Dubspot instructor and Dubstep producer Chris Petti shows you how to make the infamous ‘dubstep whomp bass’ in Propellerhead Reason & Record. The sound which has been described by many as a processed voice or croaking sound, can be created using synthesizers and effects processors. Starting with a basic analog saw wave, which you can get by creating a Thor synthesizer with blank patches in the rack window, set the Keyboard Modes to mono and polyphony and release polyphony to 1.
Expose the Programmer by clicking Show Programmer, and on the Analog Osc, set the octave knob to 3. Create a second Noise Osc and route it to Filter 1. With these two oscillators combine, you hear mixture of white noise and saw wave. Continue over to Filter slot 1 and set the Low Pass Ladder Filter mode to 24 type 1, set the frequency to 184 Hz, and the resonance to 93, and also zero-out the envelop amount (set to 0.)
In the modulation matrix, plug Mod Env into source 1, and filter the frequency into destination 1 with an amount of 87. Also in the Mod Envelope, turn on Tempo Sync and set the Attack time to 4/4, Decay and Release to 2/4. On the Amp Env, set Attack time to 0 ms, Decay and Sustain time set to max, and Release time to 13.9 ms. This will give you the basic sound for the patch.
Then create a Scream 4 Distortion unit which should autoroute to Thor, set the Damage Control to 38, and the Damage Type: mode to digital, to gain control over the bit resolution and sample rate, set P1 to 127 and P2 to 57, and set the master level 99.
Lastly create one more Scream 4 Distortion unit, and again set the Damage Control to 38, but set the Damage Type mode to Tape saturation – to fatten and warm up the sound, as well as shave off some harsh frequencies from the top. Set P1 to 78 and P2 to 32, and the master level to 99.
Now we have WHOMP BASS!
Here are two interesting examples of the “whomp bass” as used in the classic 1990s R&B song “Pony” by Genuwine, produced by Timbaland and Static Major, and the 2009 future bass track “Sweet Shop” by Doctor P.