Minor Stirrings – Soundscape Test

Over the weekend I wrote and posted a new song (what’s new ;) ). I pretty much improvised a few lyrics in the middle section (more about it later), but I don’t think my singing is as cringe worthy as some I’ve posted… Anyway, without further ado:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

The story for this is that I was playing with a few string synth sounds. Yes, I love string synth sounds and have “collected” quite a few. I had three new ones I wanted to test in a real world setting out of this world/spacey, Pink Floyd influenced soundscape. The first sound you hear, which is also the “stabs” in the center section, is an attempt to get real close to 1970’s String Synths. The second sound, I just called “Shimmers”, and you should hear those little shimmering tones through the long held chords. The third, which I have used in a recording once before, is a sound influenced by something I heard from an Oberheim OB-Xa. I use it here mostly to thicken the sound. OK, at one point I didn’t think it was thick enough, so I added a “big organ’s bass pedal” sound – I think you can hear the rumble at about 45 seconds in when it enters.

I wanted to test some string sounds with a song in a minor key, so I used the working title “Minor Strings”. When I first wrote it out, I laughed and said “Minor Stirrings”. That name stuck, so I changed the working title to “Minor Stirrings”.

I was mostly done with the instrumental parts and decided to add lyrics. I spent about a half a second on writing an anti-love song (“when I look at you I only feel minor stirrings” or whatever). But then I decided that I would try bigger about being smaller… I did something else non-musical for a few minutes, but the idea must have been in my mind. When I got back, I opened a new document and wrote the lyrics, stream of consciousness style. I played the music a few times, singing along and playing a keyboard to figure out the melody. After maybe four or five times through, I stopped playing the keyboard and recorded it. Done. From opening the Word doc to finished vocal part , less than 10 minutes.

Technical stuff – There is my voice, and also a solo synth part that uses a Behringer Ploy D. All other sounds are the Sequential Prophet Rev 2.

More technical babble:

I really like the string sounds of the 60s, 70s into the 80s. Some used real strings. In the late 60s/early 70s there was a lot of Mellotron. This is an electro-mechanical instrument that uses short tape loops to make sounds. Think the “flutes” on The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Think just about every Moody Blues song of the late 60s and early 70s. Then there was the “String Synthesizer”, “String Machine”, “Stringer”, etc. of the 70s into the 80s. These were relatively simple synths, almost electronic organs, that did a few small things very well. They are all over the music of the 70s into the 80s. After that, in the late 1970s people started creating string sounds with the new polyphonic instruments, like the Prophet 5 and OB-8. Later, in the 1980s, the musical world moved digital samplers. This allowed very realistic sounds, but drained a lot of the life out. In the last 30 years software samplers have allowed people to create orchestrations that few people on Earth can tell are not played by the real thing (I can show examples of music I recorded). Lately there has been a huge serge in the popularity of old school stringers and sounds that you can tell are synthesizers.

Anyway, that was a bit of synth-nerdom. I hope you enjoyed the music!!

9 thoughts on “Minor Stirrings – Soundscape Test

  1. Prior...

    it does have a pink floyd sound to me… (welcome my son…. welcome the machines came to mind at the 2.20 mark) but then changed after 2:26 and I enjoyed that ending so much

    Liked by 1 person


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