Beat Bassline Editor

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Beat and Bassline Editor on startup

The Beat + Bassline Editor is the main window for sequencing rhythms and repetitive musical lines in LMMS.

Tool Bar

The tool bar of the Beat + Bassline Editor looks like this: BeatBassline Editor toolbar1.1.0.png

Play & Stop buttons allow you to play and stop the currently selected Beat/Bassline (BB) track. When Play is pressed, it will be replaced with a Pause symbol allowing you to pause the playback rather than stop it entirely. Stop returns the playhead to the first step in the BB track; Pause allows you to continue from the last played step. Add steps and Remove Steps allow you to add or remove the number of steps in a bar.

BeatBassline Editor dropdownmenu1.1.0.png The drop-down menu allows you to select the Beat/Bassline (BB) track to edit. It displays the current BB track being edited.

Add bb track.png The Add Beat/Bassline button creates a new Beat/Bassline (BB) track to the Song-Editor, numbered sequentially from "Beat/Bassline 0". Right-click on the new BB track's name in the Song Editor and rename it to something useful--this makes it easier to identify which pattern you are editing. Warning: all the BB tracks you create are linked in such a way that they share the same instruments. If you delete or toggle-mute an instrument in one BB track, it's deleted from or toggle-muted in all the BB tracks in this project. So, if you have multiple BB tracks in your song, remember that all the BB tracks will contain the same instruments. This means that you'll have to enforce silence on those instruments that you want silenced in a particular BB track. For example, say you have a first BB track with a kick drum, snare, and hihat, and a second BB track with just a clap and a shaker. All 5 instruments will be in both BB tracks. You'll want the clap and shaker instruments in the first track to be silent, so in the first track, for both the clap and shaker, you can either

  1. make sure all the steps are turned off (see Context Menu Clear below), or
  2. context-menu mute the track; toggle-mute won't work because the instrument will be toggle-muted in all other BB tracks.

Also, you'll have to do the same thing to the kick, snare, and hihat in the second BB track to make sure those 3 are silent.

Add automation1.0.0.png The Add Automation track button adds a new Automation track to the current BB 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 bright green at full volume, gray at zero volume, and an intermediate brightness of green 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 color brightness of a step.
  • When a step is turned on, the sound from the instrument will play at that step in the bar.
  • The 4 steps in each beat group are shaded alternately light and dark gray to make orientation easier.

Right-click menu BB 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 notes with more than 1/16th precision, and to vary the pitch, length, and volume of the notes (steps).
  • Copy & Paste allow you to copy a set of steps from one track to another by copying the original track's steps, right-clicking on the new track and choosing Paste.
  • Mute/Unmute allows you to context-menu-mute/unmute the instrument in this BB track only. Unlike the toggle-mute/unmute switch (the LED light), this method of muting does not affect the same instrument in other BB tracks in the same project.
  • Clear all notes allows you to quickly erase all the steps 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 in a bar.


HowTo: Composing Bass Lines and Drum Sequences

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