You are here

Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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

Postby desmond » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:23 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Desmond, if you read this, how much pitch bend did you apply to the sample for the melody part?

Like I say, I think the original was probably played with real pitch bend, but when I was playing with it, I used an envelope to give a scooping pitch attack. This is a key constituent to the melody part.

How much did I use? Numbers doesn't really help as different instruments have different envelopes, but basically, I used as much as was necessary for the sound to feel like it was getting in in the ballpark... Pitch envelopes you are primarily concerned with the envelope depth (ie, how much pitch the envelope will bend over -typically for this you are looking at somewhere between 1 and 2 semitones I guess) and the attack and decay times to get the length of the bend right.

Can the W30 route an envelope to pitch?
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:13 pm

desmond wrote:somewhere between 1 and 2 semitones I guess [...] and the attack and decay times to get the length of the bend right.

Can the W30 route an envelope to pitch?

Not as far as I'm aware, but it can 'peak' a synced LFO to pitch mod... which means you get an initial sweep a bit like the 'glide' on some old analogues. It follows the LFO wave (which is retriggered from zero at note-on) till the wave hits the top (or bottom, if you set it negative) and stays there. I don't believe there's an offset built into the LFO level. So what I'd probably have to do is use that LFO peak feature for, say, a couple of semitones of bend, and offest the played pitch by the same - or drop the pitch of the sample tone by that amount.

I suppose the other route is to add a pitch envelope in Logic.

I'll give it a go later.

Must be mad. :)
User avatar
nathanscribe
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1170
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Wakefield, for my sins.
I have no idea what I'm doing.

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

Postby desmond » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:56 pm

Hmm, probably won't give a decent result doing it that way...

The W30 is pretty limited anyway, so yeah, give it a go in software where we're all used to having virtually limitless resources these days...
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby Fibes » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:05 pm

Desmond, you really should get your own section in the magazine. Instead of the engineers/producers/artists explaining to us how they came up with these other worldly sounds, we'd have you explaining how to reverse-engineer them. :)

One excellent and enlightening thread.
Fibes
Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:00 am

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

Postby Peter Conz Connelly » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:20 pm

Fibes wrote:One excellent and enlightening thread.

+1
User avatar
Peter Conz Connelly
Frequent Poster
Posts: 710
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Tyne & Wear, UK
Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Sound Designer
http://www.peterconnelly.com

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

Postby giorgio » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:15 pm

the lead sounds like a fairly simple synth sound to me, which could have been made with some of the "analog" samples on the fairlight, with the proper envelopes applied of course. I made a patch on my jupiter 6 along with an echo of course, and it pretty much nails the sound.

The envelopes are the key here. the proper pitch dip and VCA control really seems to make a difference, and this is the issue with the previous example. don't get me wrong it is decent, but with a little more finesse on the envelopes it really locks into place. I couldn't get the envelopes correct on my MPC1000 but the JP6 was much easier.

I can try to record/upload it tonight if anyone still cares about this thread.
giorgio
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:00 am

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

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:05 pm

giorgio wrote:the lead sounds like a fairly simple synth sound to me, which could have been made with some of the "analog" samples on the fairlight, with the proper envelopes applied of course. I made a patch on my jupiter 6 along with an echo of course, and it pretty much nails the sound.

I disagree, for all the reasons I posted above. But I'm happy to be proven wrong. :)

giorgio wrote:I can try to record/upload it tonight if anyone still cares about this thread.

Sure - go for it!
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby Tony Raven » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:51 am

This question has been bothering me all damned week. I remember how totally floored I was when I first heard the tune twenty-some years ago (yeah, late to the dance as usual).

All's I really know about the Fairlight is from Kate Bush & Peter Gabriel, so I can't comment properly in that regard.

That signature "trumpet" sound is interesting. My memory had it down as a sped-up low brass sound, but on relistening that isn't quite right. At a couple of points it seems to evolve from a (for lack of better term) synth-brass sound to more like a strings pad. I'd have to dig up the CD & put the phones on to get deeper into it, but it's definitely two tones at least, so it could be e-brass for the main body with the e-string at the top.

The "ahhs" that run through as a ground remind me very much of some of the sounds from Shriekback's Oil & Gold, where I'm fair certain they used a Fairlight, DX-1, & JP-8 -- far above my remit to sort all that out. Though I'm guessing that a well-done interleaving of samples, synthetic voices, & actual singersmight be difficult to differentiate with just a helpless little stereo track.

Nothing final from here, but it makes me want to try emulating it, not to mention renewing my appreciation of Kate Bush (she's a month older than me, fwiw).
Tony Raven
Regular
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:00 am
resident troublemaker, http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/

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

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:15 am

Did you read through this thread? The question has been categorically answered for me. All of the pieces make sense. Try it out for yourself.
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:42 am

Desmond, you are spot on. Well done sir! I played around with the "Infinity" setting on my Lexicon LXP-15II, and it does a similar thing except that the tone gets duller as it goes on. So I guess you could do the Quantec thing with any reverb?

