FAW SubLab is an incredible plugin for creating low-end. It will be a great plugin to use for this tutorial. FAW SubLab’s main strength is in its name, making phat sub-basses. However, the distortion and other parameters can be used to design a crunchy electro house synth bass.
Keeping the sub frequencies tight is very important for your mix to sound good on a variety of speakers. By using layers, a tight low-end can be achieved whilst leaving plenty of mid-range and higher to play around with.
Of course, you don’t have to use the same plugin. Adding layers using different synths is really effective too.
I like to use the same plugin and duplicate it to create the other layers so I can get a really well-blended end result. The layers fit together in the mix really snuggly using this method and I find it is often quicker. So I’m going to stick to SubLab for this tutorial.
FAW SubLab Bass Design:
Underneath is a video demonstrating this method, feel free to jump straight to it.
To begin with, create a simple sine wave bass. This is the sub-bass, the lowest frequencies of our sound. It gives the sound the speaker shaking beef we like to feel.
This layer should be in mono, so maybe put some sort of utility tool on this layer (bus) and set it to mono. Use EQ’s to cut off the top end, adjust to taste. You want a nice clean sub sound here.
Now we duplicate this plugin to create the next layer. Make sure you remove any tools or EQs before going any further. This sound is the mid-range of the bass. This is where the sound identifies itself from others, so get creative. This is the bulk of the sound.
This can now be EQ’d, letting the higher end pass through. Roll-off the low-end which is being provided by the first layer.
Now you have two synths. One providing a really tight and deep sub-bass, and the next providing the character of the sound which can be as wide or narrow as you want.
This can then be duplicated again to add another layer. This layer is focusing on the higher frequencies of the bass. Make some adjustments to complement and add interest to the existing sound. I like to use a stereo imager to add some extra width to this layer.
Now the sound has a mono’d low-end and a wide top end. Each layer can be controlled separately yet overall it sounds like the sound is made on one instrument.
There are more things you can achieve by using layers like this. Sometimes two layers are plenty, sometimes four are better. Just remember to give each layer it’s own space in the mix, otherwise, things will quickly sound muddy.
FAW SubLab Info
A new class of synthesizer designed for hip-hop, future bass and trap genres. Create powerful 808 style sub-bass that sounds punchy on every speaker, every time.
Get all the tools you need to sample, layer, widen and distort any kick into a uniquely powerful sub in one plug-in. SubLab’s innovative yet simple mix workflow includes X-Sub™, our psychoacoustic sub-bass oscillator. This newly invented oscillator works as a sub-bass maximizer to achieve consistent, accurate and deep subs on any speaker system.
FAW SubLab comes packed with 6 signature Bass Packs and 250 kick samples meticulously recorded from classic analogue drum machines and modern modular systems. You can also drag and drop your own samples into the sampler and SubLab will automatically detect the pitch of your sample for a faster workflow. Build your own sample library and Bass Packs as you go.