Sub bass help — Digitone

Does anyone have any tips for programming deep and dubby sub bass?

It seems like the DN and FM synthesis would be great for sub bass adding some simple character to basic sine waves. For the life of me though, I just can’t seem to get that earth shaking bass out of it.

I’m after that dub techno style. I’m not expecting to achieve the holy grail Rhythm & Sound bass with the DN alone but anything in that territory would be great. Maurizio, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound, Echospace, Deepchord…

Or maybe this is simply best left to my other machines? I have some analog gear, a Roland SH-01a, A4, etc. but was hoping to use the DN.

Thanks for the tips!

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I mean the simplest, subbiest bass is just a sine wave, so start with that and add overtones to taste.


Go very, very easy on the modulation level.
For a “dirtier” sine, try setting (first algo) Operator A to ratio 2, add feedback (try a little, then a lot) and just raise the modulation level a tiny amount.

Personally I like applying a ton of feedback and use a very low modulation amount to get a dirty squared off sine wave, but which still is bassy as heck.


Nope it does great subs. There’s a preset I edited to be my go to, but I forget which one as I renamed it. setting the filter low and raising the resonance is killer.


You can also boost the low end by changing the filter to high pass, set it to key track (func + trig, set filter tracking to 100), then set a high resonance and find the resonant frequency of the bottom end. I do this with pretty much all my bassdrums for proper sub bass annihilation.


Ahhhh, this is an interesting approach. Definitely seems like there’s some magic to be had with resonance boosts as @dandykaufman pointed out as well. I read somewhere else about using key tracking to make sure the resonance follows you but I would’ve never guessed to use high pass mode with this technique. I totally get it. Gonna give it a try this eve.

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and @Ess, how did ya get such luscious squelchy digitone acid on your newest Instagram story?
it’s so damn good :stuck_out_tongue: :ok_hand:t3:


Easy, I have no soul. In place of it, there is only FM.


First of all welcome, I see you just joined. Just in case you didn’t know, your getting tips from one of the designers of the synth! :slight_smile:

I feel for you @Ess, but that’s one badass synth! I allllmoooost lost my soul to wield an Octatrack, but I beat the boss in the castle at the end of the manual, saved the princess! Sure was close though… :grin:


Thanks for the warm welcome @Open_Mike. It’s nice to be apart of the forum. Hopefully I’ll have some insights to share at some point. And cool to know about @Ess! Thanks for the feedback. I’m gonna give the next round of experiments a try here shortly.

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I’m really stuck here, despite all the comments on this thread… I just cannot get a descent bass, without it sounding metallic or something. Tried using voice settings, but really didn’t know what I was doing. I’m going to ask it dummy style ('cause that’s what I am…): is it possible to create bass sounds like the one heard on this track by Moderat, using the DN? Moderat - Bad Kingdom - YouTube

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Follow advice given by @Ess , also try using LFO to modulate harmonics, very subtley. You could mimic the bass sound in your example quite easily.

This! Filter resonance will take it from mid-bass to earth shattering!

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There’s a lot of bass in the Digitone. And sub bass doesn’t have to be a simple sine wave – on the contrary. Adding harmonics is key for it to stand out in the mix. And that’s fairly easy with FM. Just slowly crank up modulation level. Also it might be a good idea to use some kind of analyzer/oscilloscope to see how frequencies change when you turn the knobs. That helps a lot. I promise.


Is it just me, or is that just a slightly EQd sawtooth? Lots of treble to compete with the voice and such.
Doesn‘t seem like anything complex FM to me.

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Just something to consider, how are you monitoring? It’s possible you could have more sub bass than you’re able to hear. Not all speakers/ monitors/ headphones will actually reproduce sub frequencies and the ones that do almost always have steep roll off in the low range. As @B_LD mentioned using a scope or analyzer is essential if you can’t monitor through banging subs.
Ever listened to old Miami Bass through small speakers? It’s like there’s no low end at all. Hear it in a club and you can literally feel your pelvis vibrate.


Everyone, thanks a lot for your input and feedback! Much to consider and try out. Also helpful thoughts on the monitoring/analyzing.

Do you guys have a favorite algorithm for bass patches or is that random? I find myself leaning towards no. 2 every time. Or is it not that relevant in this matter?

Out of sheer laziness I start with algo 1 mostly. For mostly everything. But in the end I switch to another depending on how much cross-modulation or fine grained modulation [harmonics] I want. This also helps to understand the differences in character of each of the algos.
What I also do is start with either X or Y separately and afterwards try how they blend together. Then adapt. Then add modulation. Or start over again.

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Really does depend what type of bass patch we’re talking about.

For a ‘classic’ analogue bass tone, I’ll go for the most subtle which is 1 and 2.

For more out there FM tones, I dont look at the algo number, I look at the Algo routing diagram itself, and understand what is happening.

This bit is key, if you dont understand what is happening by looking at the algo diagram, and know how to control it with the envelopes, you will always be playing a guessing game.


Makes sense. Thanks!