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Rockit w/Herbie
Old 17th March 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
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Rockit w/Herbie

Did you know right away that you had something special when you and Herbie came up with this song?
Old 17th March 2013
  #2
Michael Beinhorn
 
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I didn't have any idea how other people might feel about it when we were making it. All I knew was, it didn't sound like anything else I'd heard and I was excited every time I heard it or worked on it. In that case, I felt we had something special.
Old 21st March 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 

I watched a YouTube video about the making of the groundbreaking album "Future Shock" and I was fascinated by the technology. I saw a Fairlight CMI for the first and only time at a local university campus open day in Perth, Australia in the very early 1980's and was blown away by the space-age technology.

Fortunately, I began my music production when samplers were a lot more powerful and easier to use.

I must say, I'm not a fan of the style of "music" that you mostly produce but each to his own.

Anyway, as far as the decline of the music industry is concerned I honestly believe the main cause of that decline is because people see music as an industry rather than one of the arts. Good music will never be in decline - only the income of those great artists (which is extremely unfortunate).

Thanks for sharing your insights in this forum sir!
Old 21st March 2013
  #4
Have you ever been surprised to hear it play in a movie soundtrack while you are watching?

It must have been used in over at least 50 I would imagine...
Old 22nd March 2013
  #5
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Gear Guru-

It's my pleasure to share and to discuss.

I remember using that equipment for the first time and being surrounded by virtually every new synthesizer I could imagine- it was kind of an aphrodisiac. Sequencing incompatible instruments together was especially challenging- it took about 3 hours to get a Minimoog sequence I'd made to run with the track.
Old 22nd March 2013
  #6
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Jules-

Usually, I get a heads up about usages, but it's always a thrill to hear/see the song in a movie- or anywhere. Of course, I always get asked about "Beverly Hills Cop" and have to tell people Harald Faltermeyer wrote that one.
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Old 30th March 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Michael - Rockit is an amazing track. It's one of the best electro tracks ever. A few questions for you:

a) What was used for the bassline and what signal path did it go through (Sounds very warm and clear)

b) The electronic sounds sound very punchy and crystal clear but there's no sign of harshness anywhere. How?

c) What desk did the track go through if any?

d) Any idea what that vocoder effect was when Herbie says 'Rockit'?
Old 30th March 2013
  #8
Gear Head
i was wondering if future shock was made to be played at both 33 and 45 rpm? some of the tracks almost sound drum'n'bass like when sped up. then you have the slowed down voices on some tracks also which seems to me like an invitation to speed things up to hear what they are saying. if this was the case then do you know of any earlier albums that did this?
cheers.
Old 30th March 2013
  #9
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Thanks for your kind words.

The bass on Rockit was a Steinberger which went DI into the console. I'm pretty sure the DI was a Countryman. The Steinberger just had a very clear, deep, open sound. I'm not sure if there was compression on it- might have been a DBX 160.

The electronics weren't processed in any special way- mine were recorded at the Material studio (OAO) in Brooklyn and Herbie's were recorded at his backyard studio in LA. It was all basic stuff- Minimoog, a Rhodes Chroma and a few other instruments to create the melody line. The trick is probably just great analog synthesizers instead of digital emulations.

The vocoder Herbie used was a Sennheiser VSM201- probably the most versatile vocoder ever made. He did an improv vocoder track throughout the song and you can hear him interject from time to time. I think we asked him to say "Rockit" at the end of one phrase and "Don't stop it" at the end of another. This would be a tip of the hat to "Planet Rock".
Old 30th March 2013
  #10
Michael Beinhorn
 
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Future Shock wasn't made to be played at 33 or 45, although that would have been an interesting idea. The slowed down voices were just for effect. On "Rockit", it's my voice, going, "Ba ba" and "Da da".
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