Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

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ItalianStallion81
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Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

Post by ItalianStallion81 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:41 am

We know as a fact that Pete Townshend used the ARP 2500 or 2600 synthesizer on two Who albums from the 1970s: 1971's Who's Next and 1973's Quadrophenia plus a handful of songs from 1978's Who Are You. But the whole topic lies around the violin tracks heard on all the songs on the Quadrophenia album, and those songs include:

Quadrophenia (song)
The Dirty Jobs
Doctor Jimmy
The Rock
Love, Reign O'er Me

I intend to know how he came up with making an arpeggiated violin patch on the ARP 2500 or 2600. I know for several songs from Who's Next and other albums featuring songs he intended to use for the Lifehouse concept album, that he also used a Lowrey TBO-1 Berkshire organ as well as an EMS VCS-3 synthesizer.

So, what I want to know is whether or not the arpeggiated violin tracks heard on the songs "Quadrophenia," "The Dirty Jobs," and the last three songs that close out side four of the album, that I can use the ARP String Ensemble Synthesizer for the violin parts and, for the synth brass parts on "The Rock," the ARP Odyssey?

Thank you,



Ben

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Re: Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

Post by Micke » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:57 pm

Quadrophenia
Pete’s use of synthesizers is heavily employed as orchestration on 1973’s Quadrophenia.

The string sounds on Quadrophenia, according to Pete:

For Quadrophenia, and the string sounds for the Tommy movie soundtrack that I did straight afterwards, I used a combination of real violin (that I played myself, sometimes set up to open tunings to suit the track) and sounds from a combination of subtractive synth “chains” I set up on my ARP 2500 studio synthesizer. I was able to produce between six to eight of these “chains” at once, each one a single violin emulation. I used keyboard to state the note, but I produced the output by “bowing” one side of a ring modulator using a potentiometer with a knitting needle stuck into the shaft — the other side of the ring-mod of course had the combined six violin sounds passing through it. I probably took down four tracks of that, giving me a section of 24 to 32 “violins”. The real violin simply added “rosin”. I used that trick on a track on the latest Who album Endless Wire — listen to “Two Thousand Years” and you can hear Vienna strings combined with violin, viol and basic cello that I mixed in to create the “rosin”. It sounds hokey, but it’s really fun to do."

http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/arp.html
(scroll down to the middle of the page)

I hope this answers your question
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Re: Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:22 pm

Interesting stuff. I've listened to that album many times and some parts sound like a real violin while others sound synthesized.
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Re: Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

Post by ItalianStallion81 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:09 pm

Micke wrote:Quadrophenia
Pete’s use of synthesizers is heavily employed as orchestration on 1973’s Quadrophenia.

The string sounds on Quadrophenia, according to Pete:

For Quadrophenia, and the string sounds for the Tommy movie soundtrack that I did straight afterwards, I used a combination of real violin (that I played myself, sometimes set up to open tunings to suit the track) and sounds from a combination of subtractive synth “chains” I set up on my ARP 2500 studio synthesizer. I was able to produce between six to eight of these “chains” at once, each one a single violin emulation. I used keyboard to state the note, but I produced the output by “bowing” one side of a ring modulator using a potentiometer with a knitting needle stuck into the shaft — the other side of the ring-mod of course had the combined six violin sounds passing through it. I probably took down four tracks of that, giving me a section of 24 to 32 “violins”. The real violin simply added “rosin”. I used that trick on a track on the latest Who album Endless Wire — listen to “Two Thousand Years” and you can hear Vienna strings combined with violin, viol and basic cello that I mixed in to create the “rosin”. It sounds hokey, but it’s really fun to do."

http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/arp.html
(scroll down to the middle of the page)

I hope this answers your question
I wonder if the whole complexity of combining both the real violin as well as the synthesized string parts mean anything as to why the Quadrophenia tour was unsuccessful the first time around? Too bad drummer Keith Moon couldn't be there for the 1996-97 Quadrophenia tour.

~Ben

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Re: Violin Tracks on "Quadrophenia" - What ARP Synth?

Post by tim gueguen » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:53 pm

The Who in general in the '70s and early '80s had trouble incorporating the synth sounds off their records into live work. They used tape of the "Won't Get Fooled Again" synth parts, and regularly had the tapes fail in one way or another.
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