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Techno basslines
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Techno basslines
Futuresound
So in my day I've made great drum n bass basslines, great breaks basslines, great abstract basslines to support ambient or glitchy tracks.

But techno basslines are SO FUCKING HARD to get right.

Note that I'm not interested in the style of bassline that is just bass under each kick. Straight 4x4 bass may work on the dancefloor, but not what I'm interested in.

Another option is of course simple repeating straight 8th-note rhythms, 1 or 2 notes. But that gets pretty old too.

Recently I've been using 3- or 5-step sequences to pretty good effect, but it often ends up sounding more house than techno (whatever that means, it's what comes to mind for me).

I'd love to hear how you write your techno basslines.
Tumulishroomaroom
Not sure if that's an incredible tip but I've had good results recently with a 3 steps sequence (actually only two different notes) with 8 steps length (on the Metropolis) in Rings in modal mode and I though it pretty much nailed that Berlin resonator sound. It create some sort of rolling movement that's quite effective.
sine language
Tumulishroomaroom wrote:
Not sure if that's an incredible tip but I've had good results recently with a 3 steps sequence (actually only two different notes) with 8 steps length (on the Metropolis) in Rings in modal mode and I though it pretty much nailed that Berlin resorequestnator sound. It create some sort of rolling movement that's quite effective.


Sounds interesting do you have an example you could upload? Cheers
sake
What do you mean with techno basslines? Any examples?
sake
Normally i make basslines with kick reverbs, toms or filtered saws. compression, eq, filtering does a lot.
whjwhj
As in the sound or the programming?

The sound tends to be sine with saw for roughness, or saw filtered down to sineyish.
But I guess you already know that.

Proper techno tends to be short repeated stuff. Minimal might have more interesting things going on over a phrase or two.
robotfunk
My main trick in basslines is alternating even and uneven spacings between notes. 2/16 & 3/16 work great together, as do 2/16 and 5/16. Also try dancing to it to feel how 'ergonomic' your bassline is.
Futuresound
whjwhj Yeah, I'm asking more about the programming.

Thanks for the tips so far. Alternating timings is something I always intend to try, and then forget. Every single time. I'll try it out.

Kick reverbs are a good idea too.
suboptimal
I'm no pro at this, but my experience has been that my best results have come when I've separately sequenced various elements of the bass voice. I like using the QMMG for building a bass voice in part because I can chain together its channels (one or two operating as a VCA, one or two as a LPG) and then sequence them individually. Takes up a lot of sequencing resources, but the results are more interesting.
tross
robotfunk
Didn't quite get an idea, can you please describe more in detail about altering timing cause i am also interested. (do you mean duration of notes?)
Tumulishroomaroom
sine language wrote:
Tumulishroomaroom wrote:
Not sure if that's an incredible tip but I've had good results recently with a 3 steps sequence (actually only two different notes) with 8 steps length (on the Metropolis) in Rings in modal mode and I though it pretty much nailed that Berlin resorequestnator sound. It create some sort of rolling movement that's quite effective.


Sounds interesting do you have an example you could upload? Cheers

I don't have a recorded example of my own, but I was going for something like the bassline in this :

And I though Rings lent itself particularly well to it in the modal mode. You can then filter to taste.
Carrousel
suboptimal wrote:
I'm no pro at this, but my experience has been that my best results have come when I've separately sequenced various elements of the bass voice. I like using the QMMG for building a bass voice in part because I can chain together its channels (one or two operating as a VCA, one or two as a LPG) and then sequence them individually. Takes up a lot of sequencing resources, but the results are more interesting.


This is a great tip for techno bass. The most interesting techno bass lines (imo) come when you have at least two different instruments. One might make more staccato hits and the other might be responsible for a whooshing or sucking bass movement. Get two complimentary rhythms or patterns going between these two parts and you'll be in techno bass heaven.
Futuresound
suboptimal wrote:
I'm no pro at this, but my experience has been that my best results have come when I've separately sequenced various elements of the bass voice. I like using the QMMG for building a bass voice in part because I can chain together its channels (one or two operating as a VCA, one or two as a LPG) and then sequence them individually. Takes up a lot of sequencing resources, but the results are more interesting.


Thanks!

Do you mean using two different sounds for bass, as Raven_Martin mentions? Or do you mean sequencing cutoff separately from volume envelope, for example?
suboptimal
What I was describing was a single voice with a range of subtly changing features. The goal is to make the voice feel more dynamic and alive. I like the multiple sounds idea, too.

I like the results of sending a VCO through two channels of the QMMG (VCA>LPF) then through a Metasonix R-56 for grit, then back through the QMMG again, either with VCA>LPF or LPF>VCA, to shave off some of the higher frequency noise the Metasonix introduces. I'll sometimes add another VCA before the R-56, which responds nicely to changes to incoming gain. All these steps can be sequenced or modulated, along with the EGs doing the modulating. It's easy to spend a lot of time getting it right.
Futuresound
That's great food for thought, thank you. Adding that extra pass through the QMMG would certainly open up a lot more modulation options. I'll try something similar out in my system tonight in fact.




Multiple sounds is also always good, I've used that technique for years to great effect in other styles, but never actually tried with techno.
Throwgnilli
I’m really interested in this as well but to a different end.
Without starting another topic I thought I’d supplement this if you don’t mind futuresound!

I have been hearing these bass rumbles in hundreds of my favourite tunes and not being able to get close is annoying me! I seem to get very staccato sounding basslines!!

Any tips on how to get close to this (sequencing, effects, module choice, wave shapes etc) would be appreciated!

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-QDs1HKJ8[/video]
shroom81
Tumulishroomaroom wrote:
sine language wrote:
Tumulishroomaroom wrote:
Not sure if that's an incredible tip but I've had good results recently with a 3 steps sequence (actually only two different notes) with 8 steps length (on the Metropolis) in Rings in modal mode and I though it pretty much nailed that Berlin resorequestnator sound. It create some sort of rolling movement that's quite effective.


Sounds interesting do you have an example you could upload? Cheers

I don't have a recorded example of my own, but I was going for something like the bassline in this :

And I though Rings lent itself particularly well to it in the modal mode. You can then filter to taste.


The sub is the typical Reverb Rumble bass which is standard in Techno thee days, gives that warehouse sound to it. Send your kick to a reverb and lowpass distort it. The rest is just modular bells and bleeps that are running in a polyrhythm pattern, it's 1 bar and 1 beat.
shroom81
Just amazing this edit button on this forum.... very frustrating
shroom81
Was gonna edit my previous post but made a double post instead wheee very frustrating
SunRa
I mainly use euclidean rhythms that retrigger after 16-32 beats.
skunk_hour
I've had a lot of luck lately by going for more chromatic, "atonal" riffs and disregarding the "key" of the piece. That's a lot of the techno sound--very in-your-face dissonance and melodic weirdness.
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