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Using MIDI rhythm data instead of LFO automation for wobble bass
Old 2nd March 2014
  #1
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HeartsMindsEars's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Using MIDI rhythm data instead of LFO automation for wobble bass

I've always wanted to make some (really, really crazy) dubstep, but, when I first tried, and I realized most (all?) dubstep producers change wobble bass rhythms by automating an LFO filter, not by writing in rhythms, and when I saw how long this takes, I decided not to. I don't really write much loop-based music; most of what I write is through-composed, and it took way too long to try to automate every single rhythm.

Is there a way to get the wobble bass oscillation to change just by using MIDI rhythm data instead? (E.g., if you want to do three eighth-note triplets followed by four sixteenth notes, you just write the rhythms in, instead of automating them.) Are there any producers that do that? That would make the way I write significantly easier.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Old 3rd March 2014
  #2
BM0
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Not sure what you mean by MIDI rhythm data since there is no such thing. There is MIDI note on/off data, which is what is used to enter in your rhythm pattern. Then there is MIDI clock, which determines the rate at which a rhythm is played. On most modern synths, MIDI clock can be used to sync the LFO wave at rate/intervals synchronized with the MIDI clock tempo, which is how to get the wobble bass to wobble in time with the MIDI tempo. As for using MIDI note on/off data to sync the LFO rate in intervals (quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes) that are in time with the tempo, that is not possible.

For what it is worth, a trick you can do to create a variable wobble rate is to enable key tracking on the LFO, if the feature is available on the synth. This function will track the LFO rate with the frequency of the note being played on the keyboard. Lower keys will produce a slower modulation (wobble) and higher keys produce a faster rate. With adjustments to the LFO rate control, you can get certain notes to be close to quarter, eight, sixteenth, etc. intervals, relative to the tempo, but it won't actually be in sync with the MIDI clock. You will also want to enable LFO key reset, which will reset the LFO wave each time a key is played. With this trick however, your sound will change pitch as you play unless you turn off oscillator/pitch key tracking. Again, that will depend on the capabilities of the synth.
Old 3rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #3
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HeartsMindsEars's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
Not sure what you mean by MIDI rhythm data since there is no such thing. There is MIDI note on/off data, which is what is used to make a rhythm pattern.
Yeah, that's what I meant. Should've said on/off data, my bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
As for using MIDI note data to sync the LFO rate in intervals (quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes) that are in time with the tempo, that is not possible.
This answered my question. Thanks.
Why isn't it possible?
Here's a related question: Could I not set some kind of CC to control the LFO rate and then insert quarter, eighth, sixteenth, etc. notes to control it? That way I wouldn't have to automate by hand, and I can just cut and paste the say MIDI on/off data onto this new CC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
For what it is worth, a trick you can do to create a variable wobble rate is to enable key tracking on the LFO, if the feature is available on the synth. This function will track the LFO rate at the frequency of the note being played on the keyboard. Lower keys will produce a slower modulation (wobble) and higher keys produce a faster rate. With adjustments to the LFO rate control, you can get certain notes to be close to quarter, eight, sixteenth, etc. intervals, but it won't actually be in sync. You will also want to enable LFO key reset, which will reset the LFO wave each time a key is played. With this trick however, your sound will change pitch as you play unless you turn off oscillator/pitch key tracking. Again, that will depend on the capabilities of the synth.
This is an interesting trick, thanks for the advice. I don't know if I would ever use it though, because I very often write stuff that changes LFO rate on one bass note, and it doesn't seem as though that would work if I used key tracking.
Old 3rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #4
BM0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsMindsEars ➡️
This answered my question. Thanks.
Why isn't it possible?
Here's a related question: Could I not set some kind of CC to control the LFO rate and then insert quarter, eighth, sixteenth, etc. notes to control it? That way I wouldn't have to automate by hand, and I can just cut and paste the say MIDI on/off data onto this new CC.
LFO rate and modulation has no relation to notes entered into a MIDI sequencer/pattern, which is what you are seeking to do, from what I understand. LFO rate is a property of the voice/sound. LFO rate has nothing to do with MIDI all together. Syncing the LFO rate with the MIDI clock is something different however. The LFO rate is the frequency value of the oscillator's "clock". Most modern synths are able to sync the LFO's clock with a MIDI clock.

