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How to make an Ultravox' lead synth sound?

How to make that sound...

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mickeh
KVRist
 
43 posts since 1 May, 2006, from Stockholm, Sweden

Postby mickeh; Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:46 pm How to make an Ultravox' lead synth sound?

...like that kind of screaming, living, almost guitarlike sounds?

From videos I see Billy uses the pitchbend a lot, but else I really don't know.


As far as I know they used minimoog, Cs-20, Cs-80 Oddyssey etc.

Me myself is at the beginning, trying to find my way through free VSTis.....

All help and pointers highly appreciated
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
16566 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:15 pm

mickeh wrote:...like that kind of screaming, living, almost guitarlike sounds?


Guitar pedals?
Benedict
KVRAF
 
2618 posts since 4 Mar, 2004, from Brisbane Australia

Postby Benedict; Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:41 pm

They used ARPs for those sounds.

Try OSC Sync to harden up the sound.

Try soft Overdrive, possibly thru Guitar Amp/Speaker (emulators don't work).

Generally new VSTi don't sound right as they are too glassy but oddly Reason's Subtractor could get close enough because it has a thin sound like the old ARPs.

You could also try Castor or Pollux from my SynthStudio Pack (see link below) as they have that gritty sound real early analogs had.

Play really expressively.

:)
Benedict Roff-Marsh
http://www.benedictroffmarsh.com
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
 
6423 posts since 13 Jun, 2001, from Somewhere else, on principle

Postby BONES; Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:47 pm

This came up several years ago and someone came up with a great Triangle II patch for it in about 5 minutes. For our Sleepwalk cover, I use exactly what has been suggested above - hard sync with distortion and lots of portamento. When I saw them live, Billy used an ARP Odyssey and he used the Mod Wheel and pitch-bend.
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Samsung Series 9 + Novation Ultranova + Orion + killerz = anything you can imagine
Benedict
KVRAF
 
2618 posts since 4 Mar, 2004, from Brisbane Australia

Postby Benedict; Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:59 pm

So where's the link to your cover of Sleepwalk Mr Bones?
Benedict Roff-Marsh
http://www.benedictroffmarsh.com
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
 
6423 posts since 13 Jun, 2001, from Somewhere else, on principle

Postby BONES; Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:00 pm

No link, we're still deciding whether to put it or One Hundred Years on the next album. I really love Sleepwalk but Ultravox is nowhere near as obvious for our audience as The Cure. Sleepwalk will probably win the day, however, because it is much shorter and the album is nudging towards an hour, which we both feel is too long.
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Samsung Series 9 + Novation Ultranova + Orion + killerz = anything you can imagine
Nonplus
KVRian
 
632 posts since 28 Jan, 2005, from hollywood

Postby Nonplus; Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:38 am

...agree with Benedict -- most people treated synths and guitars equally back then: pedals -> amp and then mic'd the amp. this yields a very full sound even with 'shitty' old synths like micromoog, cat, wasp, etc.

are the Ultravox vids you're thinking of on YouTube? I'd love to see them.

check this out -- f'ing love it -- Tubeway Army "Are Friends..." == orgy of Moogs and all live

youtube.com/watch?v=Uu6MDdxBork
Scot Solida
KVRAF
 
2043 posts since 20 Mar, 2002, from Hutchinson, Kansas

Postby Scot Solida; Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:48 am

BONES wrote:This came up several years ago and someone came up with a great Triangle II patch for it in about 5 minutes. For our Sleepwalk cover, I use exactly what has been suggested above - hard sync with distortion and lots of portamento. When I saw them live, Billy used an ARP Odyssey and he used the Mod Wheel and pitch-bend.


That was Har, I think. Big Ultravox fan, Har (me too).
There are rocketships outside of my window. Really: www.cosmo.org
www.theelectronicgarden.com
Har
KVRian
 
870 posts since 8 Jul, 2001, from Chester County PA, USA

Postby Har; Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:58 am

Scot Solida wrote:
BONES wrote:This came up several years ago and someone came up with a great Triangle II patch for it in about 5 minutes. For our Sleepwalk cover, I use exactly what has been suggested above - hard sync with distortion and lots of portamento. When I saw them live, Billy used an ARP Odyssey and he used the Mod Wheel and pitch-bend.


That was Har, I think. Big Ultravox fan, Har (me too).


Yep, that was me. :) If anyone would like the Triangle II preset, I have it available to download from here.

Currie was definitely a big ARP Odyssey guy for his signature lead tone, but I believe around the time of their "Lament" album he switched to an OSCar.

