Live 9: Creating Bass Using Your Voice

Want to create bass sounds? Tired of using presets or just want something completely unique? Launch Ableton Live and open your mouth! G. W. Childs shows how to use your voice outside the box.  

It's funny, if you think about it. If you're an Ableton Live owner, you're actually sitting on a power house of original sound creation possibilities. But, most of us usually forget this! Instead, we'll look to third party sound designers, new VST and AU instruments, and so on. All of which, I may add, usually cost money. Yet, it would be so easy to just record some stuff, and then manipulate, and then... Voila! New sounds in a few minutes. 

It's really easy to take for granted the capabilities within Ableton, and sound design isn't necessarily for everyone. In writing this article, I'm hoping that I can help inspire you to begin exploring creation possibilities with one of the simplest recording sources possible- Your own voice!

No, this isn't another choir tutorial. In fact, the human voice is capable of producing a broad range of sounds. Think back to when you were a kid, and you had all of those action figures out. Remember making motor noises when you'd move a plastic vehicle around? Remember making creature sounds? Even those of us who don't want to admit it, we all have some pretty cool mouth noises we can make. But, recording the noises would be just the beginning! Once recorded/sampled, we can then really trick those sounds out!

In this tutorial, I'd like to focus on another type of mouth noises that you can use to really add some nice, pumping bass to your Ableton sets. It's my hope that in doing so, you may get more and more into sound design. As well as the brilliant tools that are available for sound tweaking in Ableton.

Now, let's start with a basic mouth sound that's available to you- Humming. 

Mouth Bass

A truly easy and powerful vocal sound that can make a wonderful bass patch would be the low notes your own throat produces. This is similar to creating a choir patch until you start adding in a filter and envelope modulation.


Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More


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