Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

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Micke
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Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Micke » Tue May 12, 2009 4:01 pm

Hi there synth freaks

I just put together this synth/gear breakdown for the Apocalypse Now soundtrack (one of my all-time
favorite synthesizer scores) and thought I'd share this info with you guys.

Enjoy!

Apocalypse Now soundtrack
Music by Carmine Coppola and Francis Coppola except where noted

Music recorded Feb through June 1979 at Zoetrope, Automat and Different fur studios

1. OPENING: THE END (The Doors)
Helicopter effects realized by Bernie Krause on a Moog modular synthesizer w/sequencer

There were two large Moog modular systems at Zoetrope studios and Bernie brought his
Moog 12 as well.


2. THE DELTA
Bernie Krause & Andy Narell (electronic percussion tracks): Moog modular. Nyle Steiner also played
some tracks with the Steiner EVI.
According to Nyle there was definitely a String-machine at Bernie’s sessions and he’s pretty sure
he used it combination with the Moog stuff for the string sounds. Nyle couldn’t remember for sure the
make but thought it could be an ARP Omni or ARP Solina string ensemble.


3. DOSSIER
Don Preston: Moog modular. Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI hooked up with a Steiner Synthasystem modular.
Carmine Coppola: Flute

An Oberheim 8-voice polyphonic synth was part of Preston's rig at the time but he could not remember
if he actually used it on the score.


4. ORANGE LIGHT
Bernie Krause: Moog modular. Nyle Steiner believes he played some of the tracks.
Choir conducted by C. Coppola

5. RIDE OF THE WALKYRIES (R. Wagner)

6. SUZIE Q (D. Hawkins / S.J. Lewis / E. Broadwater)

7. NUNG RIVER (C.Coppola / F. Coppola / M.Hart)
Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI & Synthasystem modular. Nyle recalls playing most of the tracks but Shirley
Walker most likely played some of them also. Some percussion from Mickey Hart's group is also mixed
in with this cue.

An unused version of this track had apparently been done previously by Gleeson.

8. DO LUNG (C.Coppola / F.Coppola / R.Hansen)
Patrick Gleeson: E-mu modular synthesizer and possibly single-keyboard Prophet 10 (although Pat could
not remember with certainty whether he used it on this score). Randy Hansen: electric guitar.
Choir conducted by C. Coppola.

9. LETTERS FROM HOME
Patrick Gleeson: E-mu modular. Nyle Steiner played several melody tracks (bass clarinet and oboe)
with the EVI.

10. CLEAN’S DEATH (C. Coppola / F.Coppola / M. Hart)
Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI. Shirley Walker: Steiner double-synthacon w / custom built vibrato bar and
breath controller interface. Mickey Hart: percussion tracks.

This cue was recorded earlier by Nyle and Don Preston. Nyle and Shirley recorded a completely
rewritten version of it towards the end of the recording sessions that bears very little resemblance
to the original.


11. CLEANS FUNERAL (newly recorded by Ed Goldfarb)

12. LOVE THEME (newly recorded by Ed Goldfarb)

These two tracks were originally written by C. Coppola for the 1979 edition of the movie but not used.
In 2001 they were recorded by Ed Goldfarb for use in the Redux edition.

13. CHIEF’S DEATH
Bernie Krause: Moog modular. Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI (Oboe and Clarinet leads)
Patrick Gleeson apparently played some of the tracks as well.

14. VOYAGE
Mostly Randy Hansen guitars.

15. CHEF’S HEAD
Don Preston: Moog modular and Minimoog through a Moog string filter for the cello-like
part at the end. Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI hooked up with the Steiner Synthasystem.

16. KURTZ CHORALE
Mostly choir.

17. FINALE
Nyle Steiner: Steiner EVI & Synthasystem modular. Shirley Walker: Steiner double-synthacon
w/custom built vibrato bar and breath interface.
For the string parts, Nyle and Shirley both played many single string tracks which were submixed
so they could play more individual string tracks. The string parts were played through the
Moog string filter.


Another version of this track with a more traditional orchestral texture had been recorded previously
by Nyle and Shirley. After Francis listened to it he asked them to make it more abstract.



Nyle and Shirley also recorded a circus-style track called “Trapeze” with lots of brass and calliope
sounds integrated with helicopter sounds to be used at the point in the film where the Playmates
were lifted from the performing stage by helicopter. This cue was not used in the movie.

The information on the equipment used in each track and who performed them mainly comes
from Nyle Steiner and Bernie Krause and is not to be found elsewehere.

Your comments are welcomed! also, if you have any questions please feel free to ask

cheers,
Micke
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by tweakeasy » Tue May 12, 2009 4:17 pm

Thanks, very interesting! Especially the Moog Modular for the helicopter rotor sounds, very cool.

Love that film. True masterpiece.

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue May 12, 2009 5:06 pm

Very cool Micke!

That's truly serendipitous-I literally just watched it for the first time a week ago (crazy I know), and was curious about what they used (almost leading me to post here!)
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by T-John » Wed May 13, 2009 6:13 am

Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge of all things synth with us Micke, it's much appreciated! :D
Gear: Roland JP-4, Siel DK600, Yamaha CS-80

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by scimmiamk » Wed May 13, 2009 12:45 pm

very interesting indeed,
thanks a lot

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Micke
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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Micke » Wed May 13, 2009 3:24 pm

Thanks guys!

My favorite cues on this score are without doubt the powerful Nung River, The Delta and Finale, the latter of which is quite stunning.

As much as I love the Moog modulars I'm mostly impressed with the sounds coming from Nyle Steiner's
various synths (the EVI, Synthasystem modular and Double-Synthacon). The lead sounds (the oboe, clarinets, basson, trumpet etc) brass and strings sound gorgeous on this score. The Steiner synths are capable of very beefy bass sounds too, for example the menacing/dark bass in the Finale cue sound incredibly fat.

Gleeson's E-mu modular is no slouch either but it isn't featured as much as I thought on this score.

If you have any questions about any specific sounds feel free to ask

cheers,
Micke
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by carbon111 » Wed May 13, 2009 8:52 pm

Excellent info as always, Micke! :thumbright:

What about the RSF Kobol Expander? Mark Vail mentioned in his Vintage Synth book that it was used in the movie.

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Micke » Wed May 13, 2009 9:47 pm

Thanks, carbon :)

The RSF Kobol Expander was apparently used on the soundtrack to "The Last Emperor" (1987).
There ain't no RSF in Apocalypse Now though.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by carbon111 » Wed May 13, 2009 10:31 pm

Gratzi! :)
Best Regards, James
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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by clusterchord » Thu May 14, 2009 11:50 pm

Fantastic info Micke , as always !!! it's one of my favorite movies. and the sound is phenomenal. gotta go listen to that score again now... ;)
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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Micke » Fri May 15, 2009 1:57 pm

Thanks cluster :)

Check your PM's
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Apocalypse now soundtrack: synth/gear breakdown

Post by Dj Pound » Sat May 16, 2009 11:04 pm

Great OST!

I have it on vinyl. Made a few instrumentals out of some of the tracks on it.
I'll post them in the listening lounge.
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