6 – Ostinato Bass

An ostinato musical pattern is one that repeats – usually whilst other elements change against it. We explored the idea in depth in this Passing Notes feature. The ostinato became a staple of early jacking house tracks, typified by ‘House Nation’ by The Housemaster Boyz, an alter-ego of Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk:

This example is a little different from Mr Fingers’ ‘Can You Feel It’, mentioned earlier, as the bass doesn’t take the lead. These types of bassline tend to be more rhythmic – contributing to the overall groove – and rely on the interaction between kick and bass to create movement and forward motion in the track. In the following example, note how small changes in the arrangement help to keep things interesting even though the bassline simply loops over and over:

Ninetoes’ ‘Finder (The Path)’ makes use of an unobtrusive sub-heavy bass (with little low-mid energy), which repeats while the more important vocals and steel drums take the lead:

As a more complex example, Carl Craig’s remix of Theo Parrish’s ‘Falling Up’ combines the ostinato bass approach with some serious sub bass:

25th July, 2015

Comments

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

    Report
  • So good! Thanks, attackmagazine!

    Report
  • Nice. A top educational post.

    Report
  • This is awesome!! Thanks!!

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

    Report
  • 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.

    Report
  • Great article! Thanks!

    Report
  • Nice!

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

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

    Report
  • 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

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

    Report
  • Fantastic explanations, thanks guys.

    Report
  • 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

    Report
  • Much obliged attack magazine !

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

    Report
  • nice beats

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

    Report
  • well explained, systematically, without frills
    well done!

    Report
  • Well done! Good information and great examples!

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

    Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You currently have an ad blocker installed

Attack Magazine is funded by advertising revenue. To help support our original content, please consider whitelisting Attack in your ad blocker software.

Find out how

x

A WEEKLY SELECTION OF OUR BEST ARTICLES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX