Breakdown - Bass and Keys

A recent project to reinvigorate a song we’ve played for years by adding an enhanced backing track beyond just the stock Country Beat 7 shuffle snare and the Standard Pro kit we’ve used.

The free MIDI file is a good one with parts to cut and paste and arrange and encouraging me to obsessively spend far too much time moving bits and balancing and re-balancing volume/velocities of keys, cymbals, etc. I tried to warm up to the bass slides but no good – they got deleted. The sound is too raw not melodic vs the Ample Sound P Bass plugin in my DAW (REAPER). Transferring to BB sometimes limits parts with kits I find so useful otherwise.

I’m always trying for that point of having a more elaborate backing for the trio that still sits acceptably almost unnoticed (considering we already crossed that boundary by quite noticeably using BB vs a live drummer). Too much “static burden” though outweighs the live performance drawing attention to the canned backing itself.

I ran into some issues that Persist kindly helped me work through. I typically use a 2nd button push to begin an Outro immediately in time but the non-percussive sounds (keys) in the MIDI file in this slot weren’t triggering leaving some dead space at the beginning. The Persist workaround (moving the ‘Outro’ to the 2nd Main Loop slot) solves the problem perfectly.

Specific to this song:
We developed a pretty comfortable way of doing it over the years and allow some room for our lead guitarist to stretch that I wanted to stick to. You’ll see that reflected in the attached cheat sheet notes.

  • The Outro is in the 2nd Main Loop slot. I let the Solo loop go (in the 1st Main Loop slot) - we repeat the riff 2x and trigger the outro ‘when ready’ (we’ve been together for so many years it’s often intuitive). I note (to myself) - ‘let go of the pedal on the Transition before the final beat in the measure’ since my practice over all these years is to tap the 2nd button ‘in time’ to immediately trigger the Outro.

  • The end is amply extended allowing you to hit Pause to end the song before it loops.

  • Phil Flood’s STAX Acoustic Piano & 2119 Hammond.

  • MIDI map included

  • Cheat Sheet included. (50.6 KB)


That’s nice! We do this in my duo. I also have a heavily modified .sng based on the Premium drum track.

I have the intro/main/jam beat as part 1. I then have the entire verses/first chorus as Fill 1, so I trigger that when I start singing. It ends and goes back to part 1 just as the organ solo starts. Then I have the guitar lead-in and the whole second chorus as Fill 2, which I trigger as I go into the “intro” lead line coming out of the jam. After the second chorus the fill ends and drops us back into the main beat, where we can jam some more.

It’s a fun tune! It’s interesting to see the various ways we all do these different things, how we approach tackling the design of the song. I run a looper rig, so I just loop the bass and a little guitar at the start of the song. I end up with 1 loop that is the Am-G big, and 1 loop that starts at the “F” leading into the chorus and contains the entire chorus. My keyboard player does all the organ part and sings the backup vocals. It always gets a great response from the crowd!

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Thanks Jason. We added it in 15 or so years ago as a duo. Irresistible feel to it. Works in a variety of ways so adding our lead player becoming a trio 10 years ago was easy. As years go by even the favorites get worn and with 200+ songs to choose from any given night it was fun to renovate it.

I try to keep my button pushing simple to avoid errors and this one has such a history it needed to work. I was told clearly by one of our most ardent fans (my wife) ‘I like the way you guys do it…don’t ruin it.’