Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

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Postby ronP » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:08 pm

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Hi. Here is a great, close-up, high-contrast color portrait of the synth rig Nick Rhodes is using on the current Red Carpet Massacre Tour . . .


http://www.duranduran.com/wordpress/?at ... t_id=13860


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Postby ronP » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:13 pm

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Hi. I saw Duran Duran play the final date on the U.S. leg of the band's Red Carpet Massacre tour. The show was on Saturday night, outside, in Central Park; I stood about 15 feet back on stage left.

The new electro set (including a cover of Grace Jones' "Warm Leatherette") was a synth highlight. John Taylor on KORG Radias (great resonant basslines), Roger Taylor on ROLAND V-Drums (heavy metal Kraftwerk), Simon Le Bon on a KORG microKORG (for vocoder and arpeggiated parts), and Nick Rhodes on a KORG Radias (pads and melodies and kitchen sink).

Rhodes had a dream keysynth rig: a V-Synth and a Kurzweil K2000 to his right, and in front of him stood a second V-Synth, an ALESIS Andromeda, and a KORG microKORG, with a MAC Laptop sat diagonally in the niche between the two stands.

It was great getting to see and hear the ALESIS Andromeda played live. He used it for all the string synth parts he once played on his CRUMAR Performer. The V-Synth was used for textured parts and evolving pads. The K2000 for samples and two-handed synth and piano parts. The microKORG was used for the vocoder parts on "The Reflex" and "The Wild Boys" -- which was funny -- because this $400 microsynth was able to do what, twenty-five years ago, it took a $100,000 Fairlight to do.

Another highlight was watching Rhodes work his string of effects pedals. No one-finger preset player, he used a delay, a flanger, and a phaser several times to a noticeable effect -- the cave echo melodies on "Ordinary World" -- for example, became much more dark and washed after a visible stomp on the phaser pedal box. He also did not use a mixer, instead adjusting the master volume knobs on his boards as needed, although he did do a lot of switching on a patch bay situated beneath the microKORG in his rig.

Rhodes played a killer solo during Simon's "meet the band" moment at the close of the show. He performed a bright, resonant monosynth passage on the V-Synth, modulating the lines by scratching, DJ-style, on the Time Trip pad. The sound was so phat that it hit us like a firehose as he closed with a deep pitch bend dooooown . . .

25 years ago we worshiped Emerson and Wakeman and Lord, and rightly so. Some, though, questioned whether this new wave guy, Nick Rhodes, even knew a C major scale. Well, time has proved that not only does he know his scales, but the scale of Fortune has tipped in his favor; he is now a player in the keysynth Pantheon with all the other greats we can name.

:)


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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby TrevP » Wed May 21, 2014 1:37 pm

I know this is an old thread but I thought I would throw in my little bit of knowledge here based on my rig.

First I should mention that I play keys in a Duran Duran tribute band called "Notorious" in Toronto Canada.

Here's some pictures of my rig

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


It's as close to what Nick uses live as I need to replicate his sound:

Left stand: TOP: Roland Fantom G6 BOTTOM: Alesis Andromeda A6
Right Stand: TOP: Roland V-Synth GT BOTTOM: Korg Triton LE
Bottom right (in rack): TOP: MOTU MIDI Timepeice BOTTOM: Akai S500 sampler

Let me explain a bit how I have things setup:

All the keyboard MIDI ins are plugged into the MIDI time piece and I have the MOTU plugged into my MacBook Air via USB.
I use Apple Mainstage as the "song patch" switcher. I have all the songs setup with their respective synth patch numbers all setup so all I have to do is either pick the song in the list or increment it via my foot controller. This changes all the patches on my my gear. It works extremely well. Nick uses an identical MOTU timepiece to do the same job as Mainstage. He has mentioned in interviews that he's moving to Mainstage do to the same thing as I am so I guess I'm a little ahead of him ;)

I also run Logic Pro X for any sequenced songs or as a clock source for any on board arps on the keyboards (Rio, Planet Earth etc...). For any song that is sequenced I have a click track (cowbell sound) on the Akai sampler that outputs to a separate out that feeds into our in-ear monitor system. This way any of our band members can listen the click sound but mostly the drummer does. I suspect highly this is what Nick does for Roger.

What I don't know is if Nick uses his Mac laptop for the sequenced parts or uses his Akai S6000 to play back standard MIDI files. He has stated in interviews that uses the Kurzweil to trigger samples and sequences so maybe he has keys mapped to start/stop his sequencer, whatever it happens to be.

In any case, I play as much as I can live (even the Rio sax solo) and only use the computer to do the stuff that I can't.

Ask me any question you like about the setup, I'll be glad to answer them !

PS. Here's my reproduction of "The Man Who Stole a Leopard" from their recent album that we play live. Should give you an idea of how accurate I strive to be ;)

The Man Who Stole a Leopard DEMO
Last edited by TrevP on Wed May 21, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby Bitexion » Wed May 21, 2014 1:43 pm

Yayyyy someone else who has an Andy A6 :) I thought I was the only one on this forum.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby TrevP » Wed May 21, 2014 1:59 pm

The A6 is lovely isn't it? :) I bought it partly as an investment and I'm glad I did, the prices are going up on these. Not quite JP8 territory but in due time perhaps!
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby Reginator » Wed May 21, 2014 2:30 pm

Hey TrevP nice job with the Leopard song. It's one of my favs from their latest album.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby Bitexion » Wed May 21, 2014 4:17 pm

TrevP wrote:The A6 is lovely isn't it? :) I bought it partly as an investment and I'm glad I did, the prices are going up on these. Not quite JP8 territory but in due time perhaps!


