How do you do your sub?

I use Serum mostly, and it has a separate sub occsilator, but I haven’t used it because I am used to always having a separate sub. However when I listen to excision and virtual riot etc. it sounds like their sub moves with their basses. When I use a separate sub it sounds so static and boring. I sidechain it a little but how can I get it to move with the song? Volume automation? Or should I just try using the sub occs?

Also…how can I change my username?

One way that I’ve heard is to take a bass patch, and dumb it down to a simple low passed square wave.
Low passed square waves are better than just a simple sine wave because the have more harmonics.

Ok, I might try that, thanks

And here’s a video about it by Dodge and Fuski

I found a song that sounds like the sub is super connected. Zomboy - Game Time (Barely Alive Remix)

Also they get the sub to move so crisply with the song. Whenever I try it is hard to tell that it even has a pattern

I believe the connection your talking about is the sub playing the same notes as the bass. If you have a growl bass that is pitching up and then down over the course of half a bar, then your sub should do the same. after that its just proper EQ to make sure they dont clash and then proper compression

Using a strait sine wave sounds empty. Sometimes I take square waves or saw waves and low pass them so that there is still some sound above the base frequency. Converting the sub to audio can help you manipulate the volume of the sub so it gives movement to the track. Or you could bounce it with envelopes

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Ya I know, I can hear the pitch mod. And maybe in that song there is quite a bit so I notice the sub more. I am just trying to find what that song does that mine doesn’t

Ok, I will try bouncing a saw to audio and lowpassing it, I’ve heard it can sound more lively but maybe I am imagining it but when their bass wobbles so does the sub. Do you think they use automation?

Low pass the patch then bounce

Dodge and fruski and zomboy aren’t a really good source for subs… or production in general tbh but especially subs.

This is a good tutorial

with subs it doesn’t matter what you use really as long as you have a sine, i often use raw sine samples into Ableton’s sampler, more about finding the right frequency, mixing it right etc.


I actually use 3xOsc to make sine waves and adding Fruity Waveshaper and Fabfilter Q 3 to control the muddiness

(I use FL Studio 20)

I think people can overthink it when it comes to subs. Rather than worrying about what specific way to do subs I would say it’s better to understand what you’re aiming for in the end. You can use lowpassed square, or a triangle wave. You can also use sines, in which case I would add some saturation of some sort (I put at least a couple dBs of drive on basically any sub sound with something like the Ableton Saturator or Fabfilter Saturn, smth that can do SUBTLE saturation.) FM synths like Ableton’s operator are great for subs too because again mostly sine wave based but you can bring in some subtler harmonics from the modulators. In the end the important part is more the envelope shaping, note placement, and I would recommend committing them to audio so you can fine edit/fade your sub hits. So knowing your synthesis and putting the time in to clean up and edit your stuff precisely is more important than which technique imo, as long as the fundamental frequency is in that range of ~40-80hz or so (and you don’t do anything weird like destroy it with distortion ofc) it will have enough weight.

As far as questions like “what shape should I make my envelope(s)” and that sort of thing, it depends on the style of track. If you’re just trying to make a sub to match your mid range bassline stuff, try to get it to imitate/complement the impact of your mids. Don’t leave long release tails unless you specifically want a sound that obviously fades out. Most of what I make is more sub-focused than mids-focused so I may be biased. But play around with it, get creative, try reversing hits and stuff like that (another reason to bounce to audio, lets you try things you wouldn’t be able to with a MIDI track). There’s not a lot of right or wrong answers as long as it’s mono (don’t use stereo fx for example) and it’s at a reasonable level. You probably need it a little less loud than you think. That’s my thoughts anyway


One of the best subs I made was just an 8th measure of a pure 40hz sine with the fade in fade out set to about 40ms (I think). No fx just EQ.
It’s a sexy little bwob sound. I used that in a tune in triplets after the kick. Sounded ace.

All my other subs are shit.

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Yeh I guess the main point of my long ass ramble there was there isn’t really that much to “mixing” subs imo it’s more about just making them right in the first place. knowing different synthesis techniques to achieve them is nice cause you get different variations

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I prefer Quiznos but will settle for Subway at a stretch

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Also don’t overthink it too much they hardly need eq seeing as there isn’t a lot of content in em anyway just making sure it’s playing at the right volume is most of the battle and maybe some compression just to even it out a little


yeh this, only EQ I ever do is maybe to boost the fundamental or reduce the harmonics above the fundamental a little (say if it’s a lowpassed saw and it’s just not quite subby as I want) but only by a couple dbs if so. Only compressing if it’s too dynamic but definite majority of the time just a lil saturation to make it pop and that’s it

And side chain ofc, lately I usually do a combo of cutting the very lows of my kick (maybe 12db hi pass so it doesn’t cut it as harshly) and some light sidechaining the subs off the kick at the same time to let the kick come through. But depending on how you do it you can get away with just one of the two. Know I’m going off on big descriptions then saying “it’s simple” but really I think it is just a matter of do it till it sounds right, there’s not as many variables as you might think. Really getting the volume right is the main thing as has been said

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I pretty much just do whatever til it sounds good.
Whatever the tune needs, it gets.

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