Skinny Puppy early 90s bass?

Hello! First time, long time. I’m curious if anyone has been able to emulate (via Digitone) a sound close to the Skinny Puppy “too dark park” or “last rites” bass. My understanding is they were done on an esq-1. I’ve seen some similar but not different patches that bear names in tribute to 242, but I’m looking to make a patch closer to the opening of “Nature’s Revenge” or “Tormentor”

Thank you!

Welcome to the forum!
Two of my favorite albums. I’ve often heard that those bass sounds were esq1 as well but those guys were serious gear hounds so who knows? They pretty heavily used dx7/ sy77 which both seem capable of that type of sound.
I can’t really help you specifically but I applaud your quest. Seems like a digitone should be able to do what you want, more or less. I’m sure someone more familiar with that box will chime in.

Key has always used the Pro One from way back, I’m sure that did a lot of those tighter basslines (like in “Tormentor”… perhaps layered with an FM synth).

A lot of the more sustained stuff definitely sounds like the ESQ-1.


Was just about to Suggest pro-1 + some form of digital. If you want a kinda modern take. Phase Fatale, did a video on track building recently featuring his gear which is def Puppy inspired. features some yummy Machinedrum action too.

To the topic. Id say you can def get some Body Music and early industrial tones out of the Digitone. It’s just like anything else ya gotta dig around to get the sounds out of it.


Isn’t there a fret less bass on nature’s revenge?

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I really enjoyed that video. Knowledgeable guy with a lot of sweet gear.

Love this. Great gear choices and workflow.

Wow, awesome video. And yeah, there is a fretless bass that comes in for a short bridge in the middle of the song. I recently talked to Cevin Key on his patreon and his quote was “surprisingly it’s the Esq-1.”. I can hear it in a lot of the esq-1 demos I see on youtube. Later on Key told another commenter the esq-1 handled the bass department during too dark park/last rites and the sy77 and k2000 (samples).

I did some digging into the digitone and can get pretty darn close. I just am a sucker for that digital industrial bass sound, even if it has zero bottom end :slight_smile:


There is definitely a lot of Pro-One and ESQ1 on those albums.

On the odd chance you can’t get what you want out of the DT, try this and you should be able to get what you’re after:


Using a tuner to track the Machinedrums kick is one of those ‘of course’/duh moments. I’ve been using the lookup tables for years, but I have a bunch of tuners in various forms.

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Just leaves room for a massive 40hz kick :slight_smile:


Morpheus Laughing has some lovely low frequencies. Used to love playing that in my car way back when. :smiley:


Skinny Puppy’s production in general has always been mindblowing. How was this produced in 1984?

Or this?


I so love Skinny Puppy. For those interested, frequent Pupply/Frontline/etc studio boffin Ken Hiwatt Marshall has a YouTube channel devoted to production techniques. Informative and more than a little enthusiastic, he clearly loves his work. It’s less about making the music and more about producing and mixing it, but still well worth checking out.


That’s a contender for understatement of the year so far.

I love ken’s channel. Even the videos that don’t provide anything useful for my own needs are inspiring because of his attitude. I love thinking about him running the board in the studio with that “kid who just got his first bmx” expression while tracking something as horror inducing as last rites.


Ken is almost impossibly bubbly and enthusiastic. His channel is great and an easy one to recommend.

@DonovanDwyer Love those songs. There’s just something about their esthetic that resonated with me.

talk of nothing matters most urban fracture what’s the matter only I am lost…

On a side note, I partied with Key once in the early '00s and the dude looks like he could’ve played in the NBA. He’s like 8 feet tall. :rofl:


I recommend anyone who hasn’t to check out the cEvin Key & Ken Hiwatt Marshall album The Dragon Experience. So good.

Also to the original OP, Last Rights and Too Dark Park are in my top 10 albums by any band. Unbelievably ahead of its time.


His channel is amazing. He is such a cool guy to see at shows, too. He genuinely loves running the board at every show and the detailed production of Ogre’s live vocals is insane.


This demo from the new RTFM 2 pack sounds a bit like it…


“Zero bottom end” is the sound of the late 80s-early 90s :slight_smile:

That said, what’s your path with the Digitone?

Ooh, has he ever gone into the recent process as well? I know the Boss SE-50 was king with “terror” EBM but I have no clue what people use for inorganic pitch shifting beyond.