Maybe I just misunderstand by what you mean when you say "write in rhythms" or "insert quarter, eighth etc. notes" to automate the LFO rate or filter modulation.
Old 3rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #5
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Septik's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsMindsEars ➡️
Yeah, that's what I meant. Should've said on/off data, my bad.


This answered my question. Thanks.
Why isn't it possible?
Here's a related question: Could I not set some kind of CC to control the LFO rate and then insert quarter, eighth, sixteenth, etc. notes to control it? That way I wouldn't have to automate by hand
Yes, as long as the synth has tempo synced LFO's, you can assign their rate to a midi controller and automate that controller to change to play 1/4, 1/8 etc rhythmic divisions
Old 3rd March 2014
  #6
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or you could just draw in your wobble parameters into the daw as controller data
Old 3rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky ➡️
or you could just draw in your wobble parameters into the daw as controller data
This is how it's done. Automation is the most precise way.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #8
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsMindsEars ➡️
I've always wanted to make some (really, really crazy) dubstep, but, when I first tried, and I realized most (all?) dubstep producers change wobble bass rhythms by automating an LFO filter, not by writing in rhythms, and when I saw how long this takes, I decided not to. I don't really write much loop-based music; most of what I write is through-composed, and it took way too long to try to automate every single rhythm.

Is there a way to get the wobble bass oscillation to change just by using MIDI rhythm data instead? (E.g., if you want to do three eighth-note triplets followed by four sixteenth notes, you just write the rhythms in, instead of automating them.) Are there any producers that do that? That would make the way I write significantly easier.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

a few thoughts.

first - loop compose music is that, you compose a few bars and then loop it.
so for dubstep you do write the rythmn you want and loop it. then each loop you change a few thing.
you can also copy paste the different rythmns. like if one part of the loop has triplets then copy that to another loop combines wiht something else.

second - NI massive has the macro controls. so you can assign the lfo rate to one of these and use the mod wheel to change the rate.

third - have the same patch/synth copied onto different tracks. each one apply a different rythmn. and if you want all live then maybe have a split midi keyboard so each octave triggers a different rythmn (but all the same note)
Old 3rd March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
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Septik's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky ➡️
or you could just draw in your wobble parameters into the daw as controller data
I'm pretty sure this is what the OP is saying is too tedious :p
Old 3rd March 2014
  #10
BM0
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Once you get the hang of it, drawing in the modulation instead of using an LFO would probably the most efficient since you can copy/paste. Automating the the LFO rate/note interval value is probably the most common method, though I guess you can copy/paste those changes as well.

Another idea would be to assign the CC/SysEx interval values of the LFO rate to a set of controllers that would act as switches. So you would have the "quarter note" CC value assigned to one controller, 8th notes on another, 16th another, etc. As soon as you adjust each controller, it would immediately change to the assigned note interval. Basically, you would be hard-coding a single value to each controller. I know something like this could be easily made with Lemur.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #11
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FLS has the best draw in automation style i have ever seen.

why not use a filter that is controlled independently of the synth bass being wobbled? that way you could have your synced filter oscillations set to certain keys and you just play the wobble that way.

elektron monomachine is well suited to this but theres got to be a thousand other ways what with analogs and their audio inputs.

i would say most good wobbles involve more than just a filter. look to software for good wobble potential.
Old 5th March 2014 | Show parent
  #12
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HeartsMindsEars's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
Another idea would be to assign the CC/SysEx interval values of the LFO rate to a set of controllers that would act as switches. So you would have the "quarter note" CC value assigned to one controller, 8th notes on another, 16th another, etc. As soon as you adjust each controller, it would immediately change to the assigned note interval. Basically, you would be hard-coding a single value to each controller.
Awesome, this is what I was considering doing. I didn't know if it would be a waste of time. I'll try it out. Thanks!
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