Yeah it is a lovely synth, although mine is getting "jittery" knobs, they ghost edit alot it's quite annoying.

And it was scary as h**l when I first got mine, all those knobs! And all those menus and sub menus! Took me 3 weeks before I dared to really dive into it and gain a proper understanding of the synth. The manual was great actually, very helpful.

This site was a great resource for me btw

http://www.wohmart.com/a6/

The tips&tricks pdf file is a document Alesis sent out to the factory bank designers, it contains a ton of great tips that you can't find in the manual.

It also has a ton of usermade sounds and banks in sysex, plus MP3 demos of lots of them.
Also the program A6 Banker works as a patch librarian.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby TrevP » Wed May 21, 2014 4:34 pm

Bitexion wrote:
TrevP wrote:The A6 is lovely isn't it? :) I bought it partly as an investment and I'm glad I did, the prices are going up on these. Not quite JP8 territory but in due time perhaps!

Yeah it is a lovely synth, although mine is getting "jittery" knobs, they ghost edit alot it's quite annoying.

And it was scary as h**l when I first got mine, all those knobs! And all those menus and sub menus! Took me 3 weeks before I dared to really dive into it and gain a proper understanding of the synth. The manual was great actually, very helpful.

This site was a great resource for me btw

http://www.wohmart.com/a6/

The tips&tricks pdf file is a document Alesis sent out to the factory bank designers, it contains a ton of great tips that you can't find in the manual.


It also has a ton of usermade sounds and banks in sysex, plus MP3 demos of lots of them.
Also the program A6 Banker works as a patch librarian.


I have all those documents, good treasure trove. If you have the jittery knobs you might want to open the top panel and give them a good cleaning with a pot cleaner. I recently bought a used JD-800 that had the dead keys syndrome and took it completely apart and cleaned all the key contacts, sliders and knobs and it works perfectly now!

Are you aware of these tutorial series videos for the A6 on Youtube?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX3x8r5_IMw Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7RTRhaiNiU Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crj6_2qPMDs Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kTtjhX3TuE Part 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDX50GuP08A Part 5

Part 4 on the envelopes was really interesting since the A6 has envelope looping. I used that function recently while recreating the sequenced sound for "The Chauffeur". If you listen very closely is has a very slight doubling effect on the attack, almost like 2 hits, then a bit of verb and delay. I was able to nail the sound 100% by using the loop function on the output envelope by looping the attack and subsequent decay values by a slight bit to give it that "double hit" of the actual sound. It's slight but I can hear it....
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby Bitexion » Wed May 21, 2014 10:30 pm

No I didn't see those. Will definately watch them while messing about with the synth, thanks :)
Haven't used my Andy in a few months now. It needs to be awakened!

When I change a parameter it usually "hovers" around the point and I have to tap the knob a few times to make it stop.
It also suddenly hops to a different menu when I release hold of a knob, so I have to tap it to get back to the menu I was in. Makes it rough to name patches when it jumps between menus as I type in the letters :P
And sometimes parameters just fly all over the place when I turn a knob.

I also have one voice (v14) that always tunes VCO2 20hz lower than VCO1, so I have to disable v14 every time I turn the synth on..probably faulty voice chip, I read that they had a faulty batch of voice chips at some point, maybe mine is from that batch.
Took me a h**l of a long time to figure out why my synth would do a "WONK" occasionally while I was playing :lol:
And the immense relief when I found that I can easily disable single voices in the global menu (voxmon) and get rid of the problem (but have one less voice). Voice 14 doesn't get an X after the autotune procedure either.

I haven't dared to open it up, I'm afraid to break something. I am zero tech handy. But maybe I should try anyway.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby Roed » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:05 pm

Just a quick answer for TrevP
TrevP wrote:What I don't know is if Nick uses his Mac laptop for the sequenced parts or uses his Akai S6000 to play back standard MIDI files.


I have been backstage a couple of times and believe it or not Nick uses the MacBook for chords :lol: I guess when you have such a large back catalog you cannot remember everything by heart. Everything else must be controlled from the S6000.

And buy the way congrads on the very very good Leopard clone. Amazing job (the other songs too)!!!
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby TrevP » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:32 pm

Just an update... that rig was getting too crazy to lug around to rehearsals and gigs so after much experimenting and testing I've since switched over to using Mainstage for all the sounds, backing and click tracks.

Now my setup consists of 2 USB midi controllers, a MacBook Pro and an 8 output audio interface.

I was able to reproduce all my synth patches in Mainstage, samples we moved into EXS24 and anything else I was not able to reproduce was sampled using the autosampler.

Now my gig is incredibly easy to carry around and much faster to setup and tear down. The best part is it still sounds exactly the same! Sequenced songs in Logic were bounced to audio files and are now played back from the payback plug in from Mainstage for each song.
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Re: Duran Duran Live Sequencer setup

Postby madtheory » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:59 pm

TrevP wrote:I was able to reproduce all my synth patches in Mainstage, samples we moved into EXS24 and anything else I was not able to reproduce was sampled using the autosampler.

It is a fantastic piece of software. So effective and flexible. Last year I used Autosampler to get some XPand patches from Pro Tools into EXS24 for Mainstage! And the thing mixed sound for two vocals, a bass and a guitar. Just brilliant.
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