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Beat Bassline Editor

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Beat and Bassline Editor with a default sample

The Beat + Bassline Editor is the main window for sequencing rhythms and repetitive musical lines in LMMS.
Each named piece, is called a Beat/Bassline
Default the Beat/Basslines are named Beat/Bassline<nm>, where 'nm' is a number 0..n
In the picture we are looking at Beat/Bassline0
You can of cause rename each Beat/Bassline.
Each Beat/Bassline can have a length of 1+n number of bars.
Depending on the selected time-signature, you can have a number of events witch are where the percussion-preset creates a sound, by activating the step, for that tick.
Default 4/4 time-signature, gives you 4 possible events in every beat!
Default we have 4 beats pr bar, so the default Beat/Bassline has 16 possible events, represented by 16 steps, coloured in two distinct colors, making it easy to differentiate between on and off-beat. The 16 steps results in a Default length of one bar!

Tool Bar

First we have transport controllers
Play & Stop buttons allow you to play and stop the currently selected Beat/Bassline. When Play is pressed (or space), it will be replaced with a Pause symbol allowing you to pause the playback rather than stop it entirely. Stop (or space) returns the playhead to the first step in the Beat/Bassline track; Pause allows you to continue from the last played step.
Next we have buttons for Remove Steps & Add steps These two buttons allow you to resp. divide the number of steps by 2 -Lowest number is one bar! -or multiply the number of steps by 2.
The rightmost button will copy every event from the Beat/Bassline you already have made in current event-pattern multiplied by 2. This is a neat way to elongate the pattern with all existing events. You can then add subtle differences to the events in the extension, and build your percussion.
There are other ways to build percussion. This is discussed in Composing Bass Lines and Drum Sequences

BeatBassline Editor dropdownmenu1.1.0.png The drop-down menu allows you to select between all your Beat/Basslines in your project. Focused Beat/Bassline is the one you can edit.

Add bb track.png The Add Beat/Bassline button creates a new Beat/Bassline in Beat/Bassline-editor and a new Beat/Bassline-track in Song-Editor, numbered sequentially from "Beat/Bassline 0". Right-click on the new Beat/Bassline track's name in the Song Editor and rename it, it makes it easier to identify which pattern you are editing.
At this point we better take a look at the function-design in Beat/Basslines:
All the Beat/Bassline tracks you create, share the same instruments! If you delete or toggle-mute an instrument in one Beat/Bassline, it's deleted from or toggle-muted in all Beat/Basslines!.
It is made that way, so you do not have to add duplicate presets in every Beat/Bassline!
All projects Beat/Basslines contain the same instruments, but can have different length as well as patterns of events and different step settings! If you do not want output from one shared preset in lets say Beat/Bassline2, then there are these options:

  1. do not insert any events in the step for that preset in Beat/Bassline2
  2. use the context-menu on any step and select mute

Add automation1.0.0.png The Add Automation track button adds a new Automation track to the current Beat/Bassline track.

Instrument Track

BeatBassline Editor Instrument track1.0.0.png
Each instrument added to the Beat + Bassline Editor will look like this. The Track Settings you recognize from the Song Editor are on the left side and the Step Editor is on the right (the gray boxes).

Step Editor

BeatBassline step editor1.0.0.png

  • By default, an instrument track has 16 steps (16 gray boxes), 4 steps to each beat in a 4-beat bar.
  • Each step icon is both an on/off toggle and a "volume knob". A left-click on a step toggles it on or off. To change its volume, hover your mouse over a step and raise or lower its volume by rolling your mouse scroll wheel up or down. The step is brightly lit at full volume, gray at zero volume, and an intermediate brightness at intermediate volumes. A left-click will still turn the step on or off, and the step remembers its last volume setting. Editing the volume of a step in the Piano Roll (see below) is also reflected in the brightness of a step.
  • When a step is turned on, the sound from the instrument will play the event at that step in the bar.
  • The 4 steps in each beat group are shaded alternately light and dark to make on-beat off-beat difference.

Right-click menu Beat/Bassline Editor

Right-clicking on a step for a track gives you the context menu below for that track:

  • Open in piano-roll allows you to edit the notes of a segment in the Piano Roll Editor rather than just as steps. This allows you to place events with more than 1/16th precision, and to vary the pitch, length, and volume because you now work with notes.
  • Copy & Paste allow you to copy a set of events from one track to another by copying the original track's events, right-clicking on the new track and choosing Paste.
  • Mute/Unmute allows you to context-menu-mute/unmute the instrument in this Beat/Bassline track only.
  • Clear all notes allows you to quickly erase all the events in this track.
  • Reset name resets the segment name to the track name, and the name is again hidden.
  • Change Name allow you to change the name of this track from the default (the instrument plugin or sample you loaded).
  • Add steps and Remove Steps allow you to add or remove the number of steps with a factor of 2.
  • Clone-steps allow you to extend current Beat/Bassline, and preserve all events in the extension.


HowTo: Composing Bass Lines and Drum Sequences

Prev: Song Editor Up: Manual Next: Piano Roll Editor