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winterelegy

What exactly is a "goa" bassline

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winterelegy    17

So first of all, I totally under the "psy" bass which is used in every single prog/Dacru/etc track ever made. I can make that with no problems, but it doesn't really fit with "goa" type songs. This type of bassline is pretty easy to grasp because it's almost always one of the main focuses of the song so it's easy to hear the tone/notes. However, the thing I am struggling with is that in Goa the focus is on the layers of synths/melodies and the bassline is usually kind of buried and hard to make out. So what exactly makes something a "Goa" bassline and how do you create it? Also feel free to post any examples of particularly "goa" style basslines.

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recursion loop    461
23 hours ago, winterelegy said:

 the "psy" bass which is used in every single prog/Dacru/etc track ever made. I can make that with no problems

I envy you :)

I think there is no unified kind of goa bassline, basically any bassline that fits the track may be a goa bass. Many newschool goa releases utilize something that sounds like a more loose version of the typical full-on bass - I mean it's still a phase-retriggered saw with a short filter envelope played by 16th notes jumping over an ocatve, it's just not supposed to sound as loud, fat and tight as possible but may be buried beneath other synths as your say. Some people add a midrange layer on top of the bassline - a synth playing the same notes octave above hipassed around 150-250 Hz, it may have some unison and a delay and/or phaser or some other stereo-widening processing.

But basically goa bass is whatever bass that fits the track.

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antic604    499
23 hours ago, winterelegy said:

So first of all, I totally under the "psy" bass which is used in every single prog/Dacru/etc track ever made. I can make that with no problems, but it doesn't really fit with "goa" type songs. This type of bassline is pretty easy to grasp because it's almost always one of the main focuses of the song so it's easy to hear the tone/notes. However, the thing I am struggling with is that in Goa the focus is on the layers of synths/melodies and the bassline is usually kind of buried and hard to make out. So what exactly makes something a "Goa" bassline and how do you create it? Also feel free to post any examples of particularly "goa" style basslines.

With majority of psytrance (full-on, forest, dark, etc.) modern bass line is basically an extension of (complements) the kick, ie. - like @recursion loopabove said - it's repetitive (typically in a kbbb pattern, k_bb / kb_b for prog- styles), very short, with minimal mid/high frequency content and firmly rooted to the root note.

For goa, you'll usually have fuller sound (more frequency content, likely with some FX on the upper parts), less repetitive patterns with notes not afraid to overlap with kick (which is mostly a no-no for other styles), notes can be longer than 1/16th, have longer attack and glides between them are pretty common. Also, often there's a distinct melodic progression in goa bass lines - they're still tied to the root note, but they'll more often have some accents, little hooks and the root note can change, especially in climax segments / breaks.

Obviously, you'll encounter full-on with basslines of the 2nd type and goa with the 1st, but - at least IMO - that would be the main difference :)

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thanosp81    296

Huh, strange. And here I was thinking that the only difference is that Goa basslines are f***ing awesome and psytrance are just boring and repetitive. :P:P:P 

Glad that someone can describe the same thing with technical terms.

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recursion loop    461
40 minutes ago, antic604 said:

With majority of psytrance (full-on, forest, dark, etc.) modern bass line is basically an extension of (complements) the kick, ie. - like @recursion loopabove said - it's repetitive (typically in a kbbb pattern, k_bb / kb_b for prog- styles), very short, with minimal mid/high frequency content and firmly rooted to the root note.

Techincally this is wrong. The "kbbb" bass  is a almost always a saw and typically has the filter almost fully open at the attack so the frequency content spans over few octaves. Some full-on basses with longer filter decay may sound almost like leads. As opposed to psy, some goa basslines may use layering which may be responsible for "fuller" sound, however in goa the bass is rarely the main element of the track, so it's actually a good idea to make it relatively quiet and scoop some frequency areas with an eq to make room for all the leads. 

Also many full-on tracks have lots of chord changes followed by the bassline - especially if we talk about melodic kinds of full-on. Some full-on bassline patterns may sound like melodies on their own. I think goa in general tends to use less chord changes, maybe a modulation to subdominant at the climax and that's it. 

 

@the OP: care to post some specific tracks so we could try to figure out how the basslines were made? If you talk about "the psybass" typically no examples are necessary because everybody immediately understands what kind of sound you are after, in goa there is much more variety.

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winterelegy    17
5 hours ago, recursion loop said:

@the OP: care to post some specific tracks so we could try to figure out how the basslines were made? If you talk about "the psybass" typically no examples are necessary because everybody immediately understands what kind of sound you are after, in goa there is much more variety.

Hehe this is part of the problem, you can't really hear/make out the bass in a lot of goa songs! But here are a couple that I really like:

 

Alienapia does some great hard basslines

And I like Psy-H for basslines too, you can actually hear it clearly in the beginning. This one seems fairly close to the typical psy bass but mainly the low end only without the emphasis on mid/high tones, leaving room for the synths.
 

 

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recursion loop    461

Psy-H Project uses something similar to a typical darkpsy bassline. A bit unusual for goa, but that's his trademark style. If you know how to make a basic psy "kbbb" bass, just drop it  one octave down, make amplitude and filter envelopes a bit shorter and decrease the amount of envelope to filter modulation, you should get shorter percussive sound with less high frequency content (not completely devoid of it though, the attack phase should have enough high frequencies to cut through the mix). You may also add some saturation  to make the lower midrange sound fatter. If you write music in a DAW and have a PC, check out G-Sonique Ultrabass plugin, it's great for these basslines. It has a built-in saturation which sounds spot on.

 

Alienapia is a bit harder to dissect because the bass never plays on its own. This track has a midrange arpeggiated synth and a bass which plays some groovy pattern supporting the arp. I think it's also a saw with an envelope-controlled LP filter, but this time it sounds more loose, I guess the phase of the osc may be free-running and the envelope is set differently (I guess, longer decay). Also it's not a steady 16th pattern, it plays some syncopated groove interplaying with the arp pattern.. 

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