David Sylvian's gear...???

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:22 pm

David Sylvian's gear...???

Post by lemony » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:47 am

What about the gear used in Blemish or in Dead Bees on a cake???
I love those ethereal synths!!!!

User avatar
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:28 am
Location: In Mountains West of SYDNEY Australia

Re: David Sylvian's gear...???

Post by differentbydesign » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:52 pm

lemony wrote:What about the gear used in Blemish or in Dead Bees on a cake???
I love those ethereal synths!!!!
I am sure he still would have a Pro 5 lying around somewhere Roland D-50 has been a favourite of his too.
He uses a bit of Clavia Nord gear and is the lucky owner of a Hartman Neuron!
I dont have it on any authority but I would bet he is not afraid of Software Synthesis either. I have also heard yhings I suspect to be from a Roland Vsynth

Anyhow good to see other Sylvian fans here.


UF6, Pro 2K, 6 Tracks, SQR, DX-9, JV-880, JV-1080, MKS-70 , NI FM-7&8,Battery 3,Pro53,Absynth 4 Arturia MOOG Modular,2600V,CS-80 V, Minimoog V, Legacy Collection, RGC Pentagon,VirSyn Tera, Sonar 6.2, , Synth 1, MOTU Microlite, D-70, RX-11,Roland MC-500

User avatar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:07 am
Gear: Alesis Ion
JX-3P w/Kiwitechnics
Nord Lead 2
Poly Evolver Keyboard
Prophet 12
Assorted basses, guitars, software
Band: Sid Luscious and The Pants
Location: San Francisco, CA


Post by Jinsai » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:55 pm

I recall various places (like this, for example - http://reviews.harmony-central.com/revi ... et+VS/10/1)
saying that he used a Prophet-VS extensively on "Gone To Earth"

His new stuff with Nine Horses is fantastic!
"A musician is someone who's heard a lot of music" - Pierre Boulez

User avatar
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:56 am
Location: Chillicothe IL USA

Post by suitandtieguy » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:30 pm

all the classic Sylvian stuff, Brilliant Trees through The First Day, has textures and chords centred round the usual suspects (rhodes, hammond, piano, prophet 5, and don't forget he can play guitar too) or found sounds fed through a metric s**t-tonne of effects ranging from Eventide to Dimension D et al. apparently there's some D-50 there as well, but the important thing is randomkeyboard->efx->efx->repeat ad nauseum.

Damage (i prefer the first edition as it sounds better) has these keyboard parts taken by a KX-88 controller feeding a rack of "stuff" like S1000 and JD990 and other stuff which i don't know because the laserdisc never focuses on the key rig.

don't forget 2/3 of the textures on The First Day/Damage are Fripp/Brook/Gunn so Dave only played keyboard half the time and much of that was sample triggering.

Dead Bees on a Cake has the smallest amount of synth work. rhodes, hammond, guitar, and the contracted acoustic instruments. there are some textural pieces on there but any sounds you hear could be made with a rhodes or guitar through a Digitech IPS33B or later processor and (on some of the stuff) a good looping delay.

Blemish, i don't know. i really can't stand that album or any of his Pitchfork-approved work.

i believe someone here said something about Nord Lead action, and the Hartmann. the Hartmann was obviously post-Dead Bees, pre-Blemish.

there's a Japanese television broadcast which you can find if you look hard enough. it's just Dave and his bro Steve. they both are armed with Nord Lead 3s, and Steve-O has a Roland Handsonic. there are also laptops being abused as well. if you like Blemish i would strongly encourage you to track it down. he's also wearing tonnes of pancake makeup and a super-bizarre tracksuit, which is highly entertaining so if that period makes your ears bleed you can still enjoy something about it.
http://stgsoundlabs.com is where i sell things
http://suitandtieguy.com is my personal/music website
http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com is my LJ, no blogistan for STG yo.

Posts: 49
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 11:29 am

Post by eminor9 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:43 pm

At the time of releasing 'Blemish' there were pictures on the Samadhisound site of David and Steve with NL3 keyboard & rack.
I observed the same red presence (David playing a NL3 keyboard, but only FM bells type of things during performances, most of the sounds were audio streaming from laptop) during the live show here in Brussels.

The Nords are indeed capable to provide the raw sounds that you hear Blemish, on the other hand there's a lot of guitar/amp feedback involved too and sounds on 'Fire in the forest' are Christian Fennesz's work (guitar through laptop).

Post Reply