Quantcast
Talk Talk synth sound - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Talk Talk synth sound
Old 10th September 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Talk Talk synth sound

How to get the main lead sound on Talk Talk's such a shame?

I know they used two Jupiter 8, DX7;
I hear a kind of cross modulation, some very fast lfo and portamento, but I don't approach the sound yet;
Thanks.
Old 10th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Brickman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Aint got a notion , but man what a great band they were .
Old 10th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
ksandvik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My guess is vintage Roland gear such as Jupiter-4. Ken Scott is here now and then, he would maybe remember. I would fire up Diva and see how close you could get with the Jupiter-8/6 modules.

Anyway, any aspiring synth band should spend a whole weekend listening to Talk Talk to learn how to write catchy but intelligent synth songs.
Old 10th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
laikenf's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Their later stuff (the experimental side of talk talk) like "Spirit of Eden" and "Laughing Stock" is even more compelling... to me at least...
Old 10th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
one of my all-time favorite bands. their last 3 records are absolutely timeless. i wish mark hollis were still active.
Old 10th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Gearslutz: talk talk spirit of eden

I also thought this was an interesting article (and comments section):

How Talk Talk spoke to today's artists | Music | guardian.co.uk
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma ➡️
one of my all-time favorite bands. their last 3 records are absolutely timeless. i wish mark hollis were still active.
The last 3 records are absolutely brilliant. His solo cd was great also. They were so very intense, I can understand how he just blew out.
Old 11th September 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Heathfinnie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
They also used an OB-Xa around that time as well which is what I believe is used in that. One of my two favorite '80's' bands, Japan being the other. Such an amazing voice.
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
ksandvik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➡️
The last 3 records are absolutely brilliant. His solo cd was great also. They were so very intense, I can understand how he just blew out.
He actually choose his family over the music career -- which is a noble thing to do.
Old 24th February 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've found that, written by Ian Curnow>

Quote:
of my favorite sounds were the main synth line on It's My Life, the shriek sound similar to an elephant on Such A Shame, and the lead synth on It's You. What keyboards/technique did you use to get those sounds?

Not entirely sure what the main synth line on It's My Life is, but the main organ / pad sound on it was probably Tim, on an Oberheim OBMx, but most the others were me on a Roland Jupiter 8, except one we called Tugboat (the 2 note deep blown sound on the verses, that was Tim again on OBMx)
The The Elephant was using one oscillator that rose and dropped in pitch, while being cross modulated by another oscillator which makes the pitches of oscillator one sound as harmonic distortion on the sound of oscillator 2. That's basically it, anyway.
Again, I'm not really sure what you refer to as the "lead synth" on It's You. The organ / pad synth from the bridge is a similar OBMx combination to It's My Life I think, from TIm. The 5ths lead synth after the first chorus and under verse 2 is as derivative of one of the JP8 sounds I used to use distorted for the guitar parts, a kind of bell sound but without the distortion. I think it features on The Last Time too, or another derivative of it. The solo was done on a similar sound to the main chorus line in Such A Shame, more cross modulating oscillators but without the pitch changing so drastically, just used to give a distortion to a more controlled pitched sound. Underneath that is another of the bell like sounds I used for guitar parts, this time distorted through a guitar amp and then sent to a PA rig and recorded in the room like that.
Old 24th February 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
matia's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Umm. Wasnt the OBMx released in the 90's or am I missing something?
Old 24th February 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
They definitely used the Oberheim OBX-a and Roland RS 09 loads early on. It was definitely OBX -a (not OBX or OB-8 or some other Oberheim that somebody wants to dream up)
Old 24th February 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
He probably meant to say (or was mistranscribed in saying) OB-Xa

[EDIT: Ryan post the answer while I was typing!]
Old 24th February 2013
  #14
Gear Addict
 
electrobiscuit's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Obviously Fairlight!
Old 24th February 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No,
The FXs and the leads were done on a jupiter 8 !!!
pads on OBX-OBXA & JP8
flute leads & sequence on DX7
Old 24th February 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
synthguy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The "lead chords" are wide pulse waves in octaves, filtered perhaps to 30%, might have some resonance to emphasize a harmonic to give it more of an organ quality, but it sounds like Res is off. May have to fuss with oscillator balance for the right timbre. Slight attack, enough to make it soft, full sustain and about a third of a second release, little to no envelope on filter. Run it through a chorus that isn't slow but not too fast, maybe 0.50-0.70hz.

The countermelody synth is a squarish wave again, or square wave with either a lowish bandpass filter or LP with EQ cut. Filter EG of zero attack, decay of about a quarter second or so, sustain around 66%, release to whatever you want. If you make it short it'll sound choked on the tail. Similar amp EG but with sustain higher, maybe 100%, slight release, maybe tenth-fifth of a second.

