Sound Design Tutorial w/ FM8: Creating Growl Bass Sounds w/ Native Instruments’ Komplete

In the latest video tutorial with Dubspot’s sound design course designer and instructor Evan Sutton, we explore designing a ‘growl’ bass sound with vocal characteristics using in Native Instruments’ FM8.

There are many takes on the ‘growl’ bass out there, and in this tutorial, we’ll make a version using only Native Instruments FM8.

To get started, we’ll create a sawtooth wave using a two operator structure. This gives us a nice arrangement of harmonic overtones, and give us a kickstart when sett up modulation. Remember that FM stands for frequency modulation. Think of it as a really fast vibrato. As we increase the amplitude of the modulator, we get more harmonics, which tend to make the sound brighter. We can change the arrangement and character of the harmonics by choosing different waves, altering their tuning, and modulating their amplitudes over time. FM is an extremely powerful approach to synthesis where we are actually building a sound from the ground up. Once the  top end character is there, we can add some sub bass to give it some kick. – Evan Sutton

Evan Sutton a.k.a. Astrolith is an electronic music producer, sound designer, and audio engineer living in New York. Evan teaches sound design and music production at Dubspot NYC and helped develop the school’s Sound Design program. You can hear Evan’s music and find out more about him at and

Related Dubspot Courses:

Become fluent in the language of sound design with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers most common synthesis methods available for music production in the DAW of your choice.

Discovering the right sound is like finding a needle in the digital haystack. Learn the fundamentals to make this easier, and gain the depth of knowledge to make a good sound better. Factory content is great, but everyone has it – your mix needs something special.

Upcoming Sound Design Courses Starting in New York City and ONLINE:

March 19, 2013 in NYC – Tuesdays, Thursdays, 3:15-6pm

April 30, 2013 in NYC – Tuesdays, Thursdays, 6:15-9pm

The week of January 20, 2013 ONLINE

The week of April 21, 2013 ONLINE

What’s Included:

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete 8
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Instruments
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming

Start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

Or if you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.