How to Make a Dubstep-Style Wobble Bass in FL Studio 8
Twice a month we revisit some of our reader favorite posts from throughout the history of Audiotuts+. This tutorial was first published in October 2008.
The wobble bass, used frequently in the Dubstep genre, is a sound that well, wobbles! It consists of a low pass filter with a LFO assigned to the cut off. That may sound extremely complicated, but in actual fact it’s quite easy to do and master. You can find examples of this technique used in Benga’s “Drums West.”
For this tutorial we will be using FL Studio 8, Sytrus VST and Cakewalk’s Z3TA+.
Step 1: Setting Up
First we want to open Fruity Loops on a blank template. We then want to add a Sytrus to the sequencer and put it on its own mixer channel. We also want to open the preset CERBERA SAW.
Step 2: Making a Melody
Next we want to create a melody on the Sytrus channel.
Cerbera without Wobble Effect
Assign a Fruity Fast LP to one of the FX slots on the Sytrus mixer channel to set up for the wobble.
Step 3: Making the Wobble
Now we must right click the cut-off knob and go to Edit events. This brings up the automation for the cut-off knob. Notice the lower the cut-off filter is the less high end we get on the sound. This is because it is filtering the high out of the sound and only leaving us with the bass.
Step 4: Define the Wobble
We then need to create an LFO. To do this we either press Alt+O, or click the spanner icon and select LFO.
Value defines how high the wobble will go; it basically defines the highest point of the cut-off to apply to the wobble. Range defines how low the cut-off goes at the lowest point. Speed defines how fast the transitions between low and high on the cut-off apply.
If you right click the speed knob, a set of predefined steps come up.
If we leave the End box ticked we can set the end of the wobble to change, so that over the length of the wobble you can set it to get faster, higher and lower.
Cerbera with Wobble Effect
Step 5: Using Z3ta+ to Wobble
An alternative way of wobbling is to use a VST with a Modulation Matrix so that we can create the wobble inside of the VST. For this tutorial I’m going to be using Cakewalks Z3TA+, with the preset THUMP BASS in BANK C.
First we need to load up the VST into the sequencer. We also need to make sure it’s not on the same channel as the Sytrus.
Next we need to open the VST interface and load the preset in the top right corner.
Z3ta+ without Wobble Effect
Step 6: Adding the Wobble to the Mix
Now we need to assign the LFO to the cut-off filter. We do this in the Modulation Matrix in the bottom left corner of Z3TA+.
In the Source column, select LFO1. In the Range column, we want the value to be quite high but not all the way to the left. We’ll leave the Curve column and the Control column blank.
Last but not least, we want to change Destination column to All Filters Cutoff.
Step 7: Defining the Wobble
In the top right corner of the Cakewalk Z3TA+ VST is a section called Low Frequency Oscillators. This area is where we can define how the wobble sounds.
For this tutorial I will be using a Sine for the Wave 1 value, and leaving the rest as default. As you can hear by turning on Wave 1, the wobble starts.
But what if we want to change the speed? Well, we have to change the Sync. The sync is equivalent to speed on the Sytrus LFO; the lower the number, the faster the wobble.
We can also add a second wave to the Wave 2 box to manipulate the sound even further.
Z3ta+ with Wobble Effect
Step 8: Final Touches
The last step in the process is to add the final touches. I’ve added some drums, an arp, sirens, beat box kicks and a lead. You can check out the Fruity Loops file in the sound pack.
- FL Studio 8 Source Files