Alternate "lead chords": if rafkey is right and they were done on a DX7, though the video shows the keyboard guy playing an OB-Xa, then try a simple single operator to single operator triple algorithm. Tune carriers in octaves (1, 2, 4) with the same output level. Tune modulators to multiples of two to each operator (2, 4, 8 for instance), or try one set to an odd interval above three (5, 7 etc). Set modulator output envelope at 1 attack, full sustain, some release - and I'm hoping I'm remembering right, and the operators have output level and EG level. It's been ages since I've programmed a DX. Set carrier EG similar to the above amp EG for a soft attack and slight release. Begin adding modulators until the sound takes on the organy quality of the original sound. The level of the third high pitched carrier might have to be lowered. You can detune the carriers to make them chyorus slightly, but then run the sound through a chorus effect with the same settings as above.
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
“We try to use synths from the point of view of unnatural instruments. We try to use a synth sound as you would use a Fairlight or whatever – you don’t get a particular string sound where you say ‘oh, that’s obviously a string’, You play with the sound and make it into something that hasn’t been heard before.”

Paul, how did you get that incredible bass sound on ‘Such a Shame’?

“I played it on my lap and plucked it with a screwdriver – that’s my secret!”

What basses do you use then?

“I’ve got two. A Wal fretless and a Kramer fretless going through a Boss flanger pedal. Another secret.”

Harris had disappeared by this point so I had a crafty look at his set-up. He’s got a Rogers’s kit with Simmons SDS5 toms and effects and a Roland TR808 linked to a CR8000 drum machine which also supplies the click track.
Old 24th February 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
synthguy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm going to amend my above post a bit. Playing around with a VA, I've pretty much got it but it probably will work a little differently on your particular synth. Remembering that I got a very similar tone on a Poly-800 which uses four stacks of square waves to make its sound, I found that you can come up with a number of variations on this patch if you layer three oscillators with variations on pulse between 25-40% and throw in a sawtooth. The relationship between the pulse settings matters a lot, so don't make them the same. Unison sounds good on some, octaves, even octave intervals (16, 8, 4) sound good, but the levels must be tweaked right.

Have fun. heh
Old 24th February 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
synthguy >

Could you post an audio example? Thanks.
You already have the new P12?
Old 24th February 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
lineofcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Amazing band. Truly great songs.

What ever happened to Hollis?
Old 24th February 2013 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
synthguy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafkey ➡️
synthguy >

Could you post an audio example? Thanks.
You already have the new P12?
Oh yeah. In my dreams anyhow.

It may be a while before I can make some audio samples of this, and might have to email the mp3 to someone if I don't get around to locating a host. My life is becoming a zoo.
Old 5th October 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Work in progress on 'such a shame' ==>>>

Old 6th November 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Here are the main other sounds >

Old 6th November 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"Such a shame" is one of those "milestone" songs in my life as a keyboard player. It was such a hit, I remember going to the store to buy that record (the one with the scorpion and the dice)... one of the most beautiful songs ever written...

I've read that interview with Ian Curnow and I also thought a lot of Jupiter-8. "OBMX" might be "OB-X" where the hyphen was somehow rendered as an "m"

Good job with the sounds, rafkey. Eventually I'd like to attempt to reproduce it too.

Fantastic song. 1984 was a GOOD year for music
Old 6th November 2013
  #25
Moderator
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
That FAT two note sound in "It's My Life" always fascinated me.
Old 6th November 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
[Q]Eventually I'd like to attempt to reproduce it too.[/Q]

Great idea!
...I've spent about 30 hours to approach those sounds...

and I 've found the screaming riff at the very beginning of the song with an Alesis Fusion with the analog emulation synth part - it's not a sample;

I would add that Ian Curnow loved & abused of the pitch bend wheel!
Old 6th November 2013 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafkey ➡️
[Q]Eventually I'd like to attempt to reproduce it too.[/Q]

Great idea!
...I've spent about 30 hours to approach those sounds...

and I 've found the screaming riff at the very beginning of the song with an Alesis Fusion with the analog emulation synth part - it's not a sample;

I would add that Ian Curnow loved & abused of the pitch bend wheel!
The "elephant" sound? Wasn't that the JP-8?
Old 6th November 2013 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
rafkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo ➡️
The "elephant" sound? Wasn't that the JP-8?
Yes, but I don't owe a Jupiter 8... missed one at 1500 EUR in 2008.
Old 6th November 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
That track is all about the two note tugboat...

As classic as two notes can get.
Old 6th November 2013
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Steve Winwood was a major contributor to It's My Life.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 112 views: 20026
Avatar for in media res
in media res 10th May 2021
replies: 69 views: 7361
Avatar for Zoolook
Zoolook 27th August 2014
replies: 9464 views: 860426
Avatar for wagoo
wagoo 3 weeks ago
replies: 2435 views: 166470
Avatar for gminorcoles
gminorcoles 6 days ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump