When Things Go Wrong

In a recent interview with Sound On Sound magazine, legendary UK producer 'Martin Rushent' tells the story of a serendipitous moment during the recording of the Human League's number one hit 'Don't You Want Me'.

Martin tells how he was programming a synth line on a Roland 800. During playback the sequencer messed up and played the line half a beat late with the track.

Both Rushent and his assistant Callis loved it. The 'mistake' made it into the final track.

So why not try different quantize values or random sounds when recording, you never know what you might discover!

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Reader Comments (2)

I would say at least 50% of my best bits have been mistakes or non planned so to speak. I remember once working with a certain DJ Duo way back in the beginning of the dance scene. They wanted me to do this chord thing they could hear on some records. It was just the same chord sequenced but no matter how hard I tried I couldnt get it right. I was playing with every box playing chords and sequencing them up in rythmical but tasteful fashion but the sound and the vibe wasnt right. I layered and chopped and edited for a week trying to get it right, sweat pouring off my face. AND THEN it struck me. Those guys on the records were sampling a chord, then playing one or two of the chords as the basis of the track.

BUT THEN I discovered something else that just came to me like a bolt of lightning. Due to a most excellent hardware sampler I was using. If I sampled chord (String pads made the best ones) and then put them through the samplers joyous filter then assigned the filter to the pitch bend, slapped on a load of delay and WOW. The three of us were gobsmakced. It was one of those moments for sure. Now Im not saying Im taking credit for the thousands of records that were eventually made using this sampled filetred chord technique but none of those records we were listening to had filtered the chords.

As soon as we discovered that we made the album based around a pitch bend filtered chord thing in five days. Then we made another two albums. It eventually became common. These days its nothing, but back then it was definitely new.

yes accidents to happen, but sometimes sheer determination and stress can get you there as well :)

Another trick is to use a monophonic synth, turn the volume down and randomly play notes over a half bar section. The old Deep Bass Nine was great for that. I got some excellent bass lines like that I would never have come up with had I played them while listening. The type where you say how The F did he do that :)

Are my posts annoying yet?

June 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSpinky

Great stuff! I'm inspired, yep!

June 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRubicon
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