articles
english languagespanish language

Harry Styles - As It Was

May 2022

You probably know the boy band One Direction, where Harry Edward Styles began his musical career back in 2010, succeeding all over the world and becoming the first in the sales charts in many countries.

After One Direction announced an indefinite hiatus, he began his solo career under the name Harry Styles. He has released two soft-glam rock style albums in 2017 and 2019 and his third album titled 'Harry's House' has been announced for 2022.

harry's house album

In this article I am going to deconstruct Harry Styles latest single 'As It Was', which will be part of this upcoming third album. The kick, snare, and high-hat drum beat and main synth hook could be likened to a Her’s or Declan McKenna track but sonically, it builds similar to a Gus Dapperton record. this track has the vulnerability one often hears in bedroom pop records. 

Listen to the remake below!

‍

The chord structure is really simple and repeats throughout the song:

as it was harry styles chords

‍

SYNTHS

The leitmotif of the song is clearly the synthesizer melody with which the song begins, repeating itself later in the chorus.

To recreate this sound I have composed it in two layers, one more percussive and brighter with the Synclavier and the other more acidic which adds body with the VOX Continental by Arturia.

vox arturia lead synth as it was harry styles
vox arturia

I think it has been one of the hardest sounds that I have been trying to recreate, since I couldn't find a timbre similar to the original. After trying hundreds of combinations, the fusion of both layers has been the key to get as close as possible to the original sound.

Listen to the two layers separately and together below.

Lead Synth 1

Lead Synth 2

Both Lead Synths

The song is based on a bass synth with a sound that doesn't stand out but perfectly fills all the low frequencies. Listen in the original song as it appears in the first verse just when the “Nothing to say…” part enters, do you appreciate the jump in bass freqs?

I have recreated this bass synth with two layers again, on the one hand the Mini and with CZ from Arturia. Take a listen below.

mini synth bass as it was harry styles

Bass Synth

Entering the chorus, some strings appear filling the high frequencies that I have recreated with the Solina, as I usually do whenever there are monophonic lines of this style.

strings synth  as it was harry styles

Solina Strings

Finally, in the chorus there are also descending chords with a “pluck” sound that I have recreated with the TAL-U-NO.

tal-u-no  as it was harry styles

Pluck Synth

Remember that you can download all the presets and synth sounds of all my projects by supporting me on my Patreon page!

‍

GUITARS

Although no chords played on the guitar appear at any time, we do find some riffs that add rhythm to the song.

First of all, in the verses the song rests on a wall of indeterminate sound with reverb. This part starts with him singing “Holding me back…”, and I haven't been able to determine exactly how he created this wall of sound, but I've tried to recreate it with some guitar picking, delay, and a lot of reverb using Guitar Rig 5 to create a nostalgic and ethereal atmosphere.

Hear it here.

guitars as it was harry styles

Background-reverb Guitars

In the middle of the first verse, another much more defined guitar appears and brings that rhythmic part to the song.

Verse Guitar

Entering the chorus, there is a sharp note that is again embedded in reverb to give it amplitude. Later, during the chorus, another guitar enters with a more powerful and distorted sound, making low notes giving strength to the next part. Take a listen below.

Chorus Guitars

The second verse has the same layers as the first, but with a few more tracks added with different riffs. Listen here all the guitars at the same time of this second verse.

Second verse Guitars

‍

DRUMS

The drums of the song have a quite powerful sound, with a kick and snare very present in a fairly marked and straight pattern.

To recreate it I have used the VST Addictive Drums 2, and the most important thing has been to navigate different kits until I found a sound of similar bass drum and snare.

Then I used Goodhertz's Vulf Compressor to give them that controlled power without much tail or room sound of the original track, and the Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter from Waves to give bright to the whole kit.

drums as it was harry styles
compressor as it was harry styles
aural exciter as it was harry styles

Listen to the drums below.

Drums sound

‍

VOCALS

The vocals of Harry Styles in this song have seemed quite interesting to me. In the verses it has a more intimate and close sound, where the sound of room and reverb is more appreciated.

On the other hand, in the chorus it evolves into vowels with a greater amplitude full of choirs that support the main line in different tones, both with lower tones that give body, and with higher tones.

Listen below how all the choirs in the chorus complement each other with the different tones creating a very pleasant harmony. The effects chain that I use in this song is the same that I have used in other of my remakes like Pink+White by Frank Ocean.

vocal effect processing as it was harry styles

‍Vocals solo

‍

I hope you liked it, don't forget to watch the video on youtube and subscribe if you liked it! You can also download the presets and sounds that I have used on my Patreon page.

See you in the next article!

‍

Probablemente te suene la boy band One Direction, donde Harry Edward Styles inició su carrera musical allá por 2010, triunfando en todo el mundo y llegando a ser los primeros en listas de ventas en muchos países. 

Después de que One Direction anunciaran un descanso indefinido, comenzó su carrera en solitario bajo el nombre de Harry Styles. Ha publicado dos discos en 2017 y 2019 de estilo soft-glam rock y se ha anunciado su tercer disco titulado 'Harry's House' para 2022.

harry's house album

En este artículo voy a deconstruir el último single de Harry Styles ‘As It Was’, que formará parte de este próximo tercer disco. El conjunto de la batería y el leitmotiv principal del sintetizador podrían compararse con una pista de Her's o Declan McKenna, pero sónicamente, se construye de manera similar a un disco de Gus Dapperton. Esta canción tiene ese toque de vulnerabilidad que uno escucha a menudo en el bedroom-pop.

