2 – Root Rhythm

Here the the bass generally sticks to the root note, but plays a more complex rhythmic pattern. This provides the low-end with movement, but nudges into more perceptively melodic territory.

It’s another traditional trance stalwart, but has seen many uses elsewhere.

Check out Lane 8’s ‘Be Mine’, where the bass plays the root note of the chord at the same time as most of the kick drum hits, but with a small rhythmic flourish at the end of each bar:

Pic 5a - Simple four bar root rhythm bass.

Adding some rhythmic interest and using MIDI velocity to alter filter cutoff:

Pic 5b

We can get a little busier and embrace some chord changes:

Pic 6a - Simple four bar root rhythm bass.

And again adding delay…

Note how the delay repeats have little low-frequency content. This allows the effect to be used with a bass part without creating a low-end mess.

A classic example of this type of bass can be found in Inner City’s ‘Good Life’. There’s plenty of rhythmic movement, the notes generally follow the chords, and it does the same thing all the way through:

Of course, rules are there to be broken. Take Nathan Fake’s – ‘The Sky Was Pink’:

This follows the root much of the time, but sometimes changes the bass note early, so it holds off before making a change, creating tension and extra interest.

Another curio is Jamie Principle’s ‘Your Love’, introduced to the world by Frankie Knuckles. It starts with a repeating (ostinato) pattern and then for the chorus switches to 8th-note pulses tracking the root – a pattern more normally associated with stadium rock bass players (see ‘With Or Without You’ by U2 for a typical example):

25th July, 2015

Comments

  • Easily one of the most informative articles ever on basslines, what a godsend!

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  • So good! Thanks, attackmagazine!

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  • Nice. A top educational post.

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  • This is awesome!! Thanks!!

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  • Great post. I will come back many many times to check this post again 🙂

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  • Great article & some really useful info there, I like the way you educate as you are explaining instead of the usual spoon feeding that goes on these days. I’ve been doing music for 20 years or so & still learnt & picked up some inspiration from this, thanks.

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  • Great article! Thanks!

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  • Nice!

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  • Wow! super article. very informative and well researched with lots of examples. Love it. Thank you

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  • You forgot the Reverb Bass used in Dark Techno tracks.

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  • hey guys!! as always great tutorial for every type of producer 🙂 Could you tell me which delay you used for this work? I can’t find these one with only the name relayer delay vst. Thank you

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  • John, that’s UVI Relayer http://www.uvi.net/en/software/relayer.html

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  • Fantastic explanations, thanks guys.

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  • Brilliant article! It would be great if you could put all these articles in a book or app format similar to what Sample Magic have done

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  • Much obliged attack magazine !

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  • Forget all those Youtube videos 🙂 Attack brings to the point…

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  • nice beats

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  • Great article!! I guess there’s another one: those subby techno lines with lfo on pitch

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  • well explained, systematically, without frills
    well done!

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  • Well done! Good information and great examples!

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  • Have not read a better article on low end theory. Thank you Attack!

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