XS Project - Bochka, Bass, Kolbaser (Бочка,басс,колбасер) Original-2

XS Project - Bochka, Bass, Kolbaser (Бочка,басс,колбасер) Original-2

The design of the donk bass currently has questionable origins, mainly stemming from UK Hard House, but the best estimate of its debut as a synth design would be 2002-2003 in both the UK Hard Bounce (Quango & Zunie) and Russian Hardbass (XS Project, DJ Snat, Sonic Mine) scenes.

Donk comes as reaction and way of life for the less affluent areas of these respective countries. Bolton, UK is most recognized for its prevalence of donk music, while in St. Petersberg, Russia, hardbass is a musical parody of Slavic stereotypes in the rave scenes. As Slavic musicians and comedians began to embrace the sound, Russian hardbass saw a resurgence in popularity, with a less ironic and more appreciative audience.

The donk bass is a caricature, a percussive warble, whose digital bonk adds bounce to EDM music. It is a simple sound that can be quite melodic, despite its filter's overpowered resonance.


While a number of musicians just sample the donk sound, the donk bass is easy to make with the right tools. The donk bass is a sine wave modulated with a same-octave sine wave operator and a triangle (or quarter-sine, that is acceptable) wave operator whose frequency is multiplied by 3 (so two octaves above). This second operator (as well as the ADSR envelopes on each of the operators) is key to producing the correct timbre.

Subtractive Attempt

If you do not have access to a two-operand FM synthesizer, subtractive synthesis can approximate the sound. A detuned sine wave mixed with a detuned triangle wave with a high resonance low pass filter on top, usually combined with an ADSR envelope that resembles a pluck or wobble and chorus effects to fill the sound out. This reproduction will not sound perfectly like the donk bass, so experiment to try to get closer to the sound.