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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 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:37 pm

Yes, I used the factory kit, only one tom. While I was at it, I investigated two other songs as well. See my blog post here.

The reverb for the drone in RUTH is just the AIR reverb in PT set to infinite, with some chorus and an LPF rather than a bit crusher. It's close. I chose not to add the ground loop noise that's on the original. ;)

Not sure about the chords. I went with G# sans 3rd, A#, Cm. Fiddled with the sound a lot, but it sounds too "high".

The pitch envelope on the lead sound is not quite right. I used a linear envelope of 160ms set it at a fifth; a seventh or an octave didn't work.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:04 pm

Yeah, the Linn9000 tom is a better match than the Fairlight kit. I loaded up my K8drums test project from a while ago and stuck in the Linn9000 tom nice and low and it does sound better, but I still wasn't happy with it when I compare it to the record. I'd basically explored all the usual candidates before and wasn't entirely happy.

Partly because it's so stiff rattling away in 16ths on that single sample - then record sounds to me more organic than that and while it's rigid, it doesn't appear to be quite so stiff. Like I say, it could be the Linn9000 tom with tom overdubs on top to make it sing a bit more.

This is basically what I have:

K8drums

(I did this quickly without referencing the record, and these toms are dry - a big of bigness reverb would help thicken them up some more, no doubt.)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:15 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Not sure about the chords. I went with G# sans 3rd, A#, Cm. Fiddled with the sound a lot, but it sounds too "high".

Match it to the record - it's just two notes, I think C and D# from memory...

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:The pitch envelope on the lead sound is not quite right. I used a linear envelope of 160ms set it at a fifth; a seventh or an octave didn't work.

Yep - it's the attack that's really hard to nail - especially on a conventional synth. Anyway - for me, I wasn't necessarily trying to replicate it *exactly*, just unlock the mystery to what it was. As I said earlier, if I was trying really hard I could get it closer - you just need to tweak until it "feels" as well as sounds in the ballpark...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Ah, I meant the chord progression, not the notes for the drone.

Nice reverb on your drums, the snare is great, although I think there's a bit too much on the tom which attenuates its pitch unlike the original IMO. You're also missing the stick, and I reckon there's a 16th rest on the tom on the third beat in every odd bar. Listen to the 12" version, it shows there's an occasional echo on the tom also.

I reckon it's the straight Linn tom throughout, apart from the fill in the middle. I spent a short time adjusting velocities in the pattern, it made a big difference to the groove, which made it clear to me that this was done carefully in the original. There's also different compression, eq and reverb algorithms on the individual sounds.

If you come up with better settings for the pitch envelope, let me know.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tony Raven » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:05 pm

Well, okay then, I've reread it all. But are those just raw library sounds? I was hoping for more info on the filtering/settings involved, or perhaps I've overlooked that too.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:07 pm

Tony Raven wrote:Well, okay then, I've reread it all. But are those just raw library sounds? I was hoping for more info on the filtering/settings involved, or perhaps I've overlooked that too.
I've described the pitch envelope, and a touch of LPF does the trick. It's all there.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:47 pm

Maybe I'm hearing the pitch of the tail of the kick instead, but it almost sounds like the toms on 1 and 3 are a fraction of a tone lower. I'd also suggest that maybe you've got a bit too much pitch sweep on there Tomás, though otherwise you've done a good job.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:37 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Maybe I'm hearing the pitch of the tail of the kick instead, but it almost sounds like the toms on 1 and 3 are a fraction of a tone lower.
Cool, I'll give that a go. Although I've got much more interested in doing a version of Oldfield's "Étude". Another example of a bunch of sounds that most of us would say "nah, that'll never work", but it so does.
nathanscribe wrote:I'd also suggest that maybe you've got a bit too much pitch sweep on there Tomás, though otherwise you've done a good job.
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?
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Rob Collins » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:32 am

I'm a bit late to this thread but.....

I'm 99.9% sure that the main synth sound the original poster was asking about is a Roland Jupiter 8.

Also a very similar sound was used by Thomas Dolby (again on a Jupiter 8) on the track I love you Goodbye.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:23 am

Rob Collins wrote:I'm 99.9% sure that the main synth sound the original poster was asking about is a Roland Jupiter 8.

Even thought Kate didn't use or own one?

Rob Collins wrote:Also a very similar sound was used by Thomas Dolby (again on a Jupiter 8) on the track I love you Goodbye.

Love that track. Very different sound.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:10 pm

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 12:58 pm

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 1:52 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 2:07 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 2:40 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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