Hello and welcome,
The initial inspiration for the L-DonBlogOne project came from a student. He had a very cool bassline, so I asked him how he went about creating a line like that. He approached it by thinking of the old Acid TB-303 basslines. Now, I am not a fan of Acid as a genera, but after that comment I went back and listened with an open mind.
Here is an example of classic Acid for ya:
If you want to get right to the bassline skip to 1:00. There are some great lines there. Can I do that with Live?
The Roland TB(Transistor Bass)-303, a “computer controlled bass line,” had a short production run in the early 80′s. It was a flop commercially, but it became an iconic piece of gear in electronic music, defining the Acid genre.
Never having held one in my hands, I am approaching the 303 like an archeologist.. I can listen to the results and I can read the TB-303 manual.
From those bits of evidence I will guess what the controls do and try to figure out the essence of the 303. Sounds like a fun puzzle to me, flex the ears and the tech chops.
Burbling, strange, squelchy and insistent. It is a simple monophonic synth and can be set in either sawtooth or square wave mode. It is paired with a unique step sequencer. The unusual and almost random lines created with the 303 sequencer span a maximum range of 5 octaves, starting at 32Hz.
Sounds demand a specific performance. It is the same as writing for acoustic instruments. There are specific gestures strings can do that brass cannot. In some ways, it is easier to write for acoustic instruments because there are established methods.
Figuring out how to play a specific synth sound, or conversely how to edit a synth patch for your performance, is one of the hardest aspects of synthesis. With the 303, that connection has been made for you, and I think that is what lead to its success. So much so that fatboy slim had to proclaim “Everybody needs a 303.”
We will look at making 303 type lines and sounds in Live using the Analog synth. But, first I want to leave you with something, as I was exploring the 303 and creating it in live, I came up with this live set, just a bassline and simple drum pattern.
First the audio,303Clone Audio
Then the live set. 303 Clone Project File
Can you do better? Feel free to post an mp3 response here.
Have fun. Make music.