“Rachel’s Song”, From The Blade Runner Soundtrack By Vangelis

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures Miltos Schimatariotis‘s take on Rachel’s Song, from the Vangelis soundtrack to Blade Runner.

The arrangement was made entirely on the Polyend/Dreadbox Medusa. Here’s what Schimatariotis has to say about his arrangement:

While exploring the warmer/sweeter side of the Polyend Medusa and the play-ability of the grid, I ended up making this small cover of one of my favorite tracks by Vangelis from the Bladerunner soundtrack.

Some more details: The Grid for the lead sound is setup so that the X-Axis goes one semitone up, so on the X-Target I have the value of 10. With this setup it may be quite difficult to play always on tune so if you look at the video I always tend to touch the pads from the left side. This way doing the slides is also easier. I treat them somewhat like guitar frets. For the Y target I just have some filter cutoff. And for z-target a tiny bit of FM.

The pad and the drone are double tracked and panned left-right. For the bass, in order to fatten it up a little, I have used the filter resonance. The bell sound is just self-resonating filter. The tuning here was a bit tricky, so I ended up doing some extra tuning later.

Generally the sounds are left without any significant post editing, except of course the addition of effects and some basic mixing/mastering at the end. I have used Softube Tsar mainly on the lead sound to make it sound “bigger” as this reverb blends nicely with the sources, and for the long reverbs I have used NI/Softube RC 24. For the “shimmer” effect that is audible mostly at the outr,o I have added the Pitch shifter from NI Replika XT before the RC 24. There is also a little bit of Clouds at the pluck sound from VCV rack.

For the cover itself, I was partly influenced by the version of this song from Vasilis Saleas, a famous clarinet player in Greece. His version of the song is included in his album called “Orama”.

13 thoughts on ““Rachel’s Song”, From The Blade Runner Soundtrack By Vangelis

  1. Wow, thanks for the post! The Medusa Grid is definitely interesting to explore for expressive playing. But you do have to find your ways to accomplice that since there isn’t a fixed setup to do it. The settings are a matter of personal preference but I think this is the nice thing about it.

  2. OK, preferences apart, in terms of sticking to the original…. this has stacks of feeling. It wails plaintively. This is the future of synthesis. Performance. Well done man!

    But to critical of the unit….. it is set up for left handers….just sayin’.

    1. Thanks you! Yes, performance seems to keep people more interested these days than just pre-programmed music in the DAW. About the left handers, I actually am right handed but I got used to it and I think it was a good opportunity to exercise the left hand a little, haha.

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