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In this section you can find things that will assist you in your own computer-based musical productions. There's a lot of original Dubroom material which you can use, but also third party material. There's much more than "just" sampled material, as you can find some little pieces of software, presets and other things as well. Everything in this section is, like all stuff in the Dubroom by the way, legal and -a lot of times- absolutely free of charge. Definitely worth a visit, for novice to veteran.

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ABOUT CHAPTER 15

In the previous chapter, we've programmed a basic two-bar drum rhythm.

ABOUT CHAPTER 16

This chapter was written over a decade later than the previous one. The same principals apply, though...

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - CHAPTER 16: MIDI (7) - PROGRAMMING A BASSLINE ON TWO PIANO CHORDS

Now that we have a basic Drum rhythm, it's time for the bass line. But before we do that, let's put in two basic chords for the riddim or "skank" section so we can taker a closer look at some things to consider when constructing a bass line.

Select a Piano and put a chord hit on the second and fourth count of every bar. In this instance, we'll use an A and an E Chord. The A chord contains the A-C-E tones and the other chord the E-G-B tones. Take a look (and listen) at the screenshot and mp3 below:

EXAMPLE0013.MP3

You'll probably recognize the chords as they are used in many riddims. Let's -for now- just stick with these two chords. You'll be able to figure out much more after discovering a few basic principals which will help you making an original riddim.

Time for the bass line. Or, to be more precize: time to discover some principals to help you make a bass line yourself.

Of course: you'll need a decent bass sampleor synth bass. No need for a special hi-def bass guitar sample of that specific brand, what you need is a decent bass guitar or synth sound which you can find all over the web and usually even in factory presets. For this example we will use a standard bass guitar from Reason 3.0

In a lot of musical genres, the bass guitar basically follows the chords of the guitar and keyboards. The bass is more or less an extension of the keyboards and other chord instruments but in Reggae Music this is the other way around. The chords are there to support the bass line. The bass is the lead instrument and because of this position, you have a lot of freedom as you do not have to follow any other instrument.

In fact, there are just two things you have to consider: the tempo and the chords. That is, when you are not creating your bassline out of nothing. In this case, we already have a drum rhythm at 140 BPM and two chords so we'll take it from there.

There are many ways to make a bass line,and you could call them all "styles". Some basslines are melodies where others use perhaps only two or three different tones. These are all things that have to do with preference of the day, feelings and emotions rather than actual "rules".

One very safe guide is this: on the 2nd and 4th count of every bar, use a tone which is also present at the chord played in the bar. In our example, use either an A, a C or an E tone on the second and fourth count of the first bar and either an E, a G or a B in the second and fourth count of the second bar. You will always play a tone that is also played by the chords instruments (riddim section) and this simple fact will connect every bass line you construct with the two chords. In other words: when you consider this fact, you can create a million bass lines over just two chords and they will all sound good, or at least in tune.

Now, since we have a basic two drop drums and two chords often used in Rub a Dub style, let's go a create a simple but effective line. Connect your bass sampler to your mixing board and create the following bass line:

EXAMPLE0014.MP3

As you can see, there's an A and an E in the first bar on the 2nd and 4th count, where the second bar has an E on the 2nd count and a B on the 4th. So what you do is, you play an E sound in both bars, as the E chord ads well as the A chord both have that tone contained. 

Now we have two bars of our basic riddim. Let's copy and paste this three times so we'll have 8 bars. We'll make little variations afterwards in order to enlarge the foundation. 

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This tutorial is in an unfinished stage, but it does contain the basics to get yourself equipped to use just about any DAW or even hardware studio in order to make DUB from Reggae Music in the authentic and original way. When you have a question or comment you'd like to see addressed, feel free to use the Dubroom Contact pages or join YUKU.com and post your words publicly on the Studio Forum. Click here to read about the latest updates to this tutorial.

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