Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by cornutt » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:50 am

Micke wrote:
Usually he would play the lower half of the keyboard with the bass pedals and the upper half with his hand(s), but
I noticed in the live footage from the EXIT..Stage Left Tour (late 1981) that he sometimes played high string parts
with the Taurus pedals (triggering the 8-voice) at the same time as he played the bass guitar.
There's a good example of that in "Freewill": the single-note string line in the four (?) bars that precede each of the two verses.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by Micke » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:39 pm

cornutt wrote:
Micke wrote:
Usually he would play the lower half of the keyboard with the bass pedals and the upper half with his hand(s), but
I noticed in the live footage from the EXIT..Stage Left Tour (late 1981) that he sometimes played high string parts
with the Taurus pedals (triggering the 8-voice) at the same time as he played the bass guitar.
There's a good example of that in "Freewill": the single-note string line in the four (?) bars that precede each of the two verses.
Yeah, and Tom Sawyer is another example of this. Btw, I just watched the Grace Under pressure live DVD and
noticed that Alex Lifeson plays the bass filter sweeps and single-note string lines with his feet. Like Geddy,
he used two sets of Taurus pedals during the '84 tour (as well as two 120-program OB-Xa's with two DSX's!).
One of the OB-Xa's was interfaced with a set of bass pedals like Geddy's setup, and the other played sequences
triggered from a remote pedal.

concert.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by cornutt » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:35 am

Interesting. I don't recall seeing Alex do that on the Moving Pictures tour, but I was sitting in the nosebleed section of the old Atlanta Omni, over on Geddy's side, so I may have missed it. Rush always had that thing about not recording anything that they couldn't play live (with a few exceptions, like "Witch Hunt"), so I'll bet there are a lot of those single-note lines in various places over the Permanent Waves-to-Power Windows period. I do recall Alex playing the bass pedal part at the end of Cygnus X-1 (just before the unaccompanied guitar fade-out).

Geddy was not that big on huge dense chords anyway. Maybe that comes from having learned on a Minimoog. What he preferred to do, when he wanted to fill up space, was to program a big fat patch and then play single- or two-note lines. He had a talent for making his synths sound really big when he wanted to. Consider, for example, the chorus of "Analog Kid".
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by Micke » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:23 pm

cornutt wrote:Interesting. I don't recall seeing Alex do that on the Moving Pictures tour, but I was sitting in the nosebleed section of the old Atlanta Omni, over on Geddy's side, so I may have missed it.
I don't think you missed it because on the earlier tours Geddy handled most of the synthh parts. To the best of
my knowledge the GUP tour was the first tour where Alex joined Geddy on synths, using the setup I described above.
Afaik, on the MP and EXIT...Stage Left tours Geddy played both the bass filter sweeps (OB-X) and the single-note string
lines (Taurus pedals triggering the 8-voice) on Tom Sawyer.

Geddy was not that big on huge dense chords anyway. Maybe that comes from having learned on a Minimoog. What he preferred to do, when he wanted to fill up space, was to program a big fat patch and then play single- or two-note lines. He had a talent for making his synths sound really big when he wanted to. Consider, for example, the chorus of "Analog Kid".
It looks like Geddy played that part on the OB-Xa during the Signals tour. The pads on the studio version sound a lot bigger
though so I guess he double-tracked the chords and panned them L/R for a stereo effect also.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by slippast » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:26 am

Awesome thread guys. I'm another Rush fan who got into keyboards as a result of the Moving Pictures era music. I never researched Geddy's gear until much later. Which is a bummer considering how much I wasted on dumb romplers when I could've been getting great vintage stuff for cheap when it was out of vogue.

Anyway, I appreciate all of the info here. Seems like those guys really ran a tight ship on their tours but I'll be that analog gear was a nightmare. I can't wait to hear what else you guys dig up. Thanks!

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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by cornutt » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:26 am

Micke wrote:
cornutt wrote:Interesting. I don't recall seeing Alex do that on the Moving Pictures tour, but I was sitting in the nosebleed section of the old Atlanta Omni, over on Geddy's side, so I may have missed it.
I don't think you missed it because on the earlier tours Geddy handled most of the synthh parts. To the best of
my knowledge the GUP tour was the first tour where Alex joined Geddy on synths, using the setup I described above.
It looks like Geddy played that part on the OB-Xa during the Signals tour. The pads on the studio version sound a lot bigger
though so I guess he double-tracked the chords and panned them L/R for a stereo effect also.[/quote]

Ah, okay, thanks. There was one synth Alex did earlier... the Roland GS500 guitar synth part on "Hemispheres". It's the pad sound behind the vocals on the Cygnus X-1 reprise (the "I have memory and awareness..." bit). That was the only time I ever saw one of those beasts on a stage. At the time it was a pretty bizarre thing to see... Alex plays a note; nothing happens right away, then this big pad swells up... Alex only used it on that tour. He said in an interview later that it was a PITA to play and required constant maintenance.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by iProg » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:04 am

I can confirm that the JP-8 is doing the bassline on Red Sector A.

