MATRIXSYNTH: How To: Above & Beyond - 'Sun In Your Eyes'

Friday, July 27, 2018

How To: Above & Beyond - 'Sun In Your Eyes'

Published on Jul 27, 2018 Kris Lennox

"A few notes: the performance on the vid isn't the exact structure of the original piece (i.e. at some points in the original, chord 1 is held for more than 4 bars etc) - consider it a springboard you can work from. For this reason I haven't focused too much on exactly replicating the tone of the original. The point is showing how to get close to the tone etc.

In terms of gear - again, no need to have a MB or the specific delay I'm using - especially given these aren't what were used on the original. Neither existed back then! You'll be able to get close with a basic delay, and a basic synth.

On the original track (which is here - the delay is running throughout - but it's good to hear how the sequence sounds without the delay, purely for reference, and to hear the difference it gives the overall feel.

Delay settings - be sure to sync the delay rate to the tempo, as opposed to manually inputting a millisecond value. Also, the values I'm using may be vastly different depending on your own delay: judge with your ear.

I intentionally omitted the frequency cutoff positive and negative values of the delay (i.e. delay EQ) from this vid as these values can have huge variation across delay pedals. Again, go with your ears.

In terms of the actual sequence length: 4 beats/16 semiquavers. A 16 step sequencer is all you need.

Also - you may have to pause the vid to garner all the info in the initial section, but I felt it best to have the info appearing as/when the alterations were happening in the performance.

Given a large chunk of my channel subscribers are classical musicians/listeners, I say the following - respectfully - but it should be taken on board:

Many classical musicians have very fixed ideas of other styles of music - often dismissively so - especially with dance/electronic music.

It should be known that many, many dance musicians are actually highly trained classical musicians - off the top of my head I can think of 5 who are graduates of the likes of the Guildhall School of Music. The guys know what they are doing - but are choosing to write in a specific genre - no different from when a jazz or classical musician chooses to write in a jazz/classical style.

Yes - there may be the dance music association with hard drugs and rampant sex on a beach in Ibiza - but this is a stereotype.

If there's any doubt as to the skill of dance composers: try writing a dance song. Or - ask Jon Hopkins what he thinks of it. He openly states that a piano work often takes him only minutes, but a dance song takes him months.

I'm not saying it has to be 'one or the other' - but rather - try to approach it with an open mind. Plus - writing dance/electronic music is bloody good fun!

RE Above & Beyond - have a listen to their acoustic sessions. Stunning. And a good demonstration they clearly know what they are doing in how they write music.

Personally, my favourite Trance artists are probably A & B, and Chicane ('Sum of All Parts' is a great album). I'll probably do some vids on Chicane's music in the near future.

All best

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