Sytrus is an extremely capable FM synth instrument with vast routing capabilities. And by harnessing some of these features you can create some dynamic and complex bass sounds that can be used in all styles but definitely the most popular in EDM styles. Let’s take a look at how to create a bass sound like this in FL Studio’s with Sytrus
Sytrus Default Patch
First let’s add Sytrus to a channel track, then assign this to a track in the Mixer. We’ll use this later for adding some extra post processing on the bass sound. Now let’s load up the default Sytrus patch. You can do this by right-clicking on the arrows that switch through the presets. This will bring up the preset contextual menu, and then choose ‘Default’ at the top. This will now be a single Sine operator sound.
Loading the Saws
Now for this Supersaw sound we are going to dabble in FM Synthesis using some operators and then frequency modulate them together to get the most out of the bass sound. Basically a super saw patch is a bass sound that uses multiple operators using the saw waveform, then with a touch of unison added to the patch to get some extra width and depth to the sound. I’m going to demonstrate this with two saw operators and compliment it with a sine waveform on another operator. On the default patch let’s first change the Sine waveform to a Saw waveform.
Next change the Frequency Ratio down to 0.2500x. This will lower the pitch of the sound so it is more in the bass registers.
And like I said this is going to be a Multi Saw patch, so on Operator 2, choose a Saw waveform as well. And increase the output level on this operator.
On the Frequency Ratio change this first to 0.25000x. Then play a note and tweak this up to 0.25600x. This will slightly detune it to the other operator and cause some phasing in the sound. Also notice when you play notes higher up or lower down the phasing time either decreases or increases.
This sort of creates the basis of a typical Reese sound you hear in a lot of EDM styles. Now let’s make this sound a bit more complex with some Unison settings and an extra Operator.
Add Some Unison
Now switch over to the Main tab, and increase the Unison Order dial, first dial it all the way up to 9 and hear how it alters the sound. I quite like it set at 4. You can also increase the Sub Level if you want more low end on the sound. The sound is really coming together now. It’s getting some thick bass tones.
Add The Sine
To beef the sound up a bit more I want to add an extra operator with a Sine wave, and just remember to increase the output level for that operator on the matrix area so you can hear it. I then go back and tweak the output level of the other operators to get an even sound across the operators. So these output levels act like a mix level between the different operators.
Now that we have our operator waveforms set up, let’s frequency modulate some of them together. If I move over to the matrix window and click and drag on the dial under column 2, and then row 1, what I’m doing is frequency modulating operator 2 with operator 1. Hear how as I do this it makes the sound more complex. Plus, when I do this notice how the wave shape of the output sound is changed when you look at the waveform window.
Let’s add some more Frequency Modulation. This time I’m going to Frequency modulate Operator 3 with Operator 1. Hear how you get some really gritty bass sounds now. Hold down a note and tweak this dial and hear how it sounds like a talking growly bass sound. Now how can I automate this in my song?
Adding Extra Modulation and Automation
To do this you first need to set up your Mod X and Mod Y graphs on that specific parameter. So on the Operator 3, I’m going to go into the Mod X tab. And in here change the graph so it increases linearly from left to right.
Now If I jump across to the Main tab, when I play a bassline and move the XP pad horizontally you can hear how it’s altering the sound. Now I can right click on the X dial and create an automation clip for it.
That means that when I go to the Playlist Editor I have a lane here for the Mod X parameter and I can draw in automation for this dial.
Now let’s also assign the Mod Y to something. I’m going to add another operator with a saw waveform. And why not, as this is an article on super saw synths!
So on operator 4 I’m going to choose a saw waveform, and I’m going to increase the output level too about 14%. And I’ve set the Freq ratio a bit higher to 1.0023x. and on the Mod Y tab I’ve draw in another linear line. So you can really get nice complex bass sounds using these Mod X and Y maps and then automating in changes to them.
Add Some Effects
And to finish off let’s add some effects. On the FX tab, activate the Reverb part, and choose the W+ (the warmer patch). Then on the matrix window increase the FX levels for operators 2 and 3, and hear how this widens the sound, making it sound even bigger than it already is. And there you have it, a huge super saw sounding bass synth sound with Sytrus.
That’s how to create a SuperSaw bass synth sound with Sytrus, plus how to assign and automate the Mod X and Mod Y dials to create an interesting and evolving bass sound. These sounds can work really well in most EDM styles, or you can use it in other styles to create a hybrid genre. Try this sound out in your next production and see how it works.