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How to make a bass line using MIDI drum files

Bass Guitar
Bass Guitar

I received an email recently from Jembailey in the U.K. where he suggests using the following method to create a bass line by using multiple drum files together. This idea is great if you don’t play bass and are stuck for ideas.

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– Bass Lines

“What I do is take two drum beats from the same genre. I use one of the beats for the background drums and the other beat I route through a different midi channel set up with a good sounding bass instrument. The result will obviously be a cacophony. However you can usually pick out an interesting pattern, often it’s from what would have been the kick drum, snare and hi-hats.”

“If you begin to prune the pattern, starting with the events higher up the key edit screen (I use Cubase) you can quite easily find yourself with the beginnings of a serviceable bass line.

“Obviously it’s necessary to lengthen a lot of the events, and often vary the velocity a bit, but once you’ve got eight bars or so you can loop it and then introduce variations. A tom tom roll makes a good descending run, or you can reverse the order of the notes and have it ascend. If you already have other parts written some transposition may be in order, you don’t want everything in the same key that the kick drum is assigned to.

“Rob – Thanks for the files, I’ve got a studio project coming up and will be looking to your MIDI Drum Files for the specific files I need.”

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Thanks Jembailey for your excellent suggestions.

If you also have any suggestions that might be helpful for other MIDI file users, please let us know. If it’s helpful, we may use your suggestions in one of our posts.

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