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FutureGarageForum.com • View topic - James Blake Sound!!!

James Blake Sound!!!

Discuss Production Techniques and ask Production Questions here.

James Blake Sound!!!

Postby RareMade » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:56 am

Hello im back with another question i was wondering how i can get a sound like james blake? Like the synths and drums any tips on Hardware? Any AU plugins?

https://soundcloud.com/jonisaok/james-blake-love-what-happened







I know you all have hear of him, Yeah well something similar to his thats pretty chill
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby ninja_edit » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:33 am

plugins?

Anything?

It's a synthetic kick like an 808 or a software drum machine, you could record a sound for the snare, like hitting something, clicking your fingers, flicking a light switch etc. The bass in Wilhelm Scream is mainly a sine with something else low passed, like a triangle?

EDIT: I think a Sylenth1 will basically get you there, If you don't want to use your DAW's synths.

EDIT AGAIN: The last one I think is additive synthesis. If you're using Ableton, there's Operator.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:05 am

super off the grid drums, chords, reverb, low tempo, 120 ish I suppose. organic hits like ninja was saying. And well, a big part of his music is his voice, also the main reason I never listen to him.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:07 am

erghh...double post again..thats been happening lately. :?
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby Spatial Abuse » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:34 pm

James Blake is very technical with his music theory. I know its a bit of an odd answer, but i would try studying a bit of jazz to learn some cool/funky chord progressions. His actual sound (ie vsts etc) is not that complex, its just one or two synth sounds, modulated nicely, and played live on a keyboard. I would suggest playing around with chords, and recording everything you do into your sequencer until you find some nice progressions. Alot of his pad sounds are big saw sounds, with some vibrato going on, and some filter modulation. Also try organ type sounds (either in a synth or a specialized vst).

Also i think his drum sounds are deliberately set up to be able to play on drum pads live, so the programming reflects that. The drum sounds are pretty standard most of the time.

The live playing of his music is a huge part of his sound.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby blnd! » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:51 pm

charlux wrote:a big part of his music is his voice, also the main reason I never listen to him.
this made me giggle :lol:

dont think i ever heard any of his tunes tho
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby Nauj » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:43 pm

ninja_edit wrote:
plugins?

EDIT AGAIN: The last one I think is additive synthesis. If you're using Ableton, there's Operator.


I know this goes against what most people will say on the subject, cos this is an Ableton friendly forum, but Blake uses Logic and realistically I don't think I've ever heard a single tune made in Ableton that can match the warmth in his tunes. I've heard some come close, but never as good. So if the OP really wants to replicate it, it's worth a thought.

Ifan Dafydd is a mate of his afaik -



Him too, all Logic. Someone please link me a tune that has the same professional & rich sound that was made 100% in Ableton.

I guess I just regret having splashed out on Live 8 and can't get a refund :((
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby Spatial Abuse » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:17 am

Your DAW is pretty much a blank slate. They are just there to host VSTs and help you arrange everything. What you put in is pretty much what you will get out. There are plenty of warm sounding tunes that have been arranged in Ableton.

Hot Chip, Orbital and flying Lotus are amongst the artists that use Ableton.

I personally use Cubase, but you shouldn't put too much stock in the arguments that one DAW sounds better than another, this has literally been disproven. Its more a case of which interface you prefer.

Of course, Ableton's main strength has always been live manipulation of sounds, but James Blake has no need of this, because his live setup is more like a traditional band with electronic elements.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:10 am

Nauj wrote:I know this goes against what most people will say on the subject, cos this is an Ableton friendly forum, but Blake uses Logic and realistically I don't think I've ever heard a single tune made in Ableton that can match the warmth in his tunes. I've heard some come close, but never as good. So if the OP really wants to replicate it, it's worth a thought.

You're actually joking right? A daw pretty much just sends midi to a bunch of wrappers holding dll. files. Sure, that is a very reductionist way of putting it, but there is no analogue tubes circuitry going on or some such nonsense. Plus, warmth is subjective, for instance I find James Blake's music ice cold. Also, I use neither live nor logic, so I say this completely unbiased.
Last edited by charlux on Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby Nauj » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:25 am

charlux wrote:
Nauj wrote:I know this goes against what most people will say on the subject, cos this is an Ableton friendly forum, but Blake uses Logic and realistically I don't think I've ever heard a single tune made in Ableton that can match the warmth in his tunes. I've heard some come close, but never as good. So if the OP really wants to replicate it, it's worth a thought.

