chapter  23
14 Pages

Composing and designing bass

WithRick Snoman

This chapter looks at the general music and sound design theory for creating bass lines. The drums and bass are the backbone of electronic dance music. Disco House, for example, benefits from a groovy melodic bass line. The artist will employ a simple bass tone to compose the melody. Composing a bass line obviously depends on the genre of music, but there are some general theories which can use to create them. The most basic, yet still fashionable, bass is the root. The bass follows the root note of the chords. Advancement from the root bass is the offbeat bass. Alongside experimenting with oscillators, effects play an essential role in a plucked bass. Saturation, wave-shaping, and distortion can all add further character to the bass. Samples of a real bass guitar are best suited to the walking bass line. These are available with most samplers, and many feature numerous articulations to create a realistic sound.