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Future Bass tutorial (chords and melodies)

In the following video Sundog is used to create a Future Bass song part. The tutorial focuses on chords, basslines, and melodies

Genre basics

  • BPM range: 130 to 160 BPM. Other tempos are fine as well, but not as common.
  • Typical song part length: 4 bars.
  • Scale: The Major scale is perfect. Future Bass sounds happier than Trap, so Major is better than Minor here.
  • Chords: Triads are not a good fit. They don't have enough notes, and the octave range is too small. Typical Future Bass songs use Major7 and Minor7 chords extensively. Make sure that you use Major7 chords often enough, so that the atmosphere sounds happier. (Note: Actually, triads CAN work. But we need to extend the note range a bit. Simply take the second note of the triad and double it to the next octave. This is not as common as using Major7 and Minor7 chords, but it's good, too).
  • The bass is playing long notes, the chord instrument is playing short, rhythmic notes.
  • Lead melodies commonly use short notes (16th, 8th, quarter notes).

Sundog Song Studio

Sundog is used in this video to create the different chords and melodies.
You can download it here: (Windows, macOS)
A quickstart tutorial is available at (7 minutes and you will know everything you need).

Some thoughts on sound design

The tutorial above concentrates on chords and melodies, because there are quite a few tutorials available on YouTube that will tell you more about Future Bass sound design, mixing, and instrument choices.

But here are some key concepts:

  • The bass is typically created by using two layers: 1) a sub bass, 2) a "higher" bass sound, that sounds a bit harsh (like a saw bass for example).
  • The chord sound consists of multiple layers as well. Use supersaw synths and "wobbly" synths where the filter is opened or closed quickly. This is perfect for quick, rhythmic chord rhythms then.
  • Many Future Bass songs use wavetable synths like Massive or Serum. Especially for the chords and for the lead melodies.
  • Pitched vocal melodies are quite commonly found.

The drum rhythm

The rhythm in the video is quite basic. Some thoughts:

  • The bassdrum and the snaredrum play in a half time tempo. Otherwise 145 BPM would sound way too fast.
  • The hihat uses the "double tempo" feature of Sundog (a checkbox in the pattern section). This way we can create some fast hihat rolls from time to time.
  • The click (or side stick) is a percussive element that I use to create some motion in the song.

The drums


You can download the final Sundog song and the MIDI file here:

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