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Sound Design Ideas: How to create a Stephan Bodzin Bass or Lead

A More "Basic" Version

In this session above, Francois shows how to recreate a Stephan Bodzin Bass / Lead sound with Sylenth1 and Ableton and goes through different production and sound design techniques.

Resources / Files: 

Advanced Version 

We had a very helpful addition to creating typical Stephan Bodzin sounds by user "M4l731". Here's how he achieved the sounds - there's a soundcloud example in the end of the text - the text is quoted from a youtube comment and slightly edited:

"Let me put some more tips on how to get even more in the footsteps of Bodzin. At least bass-wise. First of all, the Bodzin-Bass is (almost) always very gritty.

Distortion (Grit)
You can archieve that by choosing a distortion unit that is a bit better suited for that than the Saturator. Just try some free vst's that distort, overdrive, saturate or tube-emulate that sound good and choose one that adds grit and dirt especially in the low-mid frequencies.

There are some vst-filter plugins that even add harmonics based on the filter-cutoff, which can give even more perfect grit.

Otherwise you can use the multiband-dynamic tool (or groupings of the same soundsource with equalizers on each channel that only lets the low- mid- or highband through) and put the distortion right after the low frequencies or even use different distortions on different frequency-bands. That is important to get quite subtle distortion in the highs to get rid off of the harsh highs while still keeping a gritty and rumbling low-mid area.

Choosing a synth that can feed back into its filter-section is also a good idea to thicken the sound.

Filter / Synth

The quality of the filter is very important as well. Bad filters equals bad frequency-transistions and it ruins your sound by coloring the sound in a (mostly) unwanted way.

Recommend is a quite transparent filter which has the option to feed back into itself and adds (different modules of) filter-drive if wanted.
Mono-Synths are quite handy for that because they usually already bring a more beefy sound (even raw oscillators) than most poly-synths.

To get the vibe and feel of the Bodzin sounds you should use quite a lot of automation or knob-turning. While Filter-Cutoff is the primary thing you want to play with (play with it like all the time, but hold it subtle and only open it completely up on characteristic portions of the track) there are a lot of things you want to modulate throughout a song.

Namely there are: Filter-Drive, Filter-Resonance, Filter Feed-Back, Glide(!), repitching individual oscillators (!), Detune, LFO's that modulate different things (!), Filter-Evenlopes and the Volume-Envelope, Keytracking and and and. Simply modulate everything and you will quickly hear what Bodzin modulates throughout a track. Stack automations over each other to achieve even more spectacular moments and so on.

Keep it subtle with the reverb. With all that distortion you don't want to mud up your mix, better stick to delay and go a bit crazy with that one.

And of course: If you really want the Bodzin-Sound...buy a moog :D


If interested, here is something I've made a long time ago as I was a little bit "obsessed" with that moogy sound. No hardware was used though.
It has no musical aspiration and was just a journey through lots of gritty distortion, filter sweeps, big chords and lots of modulation.
I've made use of the things I explained above and while it's not based on any specific sound of Bodzin, my goal was to recreate that moogy and gritty feeling his sounds have.
The beginning of it is quite boring, the second half is where the ear-candy happens :)"

Listen to example on soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/m4lte-1/legend-poly-sdrr-drop

Plugins used: Legend Vst Poly + SDRR + Drop Vst


Learn More 

Learn producing melodic techno like a pro:

6h+ Course: Producing an Analog Melodic Techno Track from Start to Finish in Ableton



Keywords: melodic techno session ableton live, massive, francois, techno production, sub 37, moog, zulu lead sound, zulu bass sound, bodzin analog bass style, boiler room style, ableton

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