Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

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Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by HideawayStudio » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:56 pm

A friend of mine asked me the other day exactly what synths were used in Brian Eno's 1983 track "An Ending". At first I was all smug and sure I would know the answer but after several listenings I gave up. The layered choral sustains are amazing but I'm struggling to decide what exactly was used (an amazing synth for 1983?, a real choir in a huge hall?, A Mellotron through a huge reverb?, A very early sampler?) to make this beautiful example of early ambient music - any ideas?

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by balma » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:02 am

don't know exactly wich gear he used on that specific track. But since I remember, this genious was the master of the Yamaha DX7 in those years.

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I'm a big fan of him since the eighities, was my studio idol. GEnious! Those incredible lovely warm pads on Unforgettable Fire and Where the Streets have no name, belongs to him, and JFK. Correct me if I'm wrong....

Also, love a lot his works with DM
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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by HideawayStudio » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:15 am

balma wrote:don't know exactly wich gear he used on that specific track. But since I remember, this genious was the master of the Yamaha DX7 in those years.

Image

I'm a big fan of him since the eighities, was my studio idol. GEnious! Those incredible lovely warm pads on Unforgettable Fire and Where the Streets have no name, belongs to him, and JFK. Correct me if I'm wrong....

Also, love a lot his works with DM

Yes - I know of his love affair with the DX7 and it is true that it's capable of some very nice ethereal sounds but I'm not convinced this is what was used. The DX7 came out in 1983 and so Brian couldn't have had one long at all during the making of this music.

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by Mooger5 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:20 am

Always sounded like a high resonant analog sound to me. I think I can hear the filter drifting at times. CS-80?

The Wikipedia says "a DX7 was used extensively". Has to be a mistake. The album and the DX came out in the same year, but the instrument was very difficult to master and program such a well-crafted sound in so limited time. Unless Eno created it by chance. And you´d expect more DX7 sounds in the album. I don´t recognize any, but the truth is all the sounds are so unique I can´t recognize any particular synth either. :)
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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hearteh » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:29 am

from what i've heard its true that he used a cs80 mostly on that album, and got the dx7 later. but i dont think that choir sound is from a cs80, it sounds so real.

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by HideawayStudio » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:45 am

hearteh wrote:from what i've heard its true that he used a cs80 mostly on that album, and got the dx7 later. but i dont think that choir sound is from a cs80, it sounds so real.
Exactly my conclusions - I know he used CS-80 (god I want one!!) but I'm far from convinced even this beast could emulate a celestial choir.

Someone out there must know the answer!! :)

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hfinn » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:36 pm

Don't underestimate the power of external processing. Last weekend a friend and I got a Prophet 5 to sound VERY unlike a P5.



Brian Eno has made no bones about the fact that he is not a synthesist and does not use a lot of synths. He pretty much only used over the course of his recordings a handful of synths. CS-80, EMS Synthi, Minimoog, Yamaha YC-45D, Korg Micro-preset, Yamaha DX7 and an ARP 2600 on one song. I know he was a big fan of the Eventide Ultra Harmonizer (which an emulation of was used on my mp3 clip) so that would be my suspicion. My friend and I also ran my CS-80 though the effect and it too sounded other worldly. ;)

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hearteh » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:17 pm

thats true, but i think the eventide was released after that.

i think its a real choir, couldnt it be samples from a fairlight?

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hfinn » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:28 pm

He at that time was not into sampling. I still think the secret is in the processing. He rarely ever used a fairly dry signal.

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by madtheory » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:22 pm

hearteh wrote:thats true, but i think the eventide was released after that.
Nope, 1981, with pitch shifting and rudimentary sampling.

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hearteh » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:43 pm

i meant the h3000, which he was famous for. it was released later

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hfinn » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:59 pm

You're all missing my point. He wasn't into sampling yet and he was into processing. I'm not saying it was even defineitly an Eventide. The number if synths he used over his career is small and well documented. So that would pretty much say a heavely processed DX7 or CS80

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by hfinn » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:01 pm

I also relistened to it and it reeks of a processed DX7. I've gotten very similar sounds out of my old DX7's and DX5. There's also layered sounds going on at the end.

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by Vast Halo » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:28 pm

hfinn wrote:... the Eventide Ultra Harmonizer (which an emulation of was used on my mp3 clip)
It sounds great. Can I ask what this emulator is?

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Re: Brian Eno: An Ending - Celestial Choir Source?

Post by balma » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:40 pm

ENO never had a huge luxury studio, but he's the master. One of those guys that goes very deep into a single instrument and makes a revolution.... I vote for a processed DX7

BTW Ultraharmonizer makes an aparition on the Sci fi movie CONTACT.... when they are getting the message from the space....
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