In need of some help with learning to make dubby saturated sub bass

Im fairly new to producing and im looking to start making dubstep, i’ve been struggling to achieve a nice sub bass to use for myself, does anyone have any tips or have any good info on how i could start making those basses i need, kind of the style of deep medi is where id get inspiration from, if anyone can help its much appreciated

Just sine wave usually for the sub, mono, but it’s all about the gain structure in comparison to everything else. You can add distortion and stuff like that but that can detract from the overall weight. Experiment with multiple sine (or whatever type of waveform u prefer) oscillators and get them going at different octaves, or have them detuned so the waves smash into eachother a bit which makes it sound a bit unstable…in a nice way

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safe for that ill bare that in mind, if anyone else has anything too let me know!

what program/s are you using?

can tell you that a load of old kromestar (and a load of old producers’ dubstep in general) basslines are just FL’s 3xosc run through a really simple FX chain. you honestly don’t need much.

here’s how you can get real close to the bassline in cessman - stampede using 3xosc

i added some compressor settings as well so you can see how to even out the volume of different notes

turn down the volume on the 2nd oscillator and you’ll get a pure sine sub with a bit of lfo’d character on the pitch, filter and volume envelopes

as for the “saturated” bit - add some distortion or something


As Swerver said, it’s mostly how you mix the sub with the rest of your elements. If the sub doesn’t sound loud or deep enough, just turn everything else down. For the sound itself, there’s a couple of basic options. 1 simple sine wave with a bit of attack and release plus a bit of saturation is a great starting point. Bear in mind that saturation only helps create harmonics, it doesn’t change how much you ‘feel’ the bass. Lots of old DMZ and Medi stuff is just straight up sine waves. If you want more of a techy ‘dungeon’ sound, use either 1 square wave or 2 detuned square waves, put a low pass filter on there, turn op the resonance a fair bit and experiment with the filter envelope. Another thing you could try is turning up the release on a simple sub sound and putting a fast volume lfo on it for a shaking earthquake-ish sound.

In the end the sound design side of subs is pretty simple, maybe deceptively so. Put more effort into writing basslines that sound good with any simple bass sound (like the sine wave sound mentioned above) and you’ll be well on your way.


Thanks for the help I will have a read through in a few, yeah I’m running fl studios and have tried to use 3xosc a few times before now, I also have massive and serum!

Many thanks man!

I recently started using Ableton, but before that I used FL Studio for about 9 years. I wish Ableton Live had 3xOsc. It’s great for subs - the sounds I mentioned in my previous post can easily be made with that little synth by using the top oscillator and the volume + filter envelopes.

Yeah I’ve tried to learn other software but I’m enjoying fl studios atm, ill have a go and wheb I finish the tune up ill post it to show you what I got

is that you, cessman?

It’s £10 bag iirc


What did you think his name was referring to other than cess?

ive finally got something going i can work from, if anyone has any other dubstep related tips id love to hear them

Wait, they’re the same person?!

lol no we are different people. you can verify this with photographs by comparing how white/black and skinny/nourished the two of us look. the names were just a happy coincidence.

OP, next up you could fuck with FX chains and see how the sound differs when you put the same FX in different orders like:

  1. compression
  2. distortion
  3. low pass filter @ 250hz with high resonance


  1. low pass filter @ 250hz with high resonance
  2. distortion
  3. compression

neither of these is the “correct” way to do it but they will produce different sounds. it’s not so important for sub (you can easily rock a sub with 0 fx) but FX chains are important in general and once you’ve got a good sub down you’re gonna need some good sample and FX use to complete the tune.

thanks for compression tip in this thread, i get that a lot with basses where most of the notes are normal then one note is like HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

seems to hit some key frequency or some shit and kinda overbalances the mix (though i do kinda like that effect)

wait actually, i’m sure you’ve all noticed this, QUESTION

that note where it’s really loud, is that like the ‘weighty frequency’ or does it just have more like mid frequencies - like is that note the one that knocks people on their arse on a system or is it louder and less subby than the quieter ones???

DUDE! you’re somewhere in the mountains enjoying fresh air and snow - get out of here now!


A sine wave has no harmonics so apart from pitch, every note has the same content (one wave, no overtones), so to speak. Higher sine wave notes sound louder, and are less subby because of the fact that they are higher, nothing more nothing less. Turning down the volume of higher sub notes, or compressing the whole sub evens out the sound. Higher notes that sound much louder often sound terrible on a club system because it’ll sound like you’re going from a sub that you feel (you feel it because of its frequency + its amplitude/volume) to a low-mid note that destroys your ears (it sounds unpleasant because of its frequency and amplitude/volume).

Hope that makes sense.

EDIT/TL;DR/PHRASING: lower frequencies have to be turned up more than higher ones in order to properly hear/feel them. Higher notes with the same amplitude as the lower notes in the same bassline therefore sound far too loud in comparison.


Higher notes that sound much louder often sound terrible on a club system

This so much. It’s really easily noticeable with 808s. Those warm, higher pitched, saturated trappy 808
kicks that sound “big” on shitty Logitech-50-buck-speaker-systems, sound absolutely crap on a proper club system when compared to clean lower pitched 808s. same for sub basses

EDIT: Actually, they don’t sound crap, they feel crap.

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