One of the most ubiquitous and recognizable sounds in dubstep is the ‘Tipper Sqwelch’ sound. It’s the hard-to-describe low pitched squelchy bass sound that is instantly recognizable. And today, we’re going to share how you can make your electric bass emulate that Tipper sound.
We will be using Vital VST Plugin for this tutorial, which is also free with a lot of features. Vital is similar to a lot of other compressors, but has some unique features that make it perfect for electronic music production like being able to control the mix between dry signal and boosted signal.
Vital allows you to apply compression to your bass sounds. We won’t go into much detail on what compression is, but understand that compression essentially keeps the lower frequencies of an instrument within a certain volume range.
Second, Vital gives you the ability to manipulate the ‘Sqwelch’ (the squelchy/ticking sound leaders of dubstep love so much). There are actually two parameters that control this: ‘Squelch’ and ‘Range’.
The first control called ‘Squelch’ controls how fast the Sqwelch pitch rises.
Tipper is known for his squelchy bass sounds in his music. He runs a lot of his bass guitars through a Supercollider patch to control the pitch:
You can often hear this effect when you hear dubstep bass sounds. It’s not the only way to make a Tipper Sqwelch sound, but it is one of the easiest ways to do so with a software plugin or even your guitar (if you have an active pickup). However, without compression it reaches an unwieldy volume in your mix.
The second control, ‘Range’, controls the range of pitches that are affected by the Bass Squelch. This means that if we raise it all the way up, our bass will only have pitches between 60Hz and 200Hz affected by compression.