Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

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Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by PitchMode » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:09 am

this sound/patch has popped up a couple times in their career. it is the intro sound on "we are the night" and "out of control"



i assume that it is probably the ems synthi (seems to be their go to synth for wild modulations) or the arp 2600. it seems like a simple enough patch that most common synths could pull it off. i've gotten very close on the ms-20 but it still seems to be lacking. so far i have envelope -> lfo -> filter. tweak filter and lfo rate together.

i think the problem is that the ms-20's lfo is not very wide. to my ears, it sounds like an lfo that can go into the audio range like the 2600 or synthi. am i over-complicating things?

if anyone can figure this one out and post audio examples or their routing, i'd be greatly appreciative.

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Re: Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by futureworlder » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:16 am

VCS3, you can tell by the filter, also nice thing is that you can cross-mod parameters assigned to the joystick and control both pitch/ filter env and (audio rate) LFO at once.
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Re: Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by PitchMode » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:21 am

synthi/vcs3 ...right.

so about this patch?

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Re: Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by futureworlder » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:29 am

I think you're onto something with the MS-20; a chicken makes a lousy duck. seriously, the filter on the VCS is much wetter and squelchier than the Korg's, and the LFO range on the VCS is far wider, easily capable of audio-rate frequency, so I think you'll be able to *approximate* the sound, but there's just no substitute for the ol' Putney. One other aspect of the VCS3 sound is the internal spring reverb tank and built-in speakers, which actually sound pretty f**k good for what they are, and as such people like to 'mic' the speakers as opposed to running line level out. This often gives a spooky after-effect to the timbre of the synth.

That being said, I haven't touched an MS in over 10 years, so my memory's abit cloudy, I'm afraid.

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Re: Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by minime123 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:06 pm

theres a really good article (and video interview) with them (actually, pretty much just tom) on the synths in their collection and the tracks they were used on. google chemical brothers remix magazine and it should show up on or near the top.
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Re: Chemical Brothers "We Are The Night" intro sound

Post by PitchMode » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:04 pm

thanks for your reply futureworlder. i'm going to visit a friend who owns a macbeth m5n this weekend. it has quite possibly the widest oscillators that i'm aware of (wider than a 2600) and spring reverb. he also runs it through a tube orange amp. i'll bring some microphones and see what i can come up with.

i remember that remix interview. it's fantastic. i had been waiting for them to do something like that since the beginning. i'm still waiting for them to do a video tour of their studio. maybe some behind the scenes shots or a "this is how we made ______" type of video. i get the impression that tom is the driving force of the two. he certainly understands synthesis. it's just a shame the last few albums have been so incredibly weak compared to d.y.o.h. & surrender.

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