Performing Guitar, Bass and Acoustic Drums with Dubler 2

4 min read • 12th Apr 2022
In this article we’re going to look at examples of how Dubler 2 can be used to perform Rock-style sounds like rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar, acoustic drums and synth pad chords!

We’re also going to suggest some free software and plug-ins that can take MIDI guitar sounds to the next level.

We’re using Logic X for demonstration purposes but the techniques we look at can be applied to any DAW!

Here's the track that we'll be producing, with all parts performed with Dubler 2:
Guitar Power Chords

First, we’ll choose a scale in Dubler 2’s Play Tab. We’ll go for B Minor. In Logic we’re using the British Stack Synth Lead preset and here’s how it sounds when we sing some basic melodies using Dubler 2:
Single notes don’t sound great with MIDI guitar patches so this can sound much better if we turn it into a chord!

We’ll use Logic’s Chord Trigger device to turn every note we sing into power chords. This means when a chord is formed of a root note, the same note one octave up and the fifth in between. For example, C-G-C or E-B-E.
Every DAW has a Chord MIDI device that inputs individual note MIDI and exports chord MIDI.

Here’s how the guitar sounds with the Chord Trigger’s power chord preset:
We’ve laid out three different chord progressions that we could later use as three sections of a track.
Acoustic Drums

Now we’re going to use Dubler 2’s triggers to perform acoustic drum samples with Logic’s Bluebird drum kit. We’ll train only two sounds - a “Ba” and a “Cha” - to trigger two MIDI notes. First we’ll perform the kick and snare so we have the triggers set to launch the C1 and D1 notes:
Quantizing plays a huge role with these kinds of performances so we’ll select all notes and quantize to a 16th-note grid after recording.
Now we’ll change the MIDI note settings of the triggers in Dubler 2 so that we get a closed hat when we make a “Ba” sound an open hi-hat when we make a “Cha” sound. Here’s how the hats sound when performed in solo:
And below is a full performance over what we have so far. We go for a lot of ideas and rhythms here even if our timing isn’t perfect. This is because quantizing will really save the day with the hats!
The last step with drums is performing some tom fills so we’ll go back into our trigger settings and select the MIDI notes for a high tom and floor tom. Here’s a short snippet with the toms in solo: 
And below are some examples of the fills we can beatbox in. As with the hats, it’s important to take risks and try some fast rhythms that you can clean up later with quantizing.
You can see that with only two triggers we were able to perform a whole drum part for all three sections of our track!

You can jump to the end of the article to hear the full track with all of the drum quantization and clean-up applied.

Bass Guitar

Now for some bass! We’ll re-enable Dubler 2’s Pitch mode and use Logic’s Picked Bass preset. However, we’re going to use two instances of it.

For the first one we’ll add an arpeggiator MIDI device. When you don’t hold a chord, arpeggiators simply repeat the note you’re sustaining. Here’s how this sounds with a rate of 1/16:
For the other sections, we’ll perform normal single notes. Here are a couple examples:
Synth Chords

Rock instruments sound great with some synth chords in the background, so we’ll load up Logic’s Classic Pad preset.
Next, we’ll enable Chords in Dubler 2 and then head to the Chords tab to assign chords to all of the notes in our scale. To make the chords more interesting we’re using lots of 7th choord voicings and slash chords - for example having an F# Minor chord play when we sing an A note.
With all of this set up we can now head back to the play tab and sing chords!
Guitar Solo

Who says you can’t play a guitar solo with your voice? We’ll start by loading up Spitfire Audio’s free Labs Instrument’s Electric Guitars library. It has numerous presets but we’ll go for the 80s Lead One. Here’s how some single notes of this patch sounds:
As you can hear, the patch is in desperate need of a boost! We’re going to use Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig’s free version, that you can get as part of the free Komplete Start package. Here’s how our guitar sounds with Guitar Rig’s ‘Crazy Randy - Chorus’ preset:
We can also add Logic’s Delay to make the sound much more epic:
Here’s a full solo performance over the last two sections of our track:
Just to add some more interest to the pre-chorus section, we’ll perform a quick melody with Logic’s Dreamy Air Guitar preset:
Final Track

Below is our final track combining all of the above elements - all performed with Dubler 2. Of course, with mixing and other processing the track could be greatly improved but we’re going to leave it like this for now for demonstration purposes:
You can also watch the process of this track’s production via our Youtube video “Producing Rock With Dubler 2!”

Be sure to leave any questions you have in the comments!
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Aykan Esen

Digital Content Creator at Vochlea Music