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Billy Jean

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:08 pm
by micahjonhughes
I'm interested in knowing what synths were used on Thriller and, in particular, on Billy Jean. I seem to remember once seeing Quincy's gear list from that period, but I can no longer find it. - Thanks.

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:28 pm
by JJQ
If youd consider using the search option in the top, right part of the page and type thriller...

There have been some very informative threds about it. Se Mickes post.

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:29 am
by Sir Ruff
The very keyboardist himself from Thriller (song) posted here a while back about the recording seshes and what he uses (jup-8). Would have been to have saved that somehow. Was really interesting.

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:47 pm
by Micke
Yeah that was Bill Wolfer, one of several keyboardists/programmers contributing to the "Thriller" album.

Here's the old VSE thread in which Wolfer posted about his contributions:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=33273

And here's a synth-breakdown for the song "Thriller" which someone recently posted
on the AH list:

Moog sweep in the bridge
Pipe Organ from the Synclavier
Bass synth JP-8
Rhodes
Synth Marimba JP-4
Froggie Casio

The source for this info is the original track sheet for that song

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:38 pm
by iProg
Micke wrote:Yeah that was Bill Wolfer, one of several keyboardists/programmers contributing to the "Thriller" album.

Here's the old VSE thread in which Wolfer posted about his contributions:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=33273

And here's a synth-breakdown for the song "Thriller" which someone recently posted
on the AH list:

Moog sweep in the bridge
Pipe Organ from the Synclavier
Bass synth JP-8
Rhodes
Synth Marimba JP-4
Froggie Casio

The source for this info is the original track sheet for that song
Wow, I've never read that thread where Bill posts...that was super cool!

What a fantastic production! Great songs, great musicians and Michael Jackson! Amazing!

I can just imagine being in a studio with most of the guys from Toto, Quincy and Michael and they are asking you to play....:D

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:33 am
by THM
The "Billy Jean" strings coming in just after the bass in the opoening part of the song are 4x overdubbed strings from a Yamaha CS-80 (I also mentioned this already in an other thread about this song).

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:09 pm
by shaft9000
for further details check the thread @ Gearslutz,
featuring the engineer that laid the track down, Bruce Swedien:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/bruce-sw ... -jean.html

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:18 am
by pianogrl697
Micke wrote:Yeah that was Bill Wolfer, one of several keyboardists/programmers contributing to the "Thriller" album.

Here's the old VSE thread in which Wolfer posted about his contributions:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=33273

And here's a synth-breakdown for the song "Thriller" which someone recently posted
on the AH list:

Moog sweep in the bridge
Pipe Organ from the Synclavier
Bass synth JP-8
Rhodes
Synth Marimba JP-4
Froggie Casio

The source for this info is the original track sheet for that song
Sorry to bump up an old thread but any chance we can find out the track sheets for some other songs of MJ's? Would love to know some of the sounds they used on his Dangerous album.

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:43 am
by gs
Poor Michael Jackson, he died too young. I miss him so much. We have to get to the bottom of what killed him. We need to bring his doctor up on trial. How could a constantly anesthetized, drug-addicted, noseless skeleton have slipped away from us so suddenly?!?!? :(

Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.
Carry on with your search and good luck!

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:48 pm
by iProg
Micke wrote:Yeah that was Bill Wolfer, one of several keyboardists/programmers contributing to the "Thriller" album.

Here's the old VSE thread in which Wolfer posted about his contributions:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=33273

And here's a synth-breakdown for the song "Thriller" which someone recently posted
on the AH list:

Moog sweep in the bridge
Pipe Organ from the Synclavier
Bass synth JP-8
Rhodes
Synth Marimba JP-4
Froggie Casio

The source for this info is the original track sheet for that song
What Moog is that?

I thought the JP-8 was responsible for the fat blast chords after the intro?

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:31 pm
by Micke
That'd be the Minimoog. I'm not sure what sound is being referred to with "sweep in the bridge" though.

On a side note, according to the track sheet the Jup-8 is the bass synth but afaik the bassline was played
on Michael Boddicker's two modified Minimoog's.

And here's a quote from Boddicker regarding the big synth blasts that begin the song:
”A Roland Jupiter-8 in double four-voice mode, with the modulation “wheel” opening the filter. I was always afraid it sounded cheesy, but it’s withstood the test of time. There’s no shape to the sound, just a sort of fizz or buzz, until the hold where I close the filter. It was tracked multiple times with a slightly different timbre and tuning each time."

Re: Billy Jean

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:40 pm
by iProg
Micke wrote:That'd be the Minimoog. I'm not sure what sound is being referred to with "sweep in the bridge" though.

On a side note, according to the track sheet the Jup-8 is the bass synth but afaik the bassline was played
on Michael Boddicker's two modified Minimoog's.

And here's a quote from Boddicker regarding the big synth blasts that begin the song:
”A Roland Jupiter-8 in double four-voice mode, with the modulation “wheel” opening the filter. I was always afraid it sounded cheesy, but it’s withstood the test of time. There’s no shape to the sound, just a sort of fizz or buzz, until the hold where I close the filter. It was tracked multiple times with a slightly different timbre and tuning each time."
Thanks, once again! :)