Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by killedaway » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:39 pm

The Chauffeur is my favorite Duran Duran track! never really thought about that flute-y sound being an Ocarina. that's cool.
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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by iProg » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:45 pm

Nick Rhodes and Simon discusses this track on the Rio DVD I mentioned in the "favorite synth sounds" topic.

The synth is not confirmed, but I'm guessing the JP-8 or JP-4. The drum machine is most likely the 808.
The flute sound is a real ocarina! :)

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:06 pm

Is the DVD by any chance the "Duran Duran Rio" DVD that tells the story of the making of the album?

I'm sure there's a discussion on there - I'll have to watch it again.

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by iProg » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:21 am

Blue Monster 65 wrote:Is the DVD by any chance the "Duran Duran Rio" DVD that tells the story of the making of the album?

I'm sure there's a discussion on there - I'll have to watch it again.

Scott
Yes, that's the one. Check it out!

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by iProg » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:50 pm

Confirmed. The drum machine used is the TR-808.

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by ronP » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:15 pm

oo


I once read on DuranDuran.com that Simon Lebon played an ocarina for the "Randy Pan" ending and that Rhodes used a Roland Jupiter 8 played through a Lexicon for the "bling-bling-bling" melody.

That bling sound is an interesting analog synth patch, and several other synthesist's used it circa 1982-1984. Here is Mitch Sigman's take on how to create it, which comes from his column in Keyboard Magazine . . .


Once again, I’m faced with the tricky task of using words to describe a classic analog synth flavor. This month’s installment details one my favorite analog synth patches, sort of a rich analog bling. Pling? Maybe fling?

Let’s make this easier by name-dropping some tracks. The first song that made me aware of this sound was The Fixx’s spooky anthem “Red Skies At Night”; it’s in every verse playing the melodies. You can hear a similar sound in the lead melodies of Duran Duran's "The Chauffeur," the Thompson Twins’ “Lies,” and also in the choruses of Berlin’s “Pleasure Victim.”

If you’ve spent anytime with any of the classic analog polysynths such as the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Roland Jupiter-8, or the Oberheim OB series, you’ll note that they deliver serious low end punch. But they can sound a little thin in the higher registers, even with two oscillators. But the judicious use of pulse-width modulation does a pretty nice job of simulating the wobbling pitch undulation of a chorus effect and thickens things nicely.

Like my old-school new wave heroes, I make use of this sound on my Prophet-5 quite a bit, but you can use all manner of virtual analog synths to simulate it. The synth must have two oscillators with pulse-width modulation capabilities, a.k.a. PWM. For this example I’ll be using Arturia’s swift new Prophet-V virtual synth in the Prophet-5 only mode. This instrument sounds awesome!

We’ll start with our oscillators. Set both to the variable pulse wave setting (usually the square wave setting). Set the initial pitch so that the oscillators play an octave apart from one another. They should be detuned as well; about 12 cents apart is good. Now comes the important part: modulating the pulse width. Modulating the wha. . .? Perhaps an explanation is in order.

If you’ve ever used the square wave setting and twisted the knob that says “pulse width,” you’ve noticed a dramatic timbral change occurring. When the pulse width is at either extreme, the rectangular wave becomes very narrow, as does the sound, making for a handy analogy. If you twist it too far, the waveform becomes so narrow that the sound disappears entirely. Toward the middle of its range, the wave comes closer to a perfect square shape, and takes on a full, fat, flutey tone. If you continuously twist the pulse width knob back and forth, you get a really pleasant timbral animation as well as a little bit of pitch wobble. You also get a tired hand, and you can’t play two-handed passages. But thanks to the wonder of the low frequency oscillator, or LFO, we don’t need to wear out our hands. Using an LFO set to a simple triangle wave to control the pulse width, we can mimic the effect of continuously turning the pulse width knob back and forth. Christmas!

Now that we’ve cleared up the pulse-width modulation business, set the LFO to a triangle wave and route it to the pulse width of both oscillators. Set the LFO speed to something pretty quick; I set mine to 4.85Hz. If you’re using any sort of real or virtual Prophet-5, you’ll need to turn up the mod wheel close to full up and leave it to set the modulation depth. Otherwise turn up the depth knob as far as possible without the sound disappearing. You may need to play with the initial pulse width setting, but typically you’ll want it in the middle of its range.

Set the level of both oscillators to full tilt in the mixer section, and then proceed to the filter. We want a standard lowpass-type filter with cutoff frequency in a middle setting. Turn the resonance up to around 25 per cent for some extra mids. We’ll set the filter envelope to a guitar-type shape and turn the envelope amount parameter about halfway up. Attack should be zero, decay about 1,000ms, sustain level low, and release relatively long; about 1,500ms. We want an instantaneous peak when notes are struck that fades out and rings when we release notes. This makes for beautiful cascading melodies and arpeggios, especially when you break out the delay and reverb. Moving on to the volume envelope, simply duplicate the settings detailed above for the filter envelope.


oo
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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by elsongs » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:22 am

Just heard this song recently after many, many years. In addition to the 808 and synths, he used a sampler as well, correct? There's numerous voice samples and the pigeon coo sample. Did Nick use the Fairlight that early on, or did they use the Emulator I?

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by tim gueguen » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:32 pm

As far as the TR808 goes the first album on which it's heard is probably Yellow Magic Orchestra's BGM, which came out in March of 1981.
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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by Fatbenelton » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:04 am

Sounds like a TR808 to me......they used a CR78 on the first album (Night Boat for example) but little evidence of it on Rio.
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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by vladimotor » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:53 pm

This might help -

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by 80snostalgia » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:07 am

Well while I was watching the JD-XA interview with Nick Rhodes it clearly looks like a Roland SH 2.

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by audiokhangphudat » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:02 am

Sounds very nice, thank you for sharing
In addition to the 808 and synths, he used a sampler as well, correct

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by 80snostalgia » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:39 pm

Talking about Rolands SH-2, are there any clones out there? I'm getting a Roland Boutique SH-01a which of course is a clone of its original Roland.
Does Roland SH-2 have the same sounds as a SH 101?

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Roland SH-2 Save a Prayer and The Chauffeur

Post by 80snostalgia » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:05 pm

There's two songs that have the all important sound of the SH-2 being sequenced, Durans Save a Prayer and The Chauffeur.
Are there any clones of the Roland SH-2? As the nearest I may get is a Roland Boutique SH-01a which is a clone of its original.
Does the SH-101 and SH-2 both have the near enough same sounds? Forgive me I'm a newbie on Hardware Synths.
The sound for The Chauffeur nearly sounds like the main sound for OMDs Souvenir. It's probably not a SH-2 for Souvenir though.

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Re: Synths and Drum Machine in 'The Chauffeur

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:00 pm

80snostalgia wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:05 pm
Does the SH-101 and SH-2 both have the near enough same sounds? Forgive me I'm a newbie on Hardware Synths.
The SH-2 has two oscillators where the SH-1, SH-09 and SH-101 have only one. That means it's capable of a lot more sounds.
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