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Which synths was he playing?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
3692 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:40 pm Which synths was he playing?

I have always loved this ancient track (about 40 years old), there is something magical about it, among my three favorite tracks of all time :)
Anyway, there is a live video and I was wondering what synths the guy on the left side was playing? I don't recognize neither the upper nor the lower one :? I guess the lower one was used for the string pad sound (maybe some string machine?), the upper one for the solo towards the end obviously :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYOJX-fuKqM
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4142 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:08 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

The lower machine is an Arp String Ensemble. See about 1:30 into the video and this image. Of course, that's what's in the video, it's not plugged in so it may not be what's on the record.

Image

The solo synth is stumping me.
3ee
KVRAF
 
2855 posts since 8 Mar, 2006

Postby 3ee; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:29 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

cool track.. also thanks for reminding of Soul Train, enjoying the good funky vibes there! :)
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bmrzycki
KVRAF
 
3223 posts since 11 Aug, 2006, from Austin, TX

Postby bmrzycki; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:39 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

The top synth looks a whole lot like the keyboard of an Arp 2600. Compare the 2:37 mark with this:
Image

Maybe the 2600 synth modules themselves are under the string ensemble...
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4142 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:42 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

I think that I know what's going on with the solo keyboard. It's not a solo keyboard. It is the external CV keyboard from an Arp 2600. The video isn't clear, the closest spot is about 2:40 or so. It doesn't look exactly like this in the video, but really close. The sound is quite rich and unlikely to be a simple solo synthesizer. I could be completely wrong, but I'm not aware of any mainstream synth models that looked like that in the early seventies. Given that they're not actually playing the keyboards, there's no reason to put the bulky cabinet of the arp on stage for the video.

Image
ghettosynth
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4142 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:44 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

bmrzycki wrote:The top synth looks a whole lot like the keyboard of an Arp 2600. Compare the 2:37 mark with this:
Image

Maybe the 2600 synth modules themselves are under the string ensemble...


Yes, that's the model. It's definitely a 2600. The modules aren't in the picture because they aren't actually playing, there's no cable coming from the string ensemble, jack is in the round hole on the left hand side (looking at the back) of the rear of the cabinet.

Case closed.
ghettosynth
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4142 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:44 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

dup
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fluffy_little_something
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3692 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:46 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

bmrzycki wrote:The top synth looks a whole lot like the keyboard of an Arp 2600. Compare the 2:37 mark with this:
Image

Maybe the 2600 synth modules themselves are under the string ensemble...


Ah, yes, that is the one, I can see the three knobs on the left side :)

Thanks :) So I suppose I should look for an ARP emulation if I want to make that sound :) While it was not live, I assume they really used those instruments in the studio as well. Else they could have put any old Moog there on the stage.
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Tricky-Loops
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8318 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:55 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

But didn't Kool and the Gang sample everything from older disco records? Maybe there are just samples on the real record, and only in the video they show some synths...

http://www.whosampled.com/sample/5658/Donell-Jones-All-About-You-Kool-%26-the-Gang-Summer-Madness
Last edited by Tricky-Loops on Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fluffy_little_something
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3692 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:56 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

The original is longer by the way, and it sounds great for such an old record :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bfzWj5a_Y4
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
3692 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:57 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

Tricky-Loops wrote:But didn't Kool and the Gang sample everything from older disco records? Maybe there are just samples on the real record, and only in the video they show some synths...


Hehe, no, that was Will Smith who sampled this track :D Go to bed, dude, your brain is tired :hihi:
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Tricky-Loops
KVRAF
 
8318 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:02 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Tricky-Loops wrote:But didn't Kool and the Gang sample everything from older disco records? Maybe there are just samples on the real record, and only in the video they show some synths...


Hehe, no, that was Will Smith who sampled this track :D Go to bed, dude, your brain is tired :hihi:
I know the Jazzy Jeff version but I'm sure that they sampled older disco records for the original version, too.
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fluffy_little_something
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3692 posts since 5 Jun, 2012

Postby fluffy_little_something; Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:07 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

I seriously doubt it. Were there even samplers back then? 8) And the track was from before the Disco era :wink:
breakmixer
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4185 posts since 14 Nov, 2008, from UK

Postby breakmixer; Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:34 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

Tricky-Loops wrote:But didn't Kool and the Gang sample everything from older disco records? Maybe there are just samples on the real record, and only in the video they show some synths...

http://www.whosampled.com/sample/5658/Donell-Jones-All-About-You-Kool-%26-the-Gang-Summer-Madness


lol, Kool and The Gang sampling in the 1970's! :hihi:

That is first class funny...

they where a full live band.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4142 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:01 pm Re: Which synths was he playing?

fluffy_little_something wrote:
bmrzycki wrote:The top synth looks a whole lot like the keyboard of an Arp 2600. Compare the 2:37 mark with this:
Image

Maybe the 2600 synth modules themselves are under the string ensemble...


Ah, yes, that is the one, I can see the three knobs on the left side :)

Thanks :) So I suppose I should look for an ARP emulation if I want to make that sound :) While it was not live, I assume they really used those instruments in the studio as well. Else they could have put any old Moog there on the stage.


I agree that they probably used the instruments on the recording, in fact, there's discussion on gearslutz that pretty much confirms this, except that they used a mellotron for the strings, and not the solina. So, in fact, they did the equivalent of using an "old moog" for the mellotron sounds. It's mentioned in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=104318

As far as emulation, on the one hand, it's a basic sound, the Arp 2600 is 3XVCO -> LPVCF. The thing is, on a raw patch like this where the lead is slow and deliberate, the character of the components stands out. I don't think that emulating the architecture of the 2600 is as important as using a plugin with high quality components. Moreover, the feel of the playing contributes as much to the success as the sound.

Some arp 2600 emulators:

Arppe2600va: http://glenstegner.com/softsynths.html (it's free!)
ARP2600 V: http://www.arturia.com/en/arp/arp2600v.php
TimewARP 2600: http://www.timewarp2600.com/ (good, but CPU intensive)

This guys using a Pro-53, it doesn't sound exactly right, but it sounds good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKFwD4TZGHw
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