This topic popped into my head while I was playing my keyboard and suddenly started playing the rhodes melody from Pekka Pohjola’s Sekoilu Seestyy (it’s the tune from which DJ Shadow sampled the legendary mellow rhodes for Midnight in a Perfect World.) Well, I got the melody by hearing and then I decided to see if I could pull the same sort of lovely sound. Gonna upload a clip later today and link it here.
have tried a couple of times to do stuff like this - it’s HARD, but yeah very challenging indeed.
When i have tried this, I have always felt I’ve been close - but no cigar. And that kind of made me satisfied, in a weird way. I think there’s something inside me that doens’t want this to be easy, or even possible.
Every sound is unique in their own way - but if you work like 24 hours and totally focuses on replicating a snare sound, MAYBE you get a result that the average user wouldn’t notice was different from the original
This is why I have felt that doing house/trance lately has been tedious and frustrating. The genres are so mature that there is a very strict standard of what the instruments should sound like, if you don’t duplicate it very closely, your attempt will sound “cheap”. Spending 3 hours tweaking a snare drum is not my idea of a good time though …
Yep. And actually I find it really interesting. I grew up remaking Axel F and Popcorn by ear. Still do it today as a matter of fact. I may hear a melody in radio and redo it later at home, not necessarily a copy, but a new melody inspired by the one I heard before. Also, I often hear something on radio I might use as a sample, I send an email to myself to remind to find the tune so I can rip out a piece
I wouldn’t say it’s pointless. It’s a fun way to learn how to use a synth and synthesis in general. For example, i think i managed to duplicate the Mellotron “Vibe” patch pretty close, using only one osc. I did this by a/b comparing, and in the process i’ve learned just about what evey osc effect in Zebra does.
This way, once you get the hang of a synth, you can start creating your own sounds, using the methods you used to recreate the sounds you wanted to achieve.
edit thanks for pointing me into the direction of Pekka Pohjola, i gots to get a hold of that CD now. Love the mellow vibes
P.S. don’t limit yourself to the “strict rules” a style of music like trance/house has set. I began making music trying to sound like “Boards of Canada”, but no matter how hard i tried, i allways ended up with a different sound. Now i’ve learned, i’m doing this on purpose, because that’s my own sound, you will allways end up with your own sound. Isn’t it better to break the rules, and maybe invent a whole new genre?
I don’t think it’s pointless at all. In this day and age a song’s sound is half the track.
Especially on a dancefloor you get hooked on a groove which is 50% arrangement and
50% sounddesign. Taking your time to try and discover “the secrets” behind sounds that
amazed you (afterall, that’s why you’re trying to duplicate it), can give you great insights
in how sound works in general.
I once did a tribute version to Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, it’s not accurate - that wasn’t the intention. A interpretation if you will, and done with a restricted soundset - those being from the same set-up I made the Discovery track with back in 2004. Hand played
I was going to remake the “Warriors” theme song, for release of my patches. But failed misarably. I’ve got the general feel of the song right, but the percussion sounds more like “perSUCKsion”. Anyway, i tought i’d be cool to see what i could do to the Zebra synth, and here’s the result…if you think away the horrible drums, it’s not that bad IMO: