Trifonic: Bass Filter Modulation and Layering

6 Jan

In this video, Brian talks about Trifonic’s technique for creating big, wobbly bass sounds. You can download the bass patch that Brian demos here from the Next Step Audio home page.

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  • Denis

    Nice stuff man! Enjoyed it troughout.

  • EvanBogunia

    Excellent! I don't use Logic as much as I used to , these tutorials might make me go back and fiddle around. This one definitely made me think about routing of modulations in a broader sense. keep em coming!

  • Jan-Tore Smith

    Exellent videos! I´ll try out some of your tricks in my next songs.

    Check out some of my work here:

  • briantrifon

    Awesome. thanks! Logic is great and it happens to be the main daw we use, but fortunately the modulation concepts apply to pretty much any synth or sampler. For example, Kontakt has much more sophisticated modulation options than EXS24…so you can do all the same things and even more. I have issues with Logic, Live, Pro Tools and every other daw I use …so I try to learn as many daw's as possible and use each for its strengths! I will be presenting some tutorials in ableton Live in addition to Logic. Cheers!

  • Tonebreaker // DJ^3

    Digg'n it. How often do you use the filters internal to the synth vs. an external filter to create pass effects? I find there are pro's and con's to both but I love abusing the Autofilter in Live, setting the freq. to a nice band, jacking up the Q, sync'n it to an Sine LFO and then offsetting it slightly. Stack another one, offset and phase shift it with the original (Or even slightly off and faster/slower so that you can get it to phrase in interesting time signatures.)

    Again, I'm gonna reference Lies and the Bass in Good Enough. The bassline on those sound like a nice warm sine patch that could be coded via a matrix that's playing two different notes. Maybe a compressor side chained to a 16th note 4/4 kick pattern? Inquiring minds want to know. =P Also, here's a track I started a while back. I employed my take on some of the gating techniques you described in an earlier video at :16. Feel free to check it out.

  • briantrifon

    thanks for the insightful comment! I tend to use the built in synth filters more often the external, but like you said there are pro's and con's of each method. Have you checked out the morphing filter on Ableton's 'Sampler' instrument? It can continuously morph between filter states (lp,br,bp,hp) and you can route the saturation/drive to occur before or after the filtering. Currently the ableton sampler morphing filter is one of my favorite software filters. But to give you real world example of what I typically use…. The Parks on Fire bass sounds are all triggered in EXS24 and using the built in band-pass filter for the intense wobbles. The Lies bass sound was all in EXS24… only one layer. It is a filtered down saw-wave from an actual OSCAR synth. Good Enough's bass is a patch I made on the Virus TI polar. Cheers!

  • kobold

    Thanks for posting these videos. It's nice to see another artist's workflow. I'm curious, do you regularly use the EXS-24 to sample other software instruments? Is there a reason you do this as opposed to just to using the Absynth (or other) instances in the track? Is this primarily for CPU and layering reasons?

  • briantrifon

    I do often use EXS24 to sample other software instruments like Absynth, ES1, etc. It saves CPU and I can sample my patches through effects chains. I also like the consistency of every time I play a note it is going to sound the same. The modulation happening in the sound in Absynth will end up being in different phases for each sampled note. The end result is consistent yet varied and sounds different than if I have a live instance of Absynth with all the modulations either retriggering with each note or freely cycling…. does that make sense?

  • Ben

    Great tutorial guys!

    I didn't realize EXS had a unison (stacking) mode. Very cool.
    Kontakt 3 doesn't have one though does it?

  • Ben

    On second thought, I bet you can do this with a Kontakt script.

  • kobold

    Yes, re: absynth that makes perfect sense. Now, I'm unfamiliar with sampling through effects chains. Is that something you can/will quickly and easily share? I am working under the assumption that you are sampling individual notes and not doing any pitch shifting in the EXS-24 (or at least, minimal pitch shifts).

  • Joe

    Keep 'em coming! These videos are super helpful, dude!

  • Paul

    Very cool tutorials! Really useful stuff! It would be great if you did an Absynth tutorial like you mentioned — that's one synth I haven't explored very much.

  • generalfuzz

    That in f'n cool tutorial. Lots of good depth there. I'm going to go check out the morphing filter in sampler. . .

  • briantrifon

    thanks for the comment! I'm thinking about putting together an Absynth tutorial sometime soon. Absynth is pretty deep and a bit quirky so it makes it difficult to do a condensed tutorial of how we use it. But I might do a tutorial of how to use its envelopes (because it has the BEST envelopes of any synth i've ever seen) or maybe how to use it for granulating sounds. So make sure to check back :)

  • briantrifon

    thanks! Let me know what you think of the morphing filter in Live's sampler! I think you will be impressed. Try putting Sampler in an instrument rack and assigning the morph amount and filter cutoff to the same macro knob…. I've gotten some pretty cool results with that.

  • strunkdts

    cool. I look forward to seeing things get a bit more involved. Would love to learn a trick or two i dont know of.
    Great blog and I'll check in often.
    All the Best.
    BTW…i just discovered your music a couple days ago and fuck! Really like your attention to detail.Parks on Fire is sublime. 5 stars

  • orangeguy81

    May I ask you where you got your hands on an actual oscar synth? Also, how would you control EXS24's LFO to switch between standard note values on different notes in stead of being somewhat random like in the video.

  • moveair

    Awesome would love to see the granulation stuff

  • Jan-Tore Smith

    I've used your Kontakt patch in my newest song. (And some of your drum tricks…) The song is called Captain Strong. Ceck it out here:

  • thein

    good luck!

  • briantrifon

    As far as I can tell there isn't a super simple way to have the LFO switch between different note values for different notes, other than to map the LFO rate to MIDI control and step between different LFO speeds with your MIDI controller.

  • briantrifon

    Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you are enjoying the music! Hopefully we'll cover some things that you don't know of or possibly additional ways to do some things that you might already know about. There aren't too many “secret tricks” out there, but there is a huge variety in the way people implement various common techniques into their productions.

  • briantrifon