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It's Midi bass lines for me. My bass playing defeated me.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by burntfrijoles, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Michigan
    Studio One has a feature called Audio Bend which can quantize notes in an audio track. Your DAW probably has a similar feature which might be more accurate than nudging the entire track.

    Good luck.
     

  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    This sounds a lot like what I enjoy doing with home recording. Creating accurate backing tracks — any way I can — then layering in multiple guitar parts played by me, to try and recreate my fav classic tracks from various bands, albeit with some variations to suit my preferences (and playing skill). It’s a lot of fun.
    I also try and do the bass parts myself on a real bass, and it is a challenge sometimes, but I find myself liking the bass more and more.
     

  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I would much prefer to record the bass myself. In many cases, only another musician would hear the timing issues. It's just that I would like to be better. In truth I will probably still attempt playing bass but I will not hesitate to jump to "drawing" the bass lines in midi if it improves the track.
    I have a catalog of backing tracks from old issues of Guitar Techniques and Total Guitar. Some of them are excellent while others are meh. I like the challenge of creating them myself with an arrangement that suits my needs and skills.
     
    RLee77 likes this.

  4. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    241
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    no offence partner but you touched a nerve. let me see if I can change your opinion... when beethoven wrote on the staff was he still a musician? answer - yes. even if he never played the part.

    I think folks think of midi like 'oh you just click down notes and it plays' but I can tell you firsthand that even with top notch sound libraries... it takes some serious skill to make it sound like a human or rather NOT like a computer. The piano-roll/staff/etc is an instrument unto itself. Plus learning to write on it actually makes you a better musician. I freq find myself writing bass lines and going back to record actual bass over them and having to raise my musicianship to even come close. I freq write drum parts and have to learn how to write fills like a drummer. It has taught me how even when I thought I was in time before - there is being in time and there is being 'in the pocket'.

    I almost never use loops, but I listen to bands like the chemical brothers and am in awe of what they can do. Not saying I'm great, and not saying that half of what you said isn't true when it comes to just dragging ten loops into a track and hitting play... but there is a lot of grey area in the middle.
     
    jhundt likes this.

  5. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    574
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I have done recording with a DAW where I started with some sort of MIDI drum track, many or most I wrote myself. Some of that is here:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=214699

    ps, look at me! There are also some canned MIDI and audio loops in there. Some of it was done with a tracker or algorithmic music software.

    That's as much effort as I put into anything for a long time, 15 or 20 years. Now it's all I can do to record a loop on my Jamman! I'm goofing around with new things but have barely gotten to recording any of it. Maybe soon!

    What I really want is some software thing that could pick out the rhythm of a guitar loop that was "x" bars long and line up timing and dynamics of a MIDI drum track. But I haven't found that yet. Somebody let me know if I'm missing something.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

  6. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Aug 25, 2016
    89108
    Getting together with a bad drummer - or just the wrong drummer - isn't going to do much for your skills or inspiration. Whereas learning to program parts gives you a good idea of how everything works on its own and in the mix.

    I used to do that with ReCycle back in the day. Cakewalk had a similar feature too, groove quantization based on audio loops.
     

  7. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    574
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Hmm, I have SONAR, and I must have tried that at some point. The example here shows beat matching of two audio loops, which might work. Seems like if I could get a rhythm framework in MIDI derived exactly from my rhythm guitar riff, it would be easier to flesh it out or see how different styles would "hang" on that framework.

     

  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    This is very true. I can't read music but I've had to learn time notation to build my accurate bass tracks (or keyboard tracks). I've found that I can now come pretty close to drawing the correct timing on notes when I have to create the lines from scratch.
    I started off using loops but have just taken matters into my own hands to make the drum tracks fit the song with fills etc.
     
    mistermikev likes this.

  9. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Brisbane
    Logic Pro drummer has an option to sync with another track that you nominate. It’s very easy.
     

  10. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Brisbane
    Have you used the beat mapping function in Logic? If not you may find it very helpful for pulling your lines into shape.
     

  11. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    241
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    I've had much the same experience. I can predict the piano roll for 90% of my bass or drums or horns. this has made me sharper in my playing as I can see the spacing. I get a pretty good feel for velocity/accent as well. after 20 years... there's still room to improve but I wouldn't have it any other way.
     

  12. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    574
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I looked at some Logic Pro tutorial videos. I see that it is good at following tempo changes which is fine. What I'm more curious about is at a finer time slice - supposing I give it a 4-bar loop of rhythm guitar which is syncopated somehow and not boom boom boom on the beat. Is it going to be able to make a "square" MIDI drum part follow the feel of the guitar loop?
     

  13. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Brisbane
    Probably not. I usually choose a drum pattern that fits the feel I'm looking for. I use the sync button to lock the kick drum into e.g. the bass line, but it could be done with a rhythm guitar also. But you have to start with a drum pattern that is close to the feel you want.
     

  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I'm a good bass player but in home recordings I often have trouble with latency. I find that taking steps to reduce latency helps--for example, eliminate any time based or CPU intensive effects.

    The most recent version of logic will sync everything automatically: it's really odd to experience and also can mess up your jamerson-ish syncopations
     

  15. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I have not but will check it out. I'll look for a youtube tutorial on it. Thanks
     

  16. KCKC

    KCKC Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hingham, MA
    I use studio one and was just learning about this exact thing, fixing timing issues with tracks without losing the feel or natural vibe. It's a fairly simple process and would imagine as others have stated that it's similar in other daws.

    I just have to take the time to walk through the process with "youtube" and get the commands under my fingers.

    Last night I was just looking at mini midi controllers - akai & alesis - so I could use the resident drum and other sounds in studio one. I always looked at midi as a imenatrable, shrouded mystery - after some research looks pretty straight forward and could be a lot of fun!

    KC
     

  17. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    574
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Yeah, that's too bad. Because my creative flow is typically to be playing the guitar, get an idea, put it in the looper, wank over the changes for awhile, and then...

    and then...

    (whistling)...

    At least the looper lets me capture an idea, but looking for a loop or pattern (especially the more you have, and I have a lot) kills my creative flow big time. Then you think about playing with a real drummer (if they are any good)... you say "play along with this"... and they do.
     

  18. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    Take some lessons. As a guitar player you probably know where the notes are but not how to play them.

    When I do demos I'll do the real drums and bass myself. It's much faster and the results are usually much better.
     

  19. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Holic

    574
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I'm almost 60, so taking drum lessons, while a great idea, is something I have to file under "probably not gonna happen" (assuming that's what you meant). And it isn't because I'm old and feeble and can't get up (yet). It's because my plate is so incredibly full with both responsibilities and creative pursuits that in order to make progress in any one area I have to give up other things (such as converting old tube amps to guitar amps, something I thought I'd pursue about 5 years ago before I became a DSP weenie). Making home demos that sound like a band playing real music is a goal that's starting to fade into the distance.

    I'm just surprised that there isn't much in the way of software assistance because I'd think that a lot of guitar players would want the same thing: "find a MIDI drum pattern or loop out of the thousands I have that mostly fits the feel of this reference audio loop". I tried "Audio Snap" in SONAR, don't remember getting much of anywhere with it, and when I checked the SONAR forums on the subject, it seems like a lot of effort to do even that. Before I had kids I was able to spend 3 or 4 hours a night chipping away at my crazy DAW creations.
     

  20. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    I was more talking about a few bass lessons, not a full course of study. Sitting down with a bass instructor a few times can help someone as a guitar player approach the instrument more as a bass player.
     
    Digital Larry and middy like this.

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