One-Touch Basslines

Posted by: Monuman

One-Touch Basslines - Fri, 26 Nov 2010 05:04:00

confused does anyone know the proper term or know how to program one touch bass lines.
this is where you press the key onece, and the basline keeps reapeting (different pitches on different notes). also, how do you do the different patterns?????. i notice Chris uses this a lot in the Vox songs..... confused

Posted by: martineve

Re: One-Touch Basslines - Wed, 22 Dec 2010 08:47:00

Originally posted by Monuman:
confused does anyone know the proper term or know how to program one touch bass lines.
this is where you press the key onece, and the basline keeps reapeting (different pitches on different notes). also, how do you do the different patterns?????. i notice Chris uses this a lot in the Vox songs..... confused

ahh the triggered bassline as it used to be called...

there are various ways of getting your bassline.. probably the easiest is using an in built sequencer in your DAW. In mine (Sonar) I load a bass patch and load the sequencer then select the notes I want to play...

you could also use PRV (piano roll view, as called in Sonar)and add notes manually to create that bassline. Once a pattern is created, it then can be looped... so you don't have to manually add the notes... most DAWs should have function

you could also use some kind of arpeggiator to create a pattern

hope this helps
Posted by: Monuman

Re: One-Touch Basslines - Thu, 23 Dec 2010 03:28:00

thanks for the explanation. the thing is, im not to good with all thes tools and stuff on computers confused !!!!!!!!!!
anyway that helped a lot, and ive found an arpegiator thingy on fl studio, but that only does the notes as the same lenghts so rythms like rage in eden basslines cannot be done

thanks anyway,
Posted by: Emulator

Re: One-Touch Basslines - Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:37:00

Chris's triggered basslines were originally played by him on his Mini-Moog. I always understood that it received a trigger from whatever drum machine (Linn, CR-78 etc) Warren was using but it now appears that it might have been the other way around i.e Chris's Moog triggering Warren's machines. Apparently their tech Pete Woods devised a trigger router - a bit like a mixer - so that each drum machine would ouput its pulses into the router and then Warren would switch between them. Triggering Chris's Moog and PPG would involve Chris writing in the triggers to Warren's drum programs to give the desired trigger pattern. This is CV and Gate (pre-Midi) technology were talking about here!

Most of the triggered basslines on Vienna, RIE and Quartet were done this way with eighth pulses being the most common (All Stood Still being an example).

I'm trying to remember exactly how it worked but I think the Moog played the triggered notes as long as you held the key down. My Roland SH-101s worked in exactly the opposite way: the notes would stop if you held the key down! Correct me if I'm wrong, folks.
Posted by: Pete C

Re: One-Touch Basslines - Wed, 30 Mar 2011 04:23:00

Emulator's got this pretty much correct.

There are various ways of achieving this effect, and back in the day, it depended on which gear you had, and in the case of Ultravox, some custom made equipment.

I believe Warren controlled the rhythm of the trigger pulses from a custom unit that was synchronised to the clock signal from the drum machines (initially Roland TR77 and CR78 on Vienna and RIE, then Linn LM-1 and LinnDrum on Quartet, and SCI Drumtracks on Lament). The custom trigger unit had 16 switches which corresponded to 16th notes. Whichever switches Warren switched on would send a trigger pulse, and the ones not switched on would equate to a "rest".

I've seen photos of at least two versions of this trigger unit. The early version was in the article in the UK magazine "Electronics & Music Maker" which featured Warren talking about this setup. I also saw a later pic somewhere which had an altogether more "pro-looking" unit badged "Cactus" (the company who made the short-lived "Desert Drums" electronic drum kit which was a Simmons kit-a-like).

The Pete Woods trigger router allowed the trigger pulses to be sent to any of the synths, either Chris' MiniMoog or Midge's or Billy's.

Chris then had to play extremely tightly to ensure that he had the right note pressed down when the trigger pulses gated the envelopes on the Mini. This takes quite a lot of skill and discipline to do.

The best way to do this with "standard" kit is to use a Roland drum machine to generate the triggers - TR808, TR909, TR707, TR727, TR606 are the best, as they work in exactly the same way, but are pretty expensive these days. Some of the newer Rolands still had analogue trigger outputs, but lost the intuitive "16 switches" approach, and replaced with an LCD programming grid (see TR505, TR626, DR110 etc), and these would be OK. You then need an analog monosynth with an analogue trigger / gate input. Emulator mentioned the SH101, but SH09 / SH2 would similarly do it. Most analogue monos from that period would work. The trigger out from the drum machine then "gates" the synth, and the note pitch is determined by the key you hold down.

The alternative approach, which will work with any synth - including poly synths - is to use a noise gate, where the trigger pulse goes into the sidechain input, and the synth goes in the audio input. The net effect is that the sustained notes or chords you play on the synth are "gated" by the trigger pulse rhythm from the drum machine. The controls on the noise gate effectively then become like the ADSR on the synth.

I believe the latter effect was also used by Midge & the boys on tracks on Quartet, although I can't be sure - it could have been done on the PPG 2.2 poly sequencer. Same effect also used on the excellent Midge-produced track "Together" on The Phil Lynott album (one of my personal faves).

Of course, as previously stated - today, most people would just sequence it in Logic, Cubase, Reason or Sonar, but that's not so useful if you want to play it live (although you could set up Reason to do this live).

There are a number of newer synths out there that have capabilities to play short sequences from single notes - I think the JP8000 calls them "Realtime Phrase Sequences" RPS. I think my old Korg Prophecy can do it too, and I think the Yamaha CS1X might have something similar, though don't buy without checking, as my memory's not my best feature!

Hope that helps.
Posted by: Monuman

Re: One-Touch Basslines - Fri, 08 Apr 2011 05:20:00

thanks alot for that!