"Man from Space" Synthwave track "Call the Bluff"

It is time for a new track. As usual, Synthwave stuff out of pure love to retro sounds. As usual, ANA 2 shares the heavy lifting with other synths and Wave Alchemy Revolution provides sampled drum machines to keep the retro factor quite high.

As usual, this is the first place I publish the song before going further. Enjoy!


Hi there @nachenko

… and as usual, great work & very nice track :wink: :thumbsup:

Nice use of Fx & Sci-fi like sounds and panning + spacing for the elements here, gives a lot of interest to the track IMO.

Thanks for sharing :wink: Are you working with image ( like watching video or movie part ) while making your arrangement or just with audio ? Structure is really story telling & arrangement & progression is right on :thumbsup:

Thanks! Much appreciated!

This time there was no supporting imagery like the other track. I wish it was. This track is just an outgrown experiment on Korg Gadget, by the way. I think you’ll find the following interesting.

I started in Korg Gadget for iPad, out of boredom at my in-laws house. In 15 minutes I had a very basic sketch, with a good vibe, so I ported it to Live. Then, when Korg stuff had to stand its ground, half of the Gadgets were blown away.

Gadget is amazing for prototyping, but once you move to Live, half of the gadgets are very weak compared to the adults in the room. In this case, they were ANA 2, DUNE 3, Massive X and Wave Alchemy Revolution for the drums.

The other one who didn’t hold its ground was Synthmaster 2. After two hours trying to make a specific sound, I went into Massive X and set it up in 30 seconds. I seriously doubt I ever open Synthmaster 2 again after this.

Thanks for the comment on the arrangement. I think the key of the arrangement here is actually THEORY, as boring as this sounds! I’ve been studying as much musical theory as I could, even the rough parts about modes, suspended chords, etc. I write down my chords in paper, I try to understand from musical theory perspective what is happening, I try to identify the scale by hand (F major). I’m slowly understanding what the hell am I actually doing, and by studying I am becoming more aware that the question “where is this thing going?” will need an answer sooner or later

Again, thanks!

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really good song again. relaxing, clean and fluid.

Wow, Michael Knight likes my track!


Yep, I heard a lot of good things about the Korg Gadget, the first being it’s cross-platforms ability and they ported it to the Nintendo Switch on which multiple users can create a track, must be very fun, either in family with kids or even as an inspiration tool for sketching projects & get more than one brain at the same time, very cleaver idea from 2 companies based in the Land of the Rising Sun :smile:

Also good points about the music theory & how it can be related to arrangement, but TBH, each time I try to dive seriously into it, I feel lost & very quickly frustrated, it just feels like something that won’t print into my mind, been always like this, whatever I tried. Maybe because I didn’t start at a younger age, so for now, I just keep it very minimal to avoid headaches :sunglasses: :smile: But I recommend anyone to grab as much as they can from Music Theory, it can really make things a lot easier.

At last I had time to work on this.

I sent this track to Demo Doctor a few months ago. At last I got time to apply @phil_johnston suggestions. Long story short, it sounds better now and the melody is also more interesting. The part at 1:45 mark is the one where change is most noticeable.



Hey there @nachenko

Still like this track, it might just need to be pushed further in mixing/mastering now. I feel it’s missing longer tails on the synths, needs more delays & reverb and stereo spread IMO. Also the shortest synth sounds ( like at 1:53 & 1:58 ) are quite high in levels, I find it a bit intrusive & like a too much pronounced stutter effect during the listening. Then just stick a tilt EQ or a final EQ to cut & boost desired frequencies and then either a multi-band dynamics effect or a limiter ( or using both and just gradually crank up each device output levels ) and you should be able to get more close to a master level or equivalent commercial tracks. But yeah, for now what I personally miss the most is that big synth feel with some tails on them, hooking you up to the track, it’s fading quite fast right now and doesn’t bring that feeling IMO.

That’s it for my 2cts comment this time :wink: :sunglasses:

Cheers !

Really good. The first few seconds already give you kind of a Kung Fury vibe, and then the song has this feeling of “driving through the night past some vector mountains and neon lights”.

Dishonor on my cow again, it’s taking me ages to get stuff done these days.

Thanks @kuchenchef for your kind words.

Thanks @Tekalight for your advice. I hear you. When I made this song I was very proud of it, it was the best sounding thingy I ever did. Now, some things don’t add up. You’re absolutely right regarding that “lack of synth greatness”. I tried yesterday killing the whole sound (stacked Polysix and MonoPoly) and starting over with a very simple unison saw in Dune 3 (using its own reverb), and the results are an instant improvement. It’s not finished yet, but after that initial test, I can’t go back to what I had before.

There is another thing that worries me, though: the drums could use some help. The weakest element for me is the clap/snare sound in the drums. The more I listen to it, the less I like it. At this moment the drums are Korg Gadget London + Wave Alchemy 707, but none of them cut it. I am tempted to trash the whole thing and start over. Korg Gadget’s gated reverb sounded OK to me months ago, but when I listen to it now, it feels completely wrong.

I hope I can get all this stuff right SOMEDAY, and I’ll be able to worry about mastering and loudness.


1 Like

That’s the eternal question : “when do you think a track is finished ?” and if you just stick to this formula & questioning the answer is likely gonna be “never”. Now if you take a different approach and narrow this to "Am I happy with how the track sounds ? " & “Have I done everything I can think about to enhance the track ?” and reference your previous versions to ensure that the new changes were beneficial, then you might get there more easily, and again, it’s also very important to have a good reference track as a target.