If you were an early-MTV generation
teen, you probably have the image of singer
Patty Smyth’s stockinged leg etched into
your brain, thanks to Scandal’s giddy “Goodbye
to You” video. You probably also remember
the groovy organ-esque synth solo.
Though the video shows keyboardist Benjy
King rockin’ on a rare Digital Keyboards Synergy
synth, in reality it’s Paul Shaffer (see our March 2010 cover story or click here) manning an Oberheim OB-Xa.
Paul has always been a big combo organ fan
(he was often photographed playing a Vox
Continental), so it’s no surprise that he used
his Oberheim to cop a cheesy ’60s organ
feel for “Goodbye To You.”
Getting into the Oberheim spirit of things,
let’s take Sonic Projects OP-X virtual polysynth
for a spin this month — check it out at
sonicprojects.ch. You’ll need Native Instruments
Reaktor to use it on a Mac, but it’s a
standard VST plug-in for PC users. Otherwise,
you can create this patch on most twooscillator
virtual analog instruments.
- Set both oscillators to sawtooth waves.
I’d usually use square waves for
transistor organ tones, but saws
sounded closer in this instance.
- Set oscillator 2’s pitch interval two
octaves above oscillator 1. Detune the
oscillators a tiny bit. The detune knob is
on the left in OP-X’s Control section.
- Open the filter cutoff frequency all
- Set the filter resonance to about 25% —
just enough to thin the tone a bit and
make it less “synthy.”
- If you’re using OP-X, turn on the Half
and Full buttons for oscillator 2 (but not
for noise), located in the Filter section —
these emulate an original Oberheim’s
primitive mixer. On other synths, set the
volumes of each oscillator equally in the
- Leave the filter envelope amount
- Set the Loudness Envelope to a simple
on/off organ shape: everything at zero
except for sustain, which is full up.
- We’ll need some ’60s vibrato, so set
the LFO to a sine wave and the rate
relatively fast. In OP-X, make sure the
Osc1 and Osc2 buttons in the
Modulation section are lit. Now set the
depth around a quarter-step (in musical
pitch terms) either up or down. The
secret is to make the vibrato fast and
deep without going so far that it sounds
like a synthesizer.
- In OP-X, make sure the Osc button in
the Tuner section is clicked; otherwise,
pitch will be a little sketchy.
- Dial all the voice pan knobs on the
right of the panel to center.
Now, just add a little stereo chorus and
reverb in your DAW’s mixer to sweeten the
signal. And so I say “Goodbye to You” —
until next month!
Online Extras - Audio Examples Now Posted
Here are some notes on my Scandal "Goodbye To You" patch, created with Sonic Projects OP-X Pro virtual analog synth.
"goodbye_one_osc.mp3" One saw wave.
"goodbye_two_osc.mp3" Two saw waves- note that the second oscillator is tuned up two octaves.
"goodbye_two_osc_vib.mp3" Same as above with vibrato added.
"goodbye_two_osc_vib_fx.mp3" Now with some chorus and verb from Audio Damage's Fluid and Waves' Renaissance Verb, respectively.
"goodbye_solo_all.mp3" This is a file of me rocking out on the solo.
"OP-X_goodbye.ssf"is a bank containing the snapshot (i.e. the patch) of the "Goodbye To You" organ patch. Get it at my mirror site here.
IMPORTANT: This bank for use with the Sonic Projects OP-X ensemble running within Native Instruments Reaktor. If you don't have both, it will not work.
Now that we have that out of the way, here's how to load the ensemble.
1) With OP-X running inside Reaktor, click the camera snapshot icon on the left in Reaktor (directly beneath the folder and disk icons). Now select OP-X from the "select instrument" pop-up menu.
2) Gets a little tricky here... OP-X comes loaded with sixteen banks by default; this is the max number of banks that a Reaktor ensemble will hold, so you'll need to delete a bank first (you won't permanently lose anything).
3) Click the pop-up "banks" menu, scroll all the way down and click delete. This will make space for another bank which we'll now create...
4) Click the pop-up "banks" menu again and select "new bank".
4) Click the pop-up "banks" menu again and select load- it'll say the name of the currently loaded bank next to load. When the load dialog comes up, point it to where you downloaded the "OP-X_goodbye.ssf" file, and select it. Now click on the patch name in the list and you'll be in business.
Mitchell Sigman/Keyboard Magazine