How To Create A Darkstep/Techstep/Skullstep Reese Bass

Seeing as there’s been significant confusion over WHY I’ve posted these videos, I’m going to clear it up right now: I know how to create a reese, and I have for some time… however, the reese typically used in the new darker, harder forms of DnB cant’ be created in exactly the same manner… it’s typically meatier than anything heard before. I’ve tried extensively to create such a reese using standard synthesis methods to no avail, and I’ve FINALLY come across a tutorial which shows WHY I haven’t been able to figure it out… turns out I was using too basic a concept of synthesis.

That aside, when asked how to create such a reese, people always say “Take a standard reese, add effects, resample, then resample moar”… it’s never worked out for me, and as it turns out, that’s not how it’s done.

Turns out it’s a 2x unison saw (standard reese faire) pushed through a lofi filter (with interpolation it seems) followed by a comb filter, then tube distortion. I’m gonna mess with this some and see what I can come up with. If I perfect it, I will definitely post the results here.



Uhm… small misunderstanding I smell. I think you’re mixing up the order of things, because you sample AFTER it became a reese, not TO MAKE IT a reese… It’s often sampled and resampled for variation-purposes, like the example of the Spor-track you posted last week: it’s different portions the same reese-sample. Imagine this: you make a your bass-sound, you put it in a riff with some pitch-shifting, chorus automations, whatevers… render to sample, hack to bits, pick your favourite nasty parts and put them to use in a track… At least, this is the ‘common’ way of putting reeses to use in the exciting world of drum&bass, since the 90’s.

So resampling IS being used a lot. But not TO MAKE reese, but TO USE reese. However, as well ALL agree: there IS NOT JUST ONE WAY to do things :)

Anyway, good luck on the reese hunt!

Botb is right on the there are more roads to Rome thing +

Other than for educational purposes and using a Reece for sake of nostagia, this whole recreation stuff bores me. I find the random button in Renoise’s vsti window more attractive. :)

Tip: get Ohmforce Ohmicide on anything bassworthy for absolute automating win.

hmm, he seemed like a bit of a nob twiddler… that’s not to say the final product didnt sound good…but i think the moral of this lesson is, explore the synth, feel the move, audibly connect…and let rip. You’ll find the sound your looking for if you just apply your knowledge, and keep going!

I’ve often heard “take oldschool reese, apply effects, resample, apply effects, resample, apply effects, resample” as the methodology for making darkstep reeses… and that’s when someone asks how to make the reese itself. Obviously it’s easier than that to get one that sounds amazingly nasty… and knowing which effects to use is of great importance.

I’m well aware that resampling can result in nice effects and such… I’m interested in how to create the nastiness from scratch though.

Jonas: this isn’t an oldschool reese sound as much as the new electric buzzing reese sound being abused in darkstep circles. Try as I might, I can’t get such sound out of most of the synths I’ve tried.

The pitch-bend/slide is an important part of the sound you’re after (at least, from the Spor-example you posted). You CAN do this inside the synth, but it’s automation-hell right there to do throughout a track. One way to tackle this is by resampling. I agree with Jonas, it’s not very interesting to reproduce the reese, honestly it’s not that hard, but you gotta know the sound, I guess… Personally, I have some basic waveform-samples, which I combine in my special way to get a reese-like-sound, which I sample to mess with further… or which I sample as one tone to ‘just’ use it as reese. Remember, the reese synth is the basis for a lot of nasty sounds you hear. Nasty sounds we often have no clue about how they are created. Except we hear it’s a reese. So a logical reply is: it’s a reese, resampled.

I guess i’m just more interested in synthesis of such sounds because I want to take it a step further… I want to create nastier sounds. If I can understand how the sounds I’m hearing are created, I can use those same principles along with what I already know about synthesis to elevate it to the next plateau of nasty. I don’t care to be copying the darkstep sound as much as pilfering the shit that makes it decent music, then making better music with those elements.

I know exactly how you feel, sir :D GIEV ME TEH POWER, I SHALL USE IT WISELY, I PROMISE :D

hey byte :)

thats the wrong way, if you realy like to make your own special midrange basses then you should not look at what other do. we all know what a reecebass is and i get tired of the whole thing, there are too much tutorials, all showing the same shit. there are recomended reece synths and stuff these days, thats sooooo dull.
there is no need for a special synth, everything can be done with sc waves or with nearly each vsti.

only one secret byte,
it`s time to become creative !

hope you understand it the right way :) its not a bad thing to know how they do it, but a lot of stuff happens by accident and if you ask a producer about a special bass sound, most of them cant explain exacly how they created it.

Why not? Ignoring what other people have done before results in boring, uninspired sounds… what I’m attempting to do is gather the best sounds from every genre I enjoy, improve on them, and create something entirely different with my results. I’m not looking to be a DnB artist or an industrial artist or a breakcore artist or a chip artist… I don’t want to fit into some predefined package of a genre, but I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that ignoring previous music is going to somehow make me unique. The best music has ALWAYS been created through innovation, not starting 100% from scratch. I dare you to prove me wrong on that btw.

Thanks. I’m already creative. Try again?

Actually, this is the first tutorial I’ve come across that comes close to sounding like the nasty basses you hear in modern dark techstep genres. All the others I’ve seen sound like a pile of muddy shit.

I’m currently building a small library of more nasty bass sounds too for myself and came up with a few of this sort. Plain Camel Audio Alchemy and no effects, besides the internal synth ones thrown at it yet. Sounds pretty useable already i think. :)

As kasmo said the synth used shouldn’t matter that much, as long as it isn’'t too limited.

I never implied that you needed to use a certain synth… not sure where he got that from. In fact, I stated in my original post that all you need is detuned 2osc saw.

Nice btw Beatslaughter… any tips for me? :P

as is sayed before, "dont get it the wrong way" but you does, my english is not good enough i think thats the problem here :)

what i liked to say is that you have to be creative in building such basses as there will never be a tutorial on how to create them, i know that you are a creative guy !
about the tutorial, i cant see anything special about this. its just another basic tutorial as many others before.

i have to quote myself here,

I’d rather be the one that can explain in detail what’s happening to the sound. I make it my mission to understand how sound production works at the most basic level so that I can apply the techniques I learn to almost anything.

Stop messing about with tutorials and start focusing on sound synthesis instead! ;) Tutorials are often just ‘shortcuts’ to whatever it is you’re after, but it won’t explain one bit WHY you are taking the steps you take and WHAT it is you’re doing, exactly, to the sound. I take it you experiment a lot with synthesizers? Trial and error on how to achieve certain sounds? You’ve got a shitload of different waveforms ready? Kasmo posted a topic about experiments with internal synthesis, complete with a pack of waveforms and example xrns. I really recommend you check that out, as it is a fine first step on understanding sound production at the most basic level.

you are right botb, i still use this concept for a lot of sounds and especially for reece/reese stuff.


Same here! Your wavepack was a fine addition and your example xrns taught me some nice new tricks! I started practicing sound synthesis when I started killing BotB and although I have a loooong way to go, I think I get the grasp of the ‘basics’ by now (meaning I can realize the sounds I’m after to a certain extent… look! a grain of salt!).

No, it won’t… but once I know which effects they’re using, and in which order, I can figure out myself precisely what those effects are doing.

Hmmm, depends entirely on the internal routing of the device in question, actually… hence the suggestion to check out the waveform experiment, it’s much much much more transparent.

If you’d watched the video, you’d realize that the routing was displayed on the device he was using to produce the sound.