You're actually joking right? A daw pretty much just sends midi to a bunch of wrappers holding dll. files. Sure, that is a very reductionist way of putting it, but there is no analogue tubes circuitry going on or some such nonsense. Plus, warmth is subjective, for instance I find James Blake's music ice cold. Also, I user neither live nor logic, so I say this completely unbiased.


Can you be 100% honest and say you can't tell when a track has been produced in Ableton?

There's only 1 or 2 producers I've listened to who use it and I couldn't tell what they used, Objekt & Bok Bok. Aside from them, you can tell.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:30 am

Nauj wrote:
charlux wrote:
Nauj wrote:I know this goes against what most people will say on the subject, cos this is an Ableton friendly forum, but Blake uses Logic and realistically I don't think I've ever heard a single tune made in Ableton that can match the warmth in his tunes. I've heard some come close, but never as good. So if the OP really wants to replicate it, it's worth a thought.

You're actually joking right? A daw pretty much just sends midi to a bunch of wrappers holding dll. files. Sure, that is a very reductionist way of putting it, but there is no analogue tubes circuitry going on or some such nonsense. Plus, warmth is subjective, for instance I find James Blake's music ice cold. Also, I user neither live nor logic, so I say this completely unbiased.


Can you be 100% honest and say you can't tell when a track has been produced in Ableton?

There's only 1 or 2 producers I've listened to who use it and I couldn't tell what they used, Objekt & Bok Bok. Aside from them, you can tell.

Lol, I can only tell when they use too many samples from their default libraries or their native plugins. Other wise it is technically impossible. If you disagree give me a fully technical reason how you can tell.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby Nauj » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 am

I can't tell you the amount of times I've asked about it on the Ableton forum and on various others, the general consensus seems to be that Ableton Live is called Ableton LIVE for a reason - because it's made primarily for live performance.

I'm not going to give you a technical run down. I did an a/b test. I took a naked 808 kick and put it in an audio channel with no effects and exported a 4x4 pattern - nothing was warped in Ableton. You would think there would be absolutely no difference but there was. How can I post it on here so you can hear?
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:08 am

Nauj wrote:I can't tell you the amount of times I've asked about it on the Ableton forum and on various others, the general consensus seems to be that Ableton Live is called Ableton LIVE for a reason - because it's made primarily for live performance.

I'm not going to give you a technical run down. I did an a/b test. I took a naked 808 kick and put it in an audio channel with no effects and exported a 4x4 pattern - nothing was warped in Ableton. You would think there would be absolutely no difference but there was. How can I post it on here so you can hear?

Upload the example to medifire or soundcloud or something. The only thing I can think of is I know some daws deal with clipping differently, but if it isn't clipping, idk... In the meantime see if you can figure these examples, just some lesser known stuff that I happen to know what it was made on.
A.
https://soundcloud.com/krizzlybear-1/bassboominglow
B.
https://soundcloud.com/crucia/crucia-get-bass-os2
C.
https://soundcloud.com/creep-n00m/creep-n00m-revenge
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby bkwsk » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:12 am

If the producer is good and hones his craft enough, I can assure you it will be impossible to know in which DAW the tune was written. Obviously, this isn't always the case. Some of Live's FXs (like the Ping Pong Delay) have some unique characteristics that can be recognizable IF you just drop the plugin in your FX chain and leave it like it is. If you're doing so, then probably you're not making your music as good as it could be.
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Re: James Blake Sound!!!

Postby charlux » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:14 am

bkwsk wrote:If the producer is good and hones his craft enough, I can assure you it will be impossible to know in which DAW the tune was written. Obviously, this isn't always the case. Some of Live's FXs (like the Ping Pong Delay) have some unique characteristics that can be recognizable IF you just drop the plugin in your FX chain and leave it like it is. If you're doing so, then probably you're not making your music as good as it could be.

This is true. I can always tell when someone uses the presets from Fl Studio's Love Filter or Gross Beat.
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