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Jubito

Bass inquiry

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Okay well this is something that's been sitting on my mind for a while now. Every time I listen to Dilla's or Waajeed's or Karriem Riggins' or Madlib's or Black Milk's beats I wonder how the fuck do they pull off these basslines?? I mean what equipment do they use to produce them? And I'm talking about the basslines you can tell do not derive from samples. My guess would be synthesizers. Does anyone have any further info on what brands and respective models they have been using?

You can use this thread to discuss bass-related stuff in general. It's really an aspect of beatmaking that a lot of producers overlook, and which is IMO a big reason why the producers mentioned above have something special about their beats: all of them can actually play a good bassline, not just limit themselves to 2 notes.

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are there any artists besides The Roots that have an actual bassist in the line-up? to me, the issue spreads way further than just "beatmakers overlook basslines"...

beatmakers overlook musicality in general haha -- that's why 95% of hip-hop is straight up garbage.

i remember listening in on one of my work shifts as an AV technician as this saxophonist told the audience an anecdote. basically, he had been hired on to play weddings at certain times throughout his career...once he was requested to play a Sting song for the bride because it was her favorite song. i don't remember which one (i could give two shits about his catalog), but he played the melody of it to demonstrate the complexity and uniqueness of it. then he mentioned a more recent engagement he had been hired to attend -- again, he played the bride's favorite song. but this time, it was a Bruno Mars track i think...and it was just hilarious hearing him play literally the same fucking quarter note stab like 7 times before going up one note for the 8th. shampoo, rinse, repeat.

it hasn't been about the music since the days the artists you mentioned were kids themselves trying to find their sound 20 years ago. that's why nobody takes hip-hop seriously, and probably never will until we start enforcing some actual standards among our peers. hip-hop make Ludo sad.

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2:40 - Dilla used the moog for most of his baselines.

2:30 - Black Milk used the micro korg (mostly).

I'm guessing most the other producers you mentioned are similar (syths of some sort).. Most of the fatness and smoothness probably comes during the mixing phase I would assume, Most these guys wouldn't spend to much time mixing their shit. They spend 10-15 minutes doing quick mix downs and then move on to the next beat. If you listen to any of dillas earlier (and poorly mixed) material like king of beats, you'll notice he still has the same bouncy, synth sounding bass lines but they don't sit quite as nicely in the mix as in his later works (which again, I would attribute to the mixing engineers), They're very thin in comparison...

I think bass is extremely hard to get right in a mixing context. I know the majority of musicians who mix their own music specifically struggle in this area. But if you're looking for adding in a bouncy, groovy bassline then look towards syths or VST synths... the rest is just practice.

Peace.

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2:40 - Dilla used the moog for most of his baselines.

2:30 - Black Milk used the micro korg (mostly).

I'm guessing most the other producers you mentioned are similar (syths of some sort).. Most of the fatness and smoothness probably comes during the mixing phase I would assume, Most these guys wouldn't spend to much time mixing their shit. They spend 10-15 minutes doing quick mix downs and then move on to the next beat. If you listen to any of dillas earlier (and poorly mixed) material like king of beats, you'll notice he still has the same bouncy, synth sounding bass lines but they don't sit quite as nicely in the mix as in his later works (which again, I would attribute to the mixing engineers), They're very thin in comparison...

I think bass is extremely hard to get right in a mixing context. I know the majority of musicians who mix their own music specifically struggle in this area. But if you're looking for adding in a bouncy, groovy bassline then look towards syths or VST synths... the rest is just practice.

Peace.

Thanks! Yeah I saw the Dilla Cratediggers video, however (if I remember correctly), Dilla got a Moog somewhere around 2000 or even a bit later, as a gift from the Soulquarians I think? (and by that time he was already droppin' fat basslines on his beats). Yeah I saw Black Milk having the Microkorg by his side in like every video (never saw the video you posted though, so that gives me a direct explanation, thanks).

I actually am considering purchasing one, it would do well with my sp-404.

