Autonomous Baseline Generator Part 1 – Controls

Diagram showing the controls of the Autonomous Baseline Generator. Tap is square button on the left, tune is round button in the middle and filter is the round button on the right. Wider knob on the bottom is melody and the thinner one on the top is volume.
Autonomous Baseline Generator

Autonomous Baseline Generator Controls

Let’s start by stating the obvious, in order to develop alternative controls for a piece of equipment you must first have a good understanding of the original control method. The above diagram shows how the controls of an unmodified Autonomous Baseline Generator (ABG from now on) are positioned. We will examine how they work and what their functions are below but for now it’s enough to say that there are three buttons, two knobs which are usually referred to as potentiometers (you may have missed the volume knob at the top left) and a photocell sensor. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t spot the photocell, it’s not labeled but it is the oval object with vertical yellow lines positioned between the Melody and Volume knobs.

Controls and their functions

The information below has been taken from the ABG user manual which can be downloaded from this link in pdf format.

Melody knob. Widest knob with ridges situated on bottom left of the device.


Changes the seed value for melody generation.



filter, round button to the left of the melody knob.


Changes Attack/Decay of analogue filter Left for falling sawtooth Right for rising sawtooth.



Master Tune, hold the round button in the middle and turn the melody knob.
Master Tune

Master Tune:

Shifts the whole melody up or down on the scale. Just hold the red button to repeat your base note.


both round buttons pressed while turning melody knob.


Changes the pulse width. Left = more staccato. Right = wider, legato. Far right = repeated notes.


Hold down all three buttons for 2 seconds.
Reset all parameters
Reset all parameters:
Hold 2 seconds
Each time a reset occurs, it toggles between auto-incrementing the melody or repeating the same melody.



Tap the square at required rate to set the tempo.
Tap Tempo

Tap Tempo:

Tap two or more times to set the tempo. (If you are in External IR Clock mode, it will switch to tap tempo mode when you tap.)


Hold the square button for 2 seconds.
Start external IR Clock mode.

Start External IR Clock Mode:

Hold button for 2 seconds. Waits to play the next note until an infrared(IR) pulse is received on the IR receiver (“IR IN”). Make sure an IR source is pointed at the IR IN on the left side of the board! Maximum distance from another ASR device is about 12″.


Turn Melody knob while holding down the square button.
Clock Divide

Clock Divide:

Normally the notes play on clock pulses, but you can divide the clock to produce slower basslines. Hold Tap Tempo down and turn the knob left to divide more (slower), turn right to divide less (faster). Approximately every quarter turn of the knob changes the division factor by one increment, ranging from 1 (same as the clock) down to 32 (32 times as slow). This is useful to have the bassline to play on whole notes, quarter notes, triplets, 13ths, 27ths etc relative to an external device or a tap tempo… The clock pulses will flash on the blue LED and IR LED on the top right. The divided clock pulses will flash on the red LED and IR LED (bottom right).

While holding the middle round button tap rhythm  on square button.
Rhythm program

Rhythm Program:

Hold the red button and tap in a complex rhythm. The first note starts on the first tap, and the pattern will repeat when the red button is released. To un-program a rhythm, just hold the red button and tap the blue button one time.