Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Synth sounds from Visage's Fade to Grey

This week I'm focusing on three sounds from the classic synthpop song Fade to Grey by Visage. I've recreated the riff/bass, the string-like pad and the pluck that plays the countermelody.

The main riff/bass part is made up of two detuned sawtooth waveforms with a little bit of the top end filtered out.


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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

One of the strangest keyboards I've ever seen

I've not done this in a while, but here's a video I found while wandering through the internet.

Leonard Soloman is a comedian, juggler and instrument builder who does one man variety shows. His website (link) has some pretty cool videos of him playing an instrument he calls the Bellowphone, but the instrument I find the most interesting is his Oomphalapompatronium, a somewhat steampunk-looking device. I must admit my immediate reaction was "I want one!". I've watched the video about 5 times now, just to get a sense of what each part is doing. Maybe one day I'll build something like this, when I retire...

Video by Gio Gaynor
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Monday, 14 November 2011

More Recreations!

I've had a pretty productive day today as far as patch programming is concerned, I've recreated sounds from four different synthpop songs using Subtractor. I've been slowly working my way through the list of sounds I want to recreate, and I decided to focus on two artists today.

Depeche Mode:

New Life Pluck (Add chorus and serve)
I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead Riff

OMD

Messages Sequence
Combo Organ (Enola Gay, Electricity etc.)

Patch diagram for "Messages Sequence"

The only one that gave me any real trouble was the sound from the riff of "I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead". I initially tried using too much filter envelope and it sounded all wrong. I backed that off, added vibrato and changed the mix between the two oscillators and it sounded much better. Tricky little patch, but I quite like it.

It's worth noting that in the final refill I probably won't be using these names for the patches, but I'll worry about that closer to the time of completion.
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Monday, 7 November 2011

New Order - Blue Monday

I've been working a lot in Reason this week on a few sound recreations, and I've had good results so far. I set myself the task of recreating the famous synth sound used on New Order's "Blue Monday", and to demonstrate it I've recreated the first section of the song in Reason using Oberheim DMX samples for the drums.

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Below are links to the sequencer and bass patches, as well as the reason RNS file. The arrangement is just a very quick approximation of the song, but I think the basic elements are all there, although feel free to tell me how you think it could be improved.

Blue Monday Sequence

Blue Monday RNS
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