You are right about the mixing part though, personally, finding a good bass sample (let alone mixing it) has always been a bit of a struggle for me. I try to do my best though. I never knew my way around VSTs but I should definitely look into them a bit more yeah.

Dilla always had that raw bass in his beat tapes, but man some of the basses he used to pull off post-2002 were just naaaaaaaaaaassssssttttyyyyy.

Thanks for the tips!

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Just use a low pass filter on samples that got dope bass and layer them within your beats.

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It's easier to hear a ill bass line and sample it than to program your own. Unless you got the soul power of Kev Brown and being a hip hop bassist is in your DNA.

You should look into the Zoom SampleTrak. It has a mighty fine lo pass filter and EQ. Makes a great accompaniment to a SP.

You can score one for under a hundred bucks. In comparison to paying twice that or more for a synth. Not to mention a used car note price tag for a Moog.

Learn how to filter bass samples and string together your own bass lines from there and you'll be getting the sound you're after.

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Learn how to filter bass samples and string together your own bass lines from there and you'll be getting the sound you're after.

really depends on what sound you're after though, objectively... Some people prefer the sound style of filtered samples, some prefer VST/Synth style where they play their own bass and find a groove, some prefer to learn bass guitar and do their own bass, some prefer upright bass... I think it's good to be competent at all styles then you can use what the beat requires.

Look in to VST's... you can find some nice cheap ones or just get them via other methods ;)

A nice cheapie is TAL Bassline.

peace.

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It's easier to hear a ill bass line and sample it than to program your own. Unless you got the soul power of Kev Brown and being a hip hop bassist is in your DNA.

You should look into the Zoom SampleTrak. It has a mighty fine lo pass filter and EQ. Makes a great accompaniment to a SP.

You can score one for under a hundred bucks. In comparison to paying twice that or more for a synth. Not to mention a used car note price tag for a Moog.

Learn how to filter bass samples and string together your own bass lines from there and you'll be getting the sound you're after.

Thanks for the advice. I've seen people use the Sampletrak as a companion to the SP on SP groups and shit, I'll look into it a bit further. As I mentioned in my first post my interest has kind of switched towards the process of generating the bass sound, and how to obtain a particular sounding bass without using a sample as a source. I've used the low-pass filter method a few times with my basslines, however I don't see it as a solution for all of the beat-making troubles: for example sometimes when I'm using a sample which doesn't have a bass arrangement of its own it's kind of hard to find a good bassline which would fit the track, let alone finding a decent bassline to filter out, find the perfect pitch and then arrange it.

Using a synth gives you much more liberty in determining the sound you're after (if you know what you're doing of course).

That being said, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to sound generators.

The thing is you don't have to be a pure hip-hop bassist or whatnot to make effective and dope basslines, just look at the beatmakers I've mentioned in my first post, none of them are bassists yet every one of them can arrange a perfectly good bassline, and all of them got a great sense of improvisation to them, they don't limit themselves to only two notes.

I mean you can find some beats J Dilla did on his beat tapes that are only drums with an eerie synth in the background and a bassline that changes constantly throughout the beat.

Look in to VST's... you can find some nice cheap ones or just get them via other methods ;)

A nice cheapie is TAL Bassline.

peace.

I will, thank you!

A friend of mine recommended Massive, what do you think about it? I know it has a myriad of applications in electronic music but a lot of people use it for generating hip-hop basslines as well.

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I will, thank you!

A friend of mine recommended Massive, what do you think about it? I know it has a myriad of applications in electronic music but a lot of people use it for generating hip-hop basslines as well.

I have massive as it comes with maschine although I haven't really used it to be honest... I've always been under the impression it wasn't an analogue emulation synth... but that could just be a misconception due to the way it looks lol (it has a very digital, smooth and shiny vibe). I like dusty sounding synths that are warm and have character so I tend to stick to VST's that emulate analogue gear. A couple of others I use are the Moog V2 plugin and the Prophet V plugin both from Arturia.

But maybe i'll also jump into looking at massive, I think i was just initially put off by the GUI.

