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Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:45 pm

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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby MOF » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:06 pm

The "strong" music is so powerful that sticks out no matter what. You can play Smoke On The Water on a banjo or on bagpipes or toys, and it will still be itself and just as powerful and crowd-moving.
Really? I think if you hadn’t heard the original you would be thoroughly underwhelmed, even if you had, I can’t imagine it stirring your emotions. It’s all about arrangements. Just imagine the opening full orchestral stabs of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony played on banjos!!
Listen to Badfinger’s version of Without You, then Nilsson’s. It’s the timbre (read ‘lead synth sound’) and emotion (read ‘performance controls of that lead synth’) of his voice and the arrangement of orchestral parts (read ‘more supporting synth sounds’) that put it into a different class.
I used to think that a good A&R man (it was men in those days) should be able to spot a million seller from the rough demo’, but if you had to sift through countless cassettes a day I think you’d struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff.
If our potential audiences had such qualities then we could all just release the demo i.e. a lead vocal and maybe one instrument, but it would rarely work in my opinion. It’s only when you’ve tried numerous combinations of sounds, chord inversions, tempos etc that it sounds as if it was always meant to be that way.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:27 pm

Ah! The Engineering Craft Studies theme tune! :D

And actually sonically similar to The Great Egg Race.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:48 pm

MOF wrote:
The "strong" music is so powerful that sticks out no matter what. You can play Smoke On The Water on a banjo or on bagpipes or toys, and it will still be itself and just as powerful and crowd-moving.
Really? I think if you hadn’t heard the original you would be thoroughly underwhelmed, even if you had, I can’t imagine it stirring your emotions. It’s all about arrangements. Just imagine the opening full orchestral stabs of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony played on banjos!!
Listen to Badfinger’s version of Without You, then Nilsson’s. It’s the timbre (read ‘lead synth sound’) and emotion (read ‘performance controls of that lead synth’) of his voice and the arrangement of orchestral parts (read ‘more supporting synth sounds’) that put it into a different class.
I used to think that a good A&R man (it was men in those days) should be able to spot a million seller from the rough demo’, but if you had to sift through countless cassettes a day I think you’d struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff.
If our potential audiences had such qualities then we could all just release the demo i.e. a lead vocal and maybe one instrument, but it would rarely work in my opinion. It’s only when you’ve tried numerous combinations of sounds, chord inversions, tempos etc that it sounds as if it was always meant to be that way.

That's all in how you arrange it though (although I agree I can't see Smoke on the Water working on banjos - unless they were burning and creating the smoke on the water) but I could imagine it working with a sustaining instrument (I am now imagining it being played on a big cathedral organ!)

IMO no piece of music is incapable of being placed in a different setting, just that the new setting still needs to be sympathetic to the requirements of the music itself, and that is down to the skill of the arranger.

One example off the top of my head would be Hannah Peel's music box arrangements of Tainted Love and Blue Monday.

What a boring world it would be if a piece was set in stone based on its original recording. The original might well be the benchmark, but that doesn't mean it couldn't work in a different setting. It still needs to be arranged and produced.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:42 pm

.and then sometimes a rearrangement gets the glory while the original resides in obscurity.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby IAA » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:00 pm

although I agree I can't see Smoke on the Water working on banjos - unless they were burning and creating the smoke on the water)
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:06 pm

Or there's this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O775dHUHxLs

His grin at the start gives you a clue :bouncy:
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:29 pm

Dunno why, but I was put in mind of this little beauty!
https://youtu.be/2E8pDwMcvO4
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:42 am

The Elf wrote:Dunno why, but I was put in mind of this little beauty!
https://youtu.be/2E8pDwMcvO4

Ooh, now you've got my ears in a spin - as soon as I heard its distorted octave shuffle riff:

https://youtu.be/2E8pDwMcvO4?t=48

...I could hear something in my head from years ago. At first I thought was Canned Heats' On the Road Again' (that's certainly the riff in my head):

https://youtu.be/qRKNw477onU?t=20

However, my recollection is far more electronic, so I reached for Kraftwerk's Autobahn, but that wasn't it either (sounds were in the right ballpark, but the rhythm was too straight):

https://youtu.be/x-G28iyPtz0?t=478

Then I thought I'd found it - Goldfrapp's 'Ooh La La':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uco-2V4ytYQ

However, I can still hear synth car horn repeats in my recollection, doing Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah doppler pitch down effects. I was convinced this was in Autobahn, but it wasn't.

Anyone know what tune I'm thinking of who can put me out of my misery?

GOT IT GOT IT GOT IT! It's Norman Greenbaum's 'Spirit in the sky': :thumbup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZQxH_8raCI

And those car horn FX weren't on synth - its was guitar all the time :headbang:

That riff really does get around a bit ;)



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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:51 am

Folderol wrote:
Or there's this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O775dHUHxLs

His grin at the start gives you a clue :bouncy:

Very good metal-wise... but... the synth backing... noooooo! I loved the guitar but those backing chords sound like a child having a simplistic go at it and hurt my ears!
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:52 am

Banjos? They can do a lot. It just takes a little imagination.

And being Finnish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc

I forgot. Accordion! :D
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:55 am

CS70 wrote:Banjos? They can do a lot. It just takes a little imagination.

And being Finnish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc

I forgot. Accordion! :D

Listening now and liking it far more than I thought I would! :clap:

Triple bonus points for use of an anvil as percussion.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:03 am

Martin Walker wrote:Then I thought I'd found it - Goldfrapp's 'Ooh La La':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uco-2V4ytYQ

Not helpful for your quest Martin, but as an aside I went to see Depeche Mode play at the NEC in (I think) 2001.

While listening to the support act I turned to one of my friends and asked who it was because the music was fantastic.

"Goldfrapp" she said.
"Whatfrapp?!" I retorted.

Anyway, she gave me an album and I've loved their work ever since.

My wife was also at the gig, though we weren't to meet until 9 years later :-)
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:10 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Very good metal-wise... but... the synth backing... noooooo! I loved the guitar but those backing chords sound like a child having a simplistic go at it and hurt my ears!
Yeah, definitely some duff chords in there - it kind of makes you wince!
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby desmond » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:17 am

I wish the SOS forum showed embedded YouTube thumbnails so you could know what's being referenced without having to actually go to YouTube, stop whatever music you're listening to, wait for an ad to play, and then find out the video is something you never would have wanted to watch anyway, close the tab, resume your music... etc...

At least putting a title for each link would help decide....
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