Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

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Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:30 pm

A new 100kg beast has arrived to join the 250kg Novachord!.... heavy!.... :geek:

Image

A large crate weighing 130kg turned up yesterday from Holland.... in the pouring rain!

What followed was a frantic effort with the aid of a friend to get it inside before it got soaked.

It's in truly amazing condition, there is barely a mark on it (can't believe how white & level the keys are!) and Albert Steenbergen (the guy who sourced and services JM's fleet of 310Us for live/studio work) has done a wonderful job recapping it and completely stripping down and cleaning the keyboard mech & contacts - everything works very nicely.

This instrument is really quite a surprise - clearly designed by a mad man - it is not quite the cheesy organ + original solina strings I was half expecting - in fact it's quite a bizarre piece of kit. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out how it all works!

What is very clearl is that everyone focuses on the 310U's strings but it has so much more to offer and everything can be split and combined.

As well as organ + strings there are some other very warm sustained sounds and even some piano like tones. The whole thing oozes Oxygene & Equinoxe!

The gorgeous 6 stage analog chorus, tremolo, variable depth vibrato, percussive envelopes with long sustains, spring reverb and sustain effect with splits make for a much more interesting beast.

The hope is that is will become another strong sample source once I've determined the best way to get a line level output out of it :)

Now got to figure out where the h**l it's going to go! :shock:

My new blog: http://hideawaystudio.wordpress.com
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The New Beast Has Arrived from Holland!...

Post by madtheory » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:26 pm

Wow looks great! They are a beautiful looking instrument, and as tranny organs go, very unique sounding even without the string section. Amazing how much Jarre did with this, so much range in it.

We have a 300 at work. Needs recapping. So badly that you can actually see that they're leaking or dead. But there are SO many of them! It's some task. And given that it's not got the string synth, probably not worth the trouble. It has a rotating speaker system for the chorus- does the 310 have that?
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Re: The New Beast Has Arrived from Holland!...

Post by Bitexion » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:29 pm

Jarre didn't use the 301U because it had such a great strings sound, but because it was the only polyphonic synth/keyboard he had access to in the early 70s.

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Re: The New Beast Has Arrived from Holland!...

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:39 pm

Bitexion wrote:Jarre didn't use the 301U because it had such a great strings sound, but because it was the only polyphonic synth/keyboard he had access to in the early 70s.
Absolutely - there were very few polyphonic synths around then (predating both Korg PS3x00 series & Polymoog). The string section is quite different to my ARP Omni - by layering the 8" strings with the sustain you get two together for an extra shimmery effect as they appear to be routed from two different divide down chains.

It's capable of making some very nice synthbrass ensemble type sounds with long sustains which can be layered with everthing else. It's infinitely more complex that your average organ of the era - It's clear to see why Jean Michel is so fond of the 310 - especially it's 6 stage analog chorus unit.
Last edited by HideawayStudio on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Synthacon » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:02 am

Bitexion wrote:Jarre didn't use the 301U because it had such a great strings sound, but because it was the only polyphonic synth/keyboard he had access to in the early 70s.
I think this is a MASSIVE point. People did not use old synths because they were trendy, but because it was only what was available and also what they could afford. People using CS5's in the early 80's used them because they could afford them, they may have wanted a Minimoog but had to compromise.
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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Bitexion » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:48 am

Yeah, Magnum used a CS-15 for "minimoog lead solos" because it was alot cheaper than a Minimoog at the time.

Also, the analog giant polysynths were usually WAY out of people's reach (unless you were backed by a filthy rich studio), like a OB-8 would cost $7000..so there was definately a market for cheaper digital synths that could go in the same ballpark soundwise.

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Synthacon » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:33 am

It is an ideal that frustrates me today, so many people wondering what their hero act used and wanting to copy their sounds instead of grabbing a synth and making music!!
You always want just one more Synth!

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:05 am

I think the point is being lost here....

The 310U predates every polysynth that has been mentioned so far on this thread.. it was released in 1972... ie. one year after the Minimoog model d.

It's not simply a case of an artist not being able to afford whatever else was out there - it simply didn't exist in the first place!

The 310U is historically important - it set the modified organ divided down architecture with simple discrete polyphonic VCAs and envelope generators that went on to fuel a whole raft of formant filtered string, choir & poly synths. All of the Solina/ARP string synths owe it to the 310U and then everything that followed from the Logan Vocalist to the Korg Delta.

I have a particular interest in early polyphonics, the 1938 Novachord and 310U are remarkably similar in some ways and yet there is nearly 35 years between them but even then you can see similarities in the low level design.

I'm really not interested in owning instruments for the sake of it or indeed whoever made them famous and I'm certainly not into making poor covers of their work. I am, however, very interested in why artists found so much love for them and it's obvious in this case. It's like the Minimoog, until you've actually played one it's perhaps not so obvious why they have such a following. JM used all of the 310 to good effect, not just the string section and indeed so much emphasis has been placed on it over the years that many don't realise that most of the instrument will work as a polyphonic formant synth with attack and release control ie. it's not simply organ + string synth. The architecture is vastly more complex than your average combo organ of the era (let's face it - it was clearly designed by a nutter!).

The 310 will indeed prove to be a potent sample source as indeed the Novachord and my ARP Omni have already proven in buckets - again, not in the form of a soft clone but forming the fabric for new textures.

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:11 am

The only gripe I have with this model is the colour scheme, which - to me - looks rather depressing. :lol:
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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by radek tymecki » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:03 am

i have three 310u's :) it has really good tremolo effect [chorus suxxx].

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by philip » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:27 pm

Looks amazing and very futuristic to me.
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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Soundwave » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:19 am

Jarre continued to the 310 a lot on Equinoxe even though there were more polysynths around in 77-78 plus he would have made a small fortune from Oxygene sales yet the Eminent still remained a fave.

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by madtheory » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:57 pm

I don't think there's an album where he hasn't used it- Revolutions maybe?

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Bitexion » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:29 pm

It isn't listed in the Revolutions liner notes. Can't remember hearing it on there either. Revolutions was pretty much strictly digital synths. Mainly Roland D-50 and Fairlight CMI. Except for Arp2600 on some songs played by Michael Geiss.

It is fun to see how much bigger the gear list on Equinoxe is compared to Oxygene. Clearly he did make shitloads of money from 1976-1978 based on that album. There's even a Yamaha CS-80 in there. Also, he didn't start working with Francis Rimbert and the Korg guys until Magnetic Fields, was only him playing everything on the first two.

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Re: Eminent 310U - The Beast From Holland

Post by Micke » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:27 am

Afaik Jarre's first two albums "Desert Palace" (1972) and "Les Granges Brulees" (soundtrack, 1973) do not feature the 310U.

I read that he first discovered the instrument in '74 when he was working with the French singer/composer Christophe
on his solo album "Les Mots Bleus".



With all due respect to Jarre, he was neither the first nor the only musician/artist using a 310U. Christophe owned/used one and so did Dominique Perrier (eg on his first two "Space Art" albums). Another big user of this instrument, and one of the earliest, was French filmcomposer/multi-instrumentalist Francois De Roubaix who used it in a lot of movie scores between 1972 and 1975.






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