How do you guys approach bass sound design?

Just wondering how you guys are making basses on the Super 6? One method I have is to go solo or legato in the voice assign (Binaural mode), and then ensure that the LR phase is set to 0. I believe with the oscillators all in phase, being in binaural mode shouldn’t cause any issues with phasing, although I’m not entirely sure.

The other method would be non-binaural mode (poly), and then also ensuring that the pan is set to 0. I still haven’t decided which method I prefer, and I rarely unplug the right output to go into mono mode. Is there an issue with using either of these methods for bass? What is your technique?

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I just lean into the strengths of the Super6 and do fat wide phasey detuned bass sounds. If I really want solid bottom end in something, I’m going to add FM sub mono in the DAW, no analog/hybrid synth comes close to what I can do with digital FM at the very bottom end, IMO.

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Cool, I like making sounds like that too, and I would definitely cut out the bottom and layer it with a sub as you said. My go-to for sub is generally my Korg Arp Odyssey. Do you prefer the precision of a digital sub-bass? If I’m being honest, my analog synths sound beefier to me in the low-end, and that’s why I reach for them for subs. That being said, if I’m going to EQ heavily and layer it with a different sound, it really doesn’t matter.

Yep. I can add distortion if I want, but I cannot un-distort analogue synths.

Yup true that. Perhaps I should experiment more with VSTs for my sub-layers.

Btw, I should mention that in the original question, I’m not specifically talking about sub-basses, but really anything with solid low end. I often like to make plucky house/techno basses, and for those sounds, I don’t always split them up into a top and sub-layer.

Depending on the song type, I’ll do one or several of a few things:

  • the wide, phase-y bases with Unison
  • remove the right output (or set the mixer channel to receive one L/R channel) and turn on Solo or Legato
  • crossmod and get low end that I didn’t think the Super 6 had (though I’ve still not gotten it as beefy as analog)
  • Use LFO 1 as an extra oscillator
  • Turn LFO 2 to maximum speed and do FM with one of the oscillators or route it to a filter, though this method doesn’t have a large range - the timbres are nice
  • Purposely turn the volume of the Super 6 to the max and use my DAW to control the gain there

Didn’t even mention looping ENV 1 or using OSC Sub mode because I’ve not explored them yet. Also, I don’t always use the Filter Drive modes because I want to see what tones I’d get without them.

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I second disengaging filter drive. I almost always used it at one by default, but for the past week or so I’ve been designing sounds without it and I’m happy with the slightly different feel they have.

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Yup love those cross mod basses, and this is a sound I probably would layer with a sub. I’ve also done a bit of experimenting with looping ENV 1 to get some FM-style basses, it’s pretty fun.

Is there a big difference between removing the right output for mono mode vs playing in binaural mode but with the LR phase set to 0?

Yeah when you remove the right output, there’s absolutely no stereo image. I tend to play 12-voice mode like this also. Some have reported phasing issues with this method, but I haven’t found any problems with it myself.

So basically, even with the LR phase set to 0, there is still a bit of phase difference between the left and right oscillators?

Can I ask what you are using to add fm sub in the DAW? Have been looking for a good FM plugin.

I use Image Line Sytrus because it came with FL Studio. I think FM8 has a comparable feature set, but I’m not sure. I do pretty basic stuff, could probably get by with just two-osc FM and a separate sub if I really had to (which a lot of softsynths do). Sytrus is nice because with 6 operators I can add precise extra harmonics as sine waves on individual outputs if I want to emphasize part of the sound. I know Sytrus and Dexed can both load DX7 patches, so the architecture is very similar, Sytrus can just do a few extra things with the oscillators (additive, shapes other than sinewaves) and Sytrus has some built in filters if you need them.