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 themilford » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:41 pm

iProg wrote:
themilford wrote:
iProg wrote:
The B minor - G-major - A-major chord sequencer is played with layered Oberheim sounds.
The first layer is the same as in the beginning and the higher octave layer is a preset Geddy Used for choir in the chorus in "The Analog Kid", the following track on the album.
Could you elaborate on this... I know the OB-X was the main synth on this track as seen from live footage and the music video. I know the OB-Xa was off to his left with the sequencer and the Jupiter. Would the OB-x be triggering the sequencer somehow? How did they sync a sequencer this way? Or was the Ob-X just layered with the Ob-Xa or the Jupiter? The chords just seem layered to me... Not a separate sequence.
Haha, sorry, I wrote sequencer instead of chord sequence. On the studio version it is just two layers of OB-X, but he might have played it live with the layer function on the OB-Xa.
Are you eluding that the sound(s) used in these songs were factory OB-X presets? Hmmmm interesting. Also, are you sure it's two separate layers of OB-X... he did have a JP8 and the 8-voice in his stable... for the recording at least.

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

Post by themilford » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Oh, snap... he had both the OBx and OBXa on Signals... maybe that's it?

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

Post by themilford » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:04 pm

Bump.

Let's talk some more about Geddy and his synths. 8-)

I'm still trying to figure out which OBs where doing what on MP and Signals.

Also, when they mention the 1984 rig and the two DSXs with Taurus pedals... this must be the final version of the pre-midi interfacing. How would he have interfaced DSXs with Taurus pedals? DSX has CV right? so they must be using Taurus with CV control.

Finally, the more I listen to Subdivisions (and a lot or Signals for that matter) the more I hear some sort of chorus on the synths... and not just detuning/layering. Am I crazy?

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

Post by Z » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:43 pm

themilford wrote:OK... Let's just frackin listen to this one.... So awesome:



So, OB-X or 8-voice? What's doing what? Taurus drone or the OB on bass? sounds like there are two "bass" sounds anyway... OB and taurus. The OB has the S&H thing going and after the drums come in it goes away... then it comes back in before the break.
The drone is unmistakably the Taurus. But around 1:50, you hear another bass sound with high filter resonance which is most likely the OB-X

@ 8:53, I always thought "Hello" was a burp and then someone saying "What was that for?"

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

Post by ronP » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:39 am

.


GEDDY LEE described the OBERHEIM 8 Voice as a "WHITE ELEPHANT" (literally!) and phased it out after recording Moving Pictures. The OB-X was his main poly axe on Moving Pictures and Signals and was the one that he performed manually on stage. Signals added an OB-Xa to the side for sequences. The ROLAND Jupiter 8 was his arpeggiated bassline machine and brass blaster from Signals through Power Windows. The PPG replaced the OB-X on Grace Under Pressure amd the YAMAHA DX7 replaced the MiniMoog on Power Windows.

ULTRAVOX was a huge influence on RUSH and probably why he chose PPG over, say, the FAIRLIGHT (so glad he did because the PPG's timbre was a perfect fit).

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

Post by Micke » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

The OB-Xa was also used in conjunction with the Moog Taurus pedals from Signals onwards. Says Tony Geranios (Geddy's synth tech): "He also has two sets of Taurus bass pedals, one underneath the PPG and the other at the front mike location. When he depresses a pedal, he not only gets the bass pedal sound itself, he also gets the program that's up on the OB-Xa. He can play two synthesizers at the same time with just his feet! in addition, I've put switches on the bass pedals which allow Geddy to choose one of three octaves on the OB-Xa that the pedals will trigger. He can use the lower octave, the middle octave, or the top octave of the keyboard. Alex has two 120-program OB-Xas with two DSXs. One of the OB-Xas is interfaced with a set of bass pedals like Geddy's setup, and the other just plays sequences triggered from a remote pedal."
(source: keyboard magazine september 1984)

Here's the complete Keyboard interview/article (which includes some excellent pics of Geddy's rigs):
http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/rush/key ... 9.1984.php
"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: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by themilford » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:34 pm

Thanks Micke... I know I can always count on you. ;-)

So the DSX have CV control right? Geddy's Taurus were modified by Geranios earlier to have CV i/o as part of their whole integration system circa 1978. But how are they going from the Taurus to the DSX or OB? does the DSX have CV input?

Also, any thoughts on the use of outboard chorus on synths in this era?

It also mentions in that article that Geddy would sometimes run synths out through PA cabs and mic them as apposed to direct.

How do you go about looking for those unique, special sounds that inspire songs?

I usually start with some other sound that gets me going. When I'm in the studio, I'll go through a hundred sounds until find something that's a trigger for me. When I find something that's in the ballpark, I start playing with it; change the shape of the envelope, start changing the wavetable a bit. I play around with a lot of variations until I get the sound that moves me. Then, once I get a sound that's close, I start playing around with the acoustic environment, because how it's recorded is very important. When you put a synthesizer directly into a [mixing] board and then directly onto tape, the sound is not moving in the air and sounds sterile. For me, it's very important that it go through some sort of speaker. I like putting it through speakers and miking it. If you go direct, it sounds too close. I want to push it back a bit and hear it bouncing off some walls. It feels a little more like it's a person playing an instrument in a room. It's coming from some sort of environment instead of *blotto* - there it is. If you go direct, you have to use toys like reverb and chorus units. There's also a very interesting unit out now called the Quantec Room Simulator which puts the sound into a space where you can define the dimensions of a room. It's a pretty sophisticated toy, but putting the signal through a speaker in the studio and miking it works just as well.