One other thing that some folks might not be aware of, is that another one of his trademark screaming solo sounds wasn't a synth at all, but his electric viola - while on some things he would play it fairly cleanly (like on the main riff from "Western Promise", it sounded like he also used to occasionally drive it into this really cool shrieking tone.
Dave Blakely
KVRist
 
353 posts since 10 Nov, 2002, from The Dirty Wee Port of Glasgow

Postby Dave Blakely; Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:01 am

He used an Arp Odyssey through guitar pedals (mostly electric mistress flanger) and laterly an OSCar . Lately hes been using Oddity and impOSCar from GMedia and has contributed to the new VSM plug from the same company.

To get a typical Currie lead sound you want to use a fair bit of portamento and slow pitch modulation and have a patch where you can sweep through the sync manualy, this coupled with distortion and some hollow flanging will get you in the right ballpark but about 60% of it is in the performance, not the patch, true of all great classic lead sounds.
Har
KVRian
 
870 posts since 8 Jul, 2001, from Chester County PA, USA

Postby Har; Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:12 am

Dave Blakely wrote:He used an Arp Odyssey through guitar pedals (mostly electric mistress flanger) and laterly an OSCar . Lately hes been using Oddity and impOSCar from GMedia and has contributed to the new VSM plug from the same company.

To get a typical Currie lead sound you want to use a fair bit of portamento and slow pitch modulation and have a patch where you can sweep through the sync manualy, this coupled with distortion and some hollow flanging will get you in the right ballpark but about 60% of it is in the performance, not the patch, true of all great classic lead sounds.


Yep, exactly - if you listen to the solos, he's definitely digging his fingers in there with the port and modulation and not just playing the patch straight; if you ever watch their live videos, Currie's a very physical, "interactive" player.
If I remember right from the live photos I saw of his Odyssey, it was one of the later models with PPC, that let you bend and modulate via a set of pressure-sensitive rubber pads (where the pitch-bend knob used to be on the earlier models like I had).
Dave Blakely
KVRist
 
353 posts since 10 Nov, 2002, from The Dirty Wee Port of Glasgow

Postby Dave Blakely; Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:54 am

Yep the PPC Pads were about the only way you'd get an Odyssey to modulate both oscillators at the same time as well as a bit of filter mod, something you'd need 6 fingers on each hand to achieve on the earlier models :)
Har
KVRian
 
870 posts since 8 Jul, 2001, from Chester County PA, USA

Postby Har; Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:05 am

Yah, with my early-model Odyssey I had to do the "devil horns" with the first finger and pinkie of my left hand to modulate both oscillators at once using their FM sliders...god help me if I wanted to use the pitch-bend knob too at the same time... :hihi:
mickeh
KVRist
 
43 posts since 1 May, 2006, from Stockholm, Sweden

Postby mickeh; Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:52 pm

Thanks for all the replys! :)

Shame on me not to search for the old thread....sorry.
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/archive/i ... /40817.php
But som new stuff came up here 8)

Someone were talking about videos; I'll scanned some of them and made a brief list with time marks of Billy playing.
However, often the cameramen/producers doesn't focus too much on keyboard players....

*************************************
The Voice live

http://youtube.com/watch?v=lvylsPfFEOk
Not the one from Monument

04:40 Solo just before the drums

********************************
MINE FOR LIFE - OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST
Some more

http://youtube.com/watch?v=FjaiUbjWelI

2:50, Billy jogging: 4:18

**********************************

Mine For Life Live
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZlVsVOTcmYw
Several shots of Billy

0:45, 1:33, 4:28

*****************************
HYMN - ORS 82

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vEay4Qjv4gU

1:12
Billy jogging

3:22
Good one, Billy works an Oddyssey

**********************************

All Stood Still Live
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZON6ZDJcdBE

Plenty of shots at Billy and Chris from hte start.

***************************************

Hymn Live

http://youtube.com/watch?v=x7uI7LYL_fc
3:18

Somewhere I read that Billy thought the Oddysey was so good he wanted to f**k it; well, here it looks like he's doing it....:-)

****************************

Sleepwalk(TOTP)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=HyqSk-GtaLw
1:08, 2:35

Yes, hew had a certain style...;-)

*************************

THE THIN WALL - TOTP
2:08
http://youtube.com/watch?v=a22LLwE_oa0

**********************

Live Aid
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ukh0pq7oP4M

08:10 violin in vienna
bad cameraman
mickeh
KVRist
 
43 posts since 1 May, 2006, from Stockholm, Sweden

Postby mickeh; Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:55 pm

BONES wrote:No link, we're still deciding whether to put it or One Hundred Years on the next album. I really love Sleepwalk but Ultravox is nowhere near as obvious for our audience as The Cure. Sleepwalk will probably win the day, however, because it is much shorter and the album is nudging towards an hour, which we both feel is too long.


Choose Sleepwalk and I'll promise to buy the album! :lol:

I'm a sucker for Ultravox covers - the good ones as well as the bad ones :oops:

One day I'll put a list up.....
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