Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene part IV, a Sytrus showcase

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Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:19 pm


Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene part IV, a Sytrus showcase

Greetings programs!

Here is my cover of Oxygene part 4 by Jean-Michel Jarre. I already had a go at this some years back, but I set myself the goal of getting it close to the original using only stock FL plugins. In fact, all the synth work is done on one of my favourite plugins. Sytrus.

Sytrus is a dark horse. A really powerful synth but not easy to get into sound design wise as its subtractive, additive and FM all at the same time, but I do like it a lot.

The zip is down below, feel free to download and have at look at how I constructed it.

I hope you enjoy!


P.S. Arrangement is the main track, arrangement_2 is the instruments solo.

P.P.S. My FL plugin only version of Magnetic fields II if you are interested

Want more detail?.....

To remake this I read and watched anything and everything to do with Oxygene 4, including watching Oxygen - Live in your living room several times.

Dr. Mix has a fair bash here but off in a few places from my point of view.

I'm Pretty sure JMJ switched a few of the instruments from the original to live in your living room as the bass part sounds quite different in the latter version. The bass sounds additive to my ears in the original, so I guess it was done on the RMI. Pretty certain the formant lead was done on the RMI (and that is what he is playing on live in your living room).

The drum machine was easy - it's a Korg Mini pops 7 using the slow rock and beguine patterns at the same time. I started with the free vst Rhythmus which is pretty good for a freebee. I just sampled the bits I needed and reprogrammed it in the step sequencer. Side note - I didn't realise until doing this that a Quijada is actually a bovine/horse/donkey jawbone with teeth being played.

The bass and the clav sound in sytrus only took an hour or so to make, quite simple sounds really. What I tryed to capture in the bass was a kind of growl in the upper mid range.

The faux horn lead, took a little bit of time - the filter, so important for that breath expression at the start of the note and the note itself, a slightly modified sine modulating the main sine. Go FM!

The noise sounds were originally done on the VCS-3 but as Dr. Mix points out, any noise generator will do.

No lies, that formant lead was not easy to do. I was thinking "how the hell do I get that specific sound in sytrus?" and I ran into videos from a french guy recreating the sounds in massive. I saw him switch to a sine/square wavetable, leave it full square and then set it to formant mode. The sound was instantly recognizable. I tried for some hours to recreate the oscillator shape by adjusting the partials on the osc tab, but to no avail. Then I remembered from an extensive tweaking session several years ago that sytrus has an ace up it's sleeves. Analyze single-cycle waveform in the sub menu of the osc tab. I got the exact oscillator shape I wanted in massive, recorded it in edison, picked a nice single cycle, trimmed it and then used the afore mentioned function in sytrus to import it. In fact you can just drag and drop waveforms onto the osc shape and it does the same thing. After some judicious tweaking of the filter and fx, I got the sound I wanted. Here's the video of the guy having a crack at it in massive. And the oscillator shape that makes this sound.. it is:-


IIRC the violin ensemble was just a tweaked preset and I mucked around with EQ and phaser until I got something close. I knew this would be tricky though because the small stone phaser JMJ liked to use is a bit particular. I shall not bore you with the details, suffice to say, electronically it is quite different from other phaser effects. As far as I am aware the only virtual ones that come close are ArtsAcoustic BigRock, The Kleinstein in Reaktor (German for small stone if you didn't know) and maybe Soundtoys phase mistress. You can read more about why it's different on ArtsAcoustic page.

For the eminent string, I can't remember if I made it from scratch or started with something else, in any case I remember fiddling around with micro lfo's to make it "warble" a bit.

I hope this goes to show that Jean-Michel's addage of "stick to a couple of pieces of gear, learn and explore them" is still valid today - You can get a lot out of sytrus if you put the time in.

XOR-oxygene4 solos.mp3
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Last edited by XOR on Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:18 pm


Re: Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene part IV, a Sytrus showcase

XOR wrote: ↑Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:19 pm I didn't ...
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