Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

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Sweep
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Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Sweep » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:53 pm

I've been programming the Roland D50 recently (to be precise the V-Synth in D50 mode), and as ever I find myself wondering if anyone has ever used some of the patches supplied with this synth.

Digital Native Dance - it's a famous patch, but did anyone ever find a musical use for it? I have a vague memory of someone discussing it on a Tangerine Dream forum, so presumably they did. I'd be curious to know what on, so I can check that out - and curious whether anyone else ever used it.

The D50 piano patches - any of them. Most of them seem to have an odd twangy quality to them, which makes them reminiscent of someone twanging an elastic band down a mineshaft on a muggy day. I suppose you could be doing soundtrack work and have a scene where there's this character down a mine etc etc. But I wonder.

Or the muggy saxophones that sound like they're made of cardboard and cotton wool. Has anyone ever found a musical use for those?

I'm not having a go at Roland here. I'm also aware, of course, that the D50 was something of a breakthrough at the time. On the other hand I'd much rather use something like the Technics K200's piano sound from about four years or so earlier, given the choice. I can see the appeal of Fantasia and so on.

But this kind of question must apply to a lot of synth patches. The obvious answer is to forget them and program your own, which is what I prefer to do anyway. But the question must often arise about patches supplied with synths, and I'm sure I can't be the only person to have wondered about this.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Alex E » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:11 pm

Digital Native Dance, like a lot of other D50 presets, made it's way into New Jack Swing:



Used without the PCM loop here:

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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:13 am

Digital Native Dance was used on all these tracks!

Miles Davis "Catembé"

OMD "Dreaming"

Gary Numan "Children"

The Cars "Leave Or Stay"

Mylène Farmer "Allan"

David Lee Roth "Skyscraper"

A whole page about D50 presets used on various tracks
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by calaverasgrande » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:29 am

I've heard it on a few direct to DVD features and low budget TV series.
I also remember this goth chick I dated in the 90's that had a D50 (her mom bought it for her "to learn piano").
Just about all she did with it was scroll through those useless patches that made 'trippy sounds' when we were high.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Sweep » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:32 am

Thanks - that's definitely interesting.

I'm just checking out the Miles Davis track now, and will check out the others. If anyone could make something out of the Digital Native Dance track, Miles and whoever plays with him would be a likely candidate. I was brought up on Miles and similar era modern jazz, but haven't heard this album before. I've always been puzzled how a patch that goes into a rhythm and out again could be used.

I notice there doesn't seem to be any mention of those piano sounds in the list of famous examples, which doesn't surprise me.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Z » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:44 am

And at the end of this awful remix
[youtube][/youtube]
Sweep wrote: I have a vague memory of someone discussing it on a Tangerine Dream forum, so presumably they did. I'd be curious to know what on, so I can check that out - and curious whether anyone else ever used it.
TD used the D-50 on Optical Race, but I don't think Digital Native Dance was used on any of its tracks. You might take a listen to the steaming pile subsequent album Lily on the Beach to see if it's on there.

I do remember hearing many JD-800 presets on Rockoon
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Sweep » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:28 am

Thanks. The "awful remix" comes up with a message saying it isn't available in my country - it must be really bad. They don't spare us much.

I heard Optical Race many years ago - actually I heard part of it before it was released, just after Chris Franke left, and I could understand why he went, and when I heard the finished album it didn't sound any better. Your description of Lily on the Beach strikes a sympathetic chord as well - which is more than the album itself does. I think both albums are on YouTube, so I'll check them out in a spirit of intrepid curiosity.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Z » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:37 am

The "awful remix" is the 1988 12" version of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" where all they did is added a more up-beat drum track to with with some extra synth parts.

I really like Optical Race as I am more of a fan of TD's 80s material and is more melodic than any of their other works. I remember buying Lily when it was first released, found it very weak sounding both musically and sonically and sold it to a CD resale shop soon after.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Sweep » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:47 am

Thanks. In the meantime I've found another upload of the Phil Collins remix, so I can see what you mean. I must say I've never liked those huge 80s drums. Hugh Padgham has a lot to answer for.

Regarding Tangerine Dream, I'm one of those people who lost enthusiasm before the mid 80s, though I continued to hear the albums through someone else until into the 90s. I know people differ a lot about the different periods of TD's music. For me the golden age for them was the Peter Baumann period. I did, though, rather enjoy a performance from a couple of years ago of Edgar's Eye Candy Band version of TD, which surprised me.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:51 am

Z wrote:The "awful remix" is the 1988 12" version of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" where all they did is added a more up-beat drum track to with with some extra synth parts.
...why would you even do that? The brooding minimalism is the thing that makes the whole song work. Guess I'll just put this down to the introduction of 12" singles and eighty zillion different remixes for every song, there's already plenty of atrocities filed under that heading...
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by calaverasgrande » Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:22 am

Sweep wrote:Thanks. In the meantime I've found another upload of the Phil Collins remix, so I can see what you mean. I must say I've never liked those huge 80s drums. Hugh Padgham has a lot to answer for.
Oh come now, you can hardly blame an inspired production trick of using the talk back compressor to squash the room mic on all the wannabes that beat that sound to death.
Pretty much every engineer who recorded acts in the 80's and 90's has been called upon to ape that sound. But blaming the originator of it is as silly as blaming Eddie Van Halen for all the deedle-deedle-dee guitar wankers at Guitar Center.

Ok wait, I see your point.
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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by dnash » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:11 am

my FAVOURITE use of this sound was by keith emerson on the 3 "to the power of three" album in the song "desde la vida" heard on the link below:



loud and proud at the 2 minute mark :-)

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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:00 am

ACT - Laughter Tears and Rage, the whole album.


Pretty much all D50 presets. Thomas Leer must have just bought one.

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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:39 am

Eric Persing's charismatic D-50 factory patch set has left a pretty huge legacy on the music world, and can still is..

but not just in the pro studio world... in the 80s/90s home computer scene too...

A few years back I spent some time trying to determine the origins of the 8-bit samples on the infamous ST-01 sample disk bundled with the first Sound Tracker released on the Amiga in 1987 called Ultimate Sound Tracker written by a very clever German chap called Karsten Obarski who is a bit of an elusive hero of mine...

This is perhaps more historically important than many outside of the scene realise as this incredible system that resided on literally two floppy disks gave you something not so very far off a Fairlight Series II for a tiny fraction of the price. It went on to spawn literally tens of thousands of pieces of computer music accompanying commercial games and feeding the computer demoscene for well over 10 years.

I think for some of you who haven't heard some of the better Amiga Tracker modules you'd be quite surprised considering this was 100% software based in 1987!

To my surprise at least 30% of the ST-01 sample disk was made up of wonderfully distorted 8-bit renditions of the D-50's factory sounds (including an immortalised scratchy 8-bit sample of Digital Native Dance!).. the rest being a mixture of DX21, Casio CZ-101 and possibly Korg Poly 800 factory patches.

Incidentally... it is called "Outlaw" on the Amiga ST-01 disk if anyone is curious....

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Re: Has anyone ever actually used this patch...?

Post by vicd » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:15 am

Sweep wrote:...the question must often arise about patches supplied with synths, and I'm sure I can't be the only person to have wondered about this.
Synthmania's Famous Sounds used to be a fair starting point to answer such questions.
For now the page looks, well, a bit unattended, but still useful.

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