September 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm #20102
Hi folks, I’m trying to recreate the main synth line from this classic tune.
If you listen closely there’s actually two different parts, helpfully panned left and right. I guess both patches are based on detuned saws but there seems to be a lot more movement going on…
Can anybody help with this?
Thanks! 😁September 17, 2018 at 10:34 am #20180
My apologies, I just realised the quality of that video is terrible! Here’s a better one:October 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm #20731
Great classic synth track. I think the original was done with a sequencer. I used a combination of MIDI and LFO.
How It’s Made
- Synth: Serum
- Oscillator: Saw. Unison: 3 voice, medium Detune at 0.09, Width at 0, Blend at 69 so that the middle voice is louder than the others, making the Unison more pointed.
- Filter: MG Low 24, Drive at Max, Level at 18% to compensate for the Drive’s volume boost, Cutoff almost maxed at 15000 Hz, and a bit of Res. This will give it some analog warmth and saturation.
- LFO: Routed twice to Amp. Both bi-directional. First one at full mod amount, second one at 52. We need the second one because the first one’s volume range isn’t deep enough. 1/8 Rate. For the waveform, start with a triangle, then move the top middle point over to the left so it’s just shy of 3/8’s of the total width. Then take the second half of the triangle, and curve it downward a bit. Now, when you hold a key, it will play a note over and over. The first part of the modified triangle will quickly sweep in the volume, and then the curved second half will cut it off. This required a lot of adjustment to match the actual recording’s sequencer shape.
- Dimension: Full Mix, Size at 28%. This creates that Plate/Basement-style ambience
- Pan: I pan this right with the DAW, not Serum’s Oscillator pan. With Serum’s pan, the oscillators would pan right, but the Dimension reverb would still be wide. We want the whole sound panned
- Synth: Serum
- Oscillator: Using the Basic Mg wavetable, I set the WT Pos to 95, creating a waveform that’s a saw/square hybrid, but more on the square side. Unison 2 voice, mild Detune at 0.09, Width at 0
- Filter: MG Low 24, Cutoff at 1010 Hz (will be modulated by the env), Res at 10%, Full Drive for analog character with Level at 18% to compensate for volume boost
- Env 1: This is already routed to volume, but I also routed it to Filter Cutoff to modulate both of them at the same time. Filter mod amount at 33. Attack at 8.3 ms to soften the attack transient a bit, Sustain at 0, and Decay at 681 ms for short notes, and Release at 198 ms.
- Dimension: Mix at 50%, Size at 16%. This creates a similar ambience as the right synth, but it’s drier, giving it a bit more punch.
- Phaser: We want a slow phaser here. Rate at 0.25 Hz, Depth at 50%. Mix at 66% so that it’s not all consuming, but instead just layered in
- Panning: Panned left, again by the DAW
I also attached the MIDI. Again this was probably made with a sequencer back in the day. But this achieves the same effect. Since the Right synth uses an LFO, in some cases the MIDI holds a note longer to repeat a note.
You must be logged in to access attached files.October 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm #20800NiclasParticipant
Very nice sounding solution to this. Don’t have serum, but may (if I can find the time) try to get similar result with other stuff – Perhaps it’ll be possible to adapt the tricks you’ve used. It’s an interesting challenge – and one of my favourite synth lines.October 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm #20816
Thanks for the very thorough run down Joe. I don’t have Serum but I will see if I can achieve your settings with another synth, maybe Thor…
At the time I posted this question, I had 2 weeks to go before performing a cover of the song live. I had spent about a month immersed in the song, reading interviews with and watching videos of the Eurythmics performing at the time. I scoured the Internet for information about how the song was recorded and which synths were used, a topic of much debate. It seems the most reliable accounts say it was a Juno 60 and SH-09, or an OBX, or….?
The actual parts played are even a bit tricky to work out but I got there by listening to each side in turn and copying them.
In the end, I used my Circuit to approximate the sounds. Actually, although I wanted to get close to the authentic sound, I still wanted it to feel a bit more modern.
I performed the piece live on stage with 3 vocalists at a 40th Birthday party to a very enthusiastic and packed dancefloor, using Ableton and my Circuit, with the solo played on Arturia Solina V – not authentic but I liked the sound! And yes, it takes that many singers to reproduce Annie Lennox!
This has inspired us to take on more such songs, so we are now becoming an 80’s synthpop covers band!
Here’s the song, ignore my vocals, that was just a guide for the singers to learn their parts.
Thanks again Joe, I’m going to have another go at this. And looking forward to other replies too!October 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm #20818October 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm #20822October 15, 2018 at 1:02 am #20865xerseichParticipant
So here is my attempt: https://clyp.it/zfm41uqt
This isn’t perfect, but it’s my own attempt without looking at Joe’s suggestions.
Also, I’ll be trying to keep up with the weekly patches on here as it’ll be nice to establish reverse engineering into a weekly routine. Thanks for doing this Joe!October 15, 2018 at 9:25 am #20877October 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm #20894Clinton MontagueParticipant
Also, I’ll be trying to keep up with the weekly patches on here as it’ll be nice to establish reverse engineering into a weekly routine.
Please do! This was a solid attempt and the more people we have recreating patches on this forum the more we can all learn.
More love here. Thanks everyone for deconstructing this and helping me to learn.May 8, 2021 at 7:53 pm #42523Anonymous
Very Nice and good
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