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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:20 pm

cornutt wrote:Ah, okay, thanks. There was one synth Alex did earlier... the Roland GS500 guitar synth part on "Hemispheres". It's the pad sound behind the vocals on the Cygnus X-1 reprise (the "I have memory and awareness..." bit). That was the only time I ever saw one of those beasts on a stage. At the time it was a pretty bizarre thing to see... Alex plays a note; nothing happens right away, then this big pad swells up... Alex only used it on that tour. He said in an interview later that it was a PITA to play and required constant maintenance.
Ah, that makes sense. I have a couple of good soundboard recordings from that tour and you can hear the GS500 during that part of "Cygnus X-1: Book II". It doesn't really sound like what I associate with a guitar synth but it sounds cool. You can hear it below at about 4:45. There's also a lot of what we've been talking about earlier in the topic, such as Geddy triggering higher notes from either the 8-Voice or the Moog (sounds like Moog to me) and then at 3:30 a wicked 8-Voice pad.



I really wish Rush would go to the archives and release some of the rarer live stuff. Most of Hemispheres was never heard on the official live albums.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by iProg » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:56 pm

Z wrote:Not sure about Geddy using a JP-8, but I do believe the 808 was used for synching sequencers & arpeggiators.

Can't rememeber what year Grace Under Pressure came out, but there's some great PPG Wave on that album.
The JP-8 is used prominently on Power Windows, especially the blast brass sound on "The Big Money" , "Territories" and "Marathon"

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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by Micke » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:48 pm

cornutt wrote:
Ah, okay, thanks. There was one synth Alex did earlier... the Roland GS500 guitar synth part on "Hemispheres". It's the pad sound behind the vocals on the Cygnus X-1 reprise (the "I have memory and awareness..." bit). That was the only time I ever saw one of those beasts on a stage. At the time it was a pretty bizarre thing to see... Alex plays a note; nothing happens right away, then this big pad swells up... Alex only used it on that tour. He said in an interview later that it was a PITA to play and required constant maintenance.
Cool! I wasn't aware of that Alex used a GS500 on "Hemispheres". Do you know if he used it on the album too?

Here's another good example of the GS500 in action:



Steve Hackett does the big pad sound that kicks in at 0:53 with his GS500. I think it sounds great!
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by cornutt » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:01 am

Micke wrote:
Cool! I wasn't aware of that Alex used a GS500 on "Hemispheres". Do you know if he used it on the album too?
Pretty sure. IIRC it's credited in the liner notes, and when he used it live it sounded exactly like the recording.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by cornutt » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:06 am

Since we're talking about both Geddy and Alex, I've always wondered about that huge guitar/synth blended sound from "The Camera Eye". I've tried to sort out everything that's going on in there and duplicate the sound, and I've never quite gotten it. There's obviously guitar, and Taurus pedals in there, and I think there's some kind of narrow-pulse mid-bass patch (maybe from the OBX?) riding in between. And then there's some other synth thickening, maybe something that doubles the guitar, that I've never worked out. I don't think Alex used a guitar synth on that album.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by iProg » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:37 pm

cornutt wrote:Since we're talking about both Geddy and Alex, I've always wondered about that huge guitar/synth blended sound from "The Camera Eye". I've tried to sort out everything that's going on in there and duplicate the sound, and I've never quite gotten it. There's obviously guitar, and Taurus pedals in there, and I think there's some kind of narrow-pulse mid-bass patch (maybe from the OBX?) riding in between. And then there's some other synth thickening, maybe something that doubles the guitar, that I've never worked out. I don't think Alex used a guitar synth on that album.
Taurus pedals, OB-X and both acoustic and electric guitars layered truly provides a fat sound! ;)

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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by Micke » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:05 pm

cornutt wrote:Since we're talking about both Geddy and Alex, I've always wondered about that huge guitar/synth blended sound from "The Camera Eye". I've tried to sort out everything that's going on in there and duplicate the sound, and I've never quite gotten it. There's obviously guitar, and Taurus pedals in there, and I think there's some kind of narrow-pulse mid-bass patch (maybe from the OBX?) riding in between. And then there's some other synth thickening, maybe something that doubles the guitar, that I've never worked out. I don't think Alex used a guitar synth on that album.
I believe the big textures are layers of Alex's guitar, big block chords from the OB-X and Moog Taurus.

Except for the brief footage featured on the EXIT..Stage Left video**, the videoclip below is the only live footage I could find (from the Signals tour) where they perform "The Camera Eye" and it looks like Geddy is playing the OB-X for the most part. You can't actually see the OB-X due to the poor video quality but we do know from the Signals tourbook equipment list that he still used it throughout that tour (sep '82 to July '83). Also, in one of the live pics posted earlier in this thread (Signals tour) the OB-X can clearly be seen underneath the Minimoog. I reckon the 8-voice may have been part of those textures too, at least on the studio version which was recorded for the Moving Pictures album back in the fall of '80.

Rush - The Camera Eye 4-8-1983



** In the EXIT...Stage Left video, Geddy can be seen playing the synth chords at the beginning of "Camera Eye" on the OB-X.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by themilford » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:15 pm

Yeah, The Camera Eye... one of my favorite keyboard sounds in a Rush tune. LOVE that S&H sound on the intros...

So, are the pedals doing the S&H sound, or the OB-X? If so he's got a split going on the OB-X.

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