Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

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Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by rharris07 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:00 pm

I'm sure some of you guys here grew up with the dancey industrial works of Fulber and Leeb. I'm curious - does anyone know the progression of their equipment from say mid to late '80s Front Line Assembly to Synæsthesia to Pro-Tech and then into their more modern (late '90s to early '00s) Delerium project?

I know Delerium was going well before then, but its obvious around the time of Semantic Spaces into Karma that they had changed equipment and style...I was curious what they were using before with all the industrial dance music (especially what samplers they were using for FLA, Synæsthesia, Pro-Tech, Noise Unit, etc.), and then what they transitioned into with the change in sound of Delerium (and FLA for that matter).

Does that make sense? its a tough thing to explain I think - as I'm sure they used TONS of equipment, but to me you don't change your sound so dramatically without a near overhaul of equipment (unless you're just that damn good, and from all I've ever heard/read about Leeb - he isn't that damn good...same for Fulber which is shown in his current awful Conjure One project).

Anyone have any ideas? or perhaps old interviews/articles about their equipment? recording techniques? My guess up front with equipment would be a lot of Ensoniq synths/samplers...am I wrong?

I'm mostly interested in what samplers they used, and HOW they went about actually sampling - how they'd transfer quality samples from movies into their samplers because I'm wanting to start using a sampler, but have no idea how to make it work effectively and efficiently (the tech side, not the creative side of course).

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by memory cords » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:41 pm

I know they used all of the following gear:

Akai S950
Akai S1000
ARP 2600
ARP Odyssey Mark 1
Clavia Nord Lead 1
E-mu Emulator IIIXP
Kawai K4
Korg MS20
Korg MS50
Korg VG10
Kurzweil K2000
Micromoog
Minimoog
Moog Source
Oberheim 4 Voice
Oberheim Xpander
Proteus Modules
Roland D50
Roland MPU401
Roland TB303
Roland TR808
Sequential Pro One
Sequential Prophet VS
Studio Electronics SE1
Waldorf Micro Wave
Yamaha TG77

They also used a lot of high-end outboard effects processors and reverbs on their later albums which makes a significant difference to the sound quality.

I think another reason for the big improvement in their sound on later recordings was the hiring of professional engineers like Greg Reely instead of engineering it all themselves.

Personally I feel that Skinny Puppy and their associated side-projects made much more interesting music than Leeb/Fulber... Leeb/Fulber's material is just repetitive loops, the arrangements are too simplistic and the lyrics are just meaningless cliches strung together. Plus they sample HUGE chunks of other artist's albums without giving credit... Dead Can Dance and Vangelis to name a few.

If you haven't heard it already I strongly recommend you check out the Doubting Thomas album called "The Infidel", it's one of the best ambient electro-industrial albums ever in my opinion and far more varied and advanced musically than anything Leeb/Fulber ever did. Download's "Eyes Of Stanley Pain" is also better than any of the Leeb/Fulber stuff, there's some really imaginative rhythms, samples and sequences on that one.
Last edited by memory cords on Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by nvbrkr » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:08 pm

If you haven't heard it already I strongly recommend you check out
Image

Thread jack!

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by rharris07 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:32 pm

Yeah I've got the doubting thomas releases - i think i have just about all of their solo releases in addition to FLA and Delerium. Pro-Tech and Synæsthesia were always my favorite two, with Plateau following closely.

I do believe Skinny Puppy's material is better, but there are some FLA albums that are pretty damn good. I like Semantic Spaces and Karma from Delerium as far as their more modern sound goes...and I love their old ambient industrial stuff before they changed.

I don't think either one was ever confused with quality songwriters - but h**l I'm not good either at that, so I don't mind that near as much. I just like the sounds they used - I like the arrangements, and I LOVE the movie samples. I've never been very concerned about giving everyone credit for sample usage - some people obsess over that, but I just don't really care. I think I took a different view on it when I learned about the Enigma sample court case years and years ago...I think its all silly. once you put your music out there for the general public, it can be taken any number of ways and one of those ways is to be used to create more music or art or whatever. thats just the way it is. nothing is golden, nothing is sacred. not to me at least. if you don't like how someone else uses the material - don't listen!

but thats enough about that c**p. thank you for giving me that list. I was afraid they might use an Emulator - a sampler I simply cannot afford!!

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by memory cords » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:47 pm

rharris07 wrote:I was afraid they might use an Emulator - a sampler I simply cannot afford!!
I know they used the sampling option of the Kurzweil K2000 a lot, they didn't use the Emulator for everything. The Kurzweil K2xxx series has very powerful sampling facilities and a great sound, you can get them really cheap these days. I strongly recommend them. They were a huge part of Skinny Puppy's sound as well.

