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Topic: Intro to Ommadawn Part 2, What are those sounds?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
ElevatedCosmonaut2 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 02 2021, 10:52

Hello! I have been obsessed with the beginning of Ommadawn part two, with how massive it sounds, and I need to know, what instruments did he use to create such an overpowering mass of sound, and how?
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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Feb. 07 2021, 15:46

Quote (ElevatedCosmonaut2 @ Feb. 02 2021, 10:52)
Hello! I have been obsessed with the beginning of Ommadawn part two, with how massive it sounds, and I need to know, what instruments did he use to create such an overpowering mass of sound, and how?

Lots and lots of electric guitars playing single notes, glissando and tremolo patterns. There's also an acoustic guitar and something that sounds like a couple of girlie voices or a keyboards, playing the descending melody. At least that's what I hear!

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"There are twelve people in the world, the rest are paste"
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shenry Offline




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Posted: Feb. 08 2021, 03:51

I know the legend is that he overdubbed two thousand guitars or something like that, but I don't believe it was anywhere near that. Surely the tape would have worn out or something before he was able to do that. I would guess he started with the acoustic strum (to get the timing) and then overdubbed about fifty or so electric guitars by layering them? I can definitely hear organ overdubbed as well.

Anyway, in answer to your initial question, the way he did it was lots and lots of electric guitars (through a fuzz pedal) and lots of patience!
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ElevatedCosmonaut2 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 09 2021, 10:29

Quote (shenry @ Feb. 08 2021, 03:51)
I know the legend is that he overdubbed two thousand guitars or something like that, but I don't believe it was anywhere near that. Surely the tape would have worn out or something before he was able to do that. I would guess he started with the acoustic strum (to get the timing) and then overdubbed about fifty or so electric guitars by layering them? I can definitely hear organ overdubbed as well.

Anyway, in answer to your initial question, the way he did it was lots and lots of electric guitars (through a fuzz pedal) and lots of patience!

Wouldn't the overdub just make it louder though?
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Ommagest Offline




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Posted: Feb. 09 2021, 14:53

Not if you turn down each track and shove it through a compressor to even the volume. The start of side 2 sounds very Fripp & Eno to me.

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ElevatedCosmonaut2 Offline




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Posted: Feb. 10 2021, 11:37

Quote (Ommagest @ Feb. 09 2021, 14:53)
Not if you turn down each track and shove it through a compressor to even the volume. The start of side 2 sounds very Fripp & Eno to me.

Is there a video and guide of this online so I can learn how to do this type of stuff?
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Craig Evans Offline




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Posted: Feb. 16 2021, 08:15

Quote (larstangmark @ Feb. 07 2021, 15:46)
Lots and lots of electric guitars playing single notes, glissando and tremolo patterns. There's also an acoustic guitar and something that sounds like a couple of girlie voices or a keyboards, playing the descending melody. At least that's what I hear!

The main sounds are certainly lots of electric guitar overdubs.  However the other sounds have a variety of sources.  The "girlie voices" sound like a yelping high pitched guitar glissando effect.  This means Mike would have used either his seldom used Fender Lapsteel guitar or one of his more usual electric guitars with a slide tool to achieve those sounds.  The descending melody is a double speed electric guitar sound.  A similar double speed electric guitar descending melody appears in the mad bit from the original "Bagpipe Guitars" tune of "Tubular Bells".

There is indeed an acoustic guitar accompaniment throughout the opening piece of "Ommadawn Part 2".  Occasional keyboard chords can also be heard.  One source is an accordion and another more heavier one is an ARP 2600 synth.  Mike's heavy sounding Gibson EB3 bass guitar can be heard in the background throughout, again played with a slide tool in parts.  At the very end of the opening piece is a penny whistle and tubular bells creating a sombre atmosphere.


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qcfoetus Offline




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Posted: Feb. 16 2021, 22:43

Wouldn't it be great to hear the original unmixed tracks and find out what's really in there? I'm currently revisiting my old remix of the first half of TB side 1, made from the original tracks supplied by Mike (as part of the 2012 Indaba Remix Contest--see thread under Fan Music >> Cover tracks >> Remix Competition Entries List), and it's a real treat to hear all the small details hidden in the music. If I were Mike, I'd be proud to see fans like us trying to figure out his work, and fascinated by the fact that only I could give them definitive answers!
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shenry Offline




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Posted: Feb. 17 2021, 06:52

I love those raw TB multitrack stems. I only wish they didn't cut out at 14 minutes! I would have loved to hear the end bit with Vivian Stanshall etc, and especially the fingerpicked acoustic guitar bit at the very end.

A few times what I've done is just create a random mix by selecting five or six tracks at random and just mixing them down to listen to. It creates some very odd mixes, but you get fascinating glimpses into how the different instruments interact with each other, and what it must have sounded like raw and unfinished.
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pauken Offline




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Posted: Feb. 22 2021, 08:14

It would be wonderful to have the stems for the albums but I suspect Mike would really not want them "out there". The TB stems are really fun to listen through, I was really surprised he agreed to release them. I suspect the record company pressured him hard while he was on a buzz from the 2012 Olympics.

Fleet Foxes recently released all the stems from their latest album on Bandcamp, I spent weeks in Cubase making a 5.1 remix of it all :)

https://fleetfoxes.bandcamp.com/album/shore-stems-edition

Great album!
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bluemlein Offline




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Posted: May 14 2021, 11:39

pardon my ignorance but what are stems?
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Thea Cochrane Offline




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Posted: May 15 2021, 03:32

Quote (bluemlein @ May 14 2021, 16:39)
pardon my ignorance but what are stems?

It's a term a lot of people use incorrectly. Stems are what you generate when you have finished a mix but need to provide some options to the next part of the process. So, rather than just producing a stereo or surround file of the finished mix, you provide separate files based on groupings (often something like drums, guitars, vocals, keyboards) but if you were to play all of these together what you would hear would be the same as the finished mix. They have levels set, automation is happening, and effects processing on them. It's often what people doing remixes get sent rather than the full 100+ tracks that make up a multitrack these days.

Some people use "stems" when talking about all the raw recorded individual multitracks which usually don't have the finished effects and so on: technically that's wrong.
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bluemlein Offline




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Posted: May 15 2021, 14:30

thea -

thanks for that clear and comprehensive explanation. i well recall the daus when the daring went for four trackks - and then - oh wow! - eight tracks

so these are a bit like jigsaw pieces that can be fitted together in different ways. Q: if you had the stems of any album, could you rearrange the music in different ways??
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qcfoetus Offline




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Posted: May 16 2021, 11:06

Quote (bluemlein @ May 15 2021, 14:30)
Q: if you had the stems of any album, could you rearrange the music in different ways??

Absolutely! See example under Fan Music->Fan Remixes->Tubular Bells Remix (Indaba contest)--[shameless self-plug  :p ]. Actually, I'd absolutely *love* to get my hands on the stems of Ommadawn! Would probably spend weeks at my computer discovering how the album was made and exploring ideas to rearrange/remix it.
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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: July 30 2021, 05:32

In a similar spirit of shameless self-promotion, I offer my entry to the Tubular Bells remix competition, which was bizarrely overlooked in favour of some techno nonsense if I recall?

https://soundcloud.com/priabonia/tubular-bells-mike-yarwood-1

...and to keep this thread on course, I can also mention that I am at the very early stages of playing around with a remix of the Uillean Pipes bit of Part Two of Ommadawn...I'm fascinated by that drone sound so it might end up a bit "dronecore" but let's see...


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