3.7 Beat+Bassline Editor

Beat+Bassline Editor
The Beat+Bassline Editor is the main window for sequencing rhythms and repetitive musical lines in LMMS.

3.7.1 Toolbar

Beat+Bassline Editor toolbar
Play and Stop buttons allow you to play and stop the currently selected Beat/Bassline (BB) track. When Play is pressed, it will be replaced with a Pause symbol allowing you to pause the playback rather than stop it entirely. Stop returns the play-head to the first step in the BB track; Pause allows you to continue from the last played step. Add steps and Remove steps allow you to add or remove the number of steps in a bar.
The drop-down menu allows you to select the BB track to edit. It displays the current Beat/Bassline (BB) track being edited.
The Add Beat/Bassline button creates a new Beat/Bassline track in the Song Editor, numbered sequentially from "Beat/Bassline 0". Right-click on the new BB track's name in the Song Editor and rename it to something useful.
All BB tracks are linked in such a way that they share the same instruments.
If you delete or toggle-mute an instrument in one BB track, the effect will be applied in all BB tracks within this project. So, if you have multiple BB tracks in your song, remember that all the BB tracks will contain the same instruments. This means that you'll have to enforce silence on those instruments that you want silenced in a particular BB track. For example, say you have a first BB track with a kick drum, snare, and HiHat, and a second BB track with just a clap and a shaker. All 5 instruments will be in both BB tracks. You'll want the clap and shaker instruments in the first track to be silent, so in the first track, for both the clap and shaker, you can either
  • Make sure all the steps are turned off (see Context menu clear below)
  • Context menu mute the track (toggle mute won't work because the instrument will be toggle muted in all other BB tracks)
Also, you'll have to do the same thing to the kick, snare, and HiHat in the second BB track to make sure those 3 are silent.
The Add automation track button adds a new automation track to the current BB track.

3.7.2 Instrument Track

Instrument track
Each instrument added to the Beat+Bassline Editor will look like this. The track settings you recognize from the Song Editor are on the left side and the Step Editor is on the right (the gray boxes). Step Editor

By default an instrument track has 16 steps (16 gray boxes), 4 steps to each beat in a 4-beat bar.
Each step icon is both an on/off toggle and a volume knob. A left-click on a step toggles it on or off. To change its volume, hover your mouse over step and raise or lower its volume by rolling your mouse scroll wheel up or down. The step is bright green at full volume, gray at zero volume, and an intermediate brightness of green at intermediate volumes. A left-click will still turn the step on or off, and the step remembers its last volume setting. Editing the volume of a step in the Piano Roll (see below) is also reflected in the color brightness of a step.
When a step is turned on, the sound from the instrument will play at that step in the bar.
The 4 steps in each beat group are shaded alternately light and dark gray to make orientation easier.
Right-clicking on a step gives you the context menu for that track.
BB track context menu
  • Open in piano-roll allows you to edit the notes of a segment in the Piano Roll Editor rather than just as steps. This allows you to place notes with more than 1/16th precision, and to vary the pitch, length, and volume of the notes (steps).
  • Copy and Paste allow you to copy a set of steps from one track to another by copying the original track's steps, right-clicking on the new track and choosing Paste
  • Mute/Unmute allows you to context menu mute/unmute the instrument in this BB track only. Unlike the toggle mute/unmute switch (the light), this method does affect the same instrument in other BB tracks in the same project.
  • Clear all notes allows you to quickly erase all the steps in this track
  • Reset name resets the segment name to the track name, and the name is again hidden
  • Change name allows you to change the name of this track
  • Add steps and Remove steps allow you to add or remove the number of steps in a bar