Die Krupps are a pioneering synthesizer/EBM band from Germany. In 1982 they released what I think is a great album “Volle Kraft Voraus!“. The title translates somewhat into “Advance at full Power!”. About two months ago founding memeber JÃ¼rgen Engler sent me an email. He told me they were going to release “Volle Kraft Voraus!” with all new remixes and asked me if I would be interested in doing one. There was one song on the album that I really wanted to remix titled “Todd & Tuefel” and after a few emails back and forth we agreed that would be my choice.
The song has a nice electro style beat with a unique pattern, great verse chorus vocals and a superb bassline driving everything. I wanted to use the same notes as in the original bassline but with new synth sounds. After about an hour of trying to figure out the notes I realized this was going to be tricky. The original bassline was a Yamaha CS15 analog synth through a real analog sequencer. According to JÃ¼rgen:
The 16 step sequencer was the most outrageous thing, though… it had the seize of a cupboard! The guy who ran the studio had built it himself… it had a patchboard, kind of like a telephone switchboard… we couldnÂ´t get sequencers in Germany at the time, so that was the only way to record our music.
This explained to me why the bassline sequence was so special. There were some subtle micro-tunings happening that I was unable to copy by ear using standard keyboard keys. So what do to? I realized I needed to take the solo bassline loop and run it through pitch to midi software. Luckily I own Celemony’s amazing Melodyne software and it has this exact feature. Melodyne is usually used for “fixing” bad vocal pitch tunings but more an more I load it up to grab the notes of melodies from an audio file.
Happily Melodyne did a great job. It gave me a midi file that I imported into Ableton Live and using Native Instrument’s Massive soft synth I had a similar but new sounding bassline for my remix. Take a listen to clips of the original song and the remix:
Tod & Teufel – original mix:
Tod & Teufel – The Horrorist remix: