Big Soundtrack In Little China

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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raoul duke
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Post by raoul duke » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:30 pm

"Where's Jack?"

"Everybody relax, I'm here..."

Great movie! Right up there with "Repo Man"!
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Micke
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Post by Micke » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:01 pm

Thanks, Mike :)

For those of you not familiar with "The Boogey Man"; it's an all-electronic score recorded (by Synthe-Sound-Trax) back in 1980 for the horror flick by the same name.

Image

The music reminds me a bit of John Carpenter's electronic scores from the late '70s/early '80s as well as John Chattaway's score to "Maniac" (1980).
Boogeyman features classic synths such as the Minimoog, Oberheim 8-voice, Prophet 5 and Crumar Multiman-S.

Highly recommended stuff if you're into dark/eerie sounding instrumental music performed on analog synthesizers.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by scntfc » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:06 pm

i registered just to say thanks for the great post. i've been researching as much as possible about carpenter soundtracks because i'm in the midst of scoring a horror film myself, and we've been referencing early synth soundtracks as a starting point. keep em coming!

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Post by Micke » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:58 pm

You're welcome, scntfc

Let me know if you happen to have any more questions about Carpenter's early synth-scores. I have gear listings for most of his scores (incl. the earliest ones) as well as for many other electronic scores from the '70s and '80s.

cheers,
Micke
Last edited by Micke on Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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scoopicman
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Post by scoopicman » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:08 pm

scntfc wrote:i registered just to say thanks for the great post. i've been researching as much as possible about carpenter soundtracks because i'm in the midst of scoring a horror film myself, and we've been referencing early synth soundtracks as a starting point. keep em coming!
Lucky you....maybe. (Depends on the movie. Some are a pain to score.) :)

The late 70's and 80's scores often used pads or strings, on the low keys. On the upper keys, were bells, percussive or quick attack synth sounds. The upper keys played a melodic (and very catchy) theme, with the low keys playing the bass notes. This was very simple, but effective. In fact, I prefer that style to the recent ambient scores, which you forget as soon as the movie is over.

If you can, check some of these out:

PHANTASM
HALLOWEEN
CREEPSHOW
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
ESCAPE FROM LA (bad movie, but great music!)
THE FOG
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (the original)

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Micke
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Post by Micke » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:24 pm

Btw Mike, what did you think about John Scott's synth-score to Inseminoid?

Micke
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by scoopicman » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:32 pm

Me bad. I've been way busy. It's still wrapped up. I want to digitally record it, the first time I play the record. I just have to set up the turntable and the computer.

I'll let you know! :D

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Post by scntfc » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:35 pm

i loaded up on carpenter info from the official site...looks like the early films were done on a moog modular system and he moved on to a wider variety of gear from film to film...the usual suspects of arp's, sequential circuits, etc.

since we don't have the budget to match/recreate those vintage setups, i've begged/borrowed/bought a decent selection that will get me close. the gear list as it stands now is:
voyager rack, six trak, juno 60, alesis ion, jp 8080 (though this will probably only see use for its arp), and lucky me i'm borrowing time on a prophet t8.

i'm documenting the whole process, so when it gets nearer to the release date (and provided the movie is good!) i'm hoping to post some behind the scenes info/sounds for horror-synth geeks (like me) to check out.

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Micke
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Post by Micke » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:27 pm

Yes that's right, Assault on precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978) and The Fog (1979) were all done on an extended Moog modular IIIP.

Image Image Image

Carpenter's score to his very first feature film "Dark Star" (1974) was recorded at some guy's home using an EMS VCS3.

Image
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by scntfc » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:12 pm

awesome. thanks again... i have yet to watch dark star, but i'll move it to the top of my netflix queue asap. i wish i could post demos of what i've done so far, but i have to keep it under wraps until i get the okay from the producer.

fyi, there are a couple contemporary bands that sport heavy carpenter influence that are worth checking out...one is 'zombi', and the other is 'sleepy eyes of death'. both i think can be checked out on myspace or easily googled.

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Post by Bitexion » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:54 pm

70/80's horror or splatter films usually have the most awesome synth scores..I wonder why this is. Its almost like it's worth watching a crappy zombie gorefest just for the music. Maybe because they are low budget and couldn't afford a proper orchestra, but h**l, synths aren't exactly cheap either. Specially not these monster modulars people seemed to have.

Speaking of Zombi, that is the italian title for the legendary Zombie Flesheaters from 1979 by Lucio Fulci.
It too has an amazing soundtrack, and is a legendary zombie gore flick in itself.

Here's a cool scene. Zombie vs Shark.


Pure synth goodness soundtrack.

Also the Italian cannibal series that emerged in the mid-late 70's (and died out just as fast) has some beautiful synth scores. Specially Cannibal Holocaust by Ruggero Deodato. Says Music: Riz Ortolani on the cover.
These films are as much revered for their atmospheric music as they are for the gore.

Hey, I just found an interview with the man where he speaks about how he made the soundtracks.

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