What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

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What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by xenomorph313 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:17 am

Anyone know what synth is used to produce the synth-brass sound playing right after Deckard tests the female to see if she is a replicant? It's during an outdoor golden skyscraper corporate headquarters scene, when the clouds and horizon-line footage goes into time-lapse video mode.

It sounds like Vangelis a bit, maybe that's who actually recorded the score for that movie?

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by hyphen nation » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:25 am

Vangelis, CS80?

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by tim gueguen » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:09 pm

That's one of the most talked about early '80s electronic soundtracks, including on here as a quick search will discover.
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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by philip » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:44 pm

Nice and Naive question))

Yamaha CS80 and Roland vp330, if it's Vangelis
Last edited by philip on Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by philip » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:46 pm

I would better ask what kind of reverb did he use/..

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by kerpan » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:15 pm

He used a Midiverb 3 for reverbs.
wait no... I used a Midiverb 3 for reverbs.
My bad... ;)

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by xenomorph313 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:44 am

tim gueguen wrote:That's one of the most talked about early '80s electronic soundtracks, including on here as a quick search will discover.
Why not just post some sort of substantive information regarding the instruments used?
I mean is it really that hard to type C-S-8-0?
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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by visceralvoids » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:50 am

Looks like this question has been pretty much answered.
Synth-brass + Vangelis + Blade Runner = Yamaha CS-80

Image

He used it all over that soundtrack.

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by SKINNYPIG » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:11 am

philip wrote:I would better ask what kind of reverb did he use/..
Wasn't Nemo Studios famous for it's massive reverb tank!?

Vangelis (love him as I do) is pretty much a CS80 with a big bearded Greek guy attached to it :lol:

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by Micke » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Vangelis used the following reverbs around the time of BR:
Lexicon 224 digital reverb
Master Room spring reverb
AKG BX-25 spring reverb
"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: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by knolan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:02 am

Actually - I know this will read a bit controversial - but there is a 50/50 chance that that famous blues solo, regarded as iconic Vangelis CS80, is actually not a CS80 but instead a CS40M.

I own both (in fact I own two mint condition CS40Ms and three KSR restored CS80s) - and I know the CS40M particularly well. So when I listen to that solo, it sounds a little more like a CS40M than a CS80 to me.

Furthermore, I believe two clues support this. Firstly, if you listen carefully to some of the faster parts of the solo, it sounds like notes are cut off as with a mono-synth (OK CS40M is duophonic but it can be played in Unison mode - which stacks 4 VCO's and even further suggests CS40M on that track). Secondly, the vibrato modulation is much more like that of a modulation wheel than either ribbon controller or Aftertouch.

And remember - Vangelis used the CS40M at that time for several of his most bluesy solo lines - all solo parts on "He is Sailing" and "Horizon" on the Jon and Vangelis album "Private Collections" - and I strongly believe (but can't verify) the solos on the signature track "See You later" from the album of that name.

So I am becoming more and more convinced that the bluesy piece on Blade Runner is CS40M and not CS80 after all.

Kevin.

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by Micke » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:05 pm

I dunno about that (I'm presuming you're referring to the solo on "Blade Runner Blues", right?)...that
solo sound just oozes CS-80 to me, IMO it just sounds too expressive for being the CS-40M (on the other hand
I'm no expert on that synth so I'm not sure what it's capable of when it comes to expressiveness). But who knows,
you might be right after all. In any case, the CS-40M was definitely part of Vangelis' synth setup when recording
BR in the spring of 1982.

Not sure though if he had the CS-40 by the time See You later was recorded. The album came out in Nov 1980 so
the music would've been recorded around the summer of that year. The earliest studio footage and pics I know
of where he can be seen with a CS-40M date from around april/may 1981 (the "In London sessions" with Neuronium) --
and this may indicate that he first used it on "Chariots Of Fire" or "The Friends of Mr.Cairo" which were released in
April and July '81 respectively.

As for the "Private Collection" album (1983), how can you be so sure he used this synth for the solos on "He is Sailing"
and "Horizon"? I'm curious to know...

cheers,
Micke
"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: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by masstronaut » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:01 pm

As an aside, I think the soundtrack for Costa Gavras' movie Missing was recorded around the same time and obviously on a very similar setup. It's nice enough, maybe not quite as cinematically inspired as Blade Runner.

