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How to Make a Future Bass Drop - Ableton Live + Massive, Beginners (Part 2)

Hey! Welcome to the second part of the tutorial about making a future bass drop from scratch. If you haven’t yet checked out the first part, make sure to do that here. Anyways, let’s get going!


Also: Make sure to check out our 5+ hour video course tutorials on creating the extended full version of this Future Bass track from Scratch!


In this part we are going to look at other elements of the track. The second element will be:

2. Bass


To create a bass track, simply right click on the name of the Main Synth track and click duplicate (or left click and Cmd+D)




Delete the first MIDI clip and rename the second clip to Bass (Cmd+R). I added a blue color, just to make it differ a little bit visually from the synth. Now go to the Piano Roll (Shift+Tab) and delete all the notes besides the root (bass) notes. 


Now we’re going to change the sound of the bass. To do that, open up Massive (Shift+Tab and click the french key button) When you’ve opened it up, click File (at the top) and New Sound. The init (default) patch will load up.




Solo the track with the S button below the mixer fader in Ableton. Now, in Massive, change the first oscillator to Sin-Square (we’ll use a sinewave - turn the wavetable position all the way down). Turn down the Amp knob a tiny bit:



We’ll add another two oscillators. Turn on OSC2, leave the oscillator type as it is (Squ-Sw1). Now pitch it down -12 steps (one octave) and turn down the Amp (volume) a little bit.


Now turn on OSC3, make sure the oscillator type is it’s  Squ-Sw1 as well and crank the wavetable position (Wt-position) to the max (that way we’ll use only a sawwave).


The bass should sound like this by now (it’s not the best sound, we will fix it in a sec):



Now let’s add a filter. Turn on Filter 2, bring up the fader at the right (activate it) and set the Mix fader (also at the right) all to filter 2 (down). Send all the oscillators to filter 2 with the faders at the right of each oscillator (take them all down). Set the filter type to Lowpass 4, take down the resonance and bring down the cutoff to your own preference.


Maybe we can put on a Tube Distortion effect to fatten the sound. To do that turn on the FX1 on the right of Massive, select Classic Tube as the effect type. These are settings that I chose for now, they sounded fine to me. Adjust the filter cutoff and the effect dry/wet knob to your own preference.

This is what the bass sounds like for now (with the main synth):



Now I quickly reworked our clips - I added some space for the snare which we will add in a second.


Here’s what I did with the bass:

Add the exact same gaps between chords to the main synth (gap always after the half of the bar - the snare will hit then)

Now add an EQ Eight to the main synth and cut out some of the low end to clean up the sound. (same thing with the bass) 

Main Synth:                                              Bass: (cutting out less to keep the bass frequencies)

Now let’s add some drums. The third element in the track will be:


3. Kick

Drag any kick sample to a new midi track. I used a sample from our Deep Premium sample pack - you can check it out here. A new Simpler device will appear with your sample inside. Double click a slot on your track to create a new MIDI clip. Set the length of the clip to 8 bars. Let’s add a couple of C3 notes - it’s the root note for our sample (we don’t want the kick to be pitched up or down). Now I came up with this pattern for the kick:

Now we’re going to sidechain our main synth and bass to the kick (so that when the kick hits, both of these tracks go quieter). To do that, drag a Compressor on the main synth track.



Click the down arrow at the top - the view will extend and  you’ll see the Sidechain button. Now activate the Sidechain, set the Audio From to the kick track, bring the Ratio up to something like 6 and Threshold down. Same exact thing on the bass track - hold alt (option) and drag it onto the bass. You can mess around with the Thresholds now.

This is my result by far:



Now I quickly threw an EQ Eight on the kick and took out and boosted some frequencies like this:

4. Snare

Let’s create a new MIDI track and throw a good future bass snare onto it. I chose a sample from one of our Future Bass sample packs which you can find here. Create a new clip (double click on a slot) and add a single note at the half of the bar (it will loop - the snare will always play in the same position)

This is what it sounds like by now:



5. Arp Synth

Now we’ll add a very interesting element to the drop. Let’s create new MIDI track, drag Massive over there and turn on the Init patch (you should be able to do that by now). Wavetable position to the middle (between Square and Saw) 

I added an EQ Eight and a Chorus with Dry/Wet to almost 90% to cut out some frequencies and make the sound more stereo.

Now I dragged an Arpeggiator effect from MIDI effects before the Massive device. That’s because the MIDI signal (notes from our Piano Roll) will be taken through the Arpeggiator to modify them and then taken to Massive and then taken through our EQ and Chorus (it goes from left to right).

Now copy the Main Synth clip, select all the notes in the Piano Roll and click „Legato“. We don’t want any gaps in the arp MIDI signal.




It should look like this:

Now let’s adjust the Arpeggiator settings. Set the Rate to 1/16 (to make the notes faster), select Up&Down for more variety and set the steps to 4. Also - I took all the notes in my Piano Roll an octave higher - selected them all, held shift and pressed the up arrow. The Arp should look/sound like this:

Now let’s put a sidechain onto the Arp as well - you can copy one from the Main Synth.  Let’s add a Simple Delay before the sidechain - Feedback up and Dry/Wet down a little bit.





I added just a tiny bell curve to the EQ to take out a resonance:

Now we can do something fancy - we can sidechain the Arp to the main synth. Drag another Compressor onto the track and sidechain it to the first track we created (Audio from 1-Massive, threshold down as much as you like)

Result by now:


Thanks for making this Future Bass drop with me! If you’d like to be even better at making this genre make sure to check out our course on how to create this awesome track from start to finish (5+ hours of video)

FUTURE BASS - Start To Finish: 5+ hour video course tutorials on creating the extended full version of this Future Bass track from Scratch!


Resulting track of the 5h course:

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