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Why are repeated arpeggiated (bass) lines so gratifying? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 15th August 2018
  #31
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M32 View Post
Repetitive rythms have a lot of psycho-acoustic effect.

They provide a pulse/rythmic anchor around which all other musical elements can move, push and pull.
They allow any listener to have a sense of groove, tempo and pulse that is so easy to follow you can do it unconciously, there's no need to actively think about it, allowing your mind to drift and focus much more on other stuff such as texture, timbre and feeling. So it's perfect for modern music where this is a main character trait.
Pretty much the same reason why a lot of people like 4/4 dance beats, anyone can move rythmically without having to conciously think about it.

There's an instinctive/tribal/ primitive root feeling about this sensation, call it 'trance'
Throughout our evolution in various ways and cultures people have been doing repetitive rituals for prolonged times, so we get into an 'automatic' state, allowing our mind to wander while our bodies and subconcious are doing this cycle.
It's a very simple way of meditating and similar to certain mindfullness techniques.

A nice analogy is when you go running, or cycling. After a while, you fall into this cadence, a body-mind groove which is both soothing and invigorating.

The contrast of static-ness and other elements which vary, creates a nice diversity in -to use a painting analogy- colour.

In music without drums, it creates an easily discernible and audible pulse. In music like the stranger things themes, tangerine dream, ozric tentacles, etc... they ARE the drums effectively.

Analog synths are great for this since every note sounds slightly different.
An acoustic drum or struck/plucked object will also sound a little different every time you hit it.
Maybe the change is so small we can can hardly hear it, but our subconious does,
and it makes the same repetition interesting for a much longer period.
QFE... so true.

Yesterday I was in the middle of a follow up post trying to put this into words, but didn’t finish. You said it all so very well here and more, thank you.
Old 15th August 2018
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markodarko View Post
Yes, it was good of me to look that up for you, wasn’t it.

You’re welcome.
i already knew anyway, but please do post links to your music though!
Old 15th August 2018
  #33
M32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtomfoolery View Post
Are you saying it's hypnotic?
Old 15th August 2018
  #34
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
i already knew anyway
Hmm. Yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
hmmm i disagree to call them arpeggios. i have the score of jarre's magnetic fields album, all 5 parts. and everyone of the basslines and upper melodic lines are sequences. and probably those who make or do berlin-school music will also disagree with you calling them arpeggios.
...Makes it sound like you didn’t know, to be frank.

<confused>
Old 16th August 2018
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
please do post links to your music though!
I don’t currently have an online “presence” for my music although I am considering re-releasing an album I did entirely on a Yamaha SY-85 in the late 90’s onto iTunes as an “anniversary” edition along with possibly making YouTube videos to go along with it where I break each track down into its constituent parts - probably by loading each sequencer track into a DAW first for ease of visualisation. Might be interesting to a small, synth-geek minority but I’m still on the fence about that at the moment as it’d be a lot of work.

As for my recent stuff, I’ve nothing that I’d consider “release quality” yet. I tend to only show things that I’ve created (be it music or photography) once I’m happy with it, and I’m my own worst critic.

Back on subject though, interestingly, I don’t have many pieces that I write (if any - I’m trying to remember!) that use repeating arpeggios. I just like listening to them but rarely use them in my own music. Don’t know why. Perhaps I’ll start.

Old 16th August 2018
  #36
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are we distinguishing between arpeggios, ostinatos, repeating themes?

-----
here's a cool thing to try out:
download The Palette (v4.?? it's freeware now), and bung together
some orchestral megachords, and then export the sequence as a
midi file. now import that into your sequencer, and process it as an
arpeggio. haven't tried it for ages but it produced some nice aerial
stuff.

(edit:soz missed 'bassline')

Last edited by babylonpanic; 16th August 2018 at 08:40 PM..
Old 16th August 2018
  #37
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A Polysix bassline on unison is pure magic, on pair with it arpeggiator.
The drifty/phasing/electric nature of the polysix make it hypnotic, i could listen to it for hours, it doesnt need a beat. There’s a vid from Junkie XL where he say he use his polysix mostly for those arpeggio/repetitive bassline.
Old 16th August 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madd Anju View Post
A Polysix bassline on unison is pure magic, on pair with it arpeggiator.
The drifty/phasing/electric nature of the polysix make it hypnotic, i could listen to it for hours, it doesnt need a beat. There’s a vid from Junkie XL where he say he use his polysix mostly for those arpeggio/repetitive bassline.
It is.But i got bored of it after a while and sold it.

edit-not of the synth but listening to that phasing arp...... it was very cool while the buzz lasted tho.

Last edited by Goa-Dubs; 16th August 2018 at 09:04 PM..
Old 16th August 2018
  #39
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Old 17th August 2018
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveItAll View Post
Melody and repetition are the basic elements of music*.

Melody: Soft warm low notes were harder to generate acoustically because it requires large instruments and often more physical effort from the player. But people actually prefer low notes. Notice that pop music has drifted to lower sounding chords than 50 years ago. Bass is key to many genres of music now.

Repetition: A repeating pattern of notes is hard to pull off for a performer but easy for a computer thingy. People do appreciate when a simple repeating pattern is both familiar but varied enough to not sound stale.

So the bass arp pattern is very appealing and only really possible because of synthesizers.

*Of course I got bashed on the Stockhausen thread for telling the truth, but hey.
The Beatles, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, etc were not all about low notes. They were in your face music. That's the difference is that most new music is no longer designed to be just sat and listened to anymore. It's more often than not a backdrop for other things so it can't demand all the attention. Look at new hip hop, with it's simple repeditive melody and bass, repeating the same words a hundred times. It's just meant to be hypnotic. Just because that's what's in vogue now doesn't mean that's what people like. In fact most Van Halen fans prefer the rude brash sound of the David Lee Roth Era vs the smoothed out more pop Hagar Era. Music doesn't go a certain direction because that's what the fans like. Unfortunately most fans are sheep and are easliy led by those with the money. They've been being led to more and more simple over the years. The truth is it's much easier to make music with less harmonic, melodic and rhythmic complexity and that happens to be easier for non musically sophisticated people to appreciate.
Old 18th August 2018
  #41
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Older pop music was not about the low notes because amps and the radio couldn't do low frequencies. Studios didn't even bother to record low frequencies because no one was going to hear them anyway. You can hear it in the mixes. Low cut everywhere. That's not a creative decision, its how music sounded when played. Now we have subs common in listening environments, we are using the low frequencies.

I would love to hear 60s Prog Rock with deep bass but they never recorded it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishMusic View Post
The Beatles, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, etc were not all about low notes. They were in your face music. That's the difference is that most new music is no longer designed to be just sat and listened to anymore. It's more often than not a backdrop for other things so it can't demand all the attention. Look at new hip hop, with it's simple repeditive melody and bass, repeating the same words a hundred times. It's just meant to be hypnotic. Just because that's what's in vogue now doesn't mean that's what people like. In fact most Van Halen fans prefer the rude brash sound of the David Lee Roth Era vs the smoothed out more pop Hagar Era. Music doesn't go a certain direction because that's what the fans like. Unfortunately most fans are sheep and are easliy led by those with the money. They've been being led to more and more simple over the years. The truth is it's much easier to make music with less harmonic, melodic and rhythmic complexity and that happens to be easier for non musically sophisticated people to appreciate.
Old 18th August 2018
  #42
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

One of my favorite repetitive synth sequences of all time - with voice and trumpet.

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