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The Italian writer/producer and synthmeister Giorgio Moroder is perhaps most famous for his work on the 1977 Donna Summer single I Feel Love. The simple and highly infectious continuously repeating sequenced bassline set the scene for what was to come for the next 30 years.
To get his now-famous eight-note sequenced bass, Moroder used a massive Moog Modular synth system plugged into an eight-step analogue sequencer (lots of knobs and no storage) fed into a basic delay line set for a triplet repeat. Pressing a key on the keyboard with the sequencer running would allow simple transposition of the phrase, but not much else. Tonal variation came from real-time tweaking of synth parameters such as filter cutoff. The result is not only the sound, but the track’s hypnotic, tension-building melody too, which forced Summer to sing falsetto to keep up.
To recreate this sound we’re using Steinberg’s Prologue synth set to fire on all three oscillators. Each is set to a sawtooth wave with slight detuning on each to give some fatness to the sound. The amplitude and filter envelopes are set for a fast attack and moderately swift decay in order to give punching presence to the bass pulse. The filter envelope is mapped to a 12dB low-pass filter. Its cutoff can be swept to give all-important movement to the sound.