Ok, here's some examples.Disclaimer: I'm not trying to get this 100% identical - I'm trying to do a proof of concept that will attempt to show basically how it was put together. There will be sonic differences, and if I put in lots of effort I could get them much closer - that's not the point of the exercise.
Let's start with the droney pad that goes through the song and provides a haunting kinda backdrop - most clearly heard at the beginning and end of the song:
- Kate original pad
It was mentioned earlier that someone thought it might be the Arr1 Fairlight sample with reverb - let's give that a try:-
- C+D# with Arr1 & reverb
Nope - clearly this doesn't have anything close to the character. In my book, not the same sound.
So, I took that sound from the Kate track, and looped it and bunged into into a sampler so I could easily listen:
- Looped sample of pad
Just love that sound, it's got an interesting honky character in the mids which is beautiful. Note how noisy and grainy it is though.
Ok, as I was playing through the factory Fairlight samples, I'd already decided that Cello2 was the most likely sound candidate, and while routing mistakenly sent it through a long reverb - and instantly got that honky character I like so much. This is the dry sample, and then the same thing going through a big reverb.
- Cello and reverb
Yes, it's all too clean and top endy, but that was the clue I was looking for. The pad was actually the frozen reverb sound from the cello, rather than the cello itself.
And it's the only Fairlight sample that gives this quirky mid character in the reverb tail - it's quite distinctive.
So, I quickly sampled just the reverb, compressed, mono-ised it and added a bitcrusher (the original pad in the record is quite noisy if you listen to it, like the reverb is low quality or descending into noise). The bitcrusher here (set to 8-bit) does not give the same character, and the reverb decays too quickly, but I just did it to grunge up the reverb and make it more lofi to compare, to see if we are on the right track:
- Grunged reverb tail
So let's listen to the original and the quick faked copy:
- Compare to original
Like I say, it's not identical (I don't have a Fairlight, don't know how that part was generated, the reverb used, the mix settings etc) - but it's convinced me enough with that nice character that the lovely backing pad sound comes from this kind of process - a frozen reverb sample of that Cello2 sample, the same sample used for the riff.
Speaking of the riff, being the "money" sound we are talking about, let's have a crack at that.
- Original riff
The Cello2 sample is the most likely candidate, and it already has a slight pitch scooped attack characteristic of string instruments like the violin - however, on the record there is more pitch scoop. This was imo most likely played/sequenced with pitch bend. For the purposes of this, I added a small envelope routed to pitch on the sample to pronounce the pitch scoop so I wouldn't have to keep playing the pitch bend.
I then routed it through a slap back echo effect from Logic's tape delay, and rolled of the top end (a little too much). I also gave it a little plate reverb to thicken it up. Again, the sound quality is not identical due to the processes involved, and the original is thicker and probably EQ's and compressed and is coming from the Fairlight & tape, but the basic sound is there imo. (I also added the low part from the same sound which again isn't quite right - the original is slower/longer) but it helps illustrate it).
It also sounds a little weird when isolated without all the other stuff going on, but even the original would.
- New riff
While the examples are by no means perfect, playing around with this stuff, together with the other evidence from interviews etc left me in little doubt that this was the source of the Running Up that Hill keyboard parts. Fairlight, Cello2, some FX and some inspiration were the main ingredients here.
For me, I'm convinced.