course, you can make an instrumental track
as simple or complex as you feel. You can
use a maximum amount of instruments, or you
can choose a more minimalistic approach.
Now that we will create our first riddim,
we won't make it too complex.
It's the best, to imagine that your Midi
Sequence is in fact a recording of a
studio band. This means, you have to discern
different sections just as you would do with
a real band.
Let's take a look at the several main
sections of a Reggae band.
When a basic track is called
"Riddim" or Rhythm, it's obvious
that the drums take a dominant position.
More often then not, several percussion
instruments accompany the drums.
A Reggae track is identified by
it's bassline. When in most other forms of
music, the bassline only functions as a
foundation, in Reggae it's the decisive
factor. For those -like us- who want to make
DUB, it's even more important as we shall
This can get a little bit confusing: for
a basic track is called a riddim, But in the
band there is also a riddim section. This
section makes that sound which many feel is
so characteristic for Reggae Music: I call
it "the skanks". A Riddim section
has a guitar, a piano and an organ (or any
other combination in that idea).
Usually, a riddim is recognized by it's
bassline. But there is also another section
of the band that places it's mark on a
riddim and that is the "theme
section". In the 1970's, the horns took
a predominant place in Reggae Music. Partly,
they could be seen as a factor in the Riddim
Section. But horns can also play themes:
short harmonic melodies. Themes can also be
played by keyboards or other instruments.
A guitar that plays a muted version of
the bassline, a clavinet which emphasizes
certain parts of the bassline, these
elements can be heard on many Roots Reggae
recordings. In some way, you could see it as
the "percussion" for the bassline.
Now, in our example we will make use of
all these sections in order to make a basic
track with midi. We will have a chapter on
each section. But before we can do that, we
have to set up our sequencer for it.