While the main bass thud is a classic DX preset (see our entry for Madonna’s Express Yourself for details) we’re going to concentrate on the rippling, classic, squidgy 303 line. This one is a doddle, as long as you have a Roland TB-303 - but if you haven’t got a little silver box there is another option.
Listen: Orbital - Chime
How to get the sound
You can try this on any basic synth. Dial up a saw wave and set the filter cutoff to minimum and the resonance nice and high. Next, set the envelope modulation to maximum and the decay to minimum. This is what gives the tone that sharp percussive laser drop tone. Sweep the filter up a bit for a brighter tone.
You could also set the accent up to full as it makes a slight difference in quality to the notes with accent emphasis in the MIDI programming.
We love Audiorealism’s ABL 2 soft synth which is ideal for ripping this one off. You can set the accent in the ABL by programming higher velocity values for individual notes. Add some compression to make the bass more consistent in the mix. Perfect!