MATRIXSYNTH: Human League DON'T YOU WANT ME Re-Created w/ Arturia Jupiter 8V

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Human League DON'T YOU WANT ME Re-Created w/ Arturia Jupiter 8V

Published on Oct 20, 2018 peahix

"Next in my line of synthpop re-creations is this classic from 1982. I'd been wanting to take a stab at it for awhile, with th eventual goal of porting the whole thing to my Roland MC8 MicroComposer, which is the sequencer that the original was created on. That will be a huge project, though, so it'll have to wait for another day. For now, I've just used Cubase and basically limited myself to Arturia's Jupiter 8V plugin, plus the VProm plugin to cover the Linn LM1 drum sounds (

As I always like to point out, I don't consider this a "cover," ie it's not a creative re-interpretation of the song. The goal is to get the arrangement, sounds, and mix as close to the original as possible WITHOUT USING ANY SOUNDS FROM THE ORIGINAL. Everything you're hearing here was done from scratch- there's no samples from the HL original recording. For now I've just made a quickie video with some screenshots, but if I have time I'll try to make a tutorial video on how I put this together.

Usually when I do one of these re-makes, I'm stuck with the original mix of the song, plus any remixes, surround mixes, or any sort of audio trickery I can muster to hear the individual parts more clearly. In this case, the job was made much easier by referencing the original stems of the song, which have been available on the web for years. Now, that didn't make it "easy" per se, as many of the stems have different parts mixed together, but it certainly made it alot easier than it would have been, as this is a very dense and busy arrangement. There are no less than four different bass patches that play in different parts of the song, and there are many different chord parts all mashed up together.

Most of the musical parts were fairly straightforward to work out, but a few were a bit tricky. The first part I tackled was the funky rhythmic synth chords that play in the verse and chorus. On the original this sound was created by feeding a live guitar into the envelope follower of a Roland System 700 modular, which provided articulation for the synth, which was playing a type of chord pad. So it's like a mutant funk guitar pattern. I got reasonably close by sidechaining a funk guitar loop along with a hi-hat to the synth pad track. It's not exact, but you'd never really be able to get it exact anyway- it's pretty organic for a synth part. Interestingly, there's a mistake on the original recording, where this part is slightly out of sync during the first chorus. It plays three 16th notes ahead of the beat. So I re-created that mistake faithfully. In the second chorus, it plays correctly, as it does in the original HL track.

Speaking of musical mistakes, there's a fairly glaring one that I can't imagine was intentional. Either they overlooked it, or just liked how it sounded and left it in. Just before the chorus, there one bar where three different synth parts are playing chords. Two of them are playing a B minor chord, but the other one (the stabby brass sound panned right) is playing a B diminished! So, if you've ever wondered "what the hell is that chord anyway?" now you know. I'm not even sure what to call it, technically. I put in a little text to point out this chord the second time it occurs.

Anyway, I guess that's about all I have to say about this one right now. Instead of fading it out, I opted to preserve the cold ending that you hear when listening to the stems. I also made a mix of this with the original lead vocals layered in. Maybe I'll post that version some other time."

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