The fatbass principle

Fat "bass", I would call powerfull, loud, intense bass. Composed out of a bassdrum (kickdrum) and a bass (bassline).

Having a fat bass seems to be one of the most convincing arguments for tracks in many scenes.

I made the following (take it ironic) recipe of how to make a typical psytrance bottom, to give anybody the possibility of having a more or less fat bass to start with. So you can invest your energy in the music and the creativity.


Get "Bazzism" from it's a brilliant plugin to create kickdrums. Or take this one OkKick (downloaded

times). The Kick has a length of 100ms, which is a good length when the kickdrum is combined with many bassnotes at around 142BPM. Trust your ears and try different speakers when making own ones.

Cubase VST or SX and the VB-1 VST Plugin, there you choose the Synthibass preset, on the EQ, cut the deep bass up to 50-60Hz, raise the bass around 80-100Hz, lower around 150Hz, cut the the high frequencies down to 2kHz. Play around with the EQ. Maybe you don't want much low end, or you want more of it. Around 400Hz you can make the bass more crisp. It's all a matter of taste.
Important principle: Bass and Kickdrum have to have enough highfrequent parts in order to hear them clearly in the mix. Use good EQ-Plugins like URS or Voxengo.

Optionally, compress the basstrack with a compressor plugin in the insert. The trick is to let the attack of the bass come through to make your bass sound crisp. So be careful with the attack setting of you compressor. Basically you don't need to do this, if the bass sounds right or you have the possibility to adjust the amplifier envelope of the synth (ADSR) to have the same effect like a compressor.

For the typical FullOn rollingbass set 3 16th notes between every kick. Start with every note on G0 or so, then start playing around with some notes an octave up or so. To have a good and groovy result you have to play around with the note lengths and the velocity. Try for example to emphasize the offbeat.

The two elements kickdrum and bass have to come along. This means (if you want to have it clean without big effort) not to use too long notes for Bass a rather short kickdrum and no kick and bass ath the same time. If you want to have bass and kick at the same time you should use a sidechain compressor triggered by the kickdrum on the bass. Or you can make two basstracks, one extratrack for the bassnotes that come together with the kick. In this track you use the EQ and cut away everything that disturbes the kickdrum. This will give you a clean result.

Offbeat hihat, 8th closed hihat, snarelike clap on 2 and 4, or/and a DrumnBass or Chemical drumloop with lowered bass from Reasons DR.Rex or any sample CD. Will give you a beat to start with. Analize other tracks you will see this is the basis of every beat.

Now you take some clear and crystal like noises which you can get from movies or sample CDs. The best is if they are long and with a lot of high frequencies. throw them anywhere into your track.

Get some sharp, raspy, cantankerous or cheesy, trancy sounds out of a VST synth like z3ta or vanguard. If possible without melody or with one that we have heard 100 times before.

Every now and then you create a short break. Bring an atmospheric Pad (from a synth like Atmosphere) or anything that pretends to contain feelings or convey some message... like maybe a voice sample from "matrix" or "Fear and Loathing Las Vegas" or any other well known movie.
After the break, which builds up with wooshes (upfiltered noise), reverse percussion like crashes, cymbals etc. and any strange noises, come again with your fat bass. Of course accompaigned with cymbal, crash, explosions of noises as huge as possible... Nobody will notice that you didnt bring a new idea, because almost everyone will be convinced by the fatbasspriniple.

Before you finish your track make sure that it contains only as many ideas as neccessairy. If you have many ideas in the song, better take them out and use them in another song.. so you can make more songs and therefore more money. You know, to be successful with music you better release 50 averagely creative but well produced songs following the fatbass principle (which convinces 90% of the people). Like this you can flood the market with your name, which is much better then releasing only 5 highly creative artworks which will only drown in the mass of fatbassprinciples anyway.

Hopefully you noticed that I became a little little bit ironic towards the end ;) . I hope nobody will really follow this recipe after point 5 or 6... Going till point 5 will give you a rather good bottom. Still, he Idea of taking noises from films is usable, but hopefully you will process the noises so heavily that its finally your OWN noise.

Here an example:

Fatbass (downloaded times), a projectfolder for cubase SX3, unzip and open the cubase file.

Inside you will find a short passage created following the receipe above. It was created on the 5th feb. 2003 within an hour and reedited for cubase sx3 in 2006 within 10 minutes. The used plugins are inside... vb1, classiccompressor and doubledelay. Copy the included *.dll files in you VSTPlugins folder. You will also see the use of the "midigate" plugin as a chopper.

Or just listen to the result here (downloaded times).

But please note, the example is, in view of the creativity, the most stupid, heartless, callous and ugliest I have ever made. I mean it ironic, take it as inspiration and a more or less good bass setup to start with.

For the composing I want to say the following: Its a schemata. There are schemata for any kind of music. Once you understood the schemata of a musicalstyle you can easily reproduce this music.

But what do you want to be? Musician or producer?
What do you want to give to the world? Music or products?
Your own artwork or copys?
Do you want to be a replacable dayfly or a unique creature with personality?
Do you want to run after the trends or to set the trends?

A recipe, a schemata can be followed by a computer. Something that a computer can not imitate and a schemata cant include is personality, feeling.

How to do your own thing?