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Topic: The non guitar sounding bits< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Jammer Offline




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Posted: Aug. 28 2000, 19:25

In most of the tracks there is a warm string sound. Is this done with live guitars or is it a midi guitar playing a string sound?

Does anybody know how the sample of a guitar can be changed to sound like a very percussive drum? (I'm particularly looking at you, Korgscrew ;-) )

I don't know why Mike bothered to change guitar sounds into drum ones. Some bits don't really sound very good or correct, for example the repeated semiquaver high-hat bits in Out of Sight. A person on drum kit would play something a lot more regualar and subtle. However, in the third wind section of Four Winds the tabla sounding percussion bit is really effective. The pitch bend is done very well and it is cheaper than getting the guy who played the tabla in TSODE in again
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Aug. 30 2000, 20:10

Hi, 2distorted...taking your points in their order:

1) It IS a midi guitar connected to a string sampler.

2) Ditto as before... smile This time the guitar is connected to a drum sampler.

3) Maybe you didn't get Mike's point in making the Guitars album as written in the inner sleeve: All sounds on this recording, including drum sounds, were generated from live guitars, midi guitar or individual guitar samples. His goal was to make an entire album using only his favourite instrument(s). Strict metrical regularity in rhythms is not an issue, here. Of course a drummer (or even a drum machine) could have played it better, but Mike's purpose was to show how those sounds can be obtained from guitars. Anyway, I agree with you on the tabla sound: it's very good. The pitch-bended sounds come from tabla samples triggered from the midi guitar.
[It's not a question of being cheaper than the real thing...MO's idea, through the whole album, is always the same one!! smile smile]

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Jammer Offline




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Posted: Sep. 03 2000, 16:50

Do you have any proof that Mike used a sampler with a midi guitar?

In the Amarok mailing list there was a very long thread about how there is more sampling in Mike's music.

Someone thought the strings in Lake Constance were all sampled "judging by the efforts MO made to make a guitar sound like a drum". It would be possible to put on lots of overdrive to make a high-hat sound
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rosko Offline




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Posted: Sep. 05 2000, 10:03

From the leaflet of the Australian edition.
"All sounds on this recording, including drum sounds, were generated from live guitars, midi guitar or individual guitar samples."
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Jammer Offline




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Posted: Sep. 05 2000, 14:42

Oh yeah. I forgot about that for a second--
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s-e-grin Offline




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Posted: Sep. 22 2000, 00:13

While I certainly admire the effort, respect the intent, and love the album, I think it was a little misleading to state that all sounds were made by guiter - live, midi or otherwise. Really, the samples are the instruments that were originally sampled. The guitar is not used to create those sounds - only to trigger them. In this case, the guitar is being used as a synthesizer would be. I would have been happier if the actual sounds were made by guitar, and then maybe tinkered with a bit in the studio.
That said, it's still a great album.

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"The trouble with real life is there's no reset button"
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Oct. 14 2000, 20:17

Ugo is right, much of those sounds are just Mike triggering synthesisers usung a midi pickup on one of his guitars. You can make a string type sound using guitars and a bit of playing around, but it wouldn't sound the same as this, and isn't what Mike has done there.

The percussion sounds are partly, like Ugo says, done using a drum module connected to the guitar midi system. Some were created from samples Mike made using a bass, I believe. So...how to make percussive sounds using a bass and a sampler...
The main trick is making sure the sound you have is at least partly percussive already. This is why Mike used a bass - they lend themselves nicely to being used to make that sort of sound. Mike 'slapped' the bass in different ways (that's basically hitting the string hard using the thumb of the picking hand). Especially if this is done while muting the string slightly with the other hand, this can result in some sounds that are already vaguely like drum sounds (in fact, I saw bassist Dave Bronze using his bass for percussion in a similar way when he backed Eric Bibb in concert). Then, Mike would have put these sounds he'd created into a sampler...that's where the fun starts wink Samplers, as many of you might know already, provide many tools for sound alteration and occasionally destruction (sample editing software even more so...). Taking the bass samples, he may have altered the pitch a bit, pitching things down to make bass drum sounds and up a bit to create things like snares. Then maybe would come some changing of the sound's 'envelope' - altering things like the attack and the decay times of the sound, perhaps to make things more punchy and percussive. A bit of playing with the sampler's filters might also have taken place - perhaps rolling off high frequencies a bit on bass drum sounds, and maybe adding some resonance (essentially boosting the frequency of the signal that the filter is set to start rolling off frequencies at - the cutoff frequency)...using resonance when the cutoff frequency is somewhere in the high or mid ranges could result in things sounding more like hi-hats and snares. After this, then maybe some playing around with compressors and effects, he'd be left with what you hear on parts of 'Guitars'.
The bent part of the tabla sound is probably a sample from a slide up on a fretless bass (although could be a bent sample from a fretted bass), with the rest coming from little slaps (which were probably pitched up a bit).
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mirwais57 Offline




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Posted: May 31 2002, 02:50

i thought he was just slapping an aucoustic guitar in various places to get different sounds. That would be more realistic.

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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: May 31 2002, 18:47

That's certainly more the way I'd have gone.

It's also possible to create big synth pad type sounds using an electric guitar, a long reverb, a chorus and a volume pedal to make it swell at the beginning (or it can be reversed...).

I see a lot of ways to create un-guitar-like sounds without resorting to using MIDI guitars (which seems to go against the idea of using just guitars, to me - a synthesiser is a synthesiser whether it's played from a guitar or a keyboard or whatever...it still makes the same sound. I'd have thought the challenge of making a guitar album is to use guitars as the only sound sources, and try and keep it interesting, and varied sounding).
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Craig Evans Offline




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Posted: Mar. 18 2006, 03:46

Quote (Korgscrew @ May 31 2002, 18:47)
I see a lot of ways to create un-guitar-like sounds without resorting to using MIDI guitars

Mike Oldfield did a bit of that in the 1970's by "speeding up" guitar tracks and overdubbing them to create sounds such as mandolins, thunderstorms and bagpipes (with help from the Glorfindel fuzz and compressor box).  :)  :)

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"(Insert "The Thunderstorm" here)"
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