from boyinaband.com and welcome to the site!

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