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I don't know much about how sub-bass is generated but is it possible to program in mainstream tools such as Ableton or Logic Pro? I was wondering if can it be represented as a Midi track or if elements such as the 'wobble' require a dedicated tool.

I am specifically thinking about sub-bass as used in dub-step and modern electronic music.

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is it possible to program in mainstream tools such as Ableton or Logic Pro?

Yes. You could technically use most vst synths to create a sub bass since it is only a bass which sounds in the very low frequencies. Unwanted high frequencies could be cut off by a filter. There are also dedicated vst's for generating sub bass. Here are some examples vst's you can use:

  • Trillian
  • Xsub
  • X-Eight Lite

I have found this tutorial on how to make a sub bass in ableton:

  1. Make a separate MIDI track
  2. Drag your favorite synth or synth VST on that track.
  3. Keep only one oscillator
  4. Set the wave shape to ‘sine’
  5. Draw a MIDI pattern in the very low octaves on the piano roll (below C3)

I was wondering if can it be represented as a Midi track or if elements such as the 'wobble' require a dedicated tool.

Representing a sub bass as midi would just be a midi note in a very low octave.

I am not sure if I really understand what exactly you mean by "wobble". But if you mean the wobbling effect which is often used in dub step music, Here is a question on how to create these "wobble" effects. Those could also be used on a very low sounding sub bass.

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  • Sorry yes I should have specified dub-step, I'm not sure on the terminology.
    – Mr. Boy
    Nov 23, 2020 at 9:58
  • @Mr.Boy Then will the second link in my answere be helpfull for you
    – Olli
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:01
  • Yes it is - thanks for the link. I am not looking to get into the nuts and bolts of creating my own waveforms so I was hoping you can find pre-made sounds... looks like you covered this too.
    – Mr. Boy
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:05
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Midi note number 0 is C_{-1}, corresponding to a frequency of 8.175 Hz. Is that low enough for your purposes? Of course, you'll need a Midi synth that is willing to produce signals at those frequencies: sampled voices will not exist at those pitches and will have to be synthesised or interpolated.

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    Midi notes place no restriction on the actual pitch of the note. Of course it's convenient to have your synthesizer to produce A4 when you press A4, but many synths can be programmed to transpose or scale pitches freely.
    – Edward
    Nov 20, 2020 at 19:20
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I do not use Logic/Ableton but that might prove useful or not.

Midi are just information that need to be transformed into sound by a synthesizer.
Most (every?) virtual or real synth is fitted with one or several Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO). These are oscillators which are specially made to produce very low oscillations (usually from 0.1Hz to 50Hz approximately).

Frequency and amplitude of these oscillators, and on what they are acting (on the gain for instance, or the filter) can usually be controlled by MIDI Control Change (MIDI CC), even thought the number of the CC controlling these parameters is not standardized, so you can control them with a MIDI track with control changes automations.

So not complete answer as this depends on the synth you are using to translate you MIDI track to sound, but LFOs should be the ones to look at!

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