Real Playaz’ Simeon Vambe on his recipe for low-end phatness
Graffiti writer turned drum & bass producer Tyke (aka Simeon Vambe) has become one of the jump-up scene’s hottest producers, with a slew of releases on Grid and Real Playaz.
The secrets of his nasty bass are revealed in our exclusive video tutorial (above), but that didn’t stop us from pressing Simeon for even more tips on low-end mastery. And if you want to see how he built the rest of the track, get the full video with Computer Music’s Drum & Bass Focus 2014.
You use a lot of samples to make your basses. Where do you find new samples?
“Well, if I look in Computer Music, I can see which of the latest ones are recommended. There are a few companies that make sample libraries that I like: Industrial Strength, BHK, Mutekki Media, Loopmasters… I’m up to date, but I find a lot of DnB producers that I’ve worked alongside or have spoken to when I’m on tour are still using sample packs from about six or seven years ago, or longer!
“If I’m ever struggling for inspiration, I’ll just get a new sample pack and find something that’ll turn me on. A couple of tunes of mine that have done well have come about from me being in AudioFinder, searching for ‘bass’, and it’s gone into a really obscure folder. Then, I’ve stuck the bassline from there into Kontakt, where I’ve added some modulation and stuff and come up with some weird sounds. Resampling is the key to getting something that’s out of the ordinary.”
How do you process sounds in Kontakt?
“I use the Pro-53 [filter type] a lot of the time, which is a low-pass filter, but if I’m layering a sound, I’ll usually use a high-pass filter to cut the bottom end out. Envelope and LFO modulation on the pitch, portamento… Once you’ve got a bassline in there, it’s easy to manipulate. I do loads of mad stuff in it!”
How will you go about designing a soft synth patch to be resampled?
“I’ll use more than one oscillator, normally detuned. I’ll use the tube distortion in Massive as well – that can phatten up a sound – and the Scream and Daft filters. I don’t use any of the reverbs or the Dimension Expander, and if I use chorus, I’ll use the mono one. If I want to make something big and stereo, I’ll do that with a separate plugin with more control.”