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Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

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

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:10 am

If you've got a Jupe, can you post an example? Evidence is always better than opinion.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:58 am

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Ya it's not right, so what's the pitch interval, what's the attack time, and what shape is the curve? It's not simple! I can have any value for all three in Kontakt, but is there anyone with a Fairlight who can tell us what that machine is limited to?

Yeah, I had the same experience, it's tricky to get it in the ballpark, and it's very closely dependent on the amp attack time, and the pitch attack time and amount. I just played around until I got it to where it felt kinda right while playing - I can dig out my Kontakt settings if that would help, if you want to tweak and get it as close as you can.

It's probably also velocity sensitive so you can play the lower end chordal parts without a ridiculous amount of pitch EG on the attack, although KB may well have just stuck that part on another track with a modification of that sound.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:52 pm

If you could dig out the Kontakt settings that'd be great! Thanks. I actually found that there was no need to change the setting at lower pitches, it seemed to work fine without any keyboard tracking.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:07 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:If you could dig out the Kontakt settings that'd be great! Thanks.


Ok, my pitch envelope settings are:
Curve -33
Attack: 2.7ms
Hold 17.6ms
Decay: 130.3ms
Sustain: -inf
Release: 1.1K ms

The envelope modulator needs to be inverted to the pitch scoops up to the target pitch, and the env modulation amount is 2.2st, lag 0.

Image

Sounds something like this:
Lead sound

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:I actually found that there was no need to change the setting at lower pitches, it seemed to work fine without any keyboard tracking.


Ah, can't really remember - it was some months ago when I did this, so...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Rob Collins » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:40 pm

I haven't got a jupiter 8 , although having played around with Arturia's JP8 plugin a while back , I was able to get that sound. Used some portamento if i remember correctly.

The reason I mentioned the JP8 is that , when Thomas Dolby was interviewed in Keyboard magazine back in 1993 (I think) , the reviewer mentioned that a synth sound in I love you goodbye (a Jupiter 8) sounded very similar to the Jupiter 8 sound Kate used on Running up that hill.
the article was a long time ago but I do remember it well - he could have been wrong of course.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby nathanscribe » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:49 pm

desmond wrote:Ok, my pitch envelope settings are:
Curve -33
Attack: 2.7ms
Hold 17.6ms
Decay: 130.3ms
Sustain: -inf
Release: 1.1K ms

I'll have to compare this to my own settings on the W-30. I'll endeavour to post an audio example too.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:51 pm

Rob Collins wrote:I haven't got a jupiter 8 , although having played around with Arturia's JP8 plugin a while back , I was able to get that sound. Used some portamento if i remember correctly.

Over the years I've tried to get the running up that hill lead on all kinds of synths, and I've never been able to get the attack right. Portamento doesn't do it, it's a pitch EG thing, but also it's because of the attack characteristics of the sample used.

Rob Collins wrote:The reason I mentioned the JP8 is that , when Thomas Dolby was interviewed in Keyboard magazine back in 1993 (I think) , the reviewer mentioned that a synth sound in I love you goodbye (a Jupiter 8) sounded very similar to the Jupiter 8 sound Kate used on Running up that hill.
the article was a long time ago but I do remember it well - he could have been wrong of course.

Nah. The TD sound (and it is a nice sound on that lead) is much more of a simple analog sound. It shares some characteristics with RUTH in that it has a pitch scooped attack, and it's a bit honky, but that's about it. Different to the RUTH lead, though superficially similar.

TD - I Love You Goodbye riff

Can you even route an envelope to pitch on a JP8..? Not sure offhand... TD probably just used portamento.

RUTH, according to all documented sources, is Fairlight and Linn... the only other synth KB used was a CS80, which she didn't use much once she got her Fairlight and fell in love with it.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:13 pm

desmond wrote:Can you even route an envelope to pitch on a JP8..? Not sure offhand...

Answering my own question: yes you can. Just been doing it on the Arturia JP8V.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Richie Royale » Tue May 03, 2011 1:15 pm

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

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Tue May 03, 2011 2:18 pm

desmond wrote:Anyone wanna have a go at the main big synth riff on Go West's "We Close Our Eyes"?