Do you change the size of the speaker cabinets in order to alter the sound?

Yeah, on this album [Grace Under Pressure] we experimented a lot with small cabinets. Sometimes we put the synthesizers screaming loud through two big JBL monitors and miked them from twenty feet back. We used that effect on "The Enemy Within" for the melody parts.

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

Post by Micke » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:41 pm

You're welcome themilford. The DSX does feature 8 CV and Gate outputs plus the Oberheim Digital interface. I don't think there was a connection between the Taurus and DSX, I just don't see why he would need a link between those. I too would like to know how the Taurus interfaced with the OB-Xa seeing as the latter didn't have CV/gate.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:00 am

I know this is a bit old, but I've been reading up on Geddy's synths a lot lately, and really fascinated by all of it.

I'm trying to figure out though if he used one of his Synths for the Choir sound on the chorus on Analog Kid, or something else. I would think the OB-X, OB-Xa or the Jupiter, but I haven't heard either of those make a Choir sound like that.

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

Post by themilford » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:27 pm

OB-XaMinimoog wrote:I know this is a bit old, but I've been reading up on Geddy's synths a lot lately, and really fascinated by all of it.

I'm trying to figure out though if he used one of his Synths for the Choir sound on the chorus on Analog Kid, or something else. I would think the OB-X, OB-Xa or the Jupiter, but I haven't heard either of those make a Choir sound like that.
Good freaking question. But are we sure those synths can't do that patch? It's not THAT complex of a choir sound... maybe it's just a layer from the OB-Xa to ad that upper shimmery octave.

Durring the solo you can hear what seems like a single-note version of that sound. If it's the same patch than is prolly easy to do on either the OB or the J8

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

Post by Micke » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:49 pm

FWIW, in the live footage from the Signals tour it looks like Geddy plays the voicy chords on the OB-Xa.
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Re: Let's Dissect Geddy Lee's Use of Synthesizers; '82 - 84'

Post by themilford » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Micke wrote:FWIW, in the live footage from the Signals tour it looks like Geddy plays the voicy chords on the OB-Xa.
Nice!

That choir sound is a tad more prominent on Analog Kid than on Subdivisions where it's sorta layered in with the main sound. If I remember correctly Ged played Subdivisions from the OB-X (facing house). I think in Subdivisions he also doubles some stuff on the Taurus so maybe he needs to be in front whereas for Analog Kid he needs to be at the OB-Xa (facing stage-left) for the layers or maybe there's some JP8 in there too... or DSX stuff going on.

I dunno. Think we could somehow land an interview with Ged for the definitive 80s keyboard Q&A? Prolly would need Jack Secret there too... ;-)

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

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:25 am

Micke wrote:You're welcome themilford. The DSX does feature 8 CV and Gate outputs plus the Oberheim Digital interface. I don't think there was a connection between the Taurus and DSX, I just don't see why he would need a link between those. I too would like to know how the Taurus interfaced with the OB-Xa seeing as the latter didn't have CV/gate.
I found an audio interview with Tony and he explained how he interfaced the Taurus. He added an extra row of contacts with diodes inside the Taurus and connected it by splitting right into the keyboard harness. It actually sounds kind of simple, almost like he basically just extended the keyboard. He doesn't say how he was able to switch between the 3 keyboard octaves, though, which I'm curious to know how he did that.

Actually in the interview he said thats how he did it on the giant 8 Voice/Minimoog machine that they used in the late 70s up until after Moving Pictures. But I'd imagine he did it the same way or similarly on the OB-Xa.

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

Post by OB-XaMinimoog » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:39 am

themilford wrote:
Micke wrote:FWIW, in the live footage from the Signals tour it looks like Geddy plays the voicy chords on the OB-Xa.
Nice!

That choir sound is a tad more prominent on Analog Kid than on Subdivisions where it's sorta layered in with the main sound. If I remember correctly Ged played Subdivisions from the OB-X (facing house). I think in Subdivisions he also doubles some stuff on the Taurus so maybe he needs to be in front whereas for Analog Kid he needs to be at the OB-Xa (facing stage-left) for the layers or maybe there's some JP8 in there too... or DSX stuff going on.

I dunno. Think we could somehow land an interview with Ged for the definitive 80s keyboard Q&A? Prolly would need Jack Secret there too... ;-)
Yeah on Subdivisions he plays Bass on the Taurus pedals except on the per-choruses and the guitar solo.

I'd like to see him talk about the Synths he used on Signals. Thats my favorite synth album (and favorite album of theirs in general) by them just because of the really lush, fat synth sounds on that album. The PPG sounded really cool on GUP but I love the sounds of the Oberheims on Signals.
themilford wrote:Good freaking question. But are we sure those synths can't do that patch? It's not THAT complex of a choir sound... maybe it's just a layer from the OB-Xa to ad that upper shimmery octave.

Durring the solo you can hear what seems like a single-note version of that sound. If it's the same patch than is prolly easy to do on either the OB or the J8
I was just wondering because I haven't really toyed with an OB (despite my username lol) and all the demos I've seen of OBs the supposed Choir sound sounded more like Strings/Pad, not really like the Chorus on The Analog Kid. But like I've said, I've never really toyed with one so I don't know for sure.

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

Post by tim gueguen » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:25 am

This should be of interest.

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