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Massive pressure and a crystal clear mix

Deconstructed: Masked Wolf - Astronaut in the ocean

Published 9:46 am on Tuesday 27th April 2021 by Beat Magazine

1 Simple pattern

We use the d16 Nepheton as the beat foundation, but you can just as easily use another 808 plug-in or kit. The pattern couldn‘t be more typical: at 150 bpm the close hat alternates between 1/8 and 1/16 patterns, snare and clap are on every third quarter per bar and the kick also plays an all-too-familiar pattern.

2 Samples!

Therefore you will find the pattern as a MIDI file in the project data. But what defines the beat? Quite simple: The fat drums and a powerful sub-bass. While most trap songs stick to a pure 808 instrumentation, Masked Wolf relies on alternatives for kick and bass. That‘s why we replace the 808 kick with a sample.

3 Kick too sharp?

The choice is up to your taste, but of course it should have power and be short. We liked the Kick 04 NDC_Kick_04.wav a lot (see data for the special), but - like most crisp kicks - it is a bit sharp for our purpose. To „smooth“ it out a bit there is a simple trick: we use a distortion.

4 Saturation

In this case we use Dynamic Tube from Ableton, alternatively we can use the freeware CHOWTape. We only turn up its drive a little, leave the bias at almost zero for a less aggressive character and take some of the highs away via the tone. This makes the kick fit much better into the mix. The only thing missing is a mighty bass.

5 Oomph

On the one hand it is common to use a short kick together with a long bass to play melodies with it, on the other hand it leaves more freedom in sound design. We load our Thorn BE with a saw tooth for OSC 1. We use HARMONIC FILTER to take some of the sharpness by drawing in a falling spectrum.

6 Sounddesign

Using a lowpass filter with CUTOFF at 11 o‘clock, we cut away more highs. To prevent kick and bass from overlapping, we set Attack to 15%. Decay 35% and Sustain 0% provide a slow decay. If necessary, you can add fullness via DISTORTION: DRIVE and FUZZ at 10 o‘clock, POST LP at 12 o‘clock and TONE and MIX at 100%.

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The Producer Blog - Tutorials

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