The kick, snare, and high-hat drum beat and main synth hook could be likened to a Her’s or Declan McKenna track but sonically, it builds similar to a Gus Dapperton record. In a similar vein and as mentioned above, the track has the vulnerability one often hears in bedroom pop records. 

Escucha el remake a continuación!

‍

Los acordes de esta canción son sencillos y se repiten en loop:

as it was harry styles chords

‍

SYNTHS

El leitmotiv de la canción es claramente la melodía de de sintetizador con la que empieza el tema, repitiéndose más adelante en los estribillos.

Para recrear este sonido lo he compuesto por dos capas, uno más percusivo y brillante con el Synclavier y otro más ácido que aporta cuerpo con el VOX Continental de Arturia.

vox arturia lead synth as it was harry styles
vox arturia

Creo que ha sido uno de los sonidos que más me ha costado rehacer hasta la fecha, ya que no conseguía dar con un timbre parecido al original. Después de probar cientos de combinaciones, la fusión de ambas capas ha sido la clave para acercarme lo máximo posible al sonido original.

Escucha a continuación las dos capas por separado y en conjunto.

Lead Synth 1

Lead Synth 2

Both Lead Synths

La canción se apoya sobre un bass synth con un sonido que no destaca pero rellena perfectamente todas las frecuencias graves. Escucha en la canción original como aparece en el primer verso justo cuando entra la parte de “Nothing to say…”, ¿aprecias el salto en graves?

Este bass synth lo he recreado con dos capas de nuevo, por un lado el Mini y con el CZ de Arturia. Escúchalo a continuación.

mini synth bass as it was harry styles

Bass Synth

Entrando en el estribillo, aparecen unos strings rellenando las frecuencias agudas que he recreado con el Solina, como suelo hacer siempre que hay líneas monofónicas de este estilo.

strings synth  as it was harry styles

Solina Strings

Finalmente en el estribillo también aparecen unos acordes descendentes con sonido “pluck” que he recreado con el TAL-U-NO.

tal-u-no  as it was harry styles

Pluck Synth

Recuerda que puedes descargar todos los presets y sonidos de sintetizador de todos mis proyectos apoyándome en mi página de Patreon!

‍

GUITARS

Aunque en ningún momento aparecen acordes tocados con la guitarra, sí que encontramos algunos punteos que aportan rítmica a la canción.

En primer lugar, en los versos la canción se apoya sobre un muro de sonido indeterminado con reverb. Esta parte empieza cuando canta “Holding me back…”, y no he sido capaz de determinar exactamente cómo ha creado este muro de sonido, pero lo he intentado recrear con un punteo de guitarra, delay y mucho reverb mediante el Guitar Rig 5 para crear un ambiente nostálgico y etéreo. Escúchalo aquí.

guitars as it was harry styles

Background-reverb Guitars

A la mitad del primer verso, aparece otro punteo mucho más definido que aporta esa parte rítmica a la canción.

Verse Guitar

Al entrar al estribillo, aparece un punteo agudo que de nuevo se embebe en reverb para darle amplitud. Más tarde durante el estribillo, entra otra guitarra con un sonido más potente y distorsionado haciendo notas graves dando fuerza a la siguiente parte. Escúchalo a continuación.

Chorus Guitars

El segundo verso tiene las mismas capas que el primero, pero con algunas pistas más añadidas con punteos diferentes. Escucha aquí todas las guitarras a la vez de este segundo verso.

Second verse Guitars

‍

DRUMS

La batería de la canción tiene un sonido bastante potente, con un kick y snare muy presentes en un patrón bastante marcado y recto.

Para recrearlo he usado el VST Addictive Drums 2, y lo más importante ha sido navegar diferentes kits hasta encontrar un sonido de bombo y caja parecidos. 

Después, he usado el compresor Vulf de Goodhertz para darles esa potencia controlada sin mucha cola o sonido de room del tema original, y el Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter de Waves para darle más fuerza a todo el kit.

drums as it was harry styles
compressor as it was harry styles
aural exciter as it was harry styles

Escucha el resultado a continuación.

Drums sound

‍

VOCALS

Las voces de Harry Styles en esta canción me han parecido bastante interesantes. En los versos tiene un sonido más íntimo y cercano, donde se aprecia más el sonido de room y reverb.

Por otro lado, en el estribillo evoluciona en unas vocales con una mayor amplitud llena de coros que apoyan a la línea principal en distintos tonos, tanto con tonos más graves que dan cuerpo, como con tonos más agudos.

Escucha a continuación como se complementan todos los coros en el estribillo con los diferentes tonos creando una armonía muy agradable. La cadena de efectos que uso en esta canción es la misma que he usado en otros de mis remakes como Pink+White de Frank Ocean.

vocal effect processing as it was harry styles

‍Vocals solo

‍

Espero que te haya gustado, no olvides ver el video en youtube y suscribirte si te ha gustado! También puedes descargarte los presets y sonidos que he usado en mi Patreon.

Nos vemos en el siguiente artículo!

‍

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

Latest Posts

Subscribe!

Sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear about new articles and videos

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong. Please try disabling adblocker and using another browser like Chrome