The resurgence of the synthesizer - Have recent soundtracks been a driving force?

Discussion in 'Keyboards and Synthesizers' started by Anthony Newcomb, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    I've been avoiding the modular route for many years as it seems like a bottomless pit of financial ruin. (See also 500 Series)
     
  2. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Supporting Member

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    Also...it's cheap (relatively speaking), one of the driving forces of the original takeoff, you can do an entire score with texture and layers without an entire ensemble
     
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  3. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    Guys like Hans Zimmer, Charlie Clouser, & Clint Mansell have been doing electronic scores for a long time.
    I think the Stranger Things crew have introduced a new generation to an old sound.
     
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  4. TwoHandsTenThumbs

    TwoHandsTenThumbs Silver Supporting Member

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    Don’t get me wrong - I love Radiohead. But the presence of synthesizers and electronic sounds in their music - notably debuting on Kid A - always seemed to be to be a reaction to the Downtempo and Big Beat scenes happening around the same time, in the UK.

    And frankly to other things like triphop (Portishead, for sure), and Boards of Canada which predate Kid A.

    A lot of great, analog heavy sounds floating around at the time leading up to Kid A.

    Radiohead did bring that aesthetic into the fold of an otherwise pretty conventional rock band.

    But to my ears, and at the time, consciousness, Radiohead's evolution sounded more like appropriation than innovation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  5. Anthony Newcomb

    Anthony Newcomb Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree, and that is basically my whole point of view in one sentence.

    I also probably should've stated that I think the show's influence was more about that older sound, not all electronic music genres. With that said, it only seems logical to me that the interest in the original hardware that was used to create those older sounds, increased...which I think is a pretty reasonable assumption based on the show's massive success
     
  6. jmfreeland

    jmfreeland Member

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    The Evolver and PolyEvolver would have been alive and kicking pre Prophet 08 as would the Andromeda I think right? There was a lot of digital/virtual analog stuff in the 90s and 2000s too. Kurzweil, Virus, Roland stuff with SuperSaws, Novation Supernova. It’s absolutely as easy to get obsessive about synths as it is about guitars haha. I remember going in to look at guitar stuff and playing a Supernova when it was new and being amazed.
     
  7. jmfreeland

    jmfreeland Member

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    I think Behringer deserves some credit for cloning that holy trinity for like 500£ total. I know they get flack for it, but Roland doesn’t seem interested in making analog reissues, and people want as close to the real deal as possible. At what point do we finally get a Roland Historic division and an R808, R909?
     
  8. jmfreeland

    jmfreeland Member

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    Junkie XL is the best example I can think of. He has pretty much every meaningful synth there is and an entire YouTube channel in the studio. It’s actually awesome.
     
  9. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    Y'know it's funny...I was hanging with a friend yesterday who plays some piano in his spare time, and the topic of synth music came up. He was very curious about the actual process of sound generation, so I explained what I could and he seemed intrigued. But what really made things click was watching the Reverb video about recreating the Stranger Things music...he understood beforehand but I think it was in the realm of experimentation and weird sounds at first...then he saw how the music took form out of that and it's like a light bulb turned on.
     
  10. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I was only counting real analog synths in that post, and the post began with "rough timeline", which meant that I wasn't going to try to list every real analog synth released during that timeline.

    The rise of VAs contributed to the resurgence of real analogs in their own way but I wanted to keep my post simple and short.
     
  11. dsimon665

    dsimon665 Supporting Member

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    reason seems super fun. I’ve played around with it and like deconstructing those demo songs. I think 2.5 was when Charlie Closure had a demo on there called “four notes”.

    I’ve reversed engineered that song a few times : mixer automation, jungle drums, and the beginning “vocoder” sound. The vocoder part actually says his name. However it’s not a vocoder : it’s the maelstrom synth with a formant (vocal vowels) filter. He modulates the filter to get a vocoder effect.

    I have reason 10 now...if you search the net you can find demo songs for all the old reason versions. Propellerhead cant host them due to licensing issues I think

    someone uploaded the Clousre track to soundcloud. It’s one of my favorite reason demo songs...

     
  12. redchapterjubilee

    redchapterjubilee Supporting Member

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    Reason was a delight after using an MMT8 for so long. The only thing I didn't like about Reason at the time was that Propellerhead refused to allow it to send MIDI. Version 11 now does this, but that's a good 15 or more years after it would've done me any good! But I understood the approach of keeping it entirely internally contained. I upgraded from that cracked copy of 1.0 and bought in at 2.5 in 2004 and still use that edition on occasion. These days for what I sequence I mostly use my iPad to sequence externally or use one of Korg's iOS apps. I play synthesizers mostly by hand.
     
