7 Aug 2010

City Exit North: Jumping The Queue

  City Exit North by pethu

 Here's a tune that wasn't part of the plan at all one moment, then demanded top priority the next. I realised that starting the whole album with "Moving Mist", however logical, would skew people's perception of what the album as a whole is about — musically speaking. Hence this more bombastic piece to start the entire show off.

So, now we start off in the city and "escape" north into the countryside. In an attempt to emphasize this, I used different main synths in the first and second parts:

In the "city" part, there'a lot of Native Instrument's FM8 — a software synth originally based on the the first popular, mass-market digital synthesizer, the Yamaha DX7. FM8 is a much more versatile beast than its inspiration these days, but still has that digital edge to the sounds.
Also, the fast sequenced triplets in the beginning are designed to keep you off balance for a while!

In a (largely failed) attempt at added contrast and a more organic feeling, most of the sound in part 2 comes from one of the last great all analog synths, the Yamaha CS-80. Here in Arturia's software version, the CS-80V 2:
Properly handled, the brass and string sounds from the CS-80 can instantly transport you into Vangelis territory! (Not saying it does in this particular case, mind.)

Discontinued in 1980, a used CS-80 can still fetch upwards of $25,000: That's for a 30 year old beast that weighs 220 pounds (100 kg), is almost impossible to keep in tune and is in constant need of spare parts. Software has many advantages, although it may not sound exactly the same...


  1. software sounds good to me, and a lot easier to play with than a 220 pound beast

  2. i must say that the second part reminds me so much of The Alan Parsons Project! And the first city bit, actually a teeny bit Soul Asylum. Who were your musical influnces growing up, anyway??? This is one of my favorites so far,really great!