Bass House Sound Design Basics (xfer Serum) 🎵

Sound design is one of the key aspect when making Bass House. We found out a lot of producers are struggling to create fat and groovy sounds in their digital synthesizer. In this blog post I am going to explain some sound design tricks based on Xfer Serum (our go-to Bass House plugin)

1. Modulation

Xfer Serum is offering you three types of modulation:

• Frequency Modulation (FM)

• Ring Modulation (RM)

• Amplitude Modulation (AM)

The theories behind these types of modulation are quite complex and we won't dive too much into the technical side of it. Serum made modulation so easy and clear that you don't actually need that much of knowledge about modulation in its true form.

In Serum you can find the warp section in OSC A and OSC B.

*Click on 'OFF' and you can select: FM, RM or AM

You always modulate a sound with the output of the other oscillator. For example: I have a sine wave on OSC A and a saw wave on OSC B. I select warp -> FM from B, this means the sine wave on OSC A is going to be modulated by the output signal of OSC B. You can play around with different wavetable combinations. One very common combination of wavetables is using a sine wave to modulate another sine wave. You can turn off the level of the oscillator you are modulating with and it will still affect the signal.

2. Make it move

To create movement in your sounds it is very useful to use LFO's. In Serum you have the ability to precisely draw the shape of your LFO, which can result to great results. You can try to link the LFO to as many knobs you can imagine. In this case there is nothing like good and wrong, just try out what sounds good. Some things you can modulate are FM, Pitch, Filters, Level and much more. Basically everyhting lol.

Some background information on LFO's:

ENV: The shape will only be played once if you play a note

TRIG: Once you push a note the LFO will start to follow its shape

OFF: The LFO follows the tempo of the track

RATE: Determine how fast the LFO is moving

3. Use effects in the synthesizer

Serum comes with a very advanced effects section. There are so many possibilities to give the sound your own twist. Some frequently used effects in Serum for bass house sounds are: hyper and dimension, distortion, multi-band compression and the filter.

The multi-band compression in Serum is defenitely one of the most powerful ways to make your sounds harder and more full. Serum also comes with endless filter possibilites such as flanges or miscellaneous filters. The fitlers can be used to make the sound unique or just to make the sounds more clean.

4. Create your own wavetables

You can create crazy unique wavetables quite easily. The sound design legend Virtual Riot already explained this quite some times, so I am just going to link you guys to a YouTube tutorial where he creates his own wavetables quite simply.

This can defenitely help you to create unique sounds and it is just very nice to play around with this. This is also one of the reasons Serum is super good and efficient for creating Bass House music.

5. Use mod knobs

Mod knobs are tweaks in Serum that you can link to as many buttons you want. This can lead to creazy movement in your sounds and will also make it more interesting to listen to. My tip for this is as well to just play around with it.

I hope you guys learnt something from this blog post. If you want to check out some Bass House presets and samples to learn from or to use in your productions, make sure to check out our latest pack 'Redemption'. We also have some FREE Bass House presets for you guys which you can check out here: 'Tension'

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