That's layered to heaven and back, I've seen Lyndon Connah play it live and there are 2 Fantoms doing overtime with multi-layered samples.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue May 03, 2011 2:42 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:
desmond wrote:Anyone wanna have a go at the main big synth riff on Go West's "We Close Our Eyes"?


That's layered to heaven and back, I've seen Lyndon Connah play it live and there are 2 Fantoms doing overtime with multi-layered samples.


Indeed. On the live shows I've seen (eg YouTube etc) they just play the riff with a cheesy synth brass sound (*ugh!*) but the original recording is ace.

I'd guess there's plenty of JP8 in there as a main component, but possibly also layed contributions from anything else of the time (eg DX7, PPG Wave, Matrix/OB8), not to mention compressed and processed to sound huge... I might tackle it as a project if I get some time...

Someone's cover which ain't too bad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T0xTiRj-y4
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Wed May 04, 2011 12:37 pm

desmond wrote:Indeed. On the live shows I've seen (eg YouTube etc) they just play the riff with a cheesy synth brass sound (*ugh!*) but the original recording is ace.

I'd guess there's plenty of JP8 in there as a main component, but possibly also layed contributions from anything else of the time (eg DX7, PPG Wave, Matrix/OB8), not to mention compressed and processed to sound huge... I might tackle it as a project if I get some time...

Someone's cover which ain't too bad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T0xTiRj-y4

That Youtube cover isn't too bad, he's done a good job of picking out the various chords/notes for the respective riffs.

On the original main riff there's an octave below on the brass, but only on certain notes, and even then it's phased in and out too. I think the lower and upper riffs were recorded separately, i.e. rather than just transposing, as there's different modulation on the upper/lower riffs. There's also real brass too, clearly mixed in.

I was told that originally the synth lines were there to guide the real brass on the melody, but I'm not sure how true that is.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Wed May 04, 2011 1:10 pm

There's also chordal stabs on a handful of notes in there, mixed back a little bit to add weight to the first two notes of the riffs...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Wed May 04, 2011 1:25 pm

desmond wrote:There's also chordal stabs on a handful of notes in there, mixed back a little bit to add weight to the first two notes of the riffs...

It's the bass element of the main riff that gives it the real punch, but as you say, it's nicely mixed so that it's not too obvious.

Listen to "Don't look down", they do the same thing too. The main riff is monophonic, then they've added alternate notes in the riff to accentuate certain parts. It's nigh on impossible to play it live that way.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby ken long » Wed May 04, 2011 2:22 pm


Kate Bush interviewed by John Wilson at her home for Radio 4. Its on tonight at 7.15.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Grabs » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:15 pm

I just want to post a HUGE thank you to all the posters on this thread , especially the gifted Raymond.

After fumbling around for ages using standard synths to get this sound and being hugely dissatisfied with the result, I have recently started playing this song using samples taken from the Fairlight iPhone app of the Cello2 sound ( suggested above I think ), postprocessed also as described above. Result ! Yey !!!

My only real contribution is I play the samples from a Nord Electro 3, and find the in built compressor adds a great deal to the sound, including a nice grunge to the tail. I have started tinkering with playing the samples on a Korg Microsampler to good effect, but that's another story.

Please ignore any Youtubes of us playing this - it will be the old shitty sound :)

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Keyboard player: Kate Bush tribute band "Never For Ever"
www.katebushtribute.co.uk
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:17 pm

I thought Raymond's contributions to this thread were pretty minimal, actually... :blush:
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Grabs » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:23 pm

Huge apologies - I got raymond / desmond mixed up. :headbang:

Yes - "Desmond" - you are the man ! ;)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:31 pm

Glad you found it useful! ;)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Matt Scales » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:55 pm

Awesome work Desmond, I'm convinced! Just for some added interest, the Arturia CS-80V2 VST instrument has a preset called 'hills' in the 'Pads' menu, the inspiration for this patch is pretty clear, and upon hitting the C/D# you are greeted with THE sound on this synth too!!! Could it have been a CS-80 Kate used afterall?!!! ;) ;)
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