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PostSubject: LFO/WOBBLE BASSLINES   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:00 am

'Wobble Bass' as it is known is simply a bassline that has an LFO assigned to a Low Pass Filter as an insert effect. LFO stands for 'Low Frequency Oscillator' and is used to change a sound by a defined speed (measured in either Hz or synced to the Tempo in relation to the bars/notes through quantization.)
The way the LFO changes the sound is up to you, you can make the LFO adjust the Volume, the amount of Saturation, Filter Cutoff etc.
Basically any parameter you link it to. Essentially you are just using the LFO to send a changing value to a parameter.


How to get a simple wobble bass.

1) Choose a simple sound on your synth. (Anything apart from a Sine wave )

2) Select your LFO and set it to the speed you want (1/8 would be a good starting point)

3) Now assign the LFO to the Filter Cutoff. Which should for this example be a Low Pass Filter* as the sound we're going for is a deep bass.

4) You now have a basic wobble bass, from here the possibilities for tweaking this sound are endless.


A quick breakdown of what's actually going on. Essentially you are taking a sound (that can be an audio files, generated by a synth, etc) and then passing it through a Low Pass Filter.
Now what exactly does a Low Pass Filter do you ask?

* A Low Pass Filter allows Low Frequency signals to pass through it, but reduces the amplitude (volume) of all the Frequencies above the cutoff point. In general most plug-ins have various Low Pass Filter settings, where the more poles it has the more Dbs it will cut and will yield a harder knee to it. Example: 1 Pole Filter with a -6dB/Oct reduction Vs a 2 Pole Filter reducing -12Db/Oct.
However, you don't necessarily need a LFO controlling your Low Pass Filter Cutoff frequency value, you could just draw in the Automation yourself, but a LFO will yield a loop of consistent values and prevents the possibility of human error. All the LFO is doing is sending a value to your frequency cutoff to keep it consistently changing.


Tips & Advice

1.) Sub bass wobble would normally be a Sine wave at around the 40-50 Hz range which would repeat the same chords as the mid-range bass wobble. The only difference being that with a sub bass wobble there is no point in assigning the LFO to a Low Pass Filter because the sound is too low for the low pass filter to have any effect, so the LFO is assigned to the amplitude (volume) instead. Another reason for not applying a Low Pass Filter to the Sub bass is because it would typically be a Sine wave which possesses no Harmonics to be adjusted by the Filter.

2.) The sound of an LFO can also be adjusted by the wave type you choose. The default setting for an LFO generator is a Sine wave, although on most synths you can chose from Triangle, Sawtooth, Square wave, Random, Noise. To get a nice sounding bass, it is a good idea to use as many oscillators as possible on different octaves.

3.) Try messing around with the attack and release of your sound as this can have an impact on the sound of the bass. Long attacks tend to create a more ambient sound, and is a technique traditionally used with ambient pads.

4.) Something that I find useful is to bounce the bassline to a .wav file, so that it can be chopped up and put in-sync with other elements of the song; because the majority of the time you will find the first wave of sound in the wobble bassline will will be half the length of the other waves due to attack rates. So the best thing to do is to chop that freak sound off the beginning of the file in your DAW (Logic Pro, Reason, Cubase etc) and start off with the second wave which should be fully formed. This way it will not be too early of late when keeping in sync with other elements such as a second bassline.

5.) Another method you can use is creating a clone layer of your original sound and setting up a new LFO setup for that to beat alternatively in the space left by the original LFO. Or go that crazy Drum & Bass Reese route and split the frequencies to Low, Mid and High, then set different LFO rates for each band then recombine into one sound.

6.) For more variation automate your LFO speed and intensity.

7.) Where you place insert effects in relation to the filter (pre or post) will yield different sounding results.

Other methods to achieve a wobble like sound:
Tremolo, (This effects volume rather than frequency)
FM Synthesis,
Modulation of PWM,
Oscillator Pitch assigned (in a liberal amount) to LFO.
Filter Envelope assigned to LFO (using a re-triggered envelope).
(submitted by Faun2500)

9.) Assign a second LFO to modulate the speed of the first LFO.

LFO Shapes

Sine wave: The smooth value change possible.

Triangle: Similar to a Sine wave but slightly more ramped & synthetic sounding.

Random: A mixed bag.

Sawtooth: Will have a very fast attack with a slower release which will sound very rugged.

Square wave: Will be a simple open close style. Very harsh and will generally cause a very harsh sound. (Often used in DJ Hazard style bass-lines). Detune two square waves for a nice dark sounding bass.

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PostSubject: Re: LFO/WOBBLE BASSLINES   Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:13 pm

good read. thx

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