Synth Quickie – Sub Bass


You can check out how to make a simple sine sub at 00:19, a customizable saw sub at around 2:02 and layering at 3:10

Oh, and below are the recipes. Bon appétit!


  • Oscillator: Sine
  • Filter: If you want to bring in more mids to “hear” the pitch better, use a Lowpass filter and crank the Drive.
  • Distortion: Again, if you want to bring in more mids, add some distortion

Saw Sub

  • Oscillator: Saw
  • Filter: Lowpass, 24 dB. Bring the Cutoff way down, and then adjust it to your liking, depending on how much you want to be able to “hear” the pitch. Use Res to lighten it a bit and reduce some of the heaviest bottom end. And use Drive to make it warm and saturated.

Can’t wait to try these out?
Come over to the Patch Share forum and show us what you came up with!


Sub-bass. Simply put, its just a really, round bass. And most commonly it’s just thought of as a sine wave so. That’s kind of your most basic and a fairly common sub-bass. Now to get rid of that little pop at the front, I’m gonna increase our amp attack.

And one really common example of using just a sub-bass all by itself like this is the 808 kick. 808 kick is a kick drum sound followed by this long tail, this long sub-bass tail so I’ll just increase our release and this is what we get. That’s what you hear on those 808 kicks. And so that’s what you’re going for, done. Easy, sine wave, then, you know, this is more about creating this really round low-end that Doesn’t have a real discernible pitch. It’s more just this bottom-end that you feel.

However, if you need to be able to hear the pitch a bit better, if you need to add some mids, so it’s just not this really low round sound. We’ve got a couple options. We can enable a filter, and if you’ve got drive, just crank the drive, bring our level down. You see the higher I turn it up. without, It’s nice, all right, so now we can kinda hear the pitch.

It’s still a big round sub-bass but now we can kinda hear what pitch is going on. I love this technique and it’s little bit of filter drive to it. If you don’t have filter drive, you can try distortion. Sounds different, but the same idea.

However, my favorite way to make a sub-bass, is actually with a saw. Let’s go over here, pop on a saw, filter it, and you can bring that cutoff way down, and pick exactly where you want it to be. You know, so, but want it really round, don’t want it kinda bright, and you can really dial in the exact sound and since we’re using the filter, we could bring in some drive. We can also use resonance If you wanna shape it a bit, take off a bit of the big fat bottom.

So saw through a filter is really the way to go if you really wanna customize your sub-bass to be exactly how you want it to be. Now, in this context, we’ve been using the sub-bass all by itself, but one really common use for sub-bass is to layer it in underneath another bass, particularly one that’s lacking a solid low-end. So for example…

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Let’s say I’ve made a, kind of typical classic bass. Something like this okay, that doesn’t sound bad, but let’s say I want a bunch of movement. Let’s say I want it real lush. I go with some unison, oh, that sounds nice, but you notice I really lost that stable, solid low-end. You know, unison moves it pulsates, and I want something that’s solid. Isn’t moving in my low-end.

Perfect opportunity to just layer in a simple sub-bass, hear that nice big bottom presence. It doesn’t change the character ’cause it’s just a sine wave. You know, there’s nothing in it. It’s pure, round, low end. And so what this means is you can, you know, take your main bass tone and do whatever you want to it. You know, the worry about the fact that it’s a bass like let’s throw on a phaser.

And as long as the sub is unaffected, which we can do, by enabling direct out this means it’s gonna skip the effects. It provides a nice, solid, low-end to go with our really active body of sound. Now, Serum is nice that it has this direct out option so we can have a sort of untouched sub-bass, other synths had this too but if you don’t have that, you can just use another synth, just open up a second synth and play the same line and the advantage to that is you can make your sub-bass however you want it to be.

You can go as simple as sine , but you can also do those other things we talked about, like running a saw through a filter, having two separate synths, that’ll really give you the ability to dial in the exact sub-bass you want.

All right, I hope you found that helpful. If you have any patch requests, go to our forum and post there and I or someone else will try to help you figure out that patch. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.