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Djo - Runner

Mar 2023
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Djo has been the musical alter ego of actor Joe Keery for more than three years, an actor you probably know for his role as Steve Harrington in the series Stranger Things.

Joe himself has mentioned that the balance of his two passions is important to him, and that unlike his acting work where many of us got to know him, his music is something he really enjoys doing without pressure, where he is in complete control of the creative aspect and being able to do what he wants and how he wants. Before he found life-altering fame playing Steve Harrington, the reformed bad boy of, he played guitar in the Chicago psych-rock band Post Animal.

In 2019 he released his first full-length solo project 'Twenty Twenty', an album that was written, produced and mixed by the same actor in his native Chicago, where he amazes us with 12 songs with a psychedelic indie pop sound, with references to Boy Pablo, Tame Impala or Mac deMarco. Recently, in September 2022, he published his second album "Decide".

joe-keery-djo

Runner is the first song that opens this album, and a good reflection of what we are going to find, synth-wave synthesizers, Kavinsky-style vocoder and a powerful display of electronic music and tempo changes in the second half of the song.

Listen to my remake below!

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SYNTHS

I've needed about 13 synth tracks to recreate this song, let's get to it! Remember that you can download all these sound presets on my Patreon page.

The song starts with an 8-bit sound arpeggiator that I have recreated with the TAL-U-NO VST with the following configuration. Also important is the reverb that appears at the beginning and gradually fades away until the sound becomes clear. Listen below! Do you hear that gradual change?

tal-u-no synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO Arp

A little later a bass-synth appears, which I have recreated with the Arturia Mini V with the following parameters. I have fattened the sound with the CLA-76 compressor and the Waves MaxxBass bass enhancer. Listen to this sound below.

mini synth djo runner
waves synth djo runner

Mini V Arp Bass Synth 1

To these two layers, a third is added later with a sharp sound adding texture. To recreate the sound I used the TAL-U-NO again.

arp synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO Keys

Later, when the drums enter, another bass-synth appears, this time much more aggressive. I have recreated it with two layers of Jup-8 V from Arturia with the following configuration. Listen to it below.

bass synth djo runner

Jup-8 V Bass Synth 1

In the bridge, one kind of propeller sound can be heard in the background, which I have recreated with a UFO preset in the TAL-U-NO.

fx sound synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO FX Sound

At the end of the bridge, there is a soft pad where the drums disappear, recreated with the CZ V and the following preset. This sound will also be found at the end of the song.

pad synth djo runner

CZ Pad

Finally, the second verse uses the same sounds of the first verse, with the addition of a key sound that makes a melody and that I have recreated with the DX7. Listen to this melody below.

dx7 keys synth djo runner

DX7 Lead Keys

Do you appreciate this sound within the whole mix?

DX7 Lead Keys

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VOCALS

In this song I have tried a mix for the voices a little different than the rest of the songs, placing the voice in the foreground in a clear and bright way. For this I have used the same chain of effects that I always use and that you can find in the previous articles on my website.

vocals effect chain djo runner

But the magic this time has been to add the next Waves SuperTap preset which makes the voice spread out in stereo much more.

delay vocals djo runner

Hear the difference between adding this effect and not adding it.

Vocals without SuperTap

Vocals with SuperTap

In the bridge, the voice is passed through a Vocoder, which gives that electronic or robotic sound to the voice. To recreate this effect, I have used the VocalSynth 2 plugin for the first time with the following configuration, which you can find on my Patreon.

vocoder synth djo runner

Vocoder

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GUITARS

In the bridge some guitars appear. First there is one playing a series of chords that I have recreated with Guitar Rig 5 and some reverb.

guitar rig djo runner

Guitar Sound

On the other hand, there is a guitar strum playing at the same time and that I have recorded with a microphone directly and slightly equalized. Listen to this guitar together with the previous one.

Both Guitars

Finally a brief appearance of a wah wah pluck at the end of the bridge.

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BATERIA

Finally, I have recreated the drums with a drum kit with snare, kick, hihat and tom samples separately. You can download these drum sounds within the SAMPLE PACKS that I share on Patreon!

All the drums are passed through the Goodhertz Vulf Compressor.

compressor djo runner

Drums sound

The snare has a bit of reverb with the Valhalla reverb, and a filter on high frequencies on the bridge part, can you appreciate it in the following audio?

Snare sound Verse-Bridge

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This has been all for now! It has been an accurate remake very similar to the sound of the original song, I hope you liked it!

Remember that you can download all the synthesizer presets that I describe in this article (there are quite a few!) and all the exported tracks on my Patreon.

Thank you very much for reading and supporting me, don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel and tell me what you think of the video, see you in the next one!

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‍Djo es el alter ego musical del actor Joe Keery desde hace más de tres años, actor que seguramente conocerás por su papel como Steve Harrington en la serie Stranger Things.

El mismo Joe ha mencionado que el balance de sus dos pasiones es importante para él, y que a diferencia de su trabajo en la actuación en donde muchos llegamos a conocerlo, su música es algo que realmente disfruta hacer sin presiones, en donde tiene el completo control del aspecto creativo y de poder hacer lo que quiera y como quiera. Antes de encontrar la fama que le cambiaría la vida interpretando a Steve Harrington, el chico malo reformado de Stranger Things, tocaba la guitarra en la banda de rock psicológico Post Animal de Chicago.

