Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

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

Post by Jonnypopisical »

Anymore insights from anyone?

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

Post by fatbenelton »

The Elf wrote:

It does sound reminiscent of my old JX-8P, so a JX-10 would do it too..


I was thinking MKS70/JX10 or JX8P...It's got that soft/rich quality to it.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by desmond »

I honestly don't think it can be anything other than the Fairlight. At that time, Kate was enamoured with the Fairlight and wrote everything on it. According to interviews, the only other synth she had at that time was a CS80, which she largely ignored once she'd discovered the joys of the more organic possibilities with the sampler.

I've tried to recreate this patch on a conventional synth, and while I could get close, I couldn't get close enough - the envelope behaviour is quite weird.

If anything thinks they can get this sound with a simple analog synth like a JX8P, I'd like to invite them to give it a go, see how close you can get and post up some audio clips...
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by Peter Conz Connelly »

I had a quick listen the other day and I can certainly hear "Sampled" and "Fairlight" characteristics, particularly on the lower notes (where I'd guess they were played lower than the original sampled pitch). I have a JX-8P (which is my main current, go to, analogue synth) and had an MKS70 a few years back and neither of these sprang to mind (not like they did with the intro to Slave to the Rhythm). I think I am going to have to have a PROPER listen to this ASAP and see if I need to eat my words. lol

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

Post by Neil C »

On the credits for the album the only mention of keyboards is this:

Vocals, Sampler [Fairlight], Piano, Written-by, Producer - Kate Bush
(in the general credits)

and in the individual track credits:
'Sequenced By [Synthesizer] - Kevin McAlea' (on Waking the Witch)
and
'Synthesizer - Kevin McAlea' (on The Morning Fog) .

***

The individual track credit on Running Up That Hill is 'Balalaika - Paddy Bush'.

http://www.discogs.com/Kate-Bush-Hounds-Of-Love/release/193414

So that suggests a Fairlight on Running Up That Hill.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by nathanscribe »

I doubt it was a JX-10 or MKS-70 as they weren't out till 1986. "Running Up That Hill" was released in August 1985.

The JX-8P was released "late '85" according to Pete Forrest, so is unlikely.

Also in Forrest's A-Z, Bush is not listed as any of the well-known-users of any of the Roland kit - just the CS-80 (on The Dreaming), a couple of Hammonds and a Rhodes. Also, the A-Z doesn't deal with digital synths, just analogue.

I know Forrest isn't always accurate with these dates as they're sometimes based on the dates of service notes rather than actual sales, so take the info at face value.

Listening to the track it sounds in the ballpark of a bowed instrument - whether it's a sample that's been tweaked, or a synth that's been sampled and tweaked I can't say, but that's my 2p.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by nathanscribe »

Neil C wrote:On the credits for the album the only mention of keyboards is this:

So that suggests a fairlight on Hill.


You beat me to it while I was typing..! :D
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by desmond »

nathanscribe wrote:Listening to the track it sounds in the ballpark of a bowed instrument - whether it's a sample that's been tweaked, or a synth that's been sampled and tweaked I can't say, but that's my 2p.


Yeah, I get the same vibe, at least from memory (haven't gone back and relistened yet). Like an aggressively bowed cello, possibly manipulated a bit in envelope, pitch/ filtering, and with some delay on it.

Hey, if we could make this a little forum project, that would be great - this sound has always bugged me. Maybe we should each make a stab at doing a recreation and post up audio clips of our results, as some sound design fun..?
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by The Elf »

nathanscribe wrote:I doubt it was a JX-10 or MKS-70 as they weren't out till 1986. "Running Up That Hill" was released in August 1985.


I just said it was reminiscent of a JX-8P - I'm not nailing it to that synth, or any other. Plenty of synths can assign envelope to pitch. I'm not convinced it's a Fairlight, since the length of the pitch lift doesn't seem to speed up/slow down with the pitch of the note, but it's really hard to tell for sure.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by Axonaut »

Hey, if we could make this a little forum project, that would be great - this sound has always bugged me. Maybe we should each make a stab at doing a recreation and post up audio clips of our results, as some sound design fun..?


I don't want to spoil the fun, but you could ask Del Palmer, who did some of the synth programming for that album, AFAIK.

http://www.delpalmer.com/page13.htm

pm me if you need his email address or phone :tongue:
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by desmond »

The Elf wrote:I'm not convinced it's a Fairlight


Even though she only worked with the Fairlight at that time, the song credits only list the Fairlight, and she herself said in an interview that it was the Fairlight?

Of course, we don't know for sure, but there is significant evidence to say it most likely was the Fairlight with some unknown sound.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by nathanscribe »

The Elf wrote:I'm not convinced it's a Fairlight, since the length of the pitch lift doesn't seem to speed up/slow down with the pitch of the note, but it's really hard to tell for sure.


Can the Fairlight not apply pitch bend to a sample in the playing? Not a facetious question, I genuinely don't know. I've seen one in the flesh but not been lucky (?) enough to use it...

Regarding the JX thing, I wasn't assuming you thought it was a JX, I was just repeating what I'd found regarding whether it could have been. :)
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