Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

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

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:55 pm

I've never heard a JP8 make a sound quite like that... I still wonder if it's from the PPG.
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by calyx93 » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:27 pm

I've never heard that sort of patch come out of my Waves, but then I don't program them for that type of sound - it's not really their strength IMO. The Jupiter would be suitable - it wouldn't take much outboard processing to dirty things up in order to get that snarl.
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by waveterm » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:39 pm

Sampled Bass on Two Tribes is a Waveterm sample by Nigel played on a Wave 2.3

Bow wow wow "analog" bass is most likely a Jupiter-8. I can get very close on mine.

Brass stabs - Jupiter-8

WT - Copying old Waveterm discs and what do I find there ? Art Of Noise samples !!
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by iProg » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:14 am

Micke wrote: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 iProg » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:58 am

Synthaholic wrote: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.
That's exactly what I hear as a JP-8!

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

Post by Esus » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:12 pm

Just gotta put my 2¢ in...
If more CDs sounded as damn good as FGTH, mp3 would have never gotten off the ground.

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

Post by Micke » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:51 pm

iProg wrote:
Micke wrote: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

Micke
Du är en klippa! :)
Thanks man!

As for the "BOW BOW BOOWWWW" sound on "Relax", I had a listen to the song again and it seems to me it's a combination of sampled bass guitar (left channel) and Jup-8 (right channel). The first time the sampled (slap) bass appears, at 0:48 and 0:53, it's heard on it's own, then at 1:11 it's being mixed with the Jup-8.

From what I understand the sampled bass described above is the one provided by Nigel Bates (sampled on a PPG Waveterm). The other sampled bass guitar sound on this song, the one that's running in fours, and which is part of the rhythm track, was apparently recorded by Blockheads' bass player Norman WattRoy and sampled into the Fairlight CMI.

Btw iProg, since you're into keyboard-heavy '70s prog...have you heard the Swedish prog-rock band Kaipa? If not, I strongly recommend you to check 'em out: http://www.kaipa.info/

Their music is in the vein of contemporary prog acts like Yes and Genesis but with an added touch of Swedish folk music.

I have all of Kaipa's albums up to the early '80s and like them a lot.

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

Post by Micke » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:07 pm

waveterm wrote:Sampled Bass on Two Tribes is a Waveterm sample by Nigel played on a Wave 2.3

Bow wow wow "analog" bass is most likely a Jupiter-8. I can get very close on mine.

Brass stabs - Jupiter-8

WT - Copying old Waveterm discs and what do I find there ? Art Of Noise samples !!

I've heard that the bassline Two Tribes was generated/sequenced on a Synclavier.
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by madtheory » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:51 pm

I believe at the time of that record, Lipson and Horn were not impressed with the Synclav sequencer, it had poor resolution and worked in some bizarre timeframe that was not bpm. The Fairlight was preferred. They pointed this out to NED, who eventually improved it.

I think the confusion arises from the way Horn tends to orchestrate, there's always layering, which is probably the key to his sound.

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

Post by obsidious » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:09 pm

Wow I never realised what went into this recording, £70,000 worth of studio time and the only thing actually coming from FGTH is Johnson's vocals :shock:

From wiki-
"Horn dominated the recording of "Relax (Don't Do It)" in his effort for perfectionism. The band were overawed and intimidated by Horn's reputation, and thus were too nervous to make suggestions. Johnson said in his autobiography, "Whatever he said we went along with". When attempts to record with the full band proved unsatisfactory, Horn hired former Ian Dury backing band the Blockheads for the sessions. Those sessions were later deemed to be not modern sounding enough. Horn then constructed a more electronic-based version of the song with keyboardist by session musician Andy Richards and with rhythm programming assistance from J. J. Jeczalik of Art of Noise. Horn developed this version of the recording in his West London studio while the band remained in their hometown of Liverpool. Ultimately lead vocalist Johnson was the only band member to perform on the record; the only contribution by the other members was a sample crafted from the sound of the rest of the band jumping into a swimming pool. Horn explained years later, "I was just . . . Look, 'Relax' had to be a hit." :lol: Despite the band's absence from the record, Horn said, "I could never have done these records in isolation. There was no actual playing by the band, but the whole feeling came from the band." Horn completed the recording having spent £70,000 in studio time"

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

Post by balma » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:37 pm

IMHO the best electronic track that have hitted the charts in the history of modern music.

