Isn't it annoying when you know your music is missing something, but you just cannot identify what it is? Here a hint: bass! That's right. The bass is what your music needs to liven it up and make it sound more trendy, catchy, and modern. If you're confused about how to do that, here are five unique ways you can make bass using Serum. Each of these techniques has a different impact on your music, so try them out one by one and see which one works best for you.
Ready? Let's begin!
Tip: Watch the video below, use this article as a written guide.
What Is Bass and Why Is It Important?
Bass sounds are low sounds, meaning that they are the deep tones in your music. They add depth, and you can use them subtly in the background or have them right in the front, being the most prominent sounds (like in Dubstep or Riddim).
Basically, the bass is the bridge between the melodic and rhythmic elements of a song. It provides harmony and makes the song sound more cohesive and complete. Even the slightest, most subtle bass with a shallow frequency can help improve any track. So, if a musical work sounds incomplete, low-quality, or dull to you, it's probably missing a powerful bass.
5 Secret Ways to Make Basses in Serum
1. Switch the Pitch!
Changing the pitch, aka the frequency, of the sound can significantly impact your music. When the pitch changes, the entire sound structure changes. And when the structure changes, you can create a unique touch to your music. So don't be shy to modulate the pitch, be creative with it and see what works and what doesn't.
Try moving adjusting the values on the "Mod Wheel" at the bottom of your Serum VST, and moving the wheel around. This particular technique is called pitch sliding, and it makes a huge difference. It's been a massive trend in the bass scene, so don't be late to join the party. It will give a unique "oomph" to your music. Plus, this way of changing the pitch can make your track sound more high-quality, smooth, and professional. Pitch variation adds texture to your song.
2. The Phaser Is A Key Ingredient
Using a phaser does many things to your sound. Some of these things include making your preset more vocal, wide, and gritty. But besides all that good stuff, it also helps bring out the bass your sound desperately needed.
Basically, a phaser filters signals and creates a unique series of consecutive peaks and troughs in the Serum frequency spectrum. They're great for "synthesizing" the sound and making it sound like it's being processed through a guitar amp. You can use it to instantly add more life to your song. Modulate the depth of the phaser and experiment with it.
Pro Tip: Turn the rate and the depth all the way down to zero to emulate a vocal, guitar amp sound!
3. Layer The Effects!
Layer, layer, layer!
There isn't a single sound that can't use some effects to make it sound more professional and high quality. Effects like Chorus, Hyper / Dimension, Reverb, can be used to widen the preset.
Effects like distortion, filters, flangers, and phasers, can be used to add texture.
We strongly recommend using the compressor with the "multiband" button turned on to even out your frequencies and make your preset BOOM!
These features will definitely bring flavor to your sound and turn it from dull to lively! But the secret to getting it right is to not go overboard with it. If you overdo it, you're just going to muddy the water. Find the sweet spot for your own music.
4. Be Creative With Filters
Using the right filters, you can accentuate a sound, manipulate it in your own way, and create unique music for yourself. For example, try the combs filter or ANY filter in Serum's "misc." folder. They will give you a very cool, organic, machine texture to your sound. Similarly, try experimenting with other filters on Serum and see what unique creations you can come up with.
5. Add "Moisture" To the Sounds
If your sounds are a little to "dull", this is the hack for you! Start by turning on the effects as pictured above. As you adjust the phaser to higher frequencies, you'll notice that the sound becomes more moist, wet, and juicy. While these words may not make sense to you right now, you'll get the idea when you try it in real life.
Next, you can shift the delay time. By having two different delay times, you can create a unique stereo-widening effect. If it's slower on the left and faster on the right, you're basically making the sound wider. Doing this automatically adds more moisture to the audio and makes it sound juicier.
Free Serum Presets That You Can Download Right Now
There are as many useful free of cost presets for Serum available as there are the paid versions. What’s amazing is that whether free or paid, the Serum presets are high quality and have optimal performance. Here are a few options of free presets that you try and install in your Serum directory.
- 150+ Free Serum Presets From Youtube Tutorials: Download Here
- Shutdown Serum Basses Pack: Download Here
- Graveyard Serum Basses Pack: Download Here
- Dark V1 Skin for Serum: Download Here
If you're looking for a set of basses to try out, download the Shutdown Serum Basses Pack. It's got everything you need to get you started.
Once you've downloaded the pack, don't be scared to experiment and try new things. Mess with the options, decrease this, increase that. Listen to everything closely and see, which function does what. Lastly, practice to perfect! There is no shortcut to create exceptional music. If you're looking to add bass and make your musical masterpiece more unique, there's no hard and fast rule. So, use these tips and tricks to elevate your bass sound and just have fun.