Undoubtedly one of the UK's most respected bass music acts,(real names Saul Milton and Will Kennard) have come a long way from their humble beginnings playing at small DnB raves in the early 2000s. After releasing singles and EPs on labels such as Renegade Hardware and Bingo Beats, the duo signed to Ram Records in 2007 and established their sound as artists with their 2008 debut albumMore than a lot.
- READ MORE:How to make dreamy synths and retro drums like Com Truise
The pair then signed with EMI and have released a total of six albums to date, including 2022's LP,What came before. As well as working with a superstar roster of vocalists including Popcaan, Dizzee Rascal, Plan B, Cutty Ranks and General Levy, Chase & Status have headlined major festivals such as Parklife, Reading and Leeds and more, playing their music with a live band.
Their sound is strongly influenced by legendary dance such asThe prodigy, and the British jungle/drum'n'bass and garage scene, with razor-sharp breaks and gut-wrenching basses that feature heavy alongside top-tier engineering. Here we show you how to create a range of bass sounds used in their latest album, ideal for use in drum and bass, garage or UK bassline production. So get in front of your DAW, crank up the subs and let's explore how to make bass like Saul and Will.
Train horn bass
Tågehornbassen, as used inWhen it rainsfrom the new LP, has become a main sound for many DnB producers in recent times, so start by making your own using a wavetable synth such asXfersSerum. We start by choosing the PWM DS wavetable for oscillator A, as it has lots of harmonics that will be useful later. A big part of the foghorn bass is the use of tuning, so increase the unison voices by three.
Then use an envelope to modulate the wavy position - this will create movement. Set the Waveable Position to 50, then assign Envelope 2 to modulate it by -14. Open Envelope 2 and set the Attack to 100ms, Decay to 1.7 seconds, and Sustain to 0 percent. Then grab the dot in the middle of the envelope's decay and pull it up so the curve is bigger.
Now that you've modulated the wavetable position, you can use Oscillator B to modulate the frequency of your first oscillator. Set Oscillator B to a sine wave and raise it by three octaves. While using this oscillator to modulate the other, turn the level to 0 so you can't hear it. Now select FM (From B) from the drop-down menu on oscillator A's warp dial and increase the amount to 50 percent.
Turn on the sub-oscillator to add weight to your patch, then activate the filter and route oscillator A and the sub-oscillator to it. Select the filter type Low 24, then set the cutoff to around 70Hz. Your patch sounds like a regular sub now, so modulate the cutoff using envelope 2 at 30 to open and close the filter.
To finish the patch, enter some effects. Open Serum's FX tab, then enable hyper to add extra stereo width. Then turn on distortion and increase the drive to max – this really gives your patch that grizzly tone. Finally, turn on the reverb and increase the volume to about 50 percent for the awesome foghorns.
Next, you will create another typical sound often used in British bass music - a Reese bass. You can make a reese with pretty much any synth you like, but we're using Serum again. Start by setting Oscillator A to a sawtooth wave bar, then increase the unison voices to 3. You'll instantly hear the sound have that tuned, rough tone - just what we're looking for.
travel indMixed feelingsis quite understated in terms of brightness and harmonics, so we turn on the filter and select the filter type MG Low 24, which is modeled after the low-pass ladder filter fromMoogsynthesizers. Set the filter cutoff to around 90Hz to roll off the upper harmonics, leaving us with a very subtle Reese sub.
To unleash the potential of your Reese, you need to add some effects. Open the effect tab in Serum and turn on distortion. Increase the drive to 100 percent to introduce some much needed grit and volume. To make your patch even more flexible, you can use a macro in Serum to automate the filter cutoff and reverb mix together, so your sub heavy reese can also be more ripping and epic.
Start by turning on the reverb effect and reducing the size to about 15 percent. You can set a low cut of around 35 percent so the reverb isn't too bass heavy and then reduce the mix to 0. Now assign macro 1 to the reverb mix at around 40. Finally you can also assign macro 1 to the filter cutoff so when the macro turned all the way up, the filter will open up fully, with a splash of reverb mixed in to boot.
The humble TR-808 kick drum sound used by Chase & Status iRan upis a core part of countless genres of electronic music. Since the 808 bass has a similar attack to a real kick drum – but with a certain underweight – it cuts through smoothly on smaller speakers. You can sample this sound, but why not make one from scratch?
Start by loading Serum and set Oscillator A to a square wavetable with the pitch turned down two octaves. Turn on the filter and set the cutoff to around 150Hz to roll off most of the upper harmonics. To emulate the classic 808 bass sound, set the amp's envelope to 0ms attack, 250ms decay, -2dB sustain and a release time of 1.3 seconds – or adjust to your own taste.
To create the initial pitch drop that gives a kick drum its first attack, assign LFO1 to the synth's master pitch. Set LFO1 to envelope mode at the rate of 1 bar. Open the Matrix tab and assign LFO1 to the master setting with an amount of 15. The shape of the LFO needs to be a short spike to create the effect we're looking for, as shown in the video below.
Set Serum's voice to mono so that each note does not overlap with the previous ones to avoid messy low frequencies when playing a bass line with the patch. Then go back to the matrix and also assign LFO1 to open up the filter a bit and embellish the attack further.
To finish off the sound, add some drive using Serum's distortion effect. Push the drive volume up to around 90 percent for the punchy sound. If you're looking for an authentic old school jungle sound for your 808 bassline, try jumping a low note as a one-shot sound and then re-triggering it from any sampler - this will make the lower notes play longer, and the taller to play shorter.
The final sound you will create is a wobble sub, which is a classic jungle bass used as a fill inRan up. Again, we'll be using Serum to make this sound, but you can apply the same techniques to pretty much any software or hardware synth.
Start by setting both Oscillator A and B to a sine wave, with Oscillator B tuned by a semitone. When you hit a note, the slight tuning will cause the undertone to wobble, at the speed of the modulation, depending on how low or high the note is played.
To make the sound more interesting, use an envelope to modulate the pitch so that it drops as the note is played. Open the Matrix tab and assign envelope 2 to modulate the master pitch at -12, dropping the pitch by about an octave. Next, open envelope 2 and increase the attack time to about 800ms until you hear the note's pitch drop.
To further spice up the sound, add some drive and noise usingCable men ShaperBox 2. Load the drive and noise modules, then set the drive amount to 30 percent. Then open the noise module and select the vintage console noise type to add some analog background noise. Setting the wet and dry mix to around 5 percent will add some noise to the sound without overdoing things.
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