CULT SOUNDS                                                                                   


The Orchestra Hit

This sound sample was originally part of the basic library of the first sampling/sequencing workstation, the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument), released 1979, shown in the picture on the right.

The sample was named 'orch2' and has its origin in the first chord of Stravinky's Firebird - Infernal Dance of King Kastchei.

The Fairlight library sample:

And this is another similar sample out of the fairlight library, the orchfz1:

The Orchestra Hit sample was a significant sound in the 80s. Many artists such as Kate Bush, Trevor Horn or Duran Duran or Yes used this sound in different pitch variations.

Kate Bush - excerpt from "The Dreaming"

Duran Duran, excerpt from "A View To Kill"

Art Of Noise, excerpt from "Close To The Edit"

And one of the most famous examples, Afrika Bambaataa, excerpt from "Planet Rock" featuring also a sample from Kraftwerk's "Trans Europa Express"

The Orchestra Hit is still used, here an example from N'Sync "It's Gonna Be Me", produced by Max Martin, who was using the sample quite often.

Read an article about the sample:

Robert Fink: The story of ORCH5, or, the

classical ghost in the hip-hop

machine, 2005


Here is the original sound:

Individual sounds

Song Examples

Max Martin, swedish songwriter and producer, used the sample not only in Britney Spears Songs (extensively in "Ooops, I Did It Again"), but also in Backstreet Boys songs and in the songs of NSYNC. This diagram shows the use of the orchestra hit sample in Britney Spears songs, produced by Martin from 1998 to 2011.