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"Dubstep" bass wobble: how?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by zakwolf, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. zakwolf


    Aug 3, 2013
    Hi there fellows!
    Nu question for you guys! Used the search button, will discuss later.
    So basically I'm a big fan of a YouTube singer nicknamed Veela, and one of my fav tracks is "Offering", beat by Captain Panic( http://youtu.be/Cm3cOOy4qOw ), and if you listen to it, you'll notice that most of the song is a throbbing bass drop(the note is an F# I think). Now, I know it's a synth, but to make that sound live which pedals should I use? My ear tells me that it's a bass fed into a distortion fed into a wah fed into a tremolo, but I'm not sure, and anyway which pedals should I use?
    Search button led me to Hot Hand, which I don't like the sound of, and to Ableton, with which I'm experimenting but the latency is too high.
    Thanks and, as always, you're all great!
  2. I know that one band muse did a dubstep album, fans of them should be able to chime in.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Wobble bass is usually created on a synthesizer by modulating a filter with an LFO (low frequency oscillator).

    To duplicate on a bass guitar you would need some sort of filter pedal with an LFO. Most filter pedals have only envelope following, I personally don't know of one with an LFO.

    Wahs are just filters controlled manually rather than by an envelope or LFO. So if you just wiggled a wah fast enough you'd get close ;)

    Seriously, you might as well just buy a cheap synth to play wobbles :bag:
  4. zakwolf


    Aug 3, 2013
    Yeah, the 2nd law...never listened to it, even though I know Wolstenholme is loaded with effects :v
  5. zakwolf


    Aug 3, 2013
    Well, I think the wah is not wiggled that fast, it sounds like because of the tremolo, like in Wake Up by RATM...anyway, what is an LFO? A synthesizer? Annnnd...would a Digitech Bass Synth Wah or Boss SYB or something like that cut it? (plus distortion, ofc)
  6. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011

    its called a hot hand
  7. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010

    An LFO is a component used in most synthesizers that can be set to modulate any particular aspect of the sound. In dubstep bass, it's used to modulate pitch.

    To replicate it on electric bass, get a digital pitch bend pedal that allows you to set the bend rate at 2 semitones. That's about the average bend rate used on the LFOs in dubstep.
  8. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
  9. Skindie


    Oct 20, 2013
    The source audio bef pro has a lfo and you can do some quite nice wobbly things with that and a bit of dirt. If you're feeling really adventurous you can even have an lfo running at the same time as using an EP on it! :thumbup:
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
  11. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH
  12. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    A behringer BSY-600 does a good 'all in one' wobble, a tremolo is another alternative (coupled with a filter and maybe fuzz). A pitch bender, like a boss pitchshift with an expression pedal or Whammy pedal will give you a controllable sweep, sounds good with a trem after. Also a Zoom B3 would give you a lot of options, I've had some great success with dubstep/wobble bass sounds.
    These videos helped me a lot, this guy plays live dubstep and uses several different techniques to create different wobbles.
  13. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I am very interested in this topic. Has anyone used jamup for live dubstep or any other ios apps? I plan on exploring this when I get home.
  14. Icculus

    Icculus Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Brotherly Love
    Source Audio BEF and Hot Hand
  15. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    right on, and another spector bass
  16. Yurtra


    Apr 26, 2010
    Montreal, Canada
    There are lots of different approaches you can take to replicating electronica bass tones. The majority will involve a pedal capable of producing an octave down.

    From there you will probably want to experiment with various types of dirt (gated and non-gated fuzz, bitcrushing, synth-y waveforms, etc.) as well as some kind of low-pass filter to either fatten up the signal (if you plan on playing dub or dub-influenced music), provide some vocal modulation/sweeps, or to allow for LFO-controlled wobble bass (the key to playing a lot of dubstep). The LFO wobble can be replicated somewhat by using tremolo--but be aware that this is amplitude modulation and, while useful in electronic contexts, is not the most common way of getting the wobble bass sound.

    Adding a sample rate reducer or ring modulator after a modulating/swept filter is a great way to get formant ( pronounced "talking bass") sounds. You could also try bitcrushing at this stage to get some of the harsher bass sounds common in some electronica subgenres. Adding a bit of modulation in the form of chorus, phaser, flanger, etc. can also help fatten up things quite a bit and give a bit of life to an electronica-inspired bass part. Same goes for slight amounts of delay and reverb.

    Here's a quick example (it's the last example in the clip) I recorded of an electronica-inspired bass sound that uses an octave down (with a synth-y waveform for dirt), a low-pass filter and, finally, some tremolo. I then throw on a chorus effect to demonstrate its application in fattening up synthy bass parts:

    Bear in mind that electronica (dubstep included) is a very diverse genre. You could easily get away with just an octave down and a low-pass filter to play huge-sounding dub and more dub-leaning dubstep lines. My advice would be that you learn as much as you can about different forms of signal processing, try out a few different effects and effect combinations, and then try crafting your own sounds to go with some of the bread-and-butter electronica tones. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  17. zakwolf


    Aug 3, 2013
    ...in the first post, I said I do not like how the HH sounds. I've already seen ALL of those videos. Sounds like an overpriced toy.

  18. b1d051b067e5ddc001b7a4fe47458c065370fe69d4783eec88031cac0f58bd39.
  19. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    Wanting to do Dubstep, yet calls the single best tool to create Dubstep wobbles with bass a toy... Good luck on your perilous journey, sir
  20. rsmith601

    rsmith601 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Boston, MA
    President, Source Audio
    There are 2 issues here that are getting confused.

    1) How am I creating the synthy filter sound? This is mainly done using a synth pedal, a distortion pedal, and a moving filter pedal. (there are other options, but this is the one that seems to be the most common.) Source Audio pedal are only one of many good options for solving this part of the problem.

    2) How am I controlling the movement of the filter? If you are OK with the sound of a fixed oscillator, then use the LFO to drive your filter. If you are ok with the limited action that a mechanical expression pedal gives you, then go for it. If you want to mix varying filter movements, then you will need to use something like Hot Hand or program a pattern into Ableton. Hot Hand is NOT a sound. Hot Hand is a device for moving filters in ways that are more organic than an LFO and faster than what you can do. Hot Hand is popular for creating organic dubstep wobbles, because there is no other clear and easy way to do it while playing an instrument.

    I hope this makes things more clear and not the other way around!