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Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:54 pm
by chinchee
Hello,

What equipment was used to create the crazy :shock: basslines on the Madonna songs "Into the Groove" and "Who's that Girl" I mean these are truly intricate and amazing feats of synthbass. Surely it is some type of sequencing. How did they sequence bass like that and sync it to a drum machine?

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:11 pm
by Z
If I had to bet money on it, I would say a MiniMoog was used. There are many ways to sequence a bass line either with hardware or software.

If you think those bass lines are intense, you should check out David Frank's bass lines with his group The System and on Phil Collin's "Sussudio."

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:53 am
by JMP
Well this sounds particularly close and would seem to confirm what Z has stated:


Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:00 am
by matia
If I recall it was most likely the MKS 80 super jupiter. There are a couple of web sites/articles that confirm this if you dig about the net. I have a Jupiter 8 and can tell you that some of the sounds are pretty close but don't have that digitalish harshness that the MKS 80 has.

-matia

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:50 pm
by jp8
I'd have to agree with matia. The MKS-80 is most likely the synth used for that bassline. Syncing it to a drum machine would have been no problem, as MIDI was available in 1984, although it would have had to be run through an external sequencer in order to get the consistently sharp hits you hear in the bassline.

Also, I believe there is a secondary bassline in the song which fills in voids left by the primary, thus making the overall bassline sound especially punchy and quick. This was a pretty common trick in the 80's, and was most effectively used by bands like Dead Or Alive and Front 242. I've used the technique myself to turn a standard arpeggio into a more complicated and fuller-sounding track.

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:38 pm
by hageir
oh those Linn congas, AWESOME :)

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:01 am
by mavertron
Into the groove has to be a minimoog.

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:49 am
by ERIC31
I've tried to play it and it's fun but of course I dont' have it quite down properly to say the least! :lol:

I've got the Virgin Tour live video and her bassist/keyboardist Bill Lanphier plays it live. Not sure what synth he's playing though. It looks like a Korg but I can't really see what model.

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:08 am
by HideawayStudio
jp8 wrote:I'd have to agree with matia. The MKS-80 is most likely the synth used for that bassline. Syncing it to a drum machine would have been no problem, as MIDI was available in 1984, although it would have had to be run through an external sequencer in order to get the consistently sharp hits you hear in the bassline.

Also, I believe there is a secondary bassline in the song which fills in voids left by the primary, thus making the overall bassline sound especially punchy and quick. This was a pretty common trick in the 80's, and was most effectively used by bands like Dead Or Alive and Front 242. I've used the technique myself to turn a standard arpeggio into a more complicated and fuller-sounding track.

I think there maybe something in jp8's theory. Yes - I agree there is a good chance this is Minimoog BUT I also think there is a very good chance this is Jupiter or MKS-80 Super Jupiter - the sound is very similar to the stock preset I-76 on the MKS-80. That said - that preset could have been a Minimoog emulation! :D

I also agree with jp8 that there are either two bass sounds used in this track or that the EQ is altered between phrases. If you listen carefully one seems to be more prominent than the other.

It's been quite a while since Iistened to some early Madonna tracks - I'd forgotten just how well crafted they were - beautifully punchy and very tight - superb! I've always liked the track Who's That Girl - IMHO Madonna's best early tracks always had a touch of latin about them - that said - Ray of Light was absolutely superb - in part - as we all know - thanks to William Orbit...

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:15 am
by HideawayStudio
hageir wrote:oh those Linn congas, AWESOME :)

Absolutely - I'd love an old Linn drum. Like so much decent vintage gear - the native sound always sounds better than a sample of it! - hence me finding the space for my EII! :D

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:23 pm
by goldphinga
It was a Moog Source for bass on the tours

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:43 am
by Jabberwalky
Found the instrumental track of it, so it's easier to hear it. Sounds FM in the trebly ranges. There's obviously another bass in the low end holding it together.


Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:07 am
by iProg
Phil Collins' "Sussudio" as mentioned earlier sounds like the SH-101 rubber style to me, correct me if I'm wrong.

In the video, the chords are played on a Prophet-5...

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:43 pm
by Jabberwalky
Sussudio does sound sh101 like, but it's not because of the portamento. Sounds like the res is cranked a s**t-ton so you can still hear the original pitch. I sat here and tried to recreate it. Something else is tracking with it.

Re: Synth Basslines on Madonnas Into the Groove?

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:46 pm
by iProg
Jabberwalky wrote:Sussudio does sound sh101 like, but it's not because of the portamento. Sounds like the res is cranked a s**t-ton so you can still hear the original pitch. I sat here and tried to recreate it. Something else is tracking with it.
It's obviously triggered by a drum machine (bass drum?) or by a sequencer synth layering the bass line...

Does anyone know?