Good Old Roland TR-808


Trap music emerged primarily from the southern United States as a subgenre of Hip Hop. It is a genre filled with a hard attitude that you can feel in the sound of the brass, triangle, triplet hi-hats, powerful kicks, snappy snares and low end 808 bass samples that are used when composing tracks. The drum samples of choice when making trap music are usually originating from the good old Roland TR-808 Drum Machine. Moreover, one of the distinct characteristics of the, right now very popular, Trap music genre is without any doubt that boomy bass sound with lots of low-end frequencies. Do you want to learn how to create that Trap style 808 bass?


Let’s Start Trapping!


In the following tutorial, I will show you how to make that deep and powerful bass sound from scratch, using Massive by Native Instruments. Later on, I will combine it with a pattern (free for download on a link below). From choosing the right wave-forms to voicing, effects and beyond, I will show you how to set the right envelopes to create an excellent foundation for the Trap style bass sound that you can use in your music production. So let’s start trapping!

Firstly, let’s start by selecting the new sound from the upper menu of NI Massive. From there, I will go to the first oscillator section and select sine-square waveform. Now, let’s push the pitch down to -24. After that, we can already hear nice and fat sine wave bass.


Trap Style


~Initial Sine Wave


Trap Style Production


Furthermore, let’s make it sound a bit warmer by going to the effects section and selecting Tele Tube distortion. Secondly, I’ll increase the low end with the built-in equalizer. Moving on to the envelope 4 section, let’s set the parameters by moving attack all the way to the left. Besides, I will set the decay at about 2 o’clock, level all the way to left and give it a bit of release. After that, let’s modulate the envelope 1 section by dragging and dropping the navigator icon to the pitch of the oscillator 1. After setting the parameters similar to the envelope 4 section, we can hear that the punch is finally introduced.


~Envelope Pitch Modulation


In the end, it could be useful to process the sound with some 3rd party effects. For this reason, I will use Exciter by Izotope to add a bit more of warm distortion. In addition to this, I will add an instance of OTT by Xfer to slightly compress the sound.


~Trap Style Bass with Saturation and Compression


Finally, let us hear how the processed sound like this sounds in full mix.


~Full Mix


Download the patch here.