basslines suck!

Hello, I’ve been trying to create better basslines for some LoFi hip hop tracks I’m working on but I’m really terrible at arranging them. Does anyone have any tips or tricks, sequencer or FX hacks to create better baselines for those of us without formal training? Any videos or techniques worth trying?

Also, any recommendations for sound designing good crunchy basslines for LoFi hip hop would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I think that copying other basslines you love is the first step. It helps you understand what they’ve done, engages your ear with the music, and demystifies things.
I mean, obviously don’t just rip people off, but copying is the best way to learn.

Once you’ve done that, buy more gear :wink:
(only joking)


Im in the same boat. I’ve just started experimenting with Sampling virtual instruments from GarageBand on iPhone/iPad. The sounds are nice. I might try to sample some of the synths also.

for basses, i find the pattern and endless sequencers work well.

–work out what key your song is, say C. now look up the minor pentatonic scale. for C that is…C, Eb, F, G, Bb, C.
go to endless sequencer and enter C three times, Eb two times and F once. Set endless sequencer to random. play sequencer, turn the white knob to change the sequencer pattern till it sounds good. some combo of dot space dot dot works well. it also works well if you turn the white knob far right and get really long sequencers, it sounds sort of jazzy.
–add nitro or punch effects to give the bassline some movement, but not too much, you don’t want it sounding like some cheesy 90s/2000a over compressed pumping french house. well, i don’t, maybe you might.

–for the pattern sequencer. write your bassline. a few hits on the beat, and very importantly, a few hits off the beat. record that to the second bar on your tape. remove a couple of notes at the end of your pattern and record that to the first bar and third bar. now add a note or two (that are one octave up or at least at th ehigh end of the scale at the end of the sequence) and record that to bar four. so now you have a four bar patterns like this – A, B, A, D. that will make your bassline have some life to it. not just a one or two bar loop.

–sample a record. loop up a coupe bars. apply nitro and filter off the highs till you have just the bass sounds. set just a little resonace and turn the needle thing just a little to the right. record to tape. take the same sample, apply nitro and filter off all the lows so you just get the hi hats and maybe a little snare/clap. record to tape. this is known as new york compression. adding the highs usually makes the song sound better than without. ties it together a bit.

well, that’s all i know about basslines. hope there is something you can use.


Wow! Thanks for the tips on the various techniques. Gonna try these out this weekend.