Flume "Insane feat. Moon Holiday" Breakdown
Needless to say Flume is one of our favorite artists, being one of the pioneers of the future bass genre, it has been emblematic for the growth of the electronic scene in the last decade, continually pushing the boundaries of sound design in each album he releases, it has always been a great inspiration here at Synth Ctrl to learn new techniques and try to improve our craft, therefore we decided to make some breakdowns of our favorite songs starting with Insane from his first album, so as always let's give the track a listen.
The main driving force on this track are undeniably the vocals, but in our opinion everything that accompanies it is what makes this song impossible to forget once you listen to it, and everything starts with three chords and one plucky key.
To make this sound we use two basic wavetables in both oscillators in their second position, en envelope two its whats making this specific kind of sound because it's opening the filter cutoff slightly slow, making the sound a little brassy.
If you listen to the clip of the sound you will notice the sound has a good amount of reverb but in the final 4 bars it starts to increase to give a nice transition to the build up.
This Bell pluck sound no matter how repetitive it sounds, it makes the song have a connecting thread between the intro and the build up, since it is the instrument that joins both parts making the transition flow in a more melodic way, to achieve this sound we have to layer two plucks sounds and here is the first one.
This layer is the predominant sound of the pluck but if you listen carefully you will notice that the final result has a little more treble, so layer one is in charge of giving body to the sound.
To achieve that we used a Basic_Wrd wavetable on oscillator "A" and a Jno wavetable in oscillator "B" but in the original track it sounded a little more organic so we used our Noise oscillator with Glass Lid 4 and we enable the pitch tracking so the noise plays the same note as the main oscillators, then we use envelope one with a really short decay around 335ms and make it modulate the cutoff of the filter to have that characteristic pluck sound.
Now here in the second layer is where all the treble comes from, to make this sound we use a Sine wave in oscillator "A" and a Basic_Mdc in oscillator "B", now what is making this preset sound brighter and with more high end is the FM modulation in oscillator "A" and also our envelope 1 is closing our filter cutoff a little higher in the frequency spectrum.
These keys start the Buildup for the chorus and they are quite simple to make, first you need a Analog_BD_Sin in oscillator "A" with five voices and slightly detune and to give it a little more treble use some FM modulation, now oscillator "B" has a Sinewave with only one voice and some sync window around 1.20% and because we want to maintain the sound stable at the same volume, our sustain in envelope 1 its at 0 dB.
Now for the main course what everyone is expecting, the beautiful future bass style chords of the chorus, I have to admit that since I heard the song I've always wanted to recreate this preset so let's start.
We use fairly simple wavetables a Saw wave in oscillator "A" and a Basic Shape waveform in its second position and one octave higher in oscillator "B", now for the important part we have to use LFO 1 to modulate the cutoff of the filter.
But we are not done because LFO 2 is acting as a sidechain and to do that we have to go to the matrix and apply LFO 2 to the Amp that it's in the global tab.
Now for the final part we get to do the lead which is also very simple in terms of wavetables but that slide makes it sound just magnificent and to do that first you have to set up your oscillators in a Basic shape wavetable in its second position and give it three to four voices each to sound a little wide, then set up the attack of your envelope 1 at around 120 ms with a release around 900ms but the most important part to make it sound exactly like flume its to put your portamento at around 220ms, and that's it.