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The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:32 pm
by Synthprophet
Hello there!

I like taking up production challenges. Recently I have been noodling with Limahl's NeverEnding Story hit song, however i got stuck with the arpeggio. How the... did Moroder come up with that? I hear some up/Down arpeggio played as a chord, following the pad of the track. I think I remember reading somewhere that he used a Juno-60 for the track, however that doesn't really matter here. The challenge is purely about the arpeggio settings. Can anybody ready for a challenge figure it out? Is there a double arppegio running, or some fancy delay going on?

The arpeggio can easily be heard in this 12" version of the track:


In this other mix, the arpeggio starts out more simple, but suddently it's like something else kicks/fades in.


I used to compose sequences starting out with simple fraces and then adding very slow delay to make it sound less simple. This gives it a more Klaus schulze-ish hypnotic touch. Could that be the trick here also?

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:56 pm
by gslug
I thought it was a Jupiter 8. I know that with the JP-6 you can run two arpeggios simultaneously. I guess this applies to the 8 too.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:56 am
by Synthprophet
Could aswell be the jupiter. Moroder has been seen photographed with the jupiter8. I would make sense with the dual arpeggiator. Still how would it work. Im stuck. All the time trying to figure out the arp, I have been using a nord lead 2x. This allows me to simulate a dual arp. Still the two separate sounds just grow together as if they are too much in sync with each other.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:19 am
by synthparts
gslug wrote:I thought it was a Jupiter 8. I know that with the JP-6 you can run two arpeggios simultaneously. I guess this applies to the 8 too.
Nope, only 1 arp on the JP-8...

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:43 am
by ninja6485
Have you tried emulating the clean pattern in the second link, and then experimenting with delays? sounds like it plays clean for a few bars, and then they mix in the signal through some sort of delay. not much feedback so it sounds like the pattern is repeated a bit darker so you can just hear it in between the actual notes, but only maybe one noticeable time? Don't know, hope that helps!

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:31 am
by nathanscribe
Faced with this kind of thing, I'd shove the uncertain part into a DAW and play it back note by note, and just take it piecemeal.

As for syncing two arpeggios, or sequences, or whatever - easy peasy if you have the right gear. It was probably synced to tape.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:44 pm
by Micke
Arthur Barrow did the synth work on this song as well as many other film songs produced by Giorgio Moroder from 1983 to 1986.

I don't know exactly how Arthur did the arpeggiated part on this song but generally to do trigger bass and arpeggios (they called them "bubbles" sometimes), he'd use a Jupiter-8 in arpeggio mode and trigger it from the Linndrum. He would then "play" the part on the Jup-8 by holding down the right notes in the right order as the pulse triggered it. There might be two arpeggios running at the same time but I can't tell for sure.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:20 pm
by fh991586
I wish there was a 10h version of this arpeggio on Youtube!

I've always fantasized on this song, and mostly the arpeggio: at least half of my desire to ever get a JP8 is contained within it! But sometimes I wonder if it wasn't sequenced, due to the complex architecture of the melody... God I wish there was a documentary about how this song was created and recorded, with in-studio footage! :music:

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:02 pm
by Micke
No, there's no sequencing on this song, it was the Jup-8 arp. Arthur told me so himself a while ago.

Apart from the Emulator sitar, most of the synth sounds on this song are from the Jup-8 eg the trig bass, arpeggios and pads/strings.
Arthur also had an Oberheim Xpander but I'm not so sure it was available by the beginning of '84 when this the score was recorded.
I believe its first appearance was on "Together in electric dreams" which was recorded a few months after "NES", or the solo album
Moroder did with Philip Oakey in 1985. Still, the Jup-8 was Arthur's main axe during that period.

Both Arthur and Gary Chang worked on Moroder's instrumental underscore for "NES". Arthur did some of the tracks
and Gary the others. Mr. Chang also did all of the instr. underscore for "Electric Dreams".

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:50 pm
by fh991586
Thanks for the info!

But it doesn't help my lust for the JP8... :giveheart:

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:35 pm
by Alphacode
From what i hear i could also be a Polysix Midi P5 or any 20 other synths > Chord memory and arp up and down , but it's more likely a sequence through midi... stop with the Jp8 already,this thing it was not necessarily on every record out there!

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:11 am
by fh991586
From this era, it was on many good records... Just thinking about Duran Duran and Alphaville!

Anyway, dreaming is free, so that will have to suffice for a long time.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:39 pm
by Micke
Here you can watch a documentary on the making of "Take My Breath Away" (in Swedish with English subtitles):
http://www.svtplay.se/video/1656377/del ... -subtitles

EDIT: unfortunately, there seems to be no English subtitles available.

As you can see Arthur Barrow still has most of the synths he used back in the '80s with Giorgio Moroder & Co.; the ubiquitous Jup-8 and the DX-7,
Serge modular and Oberheim Xpander. I believe the EML Electrocomp was his first synth.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:48 pm
by Aaron2
nathanscribe wrote:Faced with this kind of thing, I'd shove the uncertain part into a DAW and play it back note by note, and just take it piecemeal.
I assume you mean that you would record the song's audio into your DAW? But then what would you do next?

In some programs, like the super-pricey version of Ableton, I believe recorded audio can be turned into MIDI, which would seem perfect for a project like this. In essence, the DAW would "transcribe" the arpeggio for you – at least if I'm understanding correctly how that feature works in Ableton. Unfortunately, I use the lower-priced version, which does not have this feature, so I don't have any firsthand experience with it.

Re: The NeverEnding STory

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:38 pm
by Zamise
Sounds like a simple up/down arp. Just have to figure which keys for each chord. Not sure if Jup8 was capable, but it sounds like it could be done by layering two voices or two oscs with one having a slightly slower attack and panned more to one side which would be more likely, or easier to do with a second synth being triggered by the first's arp or it was set with the same single note in to multiple note arp, because it sounds like there was even a third synth layered doing the same chords no arp, probably the one they were actually playing. My two cents and run on sentence.