Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

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Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by Micke » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:43 pm

I have been listening to a lot of Vince DiCola lately, in particular his synth-heavy score to "Transformers..The Movie" (1986)
which IMO is his best synth score. :thumbleft:

Transformers...The Movie (1986)



Music composed and performed by Vince DiCola.
Synthesizer programming by Casey Young

The synths/gear used in the making of this soundtrack include the following!

Moog Modular system 55
Moog Minimoog
E-MU Modular (huge system comprising of 5 cabinets, the largest E-mu system I've ever seen!)
E-MU Blue Box 16 voice polyphonic synthesizer
E-MU Emulator 1 & II
Custom Oberheim 8-voice modular with an EMU 4060 polyphonic keyboard/sequencer
Oberheim OB-X
ROLAND Jupiter 8
YAMAHA DX-7
YAMAHA TX-816
PPG Wave
Linn 9000

That's a very impressive gearlist to say the least :shock:

Some interesting comments from composer Vince Di Cola:

"Regarding the Oberheim modular synth, that is definitely the name of the synthesizer my good friend (and synth programmer extraordinaire) Casey Young brought to the sessions for all 3 major movies in which I was involved with the music... "Staying Alive", "Rocky IV" and "Transformers: The Movie". (Casey also owns the Moog and Emu modular synths that were used on those projects.) I don't recall the number of voices on each of the modular synths we used, but I can tell you that it was pure ecstasy to play these magnificent instruments and have an opportunity to incorporate their awesome sound into my movie (and other) work. It must be mentioned, however, that having access to the gear itself is one thing (and actually less than half the battle)... It's the programmer/sound designer who makes a big difference, and Casey Young is excellent at what he does and has always had a great musical sensibility when it comes to creating the best (not to mention the most inspiring) starting point for a particular sound/part we're working on at any given time, and then following through with all the editing that's often required to get all parts to 'sit' in the track just right. Casey was never one to rely heavily on synth presets, as so many synth programmers back in the day seemed to be and so many so-called "sound designers" are today - and maybe more so now than ever before. For better or worse, Casey taught me the value of 'tweaking', and that's how I still approach all my programming/sound design work.)

Obviously, synths played a much bigger and more central role in my Transformers score than they did on my Rocky IV material. Since I was forced to come up with so much music in a comparatively short amount of time for Transformers, Casey and his gear played a more more crucial role in that music. We had a blast, though, and I miss the days of reaching up and manipulating all those knobs, switches, faders, etc., and coming up with so many different sounds, each of which have their own character and charm.

Casey Young quickly became a valued member of my 'team', I learned a lot from him, and I still have a strong affinity for synthesizers in general - analog AND digital."


To conclude, here are some pics of Casey's vintage synths:

ImageImage

ImageImage
Last edited by Micke on Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by philip » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:29 pm

very interesting

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by Skwege » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:15 pm

I remember seeing this movie in theaters in 1986. The moment I walked out of the theater I just knew I wanted to play and program synthesizers.

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by D-Collector » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:19 pm

Micke wrote:I have been listening to a lot of Vince DiCola lately, in particular his synth-heavy score to "Transformers..The Movie" (1986)
which IMO is his best synth score. :thumbleft:
+1 000 000

The synth work in Transformers is awesome. For a long time I didn't even know about it, since I am not a Transformers fan. But the score stands on it's own legs, and since I got the first score release some years ago and more recently the 'Till All Are One deluxe score CD, Vince DiCola has been on my hi-fi almost every day! His music is truly inspiring.

And of course all true fans of his has got the excellent full score release from Rocky IV that Intrada released this year. If not, buy it at once!

Great post Micke!!

:D

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by Virgule » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:23 am

His music in Staying Alive is much in the same same vein as Rocky and TF also..fantastic player
Unicron's theme is actually reworked from Rocky IV's Drago's Suite, as it's called (not in the OST, used to only be heard in the movie).

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by StepLogik » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:48 am

wow @ that gear list!

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by Micke » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:55 pm

Apparently Casey Young didn't get a Synclavier until after Transformers was recorded so I removed it from
the gearlist I posted above. The FM-ish sounds are most likely from the DX-7/TX-816 then, though
some of those sounds are probably PPG as well.

The music for "Transformers: the movie" was recorded around the spring of 1986 so I'm not totally sure the Prophet VS
made it onto this score either. Afaik the VS hit the streets in the early summer of that year so it's difficult
to know for sure.
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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by ninja6485 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:16 pm

i was just thinking about this actually - wondering what synths they used to make the soundtrack. now i know...
i've alwayse been a big fan of this one from the soundtrack with N.R.G and kick axe (aka spectre general):
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by Micke » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:28 pm

Casey's E-mu modular system was truly massive in size (he still owns parts of it), probably the largest (E-mu) system ever
put together.

I was told by Casey that he bought Patrick Gleeson's E-mu modular, E-mu Blue box and the two single-keyboard P10's back in 1980. At the time he already had a big E-mu system so he sold the modules he didn't need from Gleeson's instrument and added the rest of the modules to the stuff he already had, making for a giant E-mu modular comprising of three main cabinets and two top-cabinets (see pics above). He also had three EMU 4060 polyphonic keyboard controllers, one of which was used with the two Oberheim 8-voice modulars.
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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by loungedumore » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:18 am

Thanks for reminding me of this . This Movie , Terminator , Christine , some floyd and in the air tonight are all part of what got me interested in synths as a kid .
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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by mharris80 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:50 pm

Ah memories. Back when I was a kid, the only thing I was more obsessed with than Transformers was Nintendo. I still have the movie on DVD. Kinda OT, but I was really impressed with some of the voice talent they were able to secure for the movie, especially Orson Wells as Unicron.

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by ninja6485 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:41 pm

mharris80 wrote:Ah memories. Back when I was a kid, the only thing I was more obsessed with than Transformers was Nintendo. I still have the movie on DVD. Kinda OT, but I was really impressed with some of the voice talent they were able to secure for the movie, especially Orson Wells as Unicron.
:!: the voice acting is superb. leonard nimoy was galvatron! not to metnion the guy that does starscream and i think cobra commander from gi joe. that guy rules...
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by mharris80 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:55 pm

ninja6485 wrote:
mharris80 wrote:Ah memories. Back when I was a kid, the only thing I was more obsessed with than Transformers was Nintendo. I still have the movie on DVD. Kinda OT, but I was really impressed with some of the voice talent they were able to secure for the movie, especially Orson Wells as Unicron.
:!: the voice acting is superb. leonard nimoy was galvatron! not to metnion the guy that does starscream and i think cobra commander from gi joe. that guy rules...
Yeah, same guy who did Cobra Commander. Also forgot to mention Robert Stack as Ultra Magnus, and Judd Nelson as Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime.

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Re: Vince DiCola's "Transformers...The Movie" OST

Post by rharris07 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:39 am

Wow, what a great post Micke. Thank you so much.

I have my VHS copy from when I was a kid, and I have it stored away somewhere around here with all the other cartoon movies I collected as a kid...but I hadn't watched it in many years, and had no memory of the soundtrack. I'll definitely have to fish this tape out to watch with my son now.

Any chance anyone has any info on the soundtrack for the Gobots: Battle of the Rocklords movie? It came out around the same time...I can't find much of anything about it, but I remember loving that damn movie. Probably because some of the backgrounds in it looked a lot like He-Man. I'm not sure even who could have been the film score composer for this cartoon movie, but I do remember it sounding very similar to Transformers and He-Man...so I would have to assume it was something similar in terms of synth use...

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