En el año 2019 lanzó su primer proyecto solista de larga duración 'Twenty Twenty', un álbum que fue escrito, producido y mezclado por el mismo actor en su natal Chicago, en donde nos maravilla con 12 canciones con sonido indie pop psicodélico, con referencias a Boy Pablo, Tame Impala o Mac deMarco. Recientemente, en septiembre de 2022, publicó su segundo álbum “Decide”.

Runner es la primera canción que abre este disco, y un buen reflejo de lo que nos vamos a encontrar, sintetizadores synth-wave, vocoder al estilo Kavinsky y un potente despliegue de electrónica y cambios de tempo en la segunda mitad.

Escucha mi remake a continuación!

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SYNTHS

He necesitado unas 13 pistas de sintetizadores para recrear esta canción, vamos a ello! Recuerda que puedes descargar todos estos presets de sonidos en mi página de Patreon.

La canción comienza con un arpeggiador con sonido 8-bits que he recreado con el TAL-U-NO VST con la siguiente configuración. También es importante la reverb que aparece al inicio y que va desapareciendo gradualmente hasta que el sonido se vuelve nítido. ¡Escúchalo a continuación! ¿Escuchas ese cambio gradual?

tal-u-no synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO Arp

Un poco más tarde aparece un bass-synth que he recreado con el Mini V de Arturia con los siguientes parámetros, y he engordado el sonido con el compresor CLA-76 y el potenciador de graves MaxxBass de Waves. Escucha este sonido aquí abajo.

mini synth djo runner
waves synth djo runner

Mini V Arp Bass Synth 1

A estas dos capas, se añade una tercera más adelante con un sonido agudo y golpes constantes añadiendo textura. Para recrear el sonido he utilizado el TAL-U-NO de nuevo. 

arp synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO Keys

Después, cuando entra la batería, aparece otro bass-synth, esta vez mucho más agresivo. Lo he recreado con dos capas de Jup-8 V de Arturia con la siguiente configuración. Escucha abajo por separado cada una y en conjunto.

bass synth djo runner

Jup-8 V Bass Synth 1

En el bridge se aprecia de fondo como una especie de sonido de hélices, que he recreado con un preset de UFO en el TAL-U-NO.

fx sound synth djo runner

TAL-U-NO FX Sound

Finalizando el bridge, hay un pad suave en la parte donde desaparece la batería recreado con el CZ V y el siguiente preset. Este sonido también lo encontraremos al final de la canción.

pad synth djo runner

CZ Pad

Finalmente, el segundo verso utiliza los mismos sonidos del primer verso, con el extra de un sonido de keys que hace una melodía y que he recreado con el DX7. Escucha esta melodía aquí abajo. 

dx7 keys synth djo runner

DX7 Lead Keys

¿Aprecias este sonido dentro de toda la mezcla?

DX7 Lead Keys

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VOCALS

En este tema he probado una mezcla para las voces un poco distinta que el resto de canciones, colocando la voz en primer plano de forma clara y nítida. Para ello he utilizado la misma cadena de efectos base que uso siempre y que podéis encontrar en los anteriores artículos de mi web.

vocals effect chain djo runner

Pero la magia esta vez ha sido añadir el siguiente preset de SuperTap de Waves que hace que la voz se expanda en el estéreo mucho más.

delay vocals djo runner

Escucha la diferencia entre añadir este efecto y no añadirlo.

Vocals without SuperTap

Vocals with SuperTap

En el bridge la voz esta pasada por un Vocoder, que da ese sonido electrónico o robótico a la voz. Para recrear este efecto, he utilizado por primera vez el plugin VocalSynth 2 con la siguiente configuración, que podréis encontrar en mi Patreon.

vocoder synth djo runner

Vocoder

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GUITARS

En el bridge aparecen algunas guitarras. En primer lugar hay una tocando una serie de acordes que he recreado con el Guitar Rig 5 y algo de reverb.

guitar rig djo runner

Guitar Sound

Por otro lado, hay un rasgueo de guitarra sonando a la vez y que he grabado con un micrófono directamente y ecualizado levemente. Escucha esta guitarra junto a la anterior.

Both Guitars

Finalmente una breve aparición de un punteo con wah wah al finalizar el bridge.

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BATERIA

Para terminar, la batería la he recreado con un drum kit con samples de caja, bombo, hihat y toms por separado. Puedes descargar estos sonidos de batería dentro de los SAMPLE PACKS que comparto en Patreon!

Toda la batería esta pasada por el compresor Vulf Compressor de Goodhertz.

compressor djo runner

Drums sound

La caja tiene un poco de reverb con el Valhalla reverb, y un filtro en agudos en la parte del bridge, ¿lo aprecias en el siguiente audio?

Snare sound Verse-Bridge

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Esto ha sido todo! Ha sido un remake muy fiel al sonido de la canción original, espero que os haya gustado!

Recuerda que puedes descargar todos los presets de sintetizadores que describo en este artículo (son bastantes!) y todas las pistas por separado en mi Patreon.

Muchas gracias por leerme y apoyarme, no olvides suscribirte en mi canal de youtube y contarme que te parece el vídeo, nos vemos en el próximo!

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David Alonso patreonthanks for reading!

If you liked it, or if you want to download the Ableton Projects with the
‍plugins used and all the tracks & midi files by one click, check out my Patreon page!

Become a patron
Ableton projecteffects pluginstracksPatreon

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