Captain Deep Epic is a one-stop-shop for creating awesome basslines.
It connects to Captain Chords Epic to generate basslines that fit harmonically with your chord progression; and similar to Captain Chords Epic, Captain Deep Epic features Rhythm presets to help you get pro-sounding bassline ideas up and running quickly.
You can fully edit the MIDI notes on the canvas and import MIDI files just like in Captain Chords Epic and Captain Melody Epic. Infact, many of the features in Captain Deep Epic are shared with the other Captain Plugin Epic flavors.
For this how-to guide we’ll focus mostly on its unique features.
If you haven’t already done so, please check out our Captain Chords Epic how-to guide before continuing with this guide.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to connect Captain Deep Epic to Captain Chords Epic. How to change Rhythm presets, split Rhythm segments and use the chord ghost notes to help make your bassline fit with your chords.
We’ll also look at how to use Magic Record to record notes in real-time and use Captain Deep Epic’s tools to edit MIDI notes manually.
When you first open Captain Deep Epic it will automatically connect to Captain Chords Epic. If you have more than one instance of Captain Chords Epic in your DAW project then you can choose which instance of Captain Chords Epic that Captain Deep Epic should connect to by opening the settings panel and choosing from the drop down ‘Connected to’ menu.
This is important as it allows the plugins to synchronize the key and scale and work together to create better Chord and Bassline combinations.
As you can see, the chord notes are visible on the canvas as ‘ghost notes’, this helps as a reference for writing your bassline, you can see what notes are being played, their timing and their rhythm.You can also identify the chords by their name at the bottom of the user interface.
Use this visual representation to help make your bassline gel with your chords, in terms of both rhythm and melody, like this example below.
If you have complex chords, try creating a simple bassline. Alternatively, if your chord progression is simple, then you can afford to have a more complex bassline.
Above the canvas, or workspace, there are the Chord Degree buttons. Each button represents a note in the selected key and scale and are colored by their tension. Blue represents chord notes, green adds a little more tension and yellow adds even more tension.
This allows you to quickly change the notes while ensuring they’re always in scale.
Additionally, we can change the octave of one note, or select a group of notes to move them all at once.
Next to the Chord Degree buttons you’ll find the 3 main MIDI editing tools, Move, Pencil and Brush.
Move allows you to manually move notes around on the canvas. With pencil selected you can draw-in notes, and with brush you can add a row of notes quickly from one of the Snap resolutions.
Brushing in notes, and then changing their pitch using the Chord Degree buttons is a quick and fun way to create bass arpeggios, like this up-and-down bass arpeggio below.
The Rhythm presets section works in the same way as Captain Chords Epic. You can choose from many genres, with each containing a large number of patterns. This offers a great starting point for writing super-cool basslines.
Choose your genre, then you can audition the presets until you find a rhythm you like. If you’re unsure and need some inspiration, click the dice button for a randomized result.
If you find some presets that really fit your style then press on the heart icon to save them to your favorites.
You can split the Rhythm segments from within the Rhythm tab, which is located at the bottom of the canvas. This means you can create even more interesting basslines through combining multiple rhythm presets, just like in Captain Chords Epic.
To do this select a chord segment, then press on the split icon, which is located at the top-right corner of each segment. You can divide each Rhythm segment down to as small as eighth notes.
Once you have decided on the segment size, select it and choose a new Rhythm preset for that segment.
If you prefer to play your bassline live then click on the Magic Record icon.
Magic Record allows you to use your computer keyboard, or MIDI keyboard, to play and record notes in real-time.
You can find all the notes of your chosen key and scale, and access different octaves on each row of keys on your computer keyboard, similar to Captain Play.
Additionally, when in Magic Record view, you’ll find options to control the quantisation of the record notes, a metronome to help with timing and whether you wish to overdub, or automatically commit the notes to the canvas while playing live.
Just like with Captain Chords Epic, Captain Deep Epic also has sound presets from PhasePlant.
To access these new sounds, click on the sound preset section. All sound presets are categorized by genre and instrument type, this helps you find the right sound much faster.
You can identify a PhasePlant sound by the PhasePlant logo next to the preset name.
Once you’ve chosen a sound preset, you can further tweak the timbre using the pop-out Sound Design interface.
These macro controls allow you to adjust some of the main characteristics of the sound, this means you can dial-in the sound just how you want.
You can also automate these parameters in your DAW to create movement and evolving soundscapes in your song arrangement.
As well as being able to change notes using the Scale Degree buttons, you can also use the Tension line found within the Tension tab at the bottom of the canvas.
This allows you to create a bassline based on note tension. The colors relate to the amount of tension in the bassline’s melody.
Blue represents chord notes, green adds a little more tension (non-chord notes). Yellow adds even more tension and red means the note is out of scale.
It’s a fun, and unique, way to write the melodic element of a bassline.
If you want to read the how-to-guides for the legacy Captain Deep 5, please visit this page.