How to make the sounds from Kate Bush - 'Running Up That Hill' with DRC

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Kate Bush - 'Running Up That Hill' DRC Sound Design Tutorial

From the peak of her fame in the 80s to a recent resurgence in 2022, Kate Bush’s unique artistic flare and body of work continue to make a profound impact to this day.

An artist to whom most people need no introduction, Kate Bush is not only one of the most fascinating singer-songwriters of all time, but also one of the most unique artists of her generation. She was the first ever female solo artist to achieve a UK number one with a song written by herself, and also the first UK female artist to release an album that charted straight in at the top spot. Her current catalog of ten studio albums has earned her a myriad of award nominations, including ‘Best British Female Artist' which she won at the 1987 Brit Awards.

Born in Kent, England, into a very artistic household, with her mother and father were amateur dancers and pianists respectively, Kate explored her creative side from an early age. She began playing the piano at 11, before going on to study violin and start writing her own songs. Her desire and passion to express herself artistically extended beyond music, becoming a student of interpretive dance, under the guidance of David Bowie’s former dance teacher, Lindsay Kemp.

Around 1975, the Bush family started sharing demo tapes with record labels. One of those tapes ended up in the hands of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, who helped 16-year-old Kate record her first professional demo.

In 1978, aged just 19, Bush released her debut studio album ‘The Kick Inside’. In doing so she broke new ground for female solo artists, becoming the first to have written every track on an album that went on to sell millions. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was the album’s first single, which climbed up the charts, and directly shone the spotlight on Kate’s unique creative talents for the world to see. 

The albums ‘Lionheart’ (1978) and ‘Never for Ever’ (1980) followed, then in 1982 ‘The Dreaming’ saw a slight change in stylistic direction, with a fresh experimental rock sound, well received by critics and fans alike. 

In 1985, Kate launched her 5th studio album ‘Hounds of Love’, her most successful ever, its lead single ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)’ has since become her biggest hit. On its initial release it reached number 3 in the UK singles chart, however in 2022, some 37 years later, it re-entered the charts and claimed the number 1 spot thanks to its inclusion in the immensely popular Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’. The soundtrack to that iconic scene in series 4, (don’t worry; no spoilers!) The Duffer Brothers brought the track back into the mainstream and the consciousness of a whole new generation, introducing the world of Kate Bush to an even wider audience. With this sudden resurgence/comeback, Bush broke three Guinness world records; the oldest female artist to reach number 1, the longest time for a track to reach number 1 after its initial release, and the longest time between achieving two number one singles.

For this song (and others), Kate Bush used the iconic Fairlight CMI, one of the first synthesizers to use audio samples, costing an eye-watering £12,000 back in the day!

Our resident sound design expert Lucas ‘Patch Master’ Palmeira can save you a few pounds though, as he recently recreated the track’s iconic sounds with our very own DRC - Polyphonic Synthesizer. Now you can learn how to create it yourself; watch our Kate Bush ‘Running Up That Hill’ DRC Sound Design Tutorial video now!

Click here to download the Ableton project file

Helping you create the ‘sounds of love’ without ‘running up that bill’,
Team Imaginando

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