Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

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Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by D-Collector » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:20 pm

So what is your absolute favourite synth anthem? Mine is Bill Conti's "Mach I" from "The Right Stuff". One of the best movies and scores of all time imo. I just love that synth.. Enjoy!


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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:56 pm

This question is so easy. The theme from Doctor Who.

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by TheKeytarist » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:13 am

How about the Mario theme?
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:keys1: :drums: :keys2:

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by stephen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:21 am

Phollop Willing PA wrote:This question is so easy. The theme from Doctor Who.


Yep. This. Except its not really synths.... :D so yeah, best electronic anthem

Second Rendezvous has to be a contender.
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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Psy_Free » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:48 am







Also this :



And this :



These were the amongst the first synth tunes I can remember hearing as a child. Needless to say, they blew me away (poetry !) then and still do now.
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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by D-Collector » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:48 pm

But would you call any of these tracks anthems? Autobahn part 1?

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:08 pm

stephen wrote:
Phollop Willing PA wrote:This question is so easy. The theme from Doctor Who.


Yep. This. Except its not really synths.... :D so yeah, best electronic anthem

Second Rendezvous has to be a contender.
Now you can play it on one synth but back then.

From Wikipedia:

The original 1963 recording of the Doctor Who theme music is widely regarded as a significant and innovative piece of electronic music, recorded well before the availability of commercial synthesisers. Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop used musique concrète techniques to realise a score written by composer Ron Grainer. Each and every note was individually created by cutting, splicing, speeding up and slowing down segments of analogue tape containing recordings of a single plucked string, white noise, and the simple harmonic waveforms of test-tone oscillators which were used for calibrating equipment and rooms, not creating music. The swooping melody and pulsating bass rhythm was created by manually adjusting the pitch of oscillator banks to a carefully-timed pattern. The rhythmic hissing sounds, "bubbles" and "clouds", were created by cutting tape recordings of filtered white noise.

Once each sound had been created, it was modified. Some sounds were created at all the required pitches direct from the oscillators, others had to be repitched later by adjusting the tape playback speed and re-recording the sound onto another tape player. This process continued until every sound was available at all the required pitches. To create dynamics, the notes were re-recorded at slightly different levels.

Each individual note was then trimmed to length by cutting the tape, and stuck together in the right order. This was done for each "line" in the music - the main plucked bass, the bass slides (an organ-like tone emphasising the grace notes), the hisses, the swoops, the melody, a second melody line (a high organ-like tone used for emphasis), and the bubbles and clouds. Most of these individual bits of tape making up lines of music, complete with edits every inch, still survive.

This done, the music had to be "mixed". There were no multitrack tape machines, so rudimentary multitrack techniques were invented: each length of tape was placed on a separate tape machine and all the machines were started simultaneously and the outputs mixed together. If the machines didn't stay in sync, they started again, maybe cutting tapes slightly here and there to help. In fact, a number of "submixes" were made to ease the process - a combined bass track, combined melody track, bubble track, and hisses. Eventually, the piece was finished.

Grainer was amazed at the resulting piece of music and when he heard it, famously asked, "Did I write that?". Derbyshire modestly replied "Most of it". Unfortunately, the BBC—who wanted to keep members of the Workshop anonymous—prevented Grainer from getting Derbyshire a co-composer credit and a share of the royalties.

The theme can be divided into several distinctive parts. A rhythmic bassline opens and underlies the theme throughout, followed by a rising and falling set of notes that forms the main melody which is repeated several times. The bridge, also known as the "middle eight", is an uplifting interlude in a major key that usually features in the closing credits or the full version of the theme. During the early years of the series the middle eight was also often heard during the opening credits (most notably in the first episode, An Unearthly Child).

The theme is written in the mode of E Phrygian, although on the original score the key signature of the piece is E minor and the mode changes are written as accidentals. On a piano this means the bass-line is played entirely using only white notes.

The theme has been often called both memorable and frightening, priming the viewer for what was to follow. During the 1970s, the Radio Times, the BBC's own listings magazine, announced that a child's mother said the theme music terrified her son. The Radio Times was apologetic, but the theme music remained.

Derbyshire created two arrangements in 1963: the first was rejected by the producers, but was released as a single. The second arrangement was used on the first episode of the programme. The two 1963 arrangements served, with only minor edits and additions requested by the producers, as the theme tune up to 1980 and the end of Season 17. The most notable of these edits were addition of 'electronic spangles', and tape echo to the bassline, from the Patrick Troughton serial The Faceless Ones onwards, and the addition of a "sting" at the start of the closing credits during Jon Pertwee's first season.

In 2002, Mark Ayres used Derbyshire's original masters to mix full stereo and surround sound versions of the theme.

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

Also, Orbital plays it anthemically!

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Psy_Free » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:41 pm

But would you call any of these tracks anthems? Autobahn part 1?
Well, strictly speaking according to the dictionary definition of 'anthem', then unless people choose :

1. a song of loyalty esp. to a country
2. a scripture passage set to music
3. a piece of sacred music sung in alternate parts by 2 choirs

most synth songs won't be anthems. These 3 songs are for me pretty anthemic in the more modern, looser sense and for me evoke great musical standout memories of the mid-70s, when everything in the UK's society & economy & everyday life was a pile of sh*t.

Autobahn is definitely the international anthem of 'driving on the autobahn/motorway'.

Each to his/her own though. :)
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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by mute » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:41 pm

Hate to post something typical.. but the Main title theme from Blade Runner is pretty epic.

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Richard Gear » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:52 pm

When I read the words 'hymn' and 'synth' in the same sentence, I have to think about Vangelis.

Here's an hymn-like tune from an obscure French film from the 70's, Entends-tu les Chiens aboyer (Do you heard dogs barking?) :


And his most famous song might be 1492:

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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by stephen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:11 pm

Phollop Willing PA wrote:
stephen wrote:
Phollop Willing PA wrote:This question is so easy. The theme from Doctor Who.


Yep. This. Except its not really synths.... :D so yeah, best electronic anthem

Second Rendezvous has to be a contender.
Now you can play it on one synth but back then.

From Wikipedia:

The original 1963 recording of the Doctor Who theme music is widely regarded as a significant and innovative piece of electronic music, <snip>
Also, Orbital plays it anthemically!


Ahh the good old days, who misses them! :-D

Yep, nice work Orbital :)
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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by JMP » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:41 pm

Dr Who is a good choice, the Peter Howell 1980's version on the CS80 and Arp Odyssey even better I thought.

For me, this has got to be top o'the list:


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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:07 pm

It saddens me that that article on Derbyshire is written with such incredulity about that which electronic composers found pretty commonplace from about 1958 through 1970. It's a bit like if, 40 years from now, people described everything we currently do with computers like, "and THEN they actually had to learn how to press physical keys with individual fingers in order to form graphic representations of words!"

Pedant note: Synthesizers were commercially available at that point. Just not the ones we think of now.
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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Micke » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:16 pm

Now that is a true synth anthem I think.

Here are a few more....







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Re: Your favourite synth anthem of all time!

Post by Scories » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:42 pm


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