Here are some notes and audio exampels from my Who “Baba O’Riley” patch, created with Apple Logic Pro’s ES2 soft synth. See the April 2010 issue of Keyboard for the full step-by-step instructions.
"baba_demo.mp3"- This is an all-singin', all dancin' demo of the intro of "Baba O' Riley", all created in Logic. I used a stock Logic drum kit (compressed like crazy with Universal Audio LA-3) and 4Front TruePianos virtual piano.
"baba_osc1.mp3" - This is approximately what the first oscillator should sound like- you may need to futz with the pulse width of the pulse wave to get it right. Note that I actually used oscillators two and three in Logic ES2, because oscillator one doesn't have a variable width pulse wave. It's running through the bandpass filter here too, so be aware of that because it changes the tone quite a bit.
"baba_osc2.mp3" - Same deal as above, but an octave up and detuned a wee bit: just one cent. That tiny amount makes it a little less stiff and digital sounding, but don't go nuts with the detune, or it'll sound too much like a synth. We want organ here.
"baba_osc1+2.mp3"- This is boff'um, as I like to say, mixed at about equal volume. Lean toward the lower octave it you're gonna make one a little louder. Same deal with the filter as above two examples.
"baba_ampmod.mp3"- Same as above, but now with the LFO modulating the amp giving us the pulsing. Careful when creating this-since the amp mod is positive, it can jack up the overall volume of the patch, so you may eed to turn down to compensate.
"baba_osc1+2_eq.mp3"- This the patch with the EQ plug-in applied. It's subtle, but it shaves off some highs and lows and bumps the mids a little. You can experiment with this to taste. I was just trying as much as possible to give it the ’70s-record-sound, and minimize the digital-plug-in-computer sound. I bypassed the amp mod so you could hear the tone more clearly.
"baba_osc1+2_eq_verb.mp3"- Here I bring the stereo reverb trickiness. At this point, I pan the main sound almost hard left, and set up a bus send to a Logic GoldVerb and pan it right. I intentionally chose a semi-cruddy sounding reverb, because I didn't want pristine quality. GoldVerb has a slider for early reflections vs. main reverb; I slid it mostly toward early reflections for more of a small-room ambience, almost like speakers playing in a living room. I let only a little bit of the longer ringing verb through.
I also stuck a Logic Overdrive plug-in after the reverb (scary, huh?), set to almost no distortion, just to add a wee bit more character. Finally, I threw an EQ after that too, just lopping off lows and highs with shelf filters: -18dB at 380Hz and -12.5 dB at 6,200Hz. None of these settings are particularly crucial—just get 'em in the vicinity and mess with them until you like what you hear.
"baba_trills.mp3"- This is just a little file I made in hopes of demonstrating how to play the trills. As mentioned in the main article, the idea is to hit two adjacent notes in the key of F in rapid succession (a 32nd-note apart, specifically) and hold them. When you get the timing just right they'll “bounce.” In other words, one sounds while the other is silent, and vice versa. When you get it right, it'll sound just like the record. If you want to wimp out, you can record phrases in your sequencer and quantize to 32nd notes, but it's more fun to play 'em live.
One can only imagine the amount of punching and tape-splicing it took to assemble "Baba 'O Riley" in the studio!
Click here to find these audio examples in a directory on my mirror site, along with the patch for Apple Logic ES2: “baba.pst.”. Here's where to put the file:
Users/Yourusername/Library/Application Support/Logic/Plug-in Settings/ES2
Once there, it should show up in the pop-up menu at the top of ES2.