3 Ways to pitch bend your synth basslines

3 Ways to pitch bend your synth basslines
Audiotent Tip 404. 3 Ways to pitch bend your synth basslines.
Bending your synthesised bassline in pitch can give you a nice variation for the groove. In a way, this replicates the feel of a bass guitarist sliding the string.
Here are three different techniques you can try for sliding the bass:
1) Pitch Automation.
One of the most common ways to apply a pitch bend to your synths is to automate the ‘Pitch Bend’ parameter. Either record this automation in using your MIDI keyboard’s pitch wheel or alternatively, just use the tools available in your DAW to manually draw out the required shape for your bass bends.
This way, you can experiment with a variety of automation curves and find the best-suited curve for the groove.
Pitch Automation
2) Internal Synth Modulation.
Another way to add some interesting sliding pitch bends to your synthesiser bass is to use its modulation section. Try assigning an LFO to your synth’s ‘master tune’ parameter. Next, sync the LFO to the BPM of your track to keep it locked.
Experiment with the depth of automation and a variety of LFO shapes to get the required movement. Don’t just stop with the LFO as a modulation source. An amp envelope is also great for adding some pitch movement to the beginning or the end of the bass note.
Internal Synth Modulation Xfer Serum
3) 3rd Party Plugins.
There are quite a few plugins that allow you to quickly dial in the pitch bends in a step sequencer mode. This can be very useful for adding repetitive bends over a specified amount of steps (e.g. at the end of every 2nd bar). Presets can also be saved for the ease of use.
A great advantage to have when you want to audition the bass sounds whilst retaining the feel of the pitch bends. Here are two of our favourite 3rd party plugin tools that will allow you to automate the pitch over time:
Glitch 2

Reading next

3 Things you can learn from analysing DAW project files
3 Techniques to get your sub bass in control

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.