Murder on the Dancefloor


I’m having some difficulty recreating the sweeping pad sound used in the first 30 seconds of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder on the Dancefloor.

The song was released in 2001 which is a period of synth history I’m not that familiar with.

Would be grateful for any advice re how best to recreate it. Thanks!

Sound like a Phaser, do you have a phaser plugin?
Synth strings (remove lower mid and bass) and send it to a phaser.


Thanks pianopaul
I hadn’t considered a phaser, assuming it to be some sort of complicated LFO + resonance thing. But phaser sounds far more likely. I don’t have a standalone phaser plugin as such, but I do have Valhalla Delay which I think has a Phaser option within it - presumably that would suffice?

Try this


Audiority have a free emulation of the MXR Phase 90.

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Melda also has a free phaser plugin.

Edit: S***. Now I’m having this all night in my mind…

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That’s a good selection of phasers - tried them all, very nice and all quite different. It’s almost there, but kinda too smooth compared to the record I think - which to me sounds like something more LFO based than an effect added at the end. Trouble is, I’m no synth programmer :frowning:

You could try a flanger
What sound do you use before the phaser?

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Just tried kHs Flanger, and that is MUCH closer. What a fabulous set of free plugins. I will need to experiment with the 9 or so controls, but I think you’ve nailed it. I was enjoying creating Tony Banks-type tones but they weren’t quite right for this song.

I’m using a blend of Downtown Light V2 from OB-E and Polydreams and Morph AB from Pigments. It’s a big, complex sound.


[only tangentially on-topic]
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?


I think it could be interesting for other users if you could share your gig file with this sound and explain a bit how you built your sound and what you play to get this result :wink:


I’d be happy to David-san.

This song is a recent one for my band, which we chose due to its resurgence in the charts as a result of the film Saltburn (still to see).

In short, I created three Rackspaces, each assigned to its own Song Part. Each Rackspace has a split either on C4 or E4.

The song is in E, has a disco feel and great bass line played by the very talented Guy Pratt.

There are four main themes, two using the first Song Part, and one each for the other two Song Parts.

Everything is routed to the Global Rackspace which I use simply to control volume via my expression pedal.

I created and exported some resources for anyone interested. Let me know how any of this can be improved (which I’m sure it can)!

Gig file:
Murder.gig (4.5 MB)


Midi: (3.1 KB)


Oh and my band is available for hire (we’re quite new, and are looking for gigs in the Scottish central belt).


And this is my very cut down rig on which I play it (trying to keep things simpler at gigs… and save my back).


Is your led ribbon MIDI controlled ? :nerd_face:

That is probably my favourite part of the whole setup. £8.99 from Amazon :rofl:

So, not MIDI controlled :wink:

…Yet! :wink:

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Kudos for Keylab 88’s!!

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Maybe it can be controlled with nurses hospital call switch? :grin:

Thanks for sharing! :slight_smile:

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