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Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

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Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Jonnypopisical » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:09 pm

Hi All,

Does anyone know what the distinctive main synth sound is in this glorious track - I'm guessing it's fairlight but it has a unique attack that I've not heard anywhere else! I've not tried to re-create it yet but I will need to - any ideas???

thanks,

J x
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:26 pm

The yelping one...? Does sound like Kate mainly used Fairlight on that.

Q) Regarding the types of sounds you get, how did you get that little part on ``running up that hill'' that comes in first at the start of the song, after the drums and before the vocals?

A) That's the Fairlight and that was actually what I wrote the song with. That was what the song was written around.

http://gaffa.org/cloud/music/running_up_that_hill.html

Hmm...well, it's got a kind of upwards sweep at the begining (a tone maybe) that sounds like it might be tied to the velocity, if that's possible on a Fairlight. And a fast delay...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Peter Conz Connelly » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:27 pm

Are you on about the melody bit or the breathy C / D# chord that plays throughout? I don't know about the melody but I do know the breathy chord is the SarahIIx / Arr sample (the most famous and mostly used Fairlight sound) played constantly with SH!T loads of reverb.

When I owned a Fairlight, I never came across a sound similar to one used for the melody so assume it is a bespoke sample / edit. I knew someone who tried to replicate it some years ago but failed miserably.

If you find out any more info, would love to hear your findings.

Cheers,
P
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:31 pm

Something on the Fairlight, perhaps mangled a bit. Glorious is the word though. One of those things that is just weirdly perfect in the context of the production.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Jonnypopisical » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:52 pm

Thanks chaps - yes the melody Wa Wa Wa, Wa wa wa, wa wa wa wa!

Sounds like a pitch and (subtle) filter envelope on a lofi sample - but of what I have no idea - voice - nah, FM ish - I'll have to try a few things!

Anymore thoughts?
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Peter Conz Connelly » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:58 pm

I'm going to have to have another listen me thinks :lol:

P
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:59 pm

Maybe a Fairlight factory sample, strings section, orchestra, that kind of thing, filtered and enveloped and otherwise mangled...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:00 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl9OKddQBRg I can't see this at work, but Wiki says she performed the song with David Gilmour at the Secret Policeman's Ball. It could be an acoustic version though. Google's preview of the video shows hands at keyboard, but I presume you have checked this video already?

Otherwise my guess is it's a unique sample playing on the Fairlight, but I've not heard the song in years and I can't think of how it sounds exactly.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:31 pm

Richie Royale wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl9OKddQBRg I can't see this at work, but Wiki says she performed the song with David Gilmour at the Secret Policeman's Ball. It could be an acoustic version though. Google's preview of the video shows hands at keyboard, but I presume you have checked this video already?

It's a live track, not a studio production. Dave Gilmour is playing that hook on the guitar. Not the same thing at all :)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:40 pm

(It doesn't answer the question, but there was an interesting interview with Kate Bush about her Fairlight and other synths, shortly before the track was released...)

http://gaffa.org/reaching/i85_key.html
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:14 pm

Jonnypopisical wrote:Wa Wa Wa, Wa wa wa, wa wa wa wa!

Sounds like a pitch and (subtle) filter envelope on a lofi sample - but of what I have no idea - voice - nah, FM ish - I'll have to try a few things!

PS Have to listen to this again, but "lofi" and "FM" sounds about right. I was wondering about basing it on some kind of crude digital flute patch, like a DX7 flute or something. The VCA envelope, the swoop, and the FX (chorus, delay) will be a significant part of the character.

I was interested in Kate's comment on how she was drawn to the Fairlight because of the organic nature of sampled sounds. I think this dog-like patch is very appropriate for a release called Hounds of Love.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Chucho » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:09 am

I worked on Fairlights and I'm pretty sure it isn't that.
I do remember a preset on a big roland machine that is the same. I remember because I used it on a song once and it's identical.

jx10 maybe ?
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:24 am

Just sounds like a synth with an envelope on the oscillator pitch to me. If it were a sample the attack would change with pitch and that doesn't seem to be evident.

It does sound reminiscent of my old JX-8P, so a JX-10 would do it too.

The waveform sounds quite pulse wave-like.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Jonnypopisical » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:26 am

You may be right elf - but it is very distinctive - does have that JX10P chorus sound though too - so me it would not be too tricky to emulate it..
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Mart584 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:30 pm

Kind of off topic, but the late Percy Edwards did some sounds on a Kate Bush Track, Cant remember which, He also did the Alien in the Alien film,
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Jonnypopisical » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:04 pm

Anymore insights from anyone?

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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby fatbenelton » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:12 pm

The Elf wrote:

It does sound reminiscent of my old JX-8P, so a JX-10 would do it too..

I was thinking MKS70/JX10 or JX8P...It's got that soft/rich quality to it.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:16 pm

I honestly don't think it can be anything other than the Fairlight. At that time, Kate was enamoured with the Fairlight and wrote everything on it. According to interviews, the only other synth she had at that time was a CS80, which she largely ignored once she'd discovered the joys of the more organic possibilities with the sampler.

I've tried to recreate this patch on a conventional synth, and while I could get close, I couldn't get close enough - the envelope behaviour is quite weird.

If anything thinks they can get this sound with a simple analog synth like a JX8P, I'd like to invite them to give it a go, see how close you can get and post up some audio clips...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Peter Conz Connelly » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:27 pm

I had a quick listen the other day and I can certainly hear "Sampled" and "Fairlight" characteristics, particularly on the lower notes (where I'd guess they were played lower than the original sampled pitch). I have a JX-8P (which is my main current, go to, analogue synth) and had an MKS70 a few years back and neither of these sprang to mind (not like they did with the intro to Slave to the Rhythm). I think I am going to have to have a PROPER listen to this ASAP and see if I need to eat my words. lol

P
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Neil C » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:05 pm

On the credits for the album the only mention of keyboards is this:

Vocals, Sampler [Fairlight], Piano, Written-by, Producer - Kate Bush
(in the general credits)

and in the individual track credits:
'Sequenced By [Synthesizer] - Kevin McAlea' (on Waking the Witch)
and
'Synthesizer - Kevin McAlea' (on The Morning Fog) .

***

The individual track credit on Running Up That Hill is 'Balalaika - Paddy Bush'.

http://www.discogs.com/Kate-Bush-Hounds-Of-Love/release/193414

So that suggests a Fairlight on Running Up That Hill.
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