Using Cubase Step Designer to create old-school synth sequences
Using Cubase Step Designer to create simple but effective classic synth sequences.
Part of the process of truly capturing that “old-school” sound is to sequence the sound in similar ways to how it would have been done in those classic tracks.
As technology advances and we gain access to machines that allows us almost infinite control over the sequencing and arrangement of music, while this can be an incredibly helpful thing – I believe it slows down the creative process.
When granted with too much choice, we will most likely default to something we know as safe resulting in us not thinking too far outside of the box creatively.
When granted with a few options and a spur of the moment decision, you’re much more likely to experiment – or at least do something unintentional, which may result in something unique to you.
I’m pretty sure that’s one of the reasons that Goa-Trance pushed the envelope so far for its time, the machines and methods were simple – but perfected and mastered.
Another bonus I find to using this style of sequencing, is that it’s far more immediate. Simply load the Cubase Step Designer MIDI inserts and it loops alongside your track.
Applying the theory in practice…
If you’ve been following from last week’s tutorial – you probably already have the TAL-Bassline plugin.
It’s an emulation of the classic Roland SH-101 – a HUGELY popular synth in almost every dance music genre throughout the late 80s and early 90s, from Techno to Goa-Trance.
One of the things that made the Roland SH-101 so popular was the incredibly easy to use internal sequencer, the free version of TAL-Bassline doesn’t have an internal sequencer, however the Cubase Step Designer is more than capable. It’s a bit different to how you would sequence on the original, but it can create similar results – very fast.
For a walkthrough on how to get the Cubase Step Designer up and running with TAL-Bassline, check out my video here: