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How to Make Melodic Techno Rolling Basslines

by MMP

The music industry is full of all sorts of different forms, styles and genres. One of the most prominent genres we see nowadays is a variation on house music called techno. This genre has been around for decades, but it’s really come back into the mainstream in recent years because of its focus on three core features. These features are deep melodies, hard-hitting bass and synth lines. One thing that sets techno apart from other forms of house music is that it typically doesn’t contain vocals, hence the term “techno”. In this article I’m going to teach you how to make a melodic techno rolling bass line!

What is a rolling bassline? In my opinion, it’s the same thing as a bassline that has a “groove”, meaning it has an insistent, usually syncopated and repetitive quarter note that stands out in the mix. This is what makes techno basslines so unique and is part of what defines this genre.

The tempo of techno can vary from around 115 BPM to 140 BPM. To maintain a good balance in the groove, you should make sure the synths you use stay within the same tempo range.

Melodic Techno is the genre of techno where you hear the melody in the bass. It’s a fairly modern genre and it’s not necessarily about being deep, but about having a nice melody going over the top of that deep bassline. This can be done by using arpeggios and sawtooth-based synths, but there are also two really good ways to achieve this result without using synthetic instruments.

The first thing you can use is making separate melodies for each layer in your DAW. Start by making one long note that can act as a guide for your melodies.

Rolling basslines in techno music often use super fast, shifty-sounding basslines. This is something that synth players who are new to playing the synth part of a drum beat can struggle with. Instead of using a synthetic sound, try using an FM-style sequencer, such as Kontakt’s Percussion Ensemble. This will allow you to create and edit drum grooves with ease, and then perform them with your MIDI and real-time drum pad controllers (if they’re better than what you have). I would highly recommend buying or renting a good selection of samplers and synths so that you have different sounds to choose from when crafting your own beats.

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