The Weeknd "How Do I Make You Love Me" Breakdown
After their 2021 release of "Moth to a Flame," Abel and Swedish House Mafia have now officially worked together on a second song they also worked together on the remix of "Sacrifice," another Dawn FM song, this whole album is a great example of how The Weeknd is great at mixing and blending genres, and this tutorial in particular was difficult due to the wide variety of synth sounds. so lets dive in.
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There are three main bass sounds used in "How Do I Make You Love Me" this bass plays through out the verses of the song, the patch uses a IHasCanKick in oscillator "A"with 6 voices and a Basic Shape in oscillator "B" with seven voices, envelope 3 which has an attack of 60ms is modulating the cutoff and we are using LFO 1 to also modulate the cutoff but to give it some movement.
This plucky bass sound that enters in the bridge and is made of two layers and both of them are relatively simple patches so lets start with the first layer.
This first layer is giving all the high end and upper harmonics, you need a Basic shape in its second position in oscillator "A" and a saw wave in oscillator "B" the real trick is finding a sweet spot for the filter to be modulated by envelope two and you need your envelope two to have a short decay to make it sound plucky
Now this layer is the one giving all the low end, is full of body and warmth but also quite simple to make, use a basic shape in its second position too for oscillator "A" and for oscillator "B" an IHasCanKick, in here the difference is that our envelope 2 has bigger sustain which makes it less plucky but also the filter is cutting everything above 200 Hz.
Now for the final bass we need SQR_SAW_Wrd in oscillator "A" with some frequency modulation coming from oscillator "B" at around 20% and a Basic Mg in oscillator "B" envelope two is also modulating the cutoff of the filter but is also modulating the wavetable position of oscillator "A"
The keys that plays the chords in the track are quite dreamy, so first we need a ICanHasKick in oscillator "A" with nine voices and slightly detune in oscillator "B" we are using a SQR_SAW_Wrd with some frequency modulation coming from oscillator "A", LFO 1 is modulating the fine tuning of both oscillators to give a little of that analog vibe (all analog synths work with circuits and some times the electromagnetic interference or the temperature make them fluctuates) and LFO 2 is modulating the pan at a quarter note rate so it sounds a little wider, now envelope 1 has an attack of 80 ms and is being route it to the cutoff filter.
The bridge introduces a synth-like arpeggio sound, despite being a rather straightforward sound, the patch is enjoyable to play, you need a Basic Shape in oscillator "A" and a SQR_SAW_WRD in oscillator "B", now all the magic of this preset is in the FX tab you need the compressor to be in multiband mode and the EQ to boost at around 2kHz then add reverb an delay to taste
The bridge features the main synth of the track, this patch has a wide stereo image, from the default setting, choose a Basic Shape in its second position for oscillator "A" with the voices and detune it so it sounds wider and choose a Basic_Wrd in oscillator "B" with frequency modulation from oscillator "A", in this sound the noise oscillator is fundamental so turn it on and pick the J60 noise then use the direct out mode so it doesn't go through the filter
This preset was one of the hardest to recreate but we can say with certainty that we arrived at the sound we were looking for, in oscillator "A" you need a IHasCanKick wavetable and in oscillator "B" a basic shape in its second position with ASYM +/- at 100%, now you need your envelope 1 to have a attack at around 50 to 70 ms to have that brass sound and the main characteristic of this sound is that LFO 1 is modulating the finetuning of both oscillator.
This kind of glitch sound is introduce to us for the first time at the end of bar eight at around the fifteen second mark, and it works as a transition to introduce a next element o part of the song, we used a Misfit wavetable in oscillator "A" and a IHasCanKick in oscillator "B", envelope 3 is modulating the cutoff filter and the wavetable position of oscillator "B", now in the FX tab you need heavy distortion a compressor in multiband mode and an eq cutting everything below 200Hz and lifting at around 2kHz
We reach the final part of this remake, This pluck-type sound enters for the first time at the end of the first bridge, and it works as a transition to start the chorus, we used a basic shape in its second position in oscillator "A" and Basic Mg in oscillator "B" with some frequency modulation, now for this preset we used a High 18 filter and filter everything below 300Hz, also you need envelope 1 to modulate your levels to get that pluck sound the we added reverb and delay to taste and thats it.