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Well I know the Moog is like every synth-head's wet dream, so let's just reminisce on that one time google gave all of us the chance to own a virtual one:

http://www.google.com/doodles/robert-moogs-78th-birthday

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yeah i just messed around with massive for 20 minutes. shits nice actually. Has some nice analogue inserts/fx. You can get AC power hum and white noise, all types of shit... makes fat basses to. UI is pretty complex though so may need to read up on how to get the most out of it.

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yeah i just messed around with massive for 20 minutes. shits nice actually. Has some nice analogue inserts/fx. You can get AC power hum and white noise, all types of shit... makes fat basses to. UI is pretty complex though so may need to read up on how to get the most out of it.

Yup the analogue inserts/fx caught my eye as well..It definitely has a lot to offer, that's why, as you said, a good read beforehand is a must.

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It's all about knowing how to tweak the parameters. Start out with a Sin wave at low frequency and and then mix it with a triangle wave and start tweaking the filter and ADSR on both the amp and filter. What you want is a responsive bass that you can get musical with. I have Reason so it's a complete virtual analog synth mockup so I've become familiar with the parameters and what they do.

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there's like 1,000,000 voyager emulations on the market for vst. or you can find 1,000,000,000 sample packs of the voyager. i use a reason plug-in called Viking. it's pretty dope

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I thought Reason didn't support plugins? I'm guessing they changed that in newer versions?

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Yeah back in 6.5 they brought out their own proprietary format. It's kinda weak but better than nothing.

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yeah ive been sleepin on massive! Used it on my last 2 beats and it's filthy! (in a good way). Has some of the best bass response i've heard in a plug in, can get it thumpin without much post mixing/compression.

...Now i just need to learn how to use it properly...

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If you want phat bass lines that you want to craft on your own, check into a Novation Bass Station

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first/last/only album in the works...

im doing exactly the same, tired of just making endless beats plus ive got real world things i need to dedicate my time to nowdays, whats your reason

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im doing exactly the same, tired of just making endless beats plus ive got real world things i need to dedicate my time to nowdays, whats your reason

came to the realization that i'll probably never make it as a musician, so i figure i'd put my 100% best efforts into one solitary project before i bow out gracefully and move on to bigger, better, (more filmmaker-y) things...

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came to the realization that i'll probably never make it as a musician, so i figure i'd put my 100% best efforts into one solitary project before i bow out gracefully and move on to bigger, better, (more filmmaker-y) things...

can I ask (without an ounce of condescension, just curiosity) why you feel you need to make it..? Can you define "making it"?

I dunno... Maybe I'm a minority but honestly, hand on heart, I could give a shit if I ever make money or a living off of music. I already have a business set up and I started the music after that as a form of stress + creative release. I just see so many people treating their creative hobbies as a "solution" to where they're at in their lives, it's kinda depressing to me. Like sure it's cool if you can make your passion or hobby your means of living but when you put the means of living first as a prerequisite for you're creation, doesn't that just spoil all the enjoyment and taint the final product..?

...Like I still think it's fucking cool I can make even $50 on a bandcamp release... I literally make this shit with no expectation of anyone listening or buying it. I only share it because I think it's kind of selfish not to (like friends and family are mad supportive and encouraging etc) and anything, even a simple loop can be inspiration enough for someone else to spark a passion (kind of how it started for me, actually).

I mean I can't speak on behalf of Ta-Ku but I'm pretty sure (from my understanding) he realised music wasn't going to support his lifestyle aspirations so he started a couple of separate business' and picked up photography now the music is really just a side hustle he does for the love and for the fans.

so yeah, just asking. Not trying to be patronizing or anything, really just interested in how you view your creative endeavours.

Peace.

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can I ask (without an ounce of condescension, just curiosity) why you feel you need to make it..? Can you define "making it"?

