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 »

Wow! Seems I've really opened up a can of worms here - Many thanks Desmond for all your work on this - and yes I think you have certainly cracked it as a concept! In due course I'll be trying to get this sound too so I'll let you know how I get on - my version of the song will be quite different but I'd really like to use some of the original sounds to give it 'that' flavor.

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

Post by Richie Royale »

Two thumbs up to Desmond. I'll have a listen later.

I had a quick listen to the original on You Tube and found quite a few interviews with Kate, which are worth a look for any fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syDT1MHmvOI Discussing Babooshka
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmTyflX_uV4 On Rapido, later in her career
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSQ6ispjgnU With Paul Gambaccini
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOo916s2jTI On Delia Smith!
http://www.vidoemo.com/yvideo.php?i=V0hwUEF2cWuRpYTl3T1U&kate-bush-very-early-interview-1978= From 1978

There's loads out there!

---------------------------

As a separate point, the "Yeh yeh yo" part, do you think it is a sampled part or was it done live? My guess is it is sampled (original not from a file).
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by BJG145 »

Ha, good work Desmond!
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by muzines »

Richie Royale wrote:As a separate point, the "Yeh yeh yo" part, do you think it is a sampled part or was it done live? My guess is it is sampled (original not from a file).

Kate is known for interesting vocal treatments, particularly in arrangement, the performance (she has a wide range of "voices") and FX treatments. I don't think she's ever given away many secrets and is largely fairly evasive about studio techniques (not because she wants to hold on to secrets, but I think generally the process is not something she wants to put "out there". We get the results to enjoy, she keeps the creative process private - which is fair enough.)

So she's certainly no stranger to do multiple vocal parts, and I'm pretty sure that all the vocals on RUTH at least were going to tape. The Fairlight was still too grungy in those days to make good sounding vocal parts - that probably had to wait for the mark three.

So my vote would almost certainly be tape, not sampled.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by Richie Royale »

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

Post by Kwaidan »

I'd also like to add that J.J. Jeczalik (Art of Noise) also worked with Kate Bush during the 80's, as well as other artists.

It was well known that J.J. was a sought after Fairlight Programmer during that time.
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by The Elf »

That sounds like a very close emulation, Desmond. Nicely done!

Do I take it you have a collection of the original Fairlight library then? Hmmm... We should talk!!! ;)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by muzines »

Fairlight samples have been around in various forms for a while. I'll let Steve join in and mention Zero-G's Nostalgia, and other people have put up their samples on the internets over the years, and for other discontinued samplers like Emulator II etc - I've mostly just grabbed them as they come along for curiosity (and for situations like this thread :) but I won't put up links because of questionable copyright.

If you want a legit collection of Fairlight sounds for Kontakt and other samplers, Zero-G are doing the Nostalgia samples (which includes the Fairlight stuff and a bunch of other stuff, authored by our very own Hollowsun) for about $100, which sounds like a good deal, especially if you don't wnt to do all that tedious mapping and looping stuff ;)

http://www.zero-g.name/dlg/cart/index.php?action=desc&pn=250&c=31&page=
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by The Elf »

Yep, I do have a few Fairlight goodies from down the years, but a definitive library would be interesting (though not necessarily very useful, to be truthful).

Once you've spent a week sampling, looping, mapping and legato-izing an ARP Pro-Soloist your home-spun sampling days are over! Never again! :crazy:
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by muzines »

The Elf wrote:Yep, I do have a few Fairlight goodies from down the years, but a definitive library would be interesting (though not necessarily very useful, to be truthful).

Yeah, exactly. It has a nigh novelty/curiosity value, and it has value if you are recreating something from that era, and of course you can get creative with the old stuff too. Look what Kate Bush did with that one library sound! But it is very simple compared to what we have these days.

I guess we can think of it as a slightly more modern Mellotron - the quirks, charisma and character are the charm, rather than the technical quality.

