How to make dark grimy synth sounds like Zodiac Cartel

Would love to see a tutorial on this here on SA but until that happens can anyone give me any tips or point me to any tutorials on getting this sort of sound?

You can hear what I mean here, free download:


Drops in straight after the vocal at the start.

Thanks! :cool:

bump :hehe:

Dude… You can’t bump your own post… Especially if noone has posted on it! :smiley:

I thought that was the point of bumping posts? unless I missed the joke :slight_smile:

As for the bassline… that’s what I am looking for too. I’m hoping from the DnB tutorial to get some good tips on rude basslines.

Then from there hoping a mixture of that, and some of the distorted sounds from tech-house and other tutorials might be enough to do it.

What specifically about this bass are you looking for?

Like: are you having trouble getting the sub? or the electro grit at the top?

I got a fidget bass in the “vault” I might be able to morph into this, I’ll let you know if I have any luck.


On closer listening, I can hear that the bass and “wah-ing” dirty synth are seperate instruments. You can sometimes get that layered electro bass sound with notch filters, generally trimming somewhere along the lower mid-range because these extreme synth sounds bring a lot of “mud” with them and will eat up a lot of space in your mix. I’ve come to find that, the more aggressive you make the synth sound, the more aggressive you will have to “carve it up” with EQ and Filters.

I’ll see if I can make a step-by-step to at least get in the general area of that bass for ya.

The bass is just a sine sub with some multi-voiced squares on top and not up more the -25dbs , give or take. Single voice the Sine and multi voice the square and tune down one octave. Hi-pass from 60-70hz up, and boost wide around 100 hz. lowpass around 500hz; you can go lower or higher, depending on how much of the squares overtones you want to come though.

The grimey “wahing” synth that is layered on top sounds like it is mostly saw, probably located mostly in the 800-2500hz range. The “wahing” is a filter envelop effect mostly. With this sounds there is always the possibility of the osc, volume, and filter envelops interacting with one another uniquely, so those things are figured out entirely though experimentation.

One other thing to consider. If your having troubling getting the punchy thickness to the bassline, it may possibly be due to the limitations of your project studio. I do everything on a chincy dell laptop, so I know very well the sound loss that occurs when these signals are being processed. You can still get very close, but that is where the chief difference lies between Hi-Quality hardware and everything else.