Psytrance Tutorial Day 2: Awesome Acid Bass

Hi, I’m Dave from boyinaband.com! Yesterday in day 1, we made a sweet psytrance beat. Today in day 2, we’ll be delving headfirst into some acid. This may sound unwise, but I assure you, it’ll result in some awesome bass synth sounds.

Combinator, mixer, thor, init, open, brace yourself for awesomeness. Two analog oscillators are the order of the day, one saw for the sharpness and one sine for the bass.

I’ll just add in some notes now, which I’ll explain later.

Now create an RPG-8 arpeggiator (If you didn’t get that joke, don’t worry, it took me at least 5 7 day song tutorials to realise it) and turn it to 2 octaves and 4-2 mode – this will make any notes you play repeate at the rate defined in the octaves defined with the pattern defined. It’s fun to play around with and you can get some nice results relatively quickly.

The filter freq should be set around 260hz to stop the cheeky high end poking through and the resonance take to around a half. You’ll find yourself coming across a lot of resonance in this genre, It gives everything this high pitched sharpness that just can’t be beat.

It’s essentially feeding back part of the sound into the filter again, resulting in a high pitched tone – this is why when you take it to full it makes a loud sound reminiscent of guitar feedback.

Env take to half to give the attack of the synth sound some sharpness. This allows the filter envelope to control the filter, this decay amount controls how much of the high end is let in before the filter closes up. I’m just going to leave it here, but if it happens to move I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

For some extra harmonic content in the tone, turn on the shaper and take the drive to half. Try out all the shaper modes, each has a different tone to it, but I’m going to stick with “Soft Clip”.

Lastly, we’re going to make the resonance move a bit so there’s some texture to the synth sound. Turn LFO 1 to the slowest tempo sync’d rate, then in the deceptively difficult looking MBR section, set source as LFO1, amount as 75 and Dest as filter 1 resonance – see? Not that hard! The MBR kind of like a Telford resident. It may look scary, but it’s actually quite friendly when you get to know it.

Next, chuck on an EQ and boost 250hz with 12dB and 2.3 Q. This just lifts that low end nicely.

Lastly, add a bit of space to the top end of the synth with an RV7000 after the mixer. Dial it in with 1/4 aux and turn to all CL Mid Hall. Set the EQ to -18dB and bring up the high end until you’re happy with it.

Now those notes – I’ve simply used C and C# to make a minor sounding synth, alternating slightly before the beat loops round for a slightly more interesting hypnotic rhythm. The RPG-8 Arp does most of the work for me here. Later on I can change to some different chord progressions, but remember that in this genre there isn’t a massive amount of melodic variety, it’s more about layering and repetition to build an entrancing piece of textured music.

And there we have it – a bass more acidic than a vinegar and car battery smoothie. Which is incidentally my favourite. Join me tomorrow for day 3 where I’ll be exploring some lead synths to accompany our bassline!

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

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