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Thread: Pete Marriott’s Hip Hop Production Tutorial 02: Bass

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    Pete Marriott’s Hip Hop Production Tutorial 02: Bass

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    Pete Marriott’s Hip Hop Production Tutorial 02: Bass



    In my last tutorial I uncovered my favorite sound design techniques for creating custom drum kits. In this installment I’m going to share with you my two favorite sound design techniques for creating that filtered bass sound heard on so many underground hip hop records. Being that I’m promoting the software movement in hip hop I’m writing these tutorials for users of FL Studio 4.5 . Those of you not familiar with FL Studio 4.5, it’s a very powerful and affordable software Sampler/Synthesizer that was made famous by underground hip hop hero 9th Wonder of the exceptional hip hop group Little Brother. Since I wrote my last tutorial I have pushed myself to learn more about FL Studio 4.5 and I fell more in love with it more as I quickly uncovered more of it’s strengths by experimenting with it’s ultra-powerful filters and incredibly easy to use editor. I will breakdown these features within this tutorial as I will also upgrade the drums tutorial to meet my latest findings.

    The filters on FL Studio 4 not only help define the shape of your sound but they also use far less RAM than memory hogs like VST and Direct-X plugins. By using these filters and editing tools I now have the ability to do it all within the FL Studio 4.5 environment. Why am I talking so much about filters you ask? Because I’m going to show you how to get that early 90’s filtered bass sound used by myself and other notable hip hop producers to this very day. I have to credit Chubb Rock and Howie Tee for teaching me how to use filters back in the late 80’s while Howie was producing the classic hip hop album “Youngest In Charge” by Special Ed, The funny thing was Chubbs showed me how to filter sampled loops and Howie showed me how to filter synthesizers which is pretty much the same process but they didn’t do it on an extreme level like most producers do today. I was taught how to use filters as a corrective tool rather than a creative tool. Now I’m going to show you what I learned on my own over the years. Filtering is so easy with FL Studio 4.5 you’re going to laugh at how simple it is.

    Bass: The Filtered Frontier

    Ok you just created the most banging drum kit in the universe and programmed a hot drum pattern, now you want to drop a hot bass line that no one ever heard on a hip hop joint before so now you dig though your library of mp3’s, your creates of vinyl and your 8-track tapes of music in search of a hot bass line. You find one, but wait it’s not open. There are all sorts of vocals, drums, keyboards, strings, guitars and horns interfering with that must have bass line. You can easily give up and search for an open bass solo or you can solve this problem by using the filters. FL Studio 4.5 has 8 primary filters and 2 secondary filters. This gives you the power to shape your sample and create a custom low end sound. Remember my tutorials are based on my production and sound design techniques. If you want to learn the basics of FL Studio 4.5 I suggest you consult the very user friendly help file that’s included with FL Studio 4.5. To learn more about filters type in the word filter in the search window and select the page Cutoff and Resonance Filter. Ok let’s filter our bass loop.

    1. First find your sample of choice with that hot bass line you crave so much. (I prefer 4 bar loops myself, but do you what you feel will work for you.)
    2. Then chop it up using the WaveEditor in the Channel Settings panel. (The WaveEditor in FL Studio 4.5 is straight forward that you’ll find it very easy to use.)
    3. After you chop up your loop to perfection, change sample from Stereo to Mono, normalize it and save it to your samples folder. (The reason I suggested to you set your intended bass line sample to mono is because back the days the bass was usually panned slightly to the left or right on most recordings.)
    4. Now assign your intended bass sample to a channel.
    5. In the Channel Settings panel click on the Instrument Properties button and you will find our Primary filter settings.
    6. Go over to the filter and you’ll notice two knobs labeled Cut (Filter Cutoff Frequency) and Res (Filter Resonance (Q)) and a drop down window that features 8 filters. Click on the filter called SVF LPx2 and turn both the Cut and Res knobs till you find your idea bass sound. See I told you it was simple, but hold up a sec before you get all excited there’s another filter I want to show you that I think you’re going to love.
    7. In the Channel Settings panel click on the Miscellaneous Properties button and take notice of the Levels Adjustment section. This is where you can define newly filtered bass line more by adjusting the Cut and Res knobs. You can also adjust your bass line further by turning the volume up or lower depending on your personal tastes. (I usually like to bounce the meter and then bring it down to a level that doesn’t drown out my kick.)

    Ok there you have it, a filtered sampled bass line. Now imagine for a second if you were to chop up and flip your loop then filter it as low as possible. You just created your own bass line and the sample detectives at ASCAP and BMI can’t touch you because you technically created that bass line and by you filtering it how are they going to know your sample source? (Message!) Now that you got the hang of filtering loops you can also apply these same filters to any of the synthesizer presets in FL Studio 4.5 to create your own custom bass sounds. See, I told you it was easy.

    The Proceed tutorial was underwritten by The Marriott Corporation TM “We Bring Good Hip Hop Back to Life” (Only heads in my age group will get that joke, You younglings going to have to sit this joke out)

    Peace
    Pete Marriott 2.0

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    Very very easy....thanks for the tips...it will definitly be very useful in creating unique basslines out of generic samples.

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    u need to stop double posts, only post a thread once. thanks..

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    Yo Pete M.,

    That was very informative right there. It was also fun to read. Thank you for the tip! Hopefully you'll have some more tips for us soon.


    peace

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    pete ma man... i ain noobs but i think i can benefit from your tutrial..
    keep up the good work playa..

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    Good article on basslines in FL Studio.

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    interesting stuff.
    Please dont push me

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