The explosive white noise sound is a Jupiter. But there's something on the voice of this track that makes my flesh crawl, the effect on the voice is incredible, is like chorused, makes me remember the voice of David Byrne from Talking Heads on "burning down the house"
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Re: Synth in "Relax" by Frankie goes to Hollywood?

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:40 pm

When I saw them on that first US tour, they had a stack of synths, but the one that stood out the most was a Poly 800. I kept thinking, "Why?!?" Good show, though, even with the poor sound of the hall.

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

Post by iProg » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:32 pm

Micke wrote:
iProg wrote:
Micke wrote: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

Micke
Du är en klippa! :)
Thanks man!

As for the "BOW BOW BOOWWWW" sound on "Relax", I had a listen to the song again and it seems to me it's a combination of sampled bass guitar (left channel) and Jup-8 (right channel). The first time the sampled (slap) bass appears, at 0:48 and 0:53, it's heard on it's own, then at 1:11 it's being mixed with the Jup-8.

From what I understand the sampled bass described above is the one provided by Nigel Bates (sampled on a PPG Waveterm). The other sampled bass guitar sound on this song, the one that's running in fours, and which is part of the rhythm track, was apparently recorded by Blockheads' bass player Norman WattRoy and sampled into the Fairlight CMI.

Btw iProg, since you're into keyboard-heavy '70s prog...have you heard the Swedish prog-rock band Kaipa? If not, I strongly recommend you to check 'em out: http://www.kaipa.info/

Their music is in the vein of contemporary prog acts like Yes and Genesis but with an added touch of Swedish folk music.

I have all of Kaipa's albums up to the early '80s and like them a lot.

cheers,
Micke
Kaipa är bra :)

Yeah, I like their works and especially the guitarist Roine Stolt, who founded The Flower Kings in the mid 90's, which is, IMO, the best swedish prog rock band ever. He is a very nice guy too, have met him on several occasions. Their keyboard player Tomas Bodin is truly a special guy and a GREAT musician.

The Flower Kings are very influenced by King Crimson, Genesis and ELP. I like most of the progressive rock movements in the 70's and 80's. It seems like both of us have a wide musical taste! :)

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

Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:06 am

dudes, there is absolutely no way the BOW BOW BOOOWWW sound is from a Jupiter-8. None! I owned a Jupiter 8 for many years and I'm very familiar what it does. As you all know, the Jupe is an analog keyboard. There is nothing analog-ish about that BOW BOW BOW sound whatsoever! It's not a square wave, or a sawtooth.. My best guess is that it's something sampled into the Fairlight and manipulated using the light pen, but definitely not a raw Jupiter-8 patch for sure.

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

Post by calyx93 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:08 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:dudes, there is absolutely no way the BOW BOW BOOOWWW sound is from a Jupiter-8. None! I owned a Jupiter 8 for many years and I'm very familiar what it does. As you all know, the Jupe is an analog keyboard. There is nothing analog-ish about that BOW BOW BOW sound whatsoever! It's not a square wave, or a sawtooth.. My best guess is that it's something sampled into the Fairlight and manipulated using the light pen, but definitely not a raw Jupiter-8 patch for sure.
I don't think you're thinking of the same patch... dude. It's not the obviously sampled male vox going "Bum, bum, bum" we're talking about here. It's an obviously analog sound. Very prominent at 1:10-1:12, 1:14-1:15, 1:18-1:20 and in the bits at the end.

I've owned a JP8 for many years too and can, with a bit of overdrive and EQ, can easily recreate that rubbery, throaty filtered patch. Pretty easy, really - use cross-mod with sync, set the voice mode to solo or unison and play while manually playing with the filter via the bender to make it snarl. Simple. Now add a touch of outboard overdrive, bit of middy EQ + a tight & tiny room reverb and you have yourself a nice, snarly, rubbery and kinda raspy patch that's a near perfect fit.
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