How To Recreate Herbie Hancock’s ‘Chameleon’ Bassline

Composer and Synthesist Anthony Marinelli – in his latest video – takes a look at recreating the classic bass sound of Herbie Hancock‘s Chameleon, from the 1973 jazz fusion album, Head Hunters.

Marinelli shows, step-by-step, how to recreate the iconic bass sound, using the same 1972 ARP Odyssey synthesizer model that Hancock used.

What Marinelli has to say about it:

“Not only is it one of my all-time favorite synth bass sounds, it also changed the reach of jazz music by opening up the mindset of both jazz musicians and the listening public to fresh new sounds. This was much needed in the 70’s to compete with rock ‘n’ roll’s dominance of the airwaves. Synth sounds allowed jazz musicians to connect with a larger set of minds and voices yet retain still retain musical complexity, quality, and integrity.

The cornerstone techniques in this video will effectively elevate your synthesizer power, no matter what style you prefer.”

Topics covered:

00:00 “Chameleon” intro cover performance

00:30 Anthony’s Intro

01:25 ARP Odyssey Panel Explanation

02:12 Setting the Oscillator Pitch & Waveforms

03:06 Setting the Mixer & Voltage Controlled Filter VCF

04:05 Setting the ADSR Envelope Generator

04:59 Setting the VCA

05:37 Setting the Keyboard Control Voltage

06:56 Dialing in the Distortion

08:35 Keyboard Articulation & Phrasing

09:34 Summary of “Chameleon” Bass

10:22 Logo (theme music)


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