What amazes me is that, dry, this pitch mod Fairlight cello sounds unusable. Goes to show what a creative lady she is.

Another slight problem is depending on which Fairlight library you have, there are two sounds called "Cello 2".

feline1 wrote:always sounded to me like it was essentially the same Fairlight string (cello) sample that she'd already been using for years

Well spotted sir. Actually it's a different cello sample, but the Fairlight II makes then all sound kinda similar. As Paul Wiffen once described it "a nasal honk". :) The one on "Army Dreamers" is called "Quartet" IIRC.
User avatar
Tomás Mulcahy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1774
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Cork, Ireland.

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

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:21 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Desmond, you are spot on. Well done sir!


:angel:

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:I played around with the "Infinity" setting on my Lexicon LXP-15II, and it does a similar thing except that the tone gets duller as it goes on. So I guess you could do the Quantec thing with any reverb?


Yeah, or you could always sample and loop the reverb tail. That reverb pad is a wonderful sound imo...

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:What amazes me is that, dry, this pitch mod Fairlight cello sounds unusable. Goes to show what a creative lady she is.


*Absolutely* +1 on this. I'm not sure I could do anything that sounded good on a Fairlight II, and yet she made amazing use of it, really digging into it's strengths and it's quirks to find her voice. People imo these days do not do nearly enough "voice finding" with modern instruments, it's too easy to use everybody else's...

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Another slight problem is depending on which Fairlight library you have, there are two sounds called "Cello 2".


Ah, didn't know about this. I only used the Fairlight samples I had available to me, including stuff I'd found around the net - I've never had any real Fairlight time. Anyway, it was enough to solve the problem for me which had bugged me ever since a young synth-loving kid heard that song and fell in love with it...

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:
feline1 wrote:always sounded to me like it was essentially the same Fairlight string (cello) sample that she'd already been using for years

Well spotted sir. Actually it's a different cello sample, but the Fairlight II makes then all sound kinda similar. As Paul Wiffen once described it "a nasal honk". :) The one on "Army Dreamers" is called "Quartet" IIRC.


Once you dig through the Fairlight library you do a lot of "Aha!" and "Ooh, *that* was what it was.." and "Oh, I thought that record was something really creative but it's just someone elses sample"... etc :)

It's one of the joys of getting access to these sounds, I think, if you're at all synth nerds like us... :headbang:
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:45 pm

desmond wrote:Once you dig through the Fairlight library you do a lot of "Aha!" and "Ooh, *that* was what it was.." and "Oh, I thought that record was something really creative but it's just someone elses sample"... etc :)

It's one of the joys of getting access to these sounds, I think, if you're at all synth nerds like us... :headbang:

This is true, it is fun to discover these things. I don't own a Fairlight, did you try the Fairlight iPhone app? It's interesting how some of the sounds are looped.

I have the IIx library from several sources, including disk images from an acquaintance who owns a few Fairlights. I've also got the series 3 library, and almost everything that was commercially for the Emulator II, as well as the complete EIIIx library I had when I owned and Emu ESI4000, and the Yamaha TX16W. Almost all imported into Kontakt. EMXP makes soundfonts of EII images, so they go into Kontakt with minimal pain. There is no such utility for the series 3, so I've not imported all of them. They're actually not that great, it was basically a posh ROMpler IMO. Whereas the IIx has this great sound like nothing else. It's worth trawling through the WAVs with that one.

Next little project is to import the box of Ensoniq Mirage disks I have. :)
User avatar
Tomás Mulcahy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1774
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Cork, Ireland.

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

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:00 pm

Some of the early Roland stuff is interesting too. The EII library is great, so much recognisable stuff in there, including the sounds which were crucial to the fabulous score in my all-time number 1 film - was wonderful to discover that stuff.

What I'd really love to play with is the Synclavier library though...
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

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

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:42 am

desmond wrote:
The toms again I couldn't get near, at least with a quick play and my Linn9000 EXS/Ultrabeat kit ;)
I've done the drums, exactly, using Linn 9000 samples. These ones that are taken directly from the EPROM. Not much processing at all really, just some major detuning of the tom. Of course my blog has decided that it can't write new directories, so the upload of evidence will be later today.
User avatar
Tomás Mulcahy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1774
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Cork, Ireland.

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

Postby desmond » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:09 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:I've done the drums, exactly, using Linn 9000 samples. These ones that are taken directly from the EPROM. Not much processing at all really, just some major detuning of the tom. Of course my blog has decided that it can't write new directories, so the upload of evidence will be later today.

Cool. I have a Linn9000 sample kit to hand (with one tom) but although I played with it, I couldn't get it close to the record. Given that the kick and snare are clearly drum machiney, and that we know she used a Linn (at least when writing) and that we know a drummer came and recorded drums on it, it leads me to surmise that the toms would have originally been a Linn pattern but we probably replaced or at least overdubbed with real drumming on the record. There's at least two parts, with a third coming in in the middle8 and some big tom fills as well, so I think it's most likely a combination of the Linn pattern and real overdubs.

I'd be interested to hear how close you got...
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9830
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

PreviousNext