Tempo-Synced LFO Wobble Bass

There is a simple, but highly useful hack I discovered a few years ago in which it’s possible to pass the current tempo from the score to an instrument using p3. And since dubstep is all the rage these days, I’ve designed a practical example in which a tempo-synced LFO modulates the cutoff of a low pass filter to create that “wobbly” bass effect.

Download the code here.

Passing the tempo of the score to an instrument is a fairly straight forward process. First, always set p3 to 1; This value of 1 is translated into seconds-per-beat (SPB) when the score is preprocessed. Second, use p4 for the desired duration. Third, in the instrument code, the following two lines obtain the tempo in SPB from p3 and then resets the duration of the instrument to the desired length:

ispb = p3 ; Seconds-per-beat. Must specify "1" in score
p3 = ispb * p4 ; Reset the duration

Now that we have the tempo, we can create a low frequeny oscillator that is synced to the tempo. To create that dubsteb wobble effect, p7 is designated as the division of the note. We need to take this p7 value and translate it into Hz utilizing the SPB value:

idivision = 1 / (p7 * ispb) ; Division of Wobble

Plugging this value in the frequency parameter of an oscillator yields a tempo-synced LFO. (some drift may occur over long periods of time)

klfo oscil 1, idivision, itable

Try changing the tempo in the score, and you’ll notice that the wobbles stay consistent relative to the tempo.

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