Posts tagged psychedelic
Tame Impala - Gossip Synth

In this article, I'm going to revisit Gossip, by Tame Impala. The short, instrumental piece, included on the 2016 album Currents, consists of a pulsating synth line and dry DI'ed guitar leads. The synth was recorded from a Roland JV-1080, a rack-mounted, digital synthesizer that used sampled elements to emulate a variety of sounds. I actually included a section on Gossip in Part Three of my original Tame Impala synths series. However, I've decided to revisit it, along with a couple of other Tame Impala songs, in part because Roland has since released a software JV-1080 instrument, as part of their Roland Cloud library of instruments. It is a subscription-based service but comes with a one-month free trial.

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BadBadNotGood Synth Sounds

BadBadNotGood are a Canadian instrumental band that combines jazz with electronica, and traditional instrumentation with psychedelic synth sounds. In 2016 they released IV, which BBC Radio 6 picked as their album of the year. The album finds the band using odd rhythms, jazz-influenced harmony, and long, dub-like delays, and they bring on several guest vocalists to accompany them. For live performances, they use a Roland Juno-60 for synth lines and a Korg SV-1 for the electric piano tones. It’s likely the SV-1 provided most of the Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clavinet and Organ sounds on IV. They have also used a Dave Smith Prophet 08 in the past for synths, though this seems to have been replaced by the Juno. Additionally, the album credits for IV list a variety of synths used, including the Juno-60, a Yamaha CS-80, a Korg Poly Six, and a Crumar electric organ. The CS-80 (or 60) might have been used more on the album and just not been toured with for being a vintage instrument. Although there are fantastic emulations of the CS-80 and the Poly Six, I’ll stick to TAL U-NO-LX for the recreations, because it's easy to use, sounds great, and will keep the tutorial from being too plugin-heavy.

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Mild High Club Synth Sounds

Mild High Club is the psychedelic project of Alex Brettin, based originally from Chicago and now Los Angeles. The latest album, 2016's Skiptracing, oozes with 60's pop influences and spaced-out guitars and keyboards; it also contains a confident musicality, influenced by baroque and jazz harmony. In interviews, Brettin has mentioned having formal music tuition, which likely informs his musicality, and he seems to use whatever equipment he has to hand, with many elements of his sound coming down to unconventional use of effects and sonic experimentation.

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Deerhunter Guitar Sounds

Deerhunter are a psychedelic indie-rock band from Atlanta; they've released 7 albums that have seen them experiment with ambient music, garage rock and dream pop. They don't seem to be gear-heads, they favour cheap guitar pedals and record on Tascam portable eight-track recorders. However, there is one guitar pedal they use that I want to concentrate on, a pedal that strongly shaped the sound of the album Halycon Digest: the Eventide Pitchfactor. The Pitchfactor is a powerful harmonizer pedal, capable of harmonizing chromatically and diatonically, and capable of applying delays to the harmonized notes to create sequences. This Deerhunter sound is usually an acoustic guitar played through the Pitchfactor into a big, modulated reverb. Cox actually favours cheaper reverbs such as the DigiTech DigiVerb and Behringer Reverb Machine (no relation). Although the Pitchfactor is a deeply powerful pedal, and easily programmable, Cox actually just uses many of the factory presets to guide his songwriting.

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The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever Mellotron

In 1967 The Beatles released the song Strawberry Fields Forever which forever defined the psychedelic rock genre. The recording was complexly pieced together from multiple live takes or different arrangements, and although most of the song's genius is a product of John Lennon's writing and George Martin's production prowess, it's Paul McCartney's use of the Mellotron in the song that I'll focus on. 

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The Flaming Lips - Race for the Prize Synth

In 1999 The Flaming Lips finally achieved a mainstream breakthrough with their album The Soft Bulletin. The album opener Race for the Prize's mixture of emotional, Disney-esque strings, pounding rock drums and sci-fi lyrics set the tone for the rest of The Soft Bulletin, and is now their signature song and frequent set-opener. For a bit of background info on the recording of the song, check out the band discussing the song's inception in the Pitchfork Classic documentary for The Soft Bulletin. 

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The 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' Keyboard Sound

Allegedly influenced by John Lennon's experimentation with LSD, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was originally released on the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It features two distinct musical parts: dreamlike verses in 3/4, and a straightahead rock chorus in 4/4. The song opens with an immediately recognisably arpeggio melody that sound somewhere between a harpsichord and a plucked guitar; I'll show you how create this sound using plugins and effects.

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Pond – Paint Me Silver Synth

Pond recently released their seventh studio album The Weather and it's fantastic, after my Sweep Me Off My Feet tutorial I've had a couple of requests for the synths in 'Paint Me Silver'. What a lot of people don't know is that the main hook is based on a Todd Rundgren & Utopia song called Cosmic Convoy. Although 'Paint Me Silver' starts out with a direct sample from 'Cosmic Convoy', the main hook is based on the lead lick later in the song overdubbed by the Pond members. I was lucky enough to see Pond on their recent tour and their live synth setup consisted of a Moog Sub Phatty, a Korg Poly-800 and a Dave Smith Prophet 08. They mostly used the Moog for basses and the Korg for chorused pad chords, and for 'Paint Me Silver' they used guitar for the lead, so it's hard to tell what was used for the studio recording. I played with some differents synths and decided that the lead synth is either the Korg Poly-800 or a Roland Juno-106, which they also use regularly.

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Tame Impala Synth Sounds | Part Three

Welcome back to more Tame Impala synths. In this part I'll mostly tackle the synths sounds found on 'Lonerism'. I've already looked at 'Mind Mischief' and 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards' in previous parts, so if you haven't already then check them out. I'll also look at the elusive Roland JV-1080 that was used to create the track 'Gossip' off of the latest album 'Currents'.

“And messing with sounds is easily my biggest hobby, so that makes it pretty fun… not having to think artistically and just being the guy with the hands on the knobs and switches.”

 

- Kevin Parker

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Tame Impala Synth Sounds | Part Two

Welcome back to another episode of Tame Impala Synth Sounds; Part 1 was mainly about the Roland Juno-106 patches on 'Currents' and how to recreate them using the original hardware or using software. In this article I'm going to look at some of the different sounds used and how to recreate them. As I go through I'll mention the original hardware, the software alternative I use, and then the free software alternatives.

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Tame Impala Synth Sounds

Tame Impala are a psychedelic band from Australia, their sound has mostly consisted of guitar heavy 60s/70s-style rock, washed out with delay and phasers. However their most recent album 'Currents' features heavy use of synthesizers and electronic elements, continuing the electronic experimentation found on 'Lonerism'. Although there is a huge variety of interesting sounds on 'Currents', by far the most common are the lush chorused sounds of the Roland Juno-106. The 106 was released in 1984 and has a classic 80s sound, with an easy to program interface.

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