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Famous synth themes


marino

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Guys, a bit of assistance, please...

 

Next week, with very short notice, I'm called to record/shoot a small series of short video clips to "demonstrate the synthesizer to the general public." (very silly, I know, but hey, it's a job)

 

I will have *very* little time to prepare. I'm thinking to dedicate one of the clips to known melodies which most people would recognize, played on synthesizer.

For pratical reasons, I'll only bring one synth, my MEK. That's mono, so no "Jump" or "Africa" riffs. Just melodies; melodic melodies.

Also, perhaps I will be able to use a digital piano to sweeten/comp some of the melodic lines.

 

I'm searching for some really obvious material - something that would ring a bell in the ears of the general public.

 

Until now, I have thought of a few famous lines from Italian prog rock (PFM, Banco, Orme), plus...

 

Emerson's "Lucky Man"

Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire"

Europe's "The Final Countdown" (urgh!)

Zawinul's "Birdland" intro bass line

 

I need a few more. Something recognizable, and possibly, originally played on synth. (although I'm thinking to also play ultra-famous stuff like Ravel's Bolero, etc.) But I've discarded things like Jan Hammer or Dream Theater, because not many people would recognize those.

 

Don't be afraid to suggest the obvious... I'm thinking to include the "X-Files" theme too! :freak::D

 

Something by JM Jarre too perhaps, but most of his melodies seems to require the support of the sequenced rhythm section.... I'm not an expert though. Any Jarre theme coming to mind, which could hold well with little or no accompaniment?

 

Also, Wakeman... right now, I can only think of the little Minimoog motif from "Catherine Parr". Any other suggestion?

 

To be honest, I'm so occupied and worried with every kind of other stuff at the moment, that my brain is not working at full speed on this sudden commitment. So your suggestions are very welcome!

 

Thanks a lot in advance!

Carlo

 

 

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Stevie Wonder - "Boogie On Reggae Woman" bassline

P-Funk - "Flashlight" bassline and/or the lead line from "(Not Just) Knee Deep" (recycled in De La Soul's "Me Myself & I")

Weather Report - "Black Market" (maybe too obscure?)

Billy Joel - "Angry Young Man" solo?

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Ciao Carlo

 

Hmm let's see:

 

Pink Floyd. "Run" and probably many others.

 

Styx. The intro to "fooling yourself"

 

Almost anything Giorgio Moroder. Much if his dance

Music contribution as well as film music. Theme from

"Midnight express"

 

American tv theme songs. "The Rockford files"

 

Lots of dance songs if you're into them...

 

I'm sure others will chime in with many more.

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Not sure how recognizable these would be in Europe.

Axel F

Popcorn (disco hit)

Frankenstein

Sweet Dreams (I think it is a MEK preset)

Autobahn

Doctor Who themes.

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Thanks. "Run" should be ok, although I think I'll use it in a different clip, dedicated to the use of sequencers. "Black Market" is probably a good suggestion too.

 

About American TV series, some (like "X-Files") had huge following in Europe,while others are almost unknown... so it depends.

Same for groups... Styx, for example, aren't well-known here.

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Harold Faltemeyer: 'Axel F' Theme - from the movie, "Beverly Hills Cop". As I recall, it was a worldwide, instrumental hit.

 

The instrumental melodic hook from "Centerfold", by J. Geils Band.

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure how recognizable these would be in Europe.

Axel F

Popcorn (disco hit)

Frankenstein

Sweet Dreams (I think it is a MEK preset)

Autobahn

Doctor Who themes.

 

Thank you. Popcorn is a good candidate. :freak:

Also, Kraftwerk... but I think Radioactivity would be more recognizable. With a little pad underneath from the digital piano....

Keep 'em coming...........

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Harold Faltemeyer: 'Axel F' Theme - from the movie, "Beverly Hills Cop". As I recall, it was a worldwide, instrumental hit.

I think that the Cop Theme, like most Axel F stuff, would lose too much by playing it 'naked', with no rhythm section support.

Radioactivity has the same kind of problem, but it was so hugely popular that I think it could pass.

 

 

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All these have memorable mono synths

Herbie - Chameleon

Nu Shoes - I Can't Wait

Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

Human League - Don't You Want Me

Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science

Aha - Take On Me

New Order - Blue Monday

Chamaleon is good, but it gave me one more idea, much more recognizable by the 'regular' public: Rockit!

The other '80s pieces should be also fine; I might pick up a couple. :thu:

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Ghostbusters?

Workin For The Weekend - Loverboy

The line from 'Just what I Needed' - The Cars

The synth lead to 'Ain't No Fun' (a totally filthy Snoop Dogg song that everyone 35 or younger knows). You can play the chords underneath with the piano.

Same goes for the line off 'Gin and Juice' from the same album (doggy style).

The opening to 'Just Can't Get Enough' - Depeche Mode.

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Harold Faltemeyer: 'Axel F' Theme - from the movie, "Beverly Hills Cop". As I recall, it was a worldwide, instrumental hit.

I think that the Cop Theme, like most Axel F stuff, would lose too much by playing it 'naked', with no rhythm section support.

Radioactivity has the same kind of problem, but it was so hugely popular that I think it could pass.

 

 

I think you're being too critical - Axel F would certainly work "naked" - it's very recognizable, and the first pass of the melody was "naked" in the original. Go for it!

 

Jerry

 

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Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but...

 

"Jump" by Van Halen.

 

Also, "Separate Ways" by Journey.

 

..Joe

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The Dr. Who theme

 

Darude's "Sandstorm"

 

that Avicii song that's dominated radio this year (don't know what it's called)

 

That dropping bass part from Icona Pop's "I Love It"

 

The Minimoog riff from Rush's "Tom Sawyer"

 

You're in Italy, so you pretty much have to go with at least one Genesis riff. "Follow You Follow Me," perhaps?

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Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but...

 

"Jump" by Van Halen.

 

You hate to say it because it demonstrates that you didn't actually read the original post? ;)

 

I'll only bring one synth, my MEK. That's mono, so no "Jump" or "Africa" riffs. Just melodies; melodic melodies.

 

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- "Just what I Needed" by the Cars has been mentioned but the opening synth lead from "Let's Go" may be more recognizable.

 

- Opening of "Moments In Love" by Art of Noise (the breathy vox sound from a Fairlight - it may be sampled but it counts IMO)

 

- Opening lines from "Don't Go" and "Situation" by Yaz/Yazoo

 

- Opening of "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode

 

- Opening synth line (on JP8) from "Save a Prayer" by Duran Duran

 

- Opening synth lead on Steve Winwood's "While You See A Chance"

 

I could have added others but you say you need monophonic only. Obviously, the 80's are a gold mine of synth sounds but there may be more actual monophonic synth leads from the 70's. But if you say that a band like Styx is not well known in Italy (the synth lead in "Come Sail Away", for example, is iconic on this side of the Atlantic) I don't know which bands from the 70's WOULD be well known there. In any event, in choosing from those decades you are very much depending on the memories of the audience, and on their ages - the "young folk" probably won't recognize one in ten songs from back then.

 

 

 

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that Avicii song that's dominated radio this year (don't know what it's called)

 

Yeah absolutely! Don't play Jean Michael Jarre. Today's modern EDM artists are thousands of times more popular than he ever was... even in his prime! Check out the view count on "Wake Me Up" - close to half a million views! And the downloads were in the tens of millions. It's theme (which first appears at 1:10)should give your MEK a good workout with it's layered digital and analog components.

 

[video:youtube]

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