Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

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Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by obsidious » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:20 am

I tried searching for this figuring someone would've asked before but couldn't find anything specific about this song. It always sounded like a JP8 to me and that's still my guess, but it's been years since i got the chance to play on one of those things and I don't remember the filter sounding that good. What's the synth? That bass is so sexual it should've been on Tipper Gore's s**t list back in the 80's.

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by sam » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:30 am

Yes...The jupiter 8 was used on those recordings...
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by iProg » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:39 am

Bass, pad chords and brass is the Jupiter-8 :)

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Syn303 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:31 pm

iProg wrote:Bass, pad chords and brass is the Jupiter-8 :)
JP-8 for Bass, are you sure about this?

I think was an NED Synclavier, as that instrument was a big
part of FGTH's sound.

There is mention of the JP-8 making a pissing sound though?

Note:
Norman Watt-Roy of Ian Dury & The Blockheads said that Trevor Horn got him and the Blockheads
drummer to jam and sampled them (with the Fairlight CMI) to use on Frankie goes to Hollywood
tracks such as Relax and Two Tribes. JJ Jeczalik (Art of Noise) was also involved on the track,
as he did all the weird stuff and noises with his Fairlight.

An Alembic Bass was used on those Sessions.


FGTH was 95% Trevor Horn and 5% Holly Johnson.
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:14 pm

I recall reading somewhere (probably here) that the "BOW BOW BOOOWWW" part was a digital synth, a PPG Wave IIRC.

The regular bassline sounds digital too, maybe DX7 or Synclavier.
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by obsidious » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:24 pm

Synthaholic wrote:I recall reading somewhere (probably here) that the "BOW BOW BOOOWWW" part was a digital synth, a PPG Wave IIRC.

The regular bassline sounds digital too, maybe DX7 or Synclavier.
Yeah I should've made myself clear, the "BOW BOW BOOOOWWWW" part is what i'm really interested in, thanks for vocalising that so eloquently synthaholic :)

The regular bassline does sound digital indeed, Jupiter on the pads I guess but goddamn if the PPG wave can do that p**n BOWBOWBOOOWWW bit it's definitely moving up near the top of my yeahrightkeepdreamingpunk wishlist. I just...damn! Can someone confirm for me that part is indeed digital? Yikes, I was thinking jupety all the way :-k

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:45 pm

Of course, now I can't find anything on "Relax", but I did find a few web sites that confirm that FGTH did use a PPG Wave.

The Wave, though it uses digital oscillators, does use analog SSM filters, which allow it to do that WONDERFUL bass resonant sweep.

They did use JP-8 extensively as well, probably for the pads and stuff in that track.
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by waveterm » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:20 pm

Jupiter-8 no doubt.

No NED Sync was used on FGTH

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Syn303 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:03 pm

SOS interview with Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr08/a ... s_0408.htm

Producer Trevor Horn - used the Synclavier on records by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Not on Relax), Yes, and Grace Jones, among others

But... in another interview with Trevor Horn he said this -
"It was all this technology that was just exploding at that time, and [Frankie Goes To Hollywood's] ‘Relax’ was probably the pinnacle of all that stuff. It was a combination of Page R and the Conductor and locking it to a Linn drum machine. So the basic track was eights running in a Fairlight (’eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh’), fours on a bass (’ee ee ee ee’) and a set of Linn drum machine patterns locked to Page R played on top of each other. It was an amazing feel.”
Last edited by Syn303 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Micke » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:29 pm

Relax was done on a Fairlight CMI (sampled bass and piano quavers etc), Roland Jupiter 8 (pissing sound, strings/pad, explosions etc), Roland GR-300 guitar synths and a Linndrum.

They were also using a Synclavier but not until the second single "Two Tribes".

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr08/a ... s_0408.htm

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by madtheory » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:38 pm

No way that's a Fairlight, it's too dynamic. It has all the hallmarks of a PPG.

Nigel Bates, claims he made the bass sound, on a Waveterm. He used to do the library sounds, if you bought the system from Syco in London:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug00/a ... lbates.htm

Quote:
"Not many people know that I actually did the bass sample used on all the Frankie Goes To Hollywood stuff. That was done with my Kramer bass up in the writing room, sampled into the PPG."
Last edited by madtheory on Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:45 pm

So what did the "BOW BOW BOOOWWWWW" part then? The Fairlight?
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by madtheory » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:47 pm

Could you post the notation of the part you're talking about? Or a clip of you humming it? ;)

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:50 pm

It's that really FAT resonant bass sound (3 notes) that you hear after "when you want to come..." about a minute into the song. You can't miss it.

It literally sounds like "BOW BOW BOOWWWW"... hence my description.

I think it's E, C#, D.
Last edited by Synthaholic on Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by calyx93 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:51 pm

Synthaholic wrote:So what did the "BOW BOW BOOOWWWWW" part then? The Fairlight?
Probably the JP8 - I would guess in unison mode. With that type of snarly filtered patch, it certainly ain't the Fairlight.
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