The Elf wrote:Once you've spent a week sampling, looping, mapping and legato-izing an ARP Pro-Soloist your home-spun sampling days are over! Never again! :crazy:

*cough* Keymap Pro *cough* Redmatica are awesome *cough*...

It makes multi-sampling almost a pleasure... :)
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Re: Kate Bush - Running up that Hill - main synth sound

Post by Peter Conz Connelly »

desmond wrote:
Peter Conz Connelly wrote:Are you on about the melody bit or the breathy C / D# chord that plays throughout? I don't know about the melody but I do know the breathy chord is the SarahIIx / Arr sample (the most famous and mostly used Fairlight sound) played constantly with SH!T loads of reverb.

Hmm. I don't think that's the case. Certainly the Arr1 sample is pretty legendary, but I'm listening to the song now and noticing a few interesting things:

- The main pad that's holding the notes/chord underneath is really nice - there is a texture in there (definitely not from Arr1) that makes it really attractive. Certainly the breathy quality might come from Arr1 in there somewhere as a layer - it's pretty plausible in any case. But I don't think it's "the whole story", if you pardon the pun ;)

You can most clearly hear it on the intro and end fade out of the stuff as that chord holds after everything else has ended. I'm gonna dig out my copy of Arr1 and compare I think... :) You never now, that interesting texture might just be something as simple as an aliasing artifact, but I think there's something else in there, or at least it's a different sound to Arr1.

- The main riff sound is also the same sound playing chords throughout the song - I'd never realised this before. Hence the "I wrote that song on the Fairlight around that sound" comment from Kate.

- The main riff has a fairly obviously slap back echo on it which helps smooth it over and disguise it further.

My *guess* is that it's a string or orchestra hit sample, with a pitch envelope (or portamento) and lo pass filter envelope to give it that "bark".

We really are anoraks, eh? :)

Desmond, I loaded in the SarahIIx (Arrr) sample into my Series III, added a HUGE reverb with massive decay, played C/D# then faded up the sound... it sounded uncanny.. and that was without anything else going on or going to tape, etc. I even fiddled with the filter for more authenticity :lol:

Does anyone know if it was a Series III or IIx on Running up that Hill? The factory drums samples (set13, IIRC) that came with my Series III sound exactly like the ones on that track.

The woman who sang the arr is called Sarah Cohen, think she was a Fairlight employee. I wonder where she is now and if she realises how famous she is!!!

Definite anoraks tho ;) and I LOVE it!!!

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

Post by muzines »

Peter Conz Connelly wrote:Desmond, I loaded in the SarahIIx (Arrr) sample into my Series III, added a HUGE reverb with massive decay, played C/D# then faded up the sound... it sounded uncanny..

Not sure what that means - do you mean it sounds like the part on the record, or just that you really liked it? If the former - audio clips or stfu :)

Did you listen to my clips of the pad and compare? I would have thought the series 3 would be too clean - the track itself is really noisy and grungy. Definitely early Fairlight or early digital reverb at least imo.

If the latter - well yeah, who doesn't like *lashings* of reverb occasionally :)

(It's a bit synth programming tip of mine, use a large reverb in wet mode before the filter only for a huge patch, if the synthesiser allows those routings.)

Peter Conz Connelly wrote:Does anyone know if it was a Series III or IIx on Running up that Hill? The factory drums samples (set13, IIRC) that came with my Series III sound exactly like the ones on that track.

It came out in 1985, so it might have even been made in 1984, which seems a bit early for a series three. All the promo pics I've seen are with an earlier model, so I'd guess it was a series 2 - however, the factory library might be the same samples, just resampled at a higher fidelity for the series 3 version... Not sure.

If it was done early 85, it's possible she got an early '85 series 3 and used it, but my guess it's it's still too grungy for a 3...

Peter Conz Connelly wrote:The woman who sang the arr is called Sarah Cohen, think she was a Fairlight employee. I wonder where she is now and if she realises how famous she is!!!

Yeah I know - they needed a female voice and she was the only lass around, so they roped her in. Imagine telling her then that her voice would be on countless hit singles for the next twenty years... :)
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