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by knolan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:51 pm

Micke wrote:I dunno about that (I'm presuming you're referring to the solo on "Blade Runner Blues", right?)...that
solo sound just oozes CS-80 to me, IMO it just sounds too expressive for being the CS-40M (on the other hand
I'm no expert on that synth so I'm not sure what it's capable of when it comes to expressiveness). But who knows,
you might be right after all. In any case, the CS-40M was definitely part of Vangelis' synth setup when recording
BR in the spring of 1982.

Not sure though if he had the CS-40 by the time See You later was recorded. The album came out in Nov 1980 so
the music would've been recorded around the summer of that year. The earliest studio footage and pics I know
of where he can be seen with a CS-40M date from around april/may 1981 (the "In London sessions" with Neuronium) --
and this may indicate that he first used it on "Chariots Of Fire" or "The Friends of Mr.Cairo" which were released in
April and July '81 respectively.

As for the "Private Collection" album (1983), how can you be so sure he used this synth for the solos on "He is Sailing"
and "Horizon"? I'm curious to know...

cheers,
Micke
Hi Micke -

The CS40M was released in 1979. I am very confident that the solo lines on See You Later are CS40M. (and equally confident of the Private Collections lines).

W.R.T See You Later, I can definitely hear pitch bend wheel on a CS sound all over the end of that track even lethargically - and - it sounds the same as my CS40M! I also believe that some if not all of the Ring Modulator on that track is CS40M - the CS40M has far greater modulation/control routing capabilities than the CS80 and I believe that the most soulful Ring Modulation sound on that track is not possible on the CS80 and hence done using the Ring Modulator on the CS40M through which a more complex pitch modulated sound was passed. It's the Ring Modulation sounds as if a sound is passing through a pipe - I can't explain it better than that - and I don't think it's possible on the CS80 (though one can never be certain because the 30 or so performance levers on the CS80 offer about as much sound design options as a sizable modular synth - even Vangelis did not anything like exhaust the sonic possibilities of a CS80).

As for Private Collections, the leads on He is Sailing again sound incredibly the same as my CS40M with filter about half way up, quite a lot of resonance and little envelope level applied to the filter. And on Horizons similar lead lines are played and you can actually hear Vangelis again quite lethargically moving the pitch bend wheel back and forth.

As said - I have no absolute proof of course - but the sounds are so obvious to me (I have 15 years experience on the CS40M) that in my own mind I just don't question it.

Whether Bladerunner Blues is CS40M is more open I agree. Certainly near the end it does sound like he's leaning into the key and getting aftertouch on amplitude level - but it's very linear and could have been achieved in the mix. As said - there are enough indicators to call into question whether it is CS80. I definitely hear notes cutting out as he plays fast - unless his playing technique on notes with no sustain sounds the same - but as said I also feel that a lot of the pitch bends are untypical of ribbon controller - and even the character of the sound - in places - is VERY CS40M (which does have a different character to the CS80). Finally, Vangelis played the CS40M stunningly too - it is a very soulful synth, a very warm synth; and as can be heard on the other albums, he certainly knew how to play the h**l out of it. He was a master of CS40M as well as the CS80 - make no bones about it. Whether or not it's the synth on Bladerunner Blues, Vangelis and the CS40M have largely slipped under the radar in how Vangelis created some of his most soulful passages.

I'm going to go back and listen to that track a lot over the coming week and see if I can say any more on it.


Cheers,
Kevin.

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Re: What synth is used in the gold HQ scene in Blade Runner?

Post by raycastile » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:39 am

Hello. Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I was wondering about this very question. Did Vangelis really use a CS80 for the lead on the Blade Runner Blues? It sounds like it is clearly a monophonic synth. In fact, because of that recording, I always assumed the CS80 had a mono or unison mode. But recently I looked at the CS80 manual online and realized there was no mono switch.

To further muddle things, here is a video of a CS50 coming awfully close to capturing that sound.



I haven't seen any videos of the CS40M producing a similar sound. But in that CS50 video, you can hear how the polyphonic notes do not cut each other off like they do in Vangelis' BR Blues recording. Maybe Vangelis modified a CS80 to add a mono/unison mode, the way some people do today?

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