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Hardware Instruments => Origin => Origin Presets & Templates Zone => : JacksonP August 18, 2012, 01:07:20

: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP August 18, 2012, 01:07:20

I can see that here at the forum we have a lot of competence of reproducing Kraftwerk sounds. Has anybody been able to get close to The Robots bass? If not, is someone willing to try?

I did my experiments and closest thing to it was patch made with my Radias which I put into Origin. I've noticed that Radias is lacking some analog punch which we have in Origin. Using Radias as sound source and then adding filters from Origin and also compression or other Fx (and timesync from Radias to Origin) can give much power and presense to Radias. On the other hand Radias has qualities Origin hasn't, so putting those two together you can have very powerful monster with 8 part multitimbral engine...

Anyway I suppose that this punchy Robots bass is possible to get from Origin, right? Unfortunately my own skills as a programmer are limited for sure....
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP March 15, 2013, 05:00:14
It seems to me that I won't get Robots bass sound from this thread...?

Speaking about Kraftwerk and Robot's bass, I've started a musicological study of this group and it seems to me that on "Man Machine" they first time used this bass sound. Also, very similar bass sound is also on song Spacelab. If not reproducing it, maybe someone with better ears and experience in sound design or just knowledge about Kraftwerk, could tell me what are the constituents of this sound.

Another thing which I am curious is that when Kraftwerk started to use sequencers or did they have them in the very beginning?
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd March 18, 2013, 09:52:04
Hey - Kraftwerk first used sequencers on Trans Europe Express in 1976. Before the recording of TEE, they commissioned Matten & Wiechers to build them two customized 16x3 sequencers and called it Synthanorma.  They used this on the Computer World album too

The Origin's sequencers are based on the same idea but are far more powerful.

Many of the bass sounds on Man Machine (like on Robots, Spacelab, Metropolis intro, etc), use a layering of two synths, one used for an initial very short/snappy filter "chirp", the second for the main body of the sound. At least that's what it is to my ears. This is also how I programmed the percussion sound at the beginning of the song Man Machine.

I have a Robots patch for Origin in the works. Right now it is in the "fermentation" stage. :) 
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP March 19, 2013, 01:55:43
Big thanks for information and link too! I look forward to check your Robot patch whenever you finish it, hopefully soon!

Playing with those early sequencers wasn't easy. I remember for example that they had problems with French electricity and also other things. They had to allways be prepared to "play by hand", like Karl Bartos puts it on this interview:

: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP August 13, 2013, 03:46:13
Hi guys,

I was lucky to see Kraftwerk 3D-concert in Helsinki few days ago. Amazing spectacle! Those 3D graphics were fantastic..

First song was of course The Robots which started with this amazing bass line first very slowly and then with accelerating speed. It's really something else to hear that with stadium sound system...

here it is (from Britain):

Anyway just a small reminder that I am still waiting for this sound from those of you with better sound designing skills than mine ;)
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd August 20, 2013, 05:26:50
You are a patient man JacksonP :)

What a great vid. I love the sound programming - true to the originals yet augmented. And it must have sounded incredible on that sound system.

I would love to know what synths Kraftwerk is using on stage these days.
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP August 23, 2013, 11:48:03
While waiting ;) I tried that myself. I think it's that clear, "crispy" character of that bass sound, which is the most difficult to get from Origin. Origin can usually catch many analog characters of classic sounds but when it comes to very clear sounds it can sound little muddy or dark. I think you know what I mean. I think I got more close to Robots bass sound when I put together bass part from Origin and then treble part from Virus. This combination is closest thing I've achieved but still not there yet. (Still I think it can fool most people if they don't have authentic refenrence near;) )

Btw another very fascinating thing is to try to imitate Kraftwerk's classic vocoder sounds. I am so glad I did not sell my good old Radias!!! Because its own vocoder presets are so horrible, I never thought it could do such a good job with Kraftwerk. With Radias I have managed to get Robots, Autobahn and Music Non Stop -type of classic sounds. One thing to mention is to experiment with bit rate reducer effect with vocoder; with that you'll really get kind of 8 bit speech synthesis sounds of past. I think Kraftwerk has used something like that too...?

: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd September 05, 2013, 08:36:06
Hi JacksonP

I don't know, I am getting pretty "crispy" sounds from the Origin :) I will post my Robots soon. In general the 1978 - 81 Kraftwerk period seems perfect for Origin programming - the sounds as well as the sequences. I'm definitely planning on doing more Multis from both albums.

I'd be interested in hearing the results you are getting with the Origin/Virus hybrid setup?

And others on this forum - please post your Origin patches!
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP September 06, 2013, 04:50:46
I look forward to hear your new stuff!

While I am a professional musician I think I am an amateur as a sound designer. My own method is kind of a trial and error. But I think am learning every day and my ears are opening. Let's see, I'll try to record and post my experiments to Sound Cloud soon.

Another thing is that I can really use those classic patches with my students. This season I am planning a synthesizer workshop in which we try to really play classic tracks. The Robots would be the ultimate highlight! I already put my Elektron Monomachine to play vododer Midi-patterns and send this to Radias. Now it's so much fun to just pick up mic and say those lyrics and everything syncs nicely.

: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd September 23, 2013, 03:11:37
Here is my Robots multi (see attached .ogs file). I put together a quick demo track, with MicroKorg XL+ vocoders. As usual, everything is coming live from the Origin, including FX, with no overdubs except the MicroKorg.
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: JacksonP September 23, 2013, 12:19:48
Hi Paul!

Just AMAZING work!!! You really nailed it!

In my opinion all this work with classic patches and helpful tutorials is better promotion for Origin than anything Arturia has released earlier. Hopefully they will appreciate your great work! As I said earlier (after your Oxygene 4), what is better promotion than patches like these: they really demonstrate that with right skills you can really get those classic sounds from Origin.

Personally now I will dig into your patches and try understand (at least a little bit ;) ) HOW did you make it..

Just curious, can you reveal a little how did this re-creation process went? For example how much time did you need for getting it right. Also, what is your basic motivation for these: are you gonna play them live somewhere or is it just for fun and intellectual challenge which motivates you?

Anyway keep up good work! I am sure we all (Origin users) really appreciate it.

: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd September 24, 2013, 01:47:03
Added vocoder tracks with some extra reverb FX
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd September 25, 2013, 06:30:37
Glad you like it! I think this multi took me maybe 20 hours. I wish I did music and sound design for a living, but as it is I do it in my spare time like most people. I think it takes much longer to try to do accurate re-creations of existing pieces. There is a lot of back and forth, listening to original, tweaking, listening more, getting frustrated, letting it sit, coming back to it three weeks later, etc. Coming up with original stuff on the Origin goes much much faster.

This is a hobby for me and I do it for many different reasons, apart from just enjoying making noise. One is the "learn from my heroes" reason. If you can set up patches and sequences that have most of the elements of a piece, you learn about the way your heroes think and work. I like this approach (from a 1969 ad for the original VCS3): "Think of a make it."

: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: Cord September 26, 2013, 02:30:48
That is a great cover!!!

Still, I love "Things in my life" even better.

Just stunning...
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: hermitnerd January 27, 2014, 10:24:54
Thanks Cord and JacksonP. I have several more multis ready to go but have been feeling unmotivated lately to record the demo tracks and this kind of feedback really helps.
: Re: Kraftwerk - the Robots?
: tomoe97 February 07, 2014, 07:57:04
This is an astonishingly good Kraftwerk cover! Thanks for contributing so many great Origin multis over the years! Can't wait to see what you're cooking up next!