State Of Mind on crafting the beats for Response Signal

The DnB duo show you how they create their monstrous sounds

DnB Weekend: Patrick Hawkins and Stu Maxwell are State of Mind, New Zealand's prime purveyors of dark and tearing DnB.

Having just released their latest album, Eat the Rich, on Black Sun Empire's label Blackout Music, they've taken time out to deconstruct the beats of their filthy roller Response Signal in an exclusive tutorial video, which you can watch above.

We also took the opportunity to quiz Pat on his bass techniques...

What are your favourite synths for making basslines?

"Massive has been one of our most used synths for basslines. But we often resample it in Kontakt and morph it from the original sound. We also use Native Instruments' Razor, Rob Papen Predator and bass samples edited and morphed in Kontakt. Our Moog Little Phatty has also been regularly used in our tracks for low-end parts."
"Massive has been one of our most used synths for basslines. But we often resample it in Kontakt and morph it from the original sound.

What about effects plugins?

"The main effect we use on bass sounds is distortion. D16 Redoptor and Devastor, iZotope Trash 2, Camel Audio CamelPhat and NI Driver are our favourites. Most of the basslines' movement is created within the envelopes and filters in the synth or sampler. The aim is to create strange or cool harmonics without the sound turning to mush!"

What tips do you have for making those huge, growling bass tones?

"Making a bass sound from a few layers is a great way to create big bass sounds. We have high-passed layers with heavy distortion, creating the illusion of an overall dirtier bass sound once combined with the cleaner, more filtered mid sound.

"Another bonus of having multiple layers is the ability to have some layers in mono and some extremely wide, again helping to create the illusion of a much bigger sound. It also means you can have some of the high-passed mid layers with chorus, phasers and so on, without affecting the mono low sub layer."

How do you make your subs?

"We've used dedicated sub instruments (Massive, reFX Vanguard) which generally have a basic sine tone with some sort of pitch envelope on the start of the sound to create a click or hit and make the sub audible. Other times it will be a clone of the main bass sound, low-pass filtered at 100Hz. Generally, we will keep the sub sound pretty clean on the effects chain, but it will have a compressor with sidechain triggered from the main kick."

What processing do you use on bass sounds when resampling them?

"Generally distortion, chorus and phasing. I love D16 Syntorus and Fazortan."


For more drum & bass tutorials, samples and pro producer videos, check out Drum & Bass Focus 2014 from Computer Music, with almost three hours of full exclusive video masterclasses from E-Z Rollers, State Of Mind, InsideInfo, Tyke and more. Plus, there's a free exclusive sample pack from E-Z Rollers, and a free Rob Papen distortion plugin


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