I dunno... Maybe I'm a minority but honestly, hand on heart, I could give a shit if I ever make money or a living off of music. I already have a business set up and I started the music after that as a form of stress + creative release. I just see so many people treating their creative hobbies as a "solution" to where they're at in their lives, it's kinda depressing to me. Like sure it's cool if you can make your passion or hobby your means of living but when you put the means of living first as a prerequisite for you're creation, doesn't that just spoil all the enjoyment and taint the final product..?

...Like I still think it's fucking cool I can make even $50 on a bandcamp release... I literally make this shit with no expectation of anyone listening or buying it. I only share it because I think it's kind of selfish not to (like friends and family are mad supportive and encouraging etc) and anything, even a simple loop can be inspiration enough for someone else to spark a passion (kind of how it started for me, actually).

I mean I can't speak on behalf of Ta-Ku but I'm pretty sure (from my understanding) he realised music wasn't going to support his lifestyle aspirations so he started a couple of separate business' and picked up photography now the music is really just a side hustle he does for the love and for the fans.

so yeah, just asking. Not trying to be patronizing or anything, really just interested in how you view your creative endeavours.

Peace.

certainly. so i suffer from what i would consider to be a "creator's ADHD", where my interest and focus tends to shift from one medium to the other over time. this means i try new out new things almost constantly -- in fact, it's why i started rapping and making my own beats in the first place. with that said, it just simply boils down to time management and making that difficult decision of "how do i divide up my time each day?"

i try to shy away from personal details on here, but i am a full-time student working 20+ hours per week with a huge concentration in film production courses (meaning i typically make several shorts a week for class). i also do a two-hour talk show once a week at the college radio station, with full video productions every couple of weeks which then have to be edited by me and uploaded to all of our social media (which is run almost exclusively by me as well). excluding the time commitment of show prep/research, that same company has started doing paid client-based work -- which means more production and more time spent working on deadlines set by others on a bi-weekly basis.

between all of those priorities, i have a family and a significant other that i have to visit and maintain relationships with so that i don't become even more of a crazy hermit -- as well as this burning desire to create music somehow through all of this (not to mention visual art and most recently stand-up comedy).

so, i mean, i could keep making shit and posting it for you guys and experience moderate success at best as i struggle to make a living with the ~$60 i've made making music in a six-year period...or, i could budget my time towards building a foundation i can live off of and enter the real world where i'd have like, an actual job that pays me actual money haha.

it's really just a balance of time, effort, and reward -- and unfortunately, as i'm sure you all are aware, most musicians (ESPECIALLY rappers) put very little time or effort, if any, in their music...and they're forced into a position where they have to oversaturate their market just to make ten fucking dollars from people who feel bad.

i've been told by enough people that i'm pretty good at what i do, but that doesn't mean anything if i can't translate that into something resourceful -- and we all know that my style is niche as fuck; i'm not the next Eminem or Drake. and to me, it really doesn't make sense to pursue a career path where i'll inevitably hit that glass ceiling around Jonwayne's level when i could easily shift my priorities to an industry i would actually have a chance of succeeding in (i'm thinking films, broadcasting, entertainment, comedy, etc.).

i admire those who gamble against the odds, but i feel like those people are much more likely to concede to mainstream trends to get ahead -- and i'm just not one of those people. i love hip-hop, but hip-hop sure doesn't love me back...for fuck's sake, i've had people on this board call me out and say that i'm a piece of shit for trying to rap simply because of the fact that i'm white and from Colorado. i'm not gonna be some apologetic social justice emcee like Macklemore, and i don't have the street cred to be taken seriously by anyone outside of the underground scene -- so why try lol? that's my take on the whole thing; sorry if this seems like a long response, i can be a long-winded person.

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With all the time I need to jack off play computer games and blankly stare at a television I'll never be able to get my hip hop ish off the ground

EDIT + forgot about drinking alcohol

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oh yeah that too. I've spent soo much time thinking about albums I never made..... I need some leBuff in my life

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don't forget about getting super high and sitting listening to music and just thinking about stuff you want to make, that takes up a HUGE chunk of my time

that was basically my life for about 10 years

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