What am I hearing? (a UK 80's thing)

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What am I hearing? (a UK 80's thing)

Post by jamoo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:09 am

What is the sound at the beginning of the Police's Synchronicity II and Bauhaus's Mask?

Is that from a bass?

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Post by goose42 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:33 am

Sounds to me like guitar(s), synth(s), or bass(es) recorded with the tape machine at a different speed, and in the middle of playing a note when record was pressed.

Might be generated by a synth alone, or with the help of a pitch shifting pedal or modulated delay of some kind. Andy Summers is famous for his use of the Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress flanger. That's one piece of gear I know they used for sure that has some kind of time component to it.

Ring modulator with a variable modulator frequency?
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Post by jamoo » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:02 am

the only thing i'm semi-confident of is that it's the same sound.

there's obviously some kind of filter sweep.

i figured sting is a bassist, and bauhaus were minimalists (though they did have other sounds than guitar,bass,drums), so it's probably a bass?

if it were a guitar, we'd hear it more often. amazing sound. i've never heard anything like it live that i can remember, though i have seen bauhaus a few times. then again, maybe my ears were blinking.

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Post by Nate Dort » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:14 am

definitely the sound of tape spooling up, at least on "Mask." the sustained note was already playing when they started rolling tape.

Some more recent examples are found on the tracks "The Turn Around" and "Soda St. #1" by Thee Oh Sees

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Post by drumsound » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:53 am

Yep, play note, then hit record and play at the same time.

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Post by CraigS63 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:34 pm

I remember cassette recorders with the switch on the handheld mic, flicking that on and off while talking. I think there was even a "station ID" thingy like that on the Dr. Demento show. Not that I am old enough to have remembered those days.

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