How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

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rolfski
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How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by rolfski » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:39 pm

I want to recreate the Patrick Cowley synths of the early 80's. Here's a famous example for those who don't know what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQB2F0zv ... re=related

What I know is that Patrick created all his sounds with a Prophet 5 synthesizer and a drum machine.
One of the VST plugins that emulates this instrument is Native Instruments' Pro-53. As I'm not skilled with synth creation I find it heard to recreate that typical Cowley sound.

Anyone who has more success with this and can help?
I want to recreate his basses, synths as well as fx.

jonesonyou
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by jonesonyou » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:50 pm

Good luck, seriously though, the track you posted is great. Post any tracks you can make which emulate his sound.

Parametex
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by Parametex » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:40 pm

Have you tried a banjo?

rolfski
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by rolfski » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:59 pm

No one?

monobeach
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by monobeach » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:24 pm

do you own a copy of the Pro-53?

I found this (scroll down to post #17; he used a P5 Rev 2, as well as other synths):
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/electron ... t-5-a.html

recreation of his sound (youtube video): http://www.gearslutz.com/board/work-pro ... utube.html

obviously made by this guy: http://www.myspace.com/harlemnightsmusic

Arturia also made a P5 emulation, described here: http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/prophetv.php

Sequential Circuits P5 and Revisions: http://www.vintagesynth.com/sci/p5.php


http://www.synthforum.nl/forums/showthread.php?t=41103
Last edited by monobeach on Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

andrewbrewer
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by andrewbrewer » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:46 pm

i love the sound myself but i can't say i know the magic. heard some presets in sylenth that get pretty close to this, except sylenth has waaay more sheen to it. all that old disco is a little rough, like a little over-saturated, maybe tape saturation dunno.

leedsquietman
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:18 am

Arturia's P5 is far superior as a Prophet V emulation compared to Pro-53 and also gives you Prophet VS (the first commercial wavetable synth) and hybrid combinations.

However, Pro-53 is a lot easier on CPU load.
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Saxer
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by Saxer » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:20 am

you don´t need a special synth for a special style. any analog-like synth can do that.
the sounds are rather simple, short release times, hard 16th-quantisation and lot of staccato funky stuff is used.
big snare, 80s-poly-brass, reverb and mono-sounds. his style is more a question of sequencing than a sound-question.

leedsquietman
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:44 am

I agree.

Although technically speaking, if you DID want to sound the most like a Prophet V synth and couldn't afford a Prophet V, then Arturia's synth will give the closest results.

You can make SIMILAR sounds in any VA analogue, but the whole purpose of G-Force and Arturia's emulations is that they try to model the exact sounds of the original, not just approximate it (but give you added bonuses such as polyphony, added FX and more). Arturia do it very successfully, but at a high CPU hit. The Creamware hardware boxes minimax and prodyssey as well to a more expensive degree. If you already have Sylenth or Zebra or Massive etc, you can APPROXIMATE the sounds (probably good enough to fool 7/10 people) so don't necessarily need to spend extra money, as Saxer points out.

In terms of influence, wouldn't it be better to take elements of what the artist was about and recreate it your own way and inject a bit of your own personality into it, rather than seek to clone exactly what someone was doing?
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monobeach
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by monobeach » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:59 am

Saxer wrote:you don´t need a special synth for a special style. any analog-like synth can do that
is this really true? considering all the different architectures, filters? my impression was that there is a considerable difference regarding the sound of all the old analog synths (like ARP, SC, Moog, Korg etc.)

leedsquietman
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:23 am

While this is true, I bet that if you were to recreate, say a brass lead sound using the same (or as close to the same) ADSR, LFO, filter and cutoff and resonance settings etc, and did this with several hardware and software synths, not many would be able to accurately match each brass lead sound with the correct hard/soft synth in all cases, only the geekiest people who are probably another dozen years older than me (pushing 40) who have worked extensively with all the those hardware synths to spot the difference for more than a few of these AND have experience with many of the virtual synths.
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massenmedium
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by massenmedium » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:39 am

I've read that he used an E-MU modular system as it happens.

You should be able to get close to any synth sounds with the right synths / plugins but it takes a lot more than just similar synths to exactly recreate the effect of a particular recording. Why bother though? Just make something of your own with a vibe you like. A big part of the overall sound someone gets is 'them'. Not to mention the time and environment they're working in, the rest of the gear, etc. Trying to be someone else recording at some other time in another place is pretty pointless no?

This track is the shit - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vWLexbwYek

rolfski
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by rolfski » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:45 pm

Thanks for the response so far. What I actually want to do is to make a proper remix/re-edit of this very rare but very massive Patrick Cowley take on Tantra - The hills of Katmandu: http://soundcloud.com/rolfski/tantra-th ... re-re-edit. They idea is to recreate some of these sounds used and rearrange them.
I also want to use other typical Cowley sounds to combine them with new stuff and blend them into something new.

I'm not much of a synth wizard myself and I only have the Pro-53 plug-in , but I do have friends that own all the other popular stuff (Arturia Prophet V, Zebra and Massive, Sylenth, etc.). They are trying to help me a bit with this but so far, I'm not really satisfied with the results. What I really could use is some patches/ Live instrument racks and midi paterns.

If anybody could help me out here, it would be much appreciated.

rolfski
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by rolfski » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:38 am

I'm not sure btw way which is the better Prophet 5 emulator, Aruria Prophet V or NI Pro-53. The jury seems to not be out on this one, as I hear conflicting opinions: Arturia almost seeming to be too clear & sharp while Pro-53 supposedly sounding phatter but also more muddy

leedsquietman
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Re: How to make that Patrick Cowley sound

Post by leedsquietman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:36 am

Pro 53 doesn't have the same depth of physical modelling as Arturia. It has the advantage of being lighter on CPU load. I think Pro53 is fine and a cool extra in Komplete etc, but for accuracy, it does not sound as close to the real thing as Arturia's model. Arturia's TAE physical modelling also suffers from less aliasing than Pro53.

Arturia's synth also has many other advantages, it emulates the wavetable based synth the Prophet VS too (2 for the price of one), and gives you a Hybrid mode where you can combine both the Prophet V and Prophet VS and has some cool routing possibilities.
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