How to Sound Like Kate Bush

How To Sound Like Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

Source: Kate Bush

Well, Kate Bush must indeed have made a deal with God. His ghostly 1985 single, Run up that hill, is back, haunting the charts once again. The explosion was triggered by the launch of the fourth season of the cult Netflix series, stranger things. As a result, the song is reaching a whole new generation of listeners! Let’s take a look at what makes this song so iconic and how to create some of the sounds.

Decomposition Kate Bush – Run Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

Besides the vocal orchestrationwhich is immense, the approach of the instrumental production is rather minimalist and discreet. We’ve already talked about the use of 1980s reverb, and here it’s the tone that gives this song its ethereal character.

Every instrument in the mix seems to have at least a touch of echo, delayWhere reverberation. As with most Kate Bush songs, the way she shapes her voice and her step articulation is absolutely flawless.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the use of vocal resampling in creating the deity-like muted vocal on the outro is also far ahead of its time, as it is a commonly used technique. in pop music production today.

Kate Bush in her home studio.

Kate Bush with her Fairlight CMI.

Recreate the farm

The relentless galloping drums were probably created on the famous Linndrum drum machine. Although the pattern is simple with very few fills or variations, it becomes the rhythmic foundation of the track. The lowand then, rythmic guitarboth are highly dependent on the drum pattern for their feeling.

This is achieved through the careful use of stereo delay Where tape echoas good as reverberation on the drums in their entirety. The resampled delayed drum hit just before the third beat of each measure is crucial. It jumps to the left side of the mix and really adds to the rolling sensation.

Besides the drier bass drum, the drums have a healthy sound reverberation immersionwhich sounds like a 40-50% wet/dry mixgiving them more natural tone. There is also closed reverb on the trap as good as Tom fillsgiving them that larger than life 80s character.

Kate Bush Climbs That Hill A Deal With God

The Linndrum was responsible for countless successes of this era.

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Working with instruments

The main melodic theme is created from a staccato cello sample of the Fairlight CMI inventory library. The pitch modulations that you can hear were created with a healthy dose of portamento.

A somewhat similar string style was later used to great effect on Enya’s Orinoco stream (1988). But here, a peculiarity slapback delay makes that iconic hook sound like it echoes through the hills. The flicker choir tablecloths in the chancel are most likely also created using the Fairlight CMI. Meanwhile, the bass guitar is a single, steady pulse, in line with the drums.

As the song builds, the relatively clean rhythm guitar parts use a ADT effect. This is created by hard panning both left and right sides. and the screams distorted lead the tones are individually treatedand pushed further into the mix with lots of reverb.

Meris LVX

Meris LVX

With the Meris LVX you can easily create modded delays like those used on 80s records like this. Meris pedals are suitable for both guitars and synths and you have plenty of processing power at your disposal. Learn more about LVX here.


Shaping the synths

We know that the monolithic Yamaha CS-80 was used throughout the love dogs album. On this track, the use of synths is subtle and constant from start to finish, from ambient buzzing synth pad at the back of the mixture synth brass chords in the verse.

To create a pad drone, just loop synth chord and make sure that the length of the MIDI notes reaches the end of the bar. If you hold the agreement for four barsyou almost create a crescendo/decrescendo at the end of each cycle. The key to this trick is to use your envelopesso have your full sustain and your exit at noon as a starting point.

You can create more complex sounds by adjusting your filter and amp envelopes work independently. But in this song, the synths are mostly filtered to leave space for vocals and other instruments.

Kate Bush Climbing That Hill A Deal With God

Arturia CMI V

Within the Arturia Collection V 9the MIC V gives you the sound and user experience of the classic Fairlight CMI sampler. Also UDO Audio Super 6 is an excellent choice for creating 80s style synth soundswith his hybrid architecture.


Download Arturia V Collection 9

Download Arturia V Collection 9


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vocal production

Like any great vocal piece, the mix is ​​constructed using a combination of techniques to create perspective. The balance between microphone distance and additional reverberation is important. Here these are used to place the conduct and harmony parts in different spaces.

Although the vocal production is great for 1985the way the voices are written and performed is much more essential in creating the end result. Being a great singer is helpful, but it’s not enough if you don’t have a sense of melodic writing. In this case, the way the vocal performance slowly builds the song to a climax is a central theme.

Moreover, the way the vocal harmonies and overdubs are sequenced clearly defines each section of the song. Otherwise, it might feel rather repetitive. Matching and contrasting natural vocal reverberation with digital reverb is also a technique that requires practiceand it is used extremely well here.

Kate Bush Climbs That Hill A Deal With God

Neumann TLM 103

The Neumann TLM 103 is an excellent choice for female vocals, used recently by Billie Eilish on his massive 2019 debut album, When we all fall asleep, where do we go?


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