  13. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    maybe a little?

    important to note that, certainly, electronic scores are usually way less expensive for independent filmmakers (and cheapass mofo studios) to afford.

    even so, i'd have pointed first to Black Mirror, before Stranger Things. and a few (bigger budget) Space movies.
     
  14. Ben S.

    Ben S. Member

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    Ill said it again, but slightly differently; why the ressurgence? Because Radiohead brought back analog synthesizors to mainstream music with a new force. All the other synth genres and film scorers have always been there, but IMO Radiohead's use of them made it a more popular sound again and more bands and younger bands using them have all specifically followed Radiohead's trajectory.

    Appropriation vs. innovation is not what you asked. You asked about ressurgency and popularity.

    Name me a band in the whole world, other than Depeche Mode, that has influenced synth use in Pop muisc more than Radiohead over the last 20 years? And I'm talking globally.


     
  15. joesnewmatch

    joesnewmatch Music Is My Soul Food Supporting Member

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    I don't disagree about Radiohead's impact.

    Kid A came out in October of 2000

    But that was years after the Trainspotting Soundtrack from 1996, providing a soundtrack worldwide that included Underworld and New Order, for another generation.

    Likewise, the Saint Soundtrack also had EDM/Techo in 1997, with Orbital and Moby.

    This synth thing has been building and building for some time.
     
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  16. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    maybe a little, but i'd say not as much as you'd like to believe.

    are you all really discounting the constant, always-increasing flow of electronics & synths in HipHop and post-Hop productions, both UG and Very Mainstream?

    that the tremendous rise of soft-synths got musicians previously unfamiliar with electronics way tf into it (both with their ca$h & their productions) and began buying 1st) old/vintage synths, then 2nd) the new wave of hardware synths, and that folks had then started making (and selling) more hardware (again) because the marketplace got so huge-ified?

    and, errrrm, howzabout the incredible successes of the EDM movement(s) of the '90's, which started out as UG (lol)?

    not to re-mention what i posted previously, re: film-score budgets.

    there's never a single reason, ime.
    big picture! widen the frame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  17. Ben S.

    Ben S. Member

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    No doubt I am most likely being myopic about it.

    honestly, the more I think about it, it feels like a gut feeling thing for me personally than something I can argue well.

    I really started to notice it more when Radiohead was touring in support of The King of Limbs. I started to see more new bands everywhere collecting older synth gear and personally as an amp tech and builder, more young bands bringing me modules to repair. As I would talk to them, they all had different backgrounds, but somehow they all LOVED radiohead.

    Then, I began to see more written pieces in more mainline gear communities and magazines on analog synths.

    But the hip hop genre is one where I am woefully under informed and even though I was going to concerts in the early 80's to see many of the greats, I never kept up.

    The best thing I can say is that I have learned a lot in this thread, even though I have never seen Stranger Things.


     
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  18. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    I got my first synth in the late 80's & synths were everywhere in pop music at the time and had been for quite a while. IME, since they've become more affordable there's always been a scene for it. Sometimes it's more visible/mainstream than others. But for the people who are into them, it's always there.
     
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  19. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been into synthesis for a long time, including programming my own soft synths in the 90s, then playing with consumer soft synths, and then getting into Moog monosynths. I got really into the sounds on Portishead's "Third." Some of that stuff has snuck onto film scores that I really dig, like "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation."

    But the synths never really went away, they just fall into the background for a time.
     
  20. TwoHandsTenThumbs

    TwoHandsTenThumbs Silver Supporting Member

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    I didn’t ask about anything - my first post was in response to yours. :beer

    I don’t disagree, though...the original poster did ask about resurgence and popularity, and innovation or appropriation, while interesting to me (and wholly debatable), really have no bearing on the question posed.

    While Greenwood introduced a whole bunch of folks (outside of synth geekdom) to the Ondes, and while they certainly brought interesting electronic sounds to mainstream rock, I think a stronger argument could be made that they influenced a more widespread inclusion of synths in subsequent rock music. But so did Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Air, etc. - but Radiohead was huge in this regard, for sure.

    I think some of the pure electronic enthusiasts had their ears pointed in a different direction, and ‘80s soundtrack and early video game music have been areas of interest for that scene for years. We’re hearing that evolution come to the fore.
     
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