Japan-later period synths

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calaverasgrande
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Japan-later period synths

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:24 am

I am curious about the synths that Richard Barbieri used in Japan. Specifically the later period stuff. I like all Japan, but the records Tin Drum, Assemblage and Oil on Canvas were in my opinion when they really had their own voice.
From what I gather they used SCI Prophet 5 and maybe a Prophet 10?
I am interested if other Japan fans (or Prophet fans) have had much success getting timbres like these out of the various DSI models?
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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by James Mandible » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:53 am

-I know there's a preset on the Mopho that says "Japan" and I think it's supposed to be one of their songs (kinda like how there's one for Killing Joke and several others) but I haven't tried to figure out which one it is. Something off "Tin Drum" I think. I've never played a Prophet so I can't comment on that.
I always assumed they used Rolands myself.

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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Watching videos of them on you tube there is hardly one synth that shows u repeatedly. Hard to tell though since the vids always focus on Sylvain and Karn (RIP).
I gotta see what the Killing Joke patch sounds like! That's my other favorite British band of that era. Can't think of any other band that used synths quite like them.
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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by James Mandible » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:42 pm

The Killing Joke patch is basically the synth part from this, it's fairly accurate but not quite as strong as the actual thing, which from what I remember reading recently, was an OBX



not really useful for anything but it's fun to have, in case I ever wanted to cover it or something. There's some other cool stuff in there like a pretty dead-on "Switched on Bach"

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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by Micke » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:38 pm

The synths used on Tin Drum (1981) included an Oberheim OB-X, Prophet 5 rev 3 and some Roland system 700 lab.
Contrary to popular belief Barbieri played mainly OBX and Roland 700 on "Tin Drum" and David played mainly Prophet 5. It was after the recording that he got more into Prophets. Most of the P5 programming on the record was done by David Sylvain.

Most of the Oil on Canvas album was recorded live during Japan's final tour in the fall of '82. For the tour Barbieri used the
OB-X and a Prophet 10 while Sylvain and the guest guitarist/keyboardist both handled Prophet 5's. They also used backing
tapes for some of the tracks with a few important rhythmic elements, keyboard patterns and FX on them). Anyway, about
75% of the synth sounds on the tour/album are from the OB-X.

As for the Assemblage compilation album, it contains material from the bands earlier career (recorded between 1978-80).
"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: Japan-later period synths

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:12 pm

Haha, I forgot that Assemblage was a "Hits and Singles" album.
It has been a while since I have owned these records in the real world.
I guess the tonality I am after is the metalic kind of fm-ish sound they had on later recordings.
If it wasn't such a "warm" metallic sound I would assume it was a DX7!
I will have to check out the Mopho or one of it's higher rent cousins.
I wish the Tetra came in a Keyboard version. I really don't like the yellow color of the Mopho!
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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by Micke » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:25 pm

This is one of my absolute favorite Japan songs:

"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: Japan-later period synths

Post by calaverasgrande » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:33 pm

I like the timbres in these vids

and what is this synth we have at the beginning of this vid? OB-X maybe?
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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by Micke » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:55 pm

Yeah, that's definitely the OB-X at the beginning of the 2nd clip (and it looks like the system 700 lab in the background).
"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: Japan-later period synths

Post by visceralvoids » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:58 pm

The more metallic sounding things on Tin Drum, were Prophet 5, using ring-mod or poly-mod. There is lots of Prophet 5 on "Ghosts." Great to see a Japan thread, they're a very good band.

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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by calaverasgrande » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:18 pm

I got into Japan for the bass playing. I stayed for the synths. I am primarily a bass player, though at this point I own more synths than basses, so?
It is kind of funny, I took a lot of ribbing from my friends in high school for listening to Japan and Gary Numan in addition to the standard hardcore punk of the early 80's. Not much of that hardcore punk has stood the test of time, but Japan and Numan I think do.
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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by James Mandible » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:48 am

calaverasgrande wrote:I got into Japan for the bass playing. I stayed for the synths. I am primarily a bass player, though at this point I own more synths than basses, so?
It is kind of funny, I took a lot of ribbing from my friends in high school for listening to Japan and Gary Numan in addition to the standard hardcore punk of the early 80's. Not much of that hardcore punk has stood the test of time, but Japan and Numan I think do.
I'm kind of the same way, but with guitars. Got into synths a few years back, and don't currently even own a guitar. :shock: I'll fix that one of these days, just been too broke to do so.

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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by James Mandible » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:48 am

calaverasgrande wrote:I got into Japan for the bass playing. I stayed for the synths. I am primarily a bass player, though at this point I own more synths than basses, so?
It is kind of funny, I took a lot of ribbing from my friends in high school for listening to Japan and Gary Numan in addition to the standard hardcore punk of the early 80's. Not much of that hardcore punk has stood the test of time, but Japan and Numan I think do.
I'm kind of the same way, but with guitars. Got into synths a few years back, and don't currently even own a guitar. :shock: I'll fix that one of these days, just been too broke to do so.

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Re: Japan-later period synths

Post by Micke » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:13 pm

visceralvoids wrote:The more metallic sounding things on Tin Drum, were Prophet 5, using ring-mod or poly-mod. There is lots of Prophet 5 on "Ghosts." Great to see a Japan thread, they're a very good band.
Ghosts is not all about the P5 though,, the OB-X and system 700 lab are also featured in this song.
"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: Japan-later period synths

Post by Cybercardinal » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:51 pm

Mick Karn on the OB-X (Bass must have been taped?)

What's that little keybaord thingie on top of the OB-X?


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