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Old 30th September 2019
Lives for gear
3rd Degree's Avatar

Though I don't play bass, it is probably one of the easier instruments to pick up at a fundamental level (meaning you can play well enough to accomplish what you want, and be able to actually play it). Not to knock bass players, I know some of the best and that takes a lifetime.

However, there are a few other ways to achieve this. First, find a soundbank with bass loops. Either chop them up, or if already chopped, figure out how rearrange. For patches, you have way more flexibility but they may not be as "expressive" as sampling a loop, though you do get control of the expression, where as with a sample you do not. Play with pitch as well, I used to be into pitching samples before I recorded and loved the sound, but found it was a lot of work to pitch everything to be in global pitch with the sample. When I learned how to properly pitch my bass (a long time ago), I often would get asked to play bass lines over other peoples music and found what was once challenging, super easy with some practice, and made a little bit of money doing so, even though I wasn't amazing, I could understand translating a filtered bassline into something very similar with VSTi over MIDI.

As per the MPC, it would have no problem doing either. It doesn't even have to be multi sampled, you can often use one note and pitch that and it works. Reason I bring this up as a bass guitar won't solve wrong notes, or bad pitch. You can obviously tune your bass to the sample, but you can already do that with what you have. I would play around more with it. One major part of sampling is learning that no matter how well you rearrange a sample or reuse it, you are sampling great musicians and no matter how hard you filter, you may be left with some or a lot of the original bass still being there. If you don't learn how to play something, be it the bass, the keyboard, or spreading a sample around some pads, you skill won't match the melody, but it will also potentially conflict with bass notes in the original sample, even if the bass is filtered or not that loud. Bass is not just in subwoofers. Many ways to do this, I have 4 basic ways of creating bass lines myself without using an actual bass and then that decision isn't straightforward either. If I were you, I would just practice playing bass lines to music you like.

Not against you getting a bass, if you learn it, it is very useful, but not necessary and maybe excessive compared to just finding how to do it with what you have. Why I say "maybe" with excessive is that some people have to have the real deal to learn, other people can find work arounds, but you found a weakness. IMO, beat making is not about exploiting your talents but learning your weaknesses and improving on that.