As for how they got the samples from the movies I expect they just took the RCA outs from a VHS recorder and then applied some EQ if necessary.

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by krzeppa » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:03 pm

Here are few other things I came across that they have used:

Akai VX600
Clavia Nord Lead 2,
Clavia Nord Micro Modular
Clavia Nord Modular
E-mu Proteus,
Korg Mono/Poly
Oberheim Matrix 6
Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter
Yamaha CS6x
C-Lab Creator
C-Lab Notator
Eventide H3000 S
Eventide H3000 SE
Eventide H3500 DFX
Roland MPU-101

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by Solderman » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:43 pm

Don't forget that the main reason their gearlist became so huge is because their rise in worldwide success just about coincided with the period of time when alot of this gear was cheap, and some of the higher-end stuff belonged to studios, not them. I recall reading somewhere they really favored sampling and layering the older gear, which might be one of many reasons why their music is regarded as repetitive. In fact, I think Rhys Fulber was hired for his sampling and sequencer skills, and had little creative input. I've read that on Caustic Grip, Bill Leeb liked to layer Pro~One and Minimoog for bass, but as samples, not real-time playing.
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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by Zarith » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:58 pm

rharris07 wrote:I'm sure some of you guys here grew up with the dancey industrial works of Fulber and Leeb. I'm curious - does anyone know the progression of their equipment from say mid to late '80s Front Line Assembly to Synæsthesia to Pro-Tech and then into their more modern (late '90s to early '00s) Delerium project?

I know Delerium was going well before then, but its obvious around the time of Semantic Spaces into Karma that they had changed equipment and style...I was curious what they were using before with all the industrial dance music (especially what samplers they were using for FLA, Synæsthesia, Pro-Tech, Noise Unit, etc.), and then what they transitioned into with the change in sound of Delerium (and FLA for that matter).
For Delerium the sound changed in 1995-1996 simply because they started to use a massive amount of samples. Karma is made almost entirely of existing material (from sample libraries and/or other artists). Two tracks are even remixed Dead Can Dance songs.

It was the same with Frontline Assembly. Flavor of The Weak and Implode were both build out of samples: from Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Massive attacks and dozens of movie Soundtracks.

The most obvious ones are listed here: http://mindphaser.com/index.php?page_id=43

It was not a progression in equipment but a radical change of method.
rharris07 wrote: I'm mostly interested in what samplers they used, and HOW they went about actually sampling - how they'd transfer quality samples from movies into their samplers because I'm wanting to start using a sampler, but have no idea how to make it work effectively and efficiently (the tech side, not the creative side of course).
There's nothing technically difficult in sampling a movie audio track. In the 90ies, Bill Leeb recorded straight from his Laserdiscs. He didn't use that much audio processing afterwards, just a bit of delay/reverb.

Today you can just rip the audio from a DVD.

Bill and Rhys use Pro-Tools now, they don't use stand alone samplers anymore.

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by rharris07 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:14 am

memory cords wrote: I know they used the sampling option of the Kurzweil K2000 a lot, they didn't use the Emulator for everything. The Kurzweil K2xxx series has very powerful sampling facilities and a great sound, you can get them really cheap these days. I strongly recommend them. They were a huge part of Skinny Puppy's sound as well.

awesome, thank you for that suggestion....i've never once looked at kurzweil in my life. now...anyone got a K2000s for sale? heh.

Also - the comments about them switching over to using a lot of loops and such - you're right, i didn't quite think about them doing that, though I do remember a plethora of recognizable pieces when I use to listen to those albums more often. So I guess what I need is a quality sampler, an eventide H8000 and a good collection of records?

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by implant » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:14 pm

During the making of Hardwired they used Akai samplers for drum kits, which in their opinion the akai's had a harder sound to them making em preferable for drum programming. The k2000s was used for everything else in the sampling realm in fact fulber aside from doing all the sample editing work used just the k2000 for certain side projects for synth sounds. The VAST synth engine in all k2's is very powerful and really lends itself to in depth programming and sample manipulation. alot of the really heavily modulated sounds u hear on puppy/download/fla in the past come from the kurzweil synths not the modulars they own.
yes bill leeb would need an eventide to sound kool he should be spokesman!

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by Seracs » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:29 pm

Is it wrong to say that Front Line Assembly albums have been hour long Eventide commercials for about fifteen years now?

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Re: Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber - Transitions in Equipment

Post by Computer Controlled » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:01 am

Rhys also used an Oberheim OBM-X for the bass sounds on Hard Wired. Which, to me, is their best release. Now it all sounds like Delirium.
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