Point Blank’s Weekly Tutorial – Deconstructing Kavinsky

Welcome back to Point Blank’s weekly spot here on Music Tech, where this week we offer up an amazing deconstruction of Kavinsky’s Nightcall…



Nightcall by Kavinsky became an instant classic when it was released in 2011, its combination of synthesiser-led melodies, an overarching romanticism and that vocoder-produced vocal line really made this a captivating piece of music. Of course, the success of Drive also helped to buoy the track’s popularity, featuring on the soundtrack – which was awesome all round.

For this particular deconstruction Ski begins by focusing on the arpeggio sound, which has a very eighties feel to it, together with the bass, synth brass and the vocoder manipulated voice that gives the track its melodramatic atmosphere. In his typical style, Ski works out the keys of the arpeggio (chorus) and demonstrates exactly how to reproduce them. He then moves on to the bass sound, which has a real menace to it and is juxtaposed with the melodies perfectly.

Ski then amusingly shows us how to recreate the vocoder segment, which is actually relatively simple to do – but sounds fantastic. He compresses the vocal before it enters the vocoder plugin, and then compresses the output of that combined with a ping pong delay and a bit of reverb to great effect. As per usual, it’s a brilliant deconstruction, easy to follow and insightful!

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