make basslines with an acoustic bass

Hi all.

Newbie question:

I like sampling stuff I play (on stringed instruments) myself, then looping them etc… so sampled/sequenced music, but the samples come from me.

Is it possible to sample a single bass-sound, then use Ardour (or a plugin) to play different notes of that sound?

I imagine something like the piano-roll in the midi department… but I’m not sure how to go about it.

If someone could tell me if this is possible, or if I need a plugin, or point me in the direction of a tutorial, I would be most grateful.

Thanks in advance,


well if you record the whole range of your acoustic bass note by note you can then make a soundfont of it and load it into a fluid synth plugin. i believe there is also an included sound font loader in ardour by now, but i have not used it so someone else has to answer this :slight_smile:

Hiya - thanks for your reply,

I was specifically interested in making one sound, and playing that as different notes.

so you mean pitchshifting the notes? that will not sound good, trust me. take the time and record each note once at least.

Ah - ok

So how would that work - would I put a sample in it, and use the plugin as a midi-input so I can use it with the piano-roll interface?

There are some decent acoustic bass sample sets already out there if you didn’t want to go to the trouble of sampling your own. Try a search for “meatbass”, which is a pretty nice set with both bowed and pizzicato samples.

Ok - will do… but I’m still mainly interested in sampling my own, then playing the result with some sort of on-screen keyboard.

yes, basically make a sound font out of your acoustic bass samples and load that into a sampler plugin (fluidsynth) and you can play your samples via midi. i don’t quite get it though, you have an acoustic bass, so why not play it live? when sampling you will loose so much info. dynamics (if you only record each note once), slurrs, hammer ons, pull off, string noise when you move around the neck to reach the next note etc…

Couple of reasons.

One is that once it’s a sample, it can be made to go outside the range of what a normal real-world bass can do… and triggering notes via computer rather than “guitarist’s instinct” gives a kind of space and perspective that you don’t get if you’re sitting there playing the thing

Another is that it can be machine-tight. I could never play a track all the way through and be as “on the beat” as a machine can… and the sort of music I’m looking to emulate, eg: is all about that.

I had a Maschine 2.0 Studio trigger for a while - and it could do what I’m describing easily - but I gave it to someone… and it doesn’t work with Linux, and I hate booting to Windows.

I’m more into organic sound than is in that video - but that’s kindof what I’m looking for… an easy way of sampling a note (or phrase) and then being able to play it as different notes, easily.

So I guess what I’m asking, is what is the easiest way of sampling a note - a C say…

… then using Ardour (or a plugin) to generate an E… F… D of that sampled note? - with the possibility of playing notes octaves lower or higher than what the instrument can natively play?

Ok, this post is ancient. Since I was confronted with the same situation a couple of months back and someone might stumble across it, here’s a simple solution.

The technically “correct” way would probably be to generate a soundfont. But some musicians simply need a simple, quick-fix to start experimenting with their instrument and DAWs:

If you are looking to sample a single tone you could use the samplv1 LV2-plugin.
This will get you started, fast. Once installed you might have to fix the pin connetions if you hear no sound.

If you are looking to sample an octave - aka a little more than one tone - try drumkv1 which follows the same logic but with multiple samples. Still, no rocket science.

On a full sound font you can go with @lokki s suggestion of fluidsynth - and calculate some time fiddling around trying to homogenize your own samples.

I haven’t found a more basic sampler than samplv1. I tried sending some basic midi commands from my AKAI Q-Link Knobs to adjust Offset / Tuning or LFO - without success. Still, if you’re just looking for a tool to pitchshift a recorded sample, try it. :desert_island: