late 80s LA/BabyFace strings

How to make that sound...
K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Post Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:22 am

I'm trying to figure out what was originally used for the characteristic synth strings on "Girlfriend" by Pebbles. It was hardware obviously.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avtj8tdpr5Y
and "Roses Are Red" by The Mac Band
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_UMatKP4UI
Both are from 1988 and these strings are a vital part of the early LA & Babyface sound. Would there be any way to emulate these strings?

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tehlord
KVRAF
7923 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:32 am

There's a lot of re-trigger feel to the strings in roses are red so my guess would be a sample from the Akai or Emu libraries.

soul_junkie
KVRian
834 posts since 2 Mar, 2008 from Melbourne, Australia

Post Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:42 pm

Maybe GForce's Virtual String machine may help you.

http://www.gforcesoftware.com/ins_vsm.php

Lot's of great patches and sounds from early era string synths.
Sound Engineer / Musician / Producer......but I'm always learning.

K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Post Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:13 am

Thanks to the both of you :)
I was kind of thinking it could have been old Akai or Emu strings :wink:
Virtual String machine looks interesting but since I don't have it I think I'm gonna try making these strings on Elektrostudio's string machine eSLine. It might work :wink:

musicman
KVRist
466 posts since 23 Aug, 2005

Post Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:17 am

yeah, I always loved them LA Reid/Babyface productions.

do you also know what type of drums they were using at that time? like on the first Pebbles album?

K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Post Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:49 pm

Early LA & Babyface drums were quite characteristic too but neither the Mac Band, Pebbles or Bobby Brown albums give information about this. There's a few machines that did some snares in that area. The roland d-10 had a snare similar drum as well has some of the Kawai drum machines out at the time. I'm pretty sure you could tune and change the linn drum presets into something like this too.

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tehlord
KVRAF
7923 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:59 pm

I'm sure you've got it already, but take a look at Proteus VX as well, it's bound to have very similar sounding strings on it as the Proteus modules were favoured among the R'n'B crowd of the late 80s, early 90s iirc!

K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Post Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:00 am

Sadly the VX dosen't work on my computer. It's the one synth I never managed to install probably. Instant BSOD everything, so i gave up. Vx isn't an option for me I'm afraid.
I've always wanted the VX but it probably takes another computer for me to do so. :-o

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tehlord
KVRAF
7923 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:10 am

K-Bee wrote:Sadly the VX dosen't work on my computer. It's the one synth I never managed to install probably. Instant BSOD everything, so i gave up. Vx isn't an option for me I'm afraid.
I've always wanted the VX but it probably takes another computer for me to do so. :-o

Shame :(


I'll have a look at the string sounds in it later if I get a chance and see if there's anything similar to what you're looking for.

grabme
KVRist
182 posts since 9 Mar, 2010

Post Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:24 am

K-Bee wrote:I'm trying to figure out what was originally used for the characteristic synth strings on "Girlfriend" by Pebbles. It was hardware obviously.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avtj8tdpr5Y
and "Roses Are Red" by The Mac Band
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_UMatKP4UI
Both are from 1988 and these strings are a vital part of the early LA & Babyface sound. Would there be any way to emulate these strings?
Try the free Sq8L vsti, I think they used the Ensoniq synths a lot.

K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Post Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:41 am

Thanks grabme.
However, I was participated in the SQ8L challenge here on KVR and I'm afraid I couldn't find any strings that suited me there.
Good synth for 80s music nevertheless

lozoz
KVRer
27 posts since 8 Sep, 2009

Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:14 am

tehlord wrote:There's a lot of re-trigger feel to the strings in roses are red so my guess would be a sample from the Akai or Emu libraries.
good thread! can you explain what is meant by "re-trigger feel" in reference to roses are red? am particularly liking the string sounds on this track. thanks

Happy Frog
KVRist
447 posts since 13 Aug, 2008

Post Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:29 am

Take a look at this if you did not know about, see if there are some sounds in there that may help you.

http://www.audiomidi.com/String-Studio- ... 14511.aspx

LevelSongD
KVRer
14 posts since 14 Oct, 2012

Re: late 80s LA/BabyFace strings

Post Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:41 am

Sorry for the super late post, but as no one's answered this outright: the string sound is the "Bowed Strings" patch from the Ensoniq Mirage factory library, disk C6. Likely played on an Oberheim DPX-1, but the sound is 95% similar on an original Mirage. I believe the pizzicato samples are also from the Mirage.

Babyface, L.A Reid, and Jam & Lewis all used the Ensoniq Mirage factory samples pretty extensively, you can hear them on a bunch of tracks. New Edition's If It Isn't Love uses the "Snare Roll" and "Rack Bell" samples pretty notably.

K-Bee
KVRAF
2217 posts since 9 Mar, 2009 from Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: late 80s LA/BabyFace strings

Post Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:50 am

WOW, 10 years later and I get the answer that is most likely 100% correct! The Mirage could very well be the answer. Wonder if those old disc sounds are available anywhere. Having a Mirage library in Kontakt would be awesome :-)

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