Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

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Benetton93
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Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Benetton93 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:58 pm

It's well known that John Foxx used ARP Odyssey a lot on his hit "Underpass", and so on most of "Metamatic" album. But i actually very interested about this very albums: "The Golden Section" and "In Mysterious Ways" (especially because i like "Someone" song).
Only thing i know that is, according to Discogs, on "Section", John used Fairlight CMI with J.J.Jeczalik.
So, the question is (as always from me) - what gear was used on this two albums?

P.S. Maybe he used ARP here, maybe not. :D

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by xparis001 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:13 pm

I really want to participate in this discussion, but I have nothing of value to add. :(

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:45 am

He had his own studio "The Garden" which a lot of bands recorded in. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miloco_Studios


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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Benetton93 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:54 pm

Right, so...
Found this video on Youtube, where John and his backing band performing "The Hidden Man" on some sort of Spanish TV or something...

So, what was i able to detect is Simmons Drums (that's very easy anyway :D ), Roland Jupiter-8 (i suppose), and Roland VP-330 Vocoder (which i probably was able to hear in "The Garden" album). There's some kinda small synth that looks like Odyssey. Am i right? ;)

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Micke » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:23 pm

Yes, that's definitely an ARP Odyssey, a black & gold mk II.

As for the synths used on the albums "The Golden section" and "Mysterious ways"; I've gone through all articles and interviews I have with John Foxx and
based on this info I put together the following gear lists.....

The Golden Section (1983):
ARP Odyssey
Juno-60
Jupiter-8
VP-330 (?)
Simmons drums
Emulator
Fairlight
Roland MC-4 microcomposer
Linn LM-1 or Linn drum
AMS digital delay (with sampled drums triggered from tape)

Mysterious ways (1985):
OSCar
Juno-60
Jupiter-8(?)
DX-7
Yamaha RX-11 (used to trigger some sampled drum sounds stored in an AMS digital delay and some simmons drum modules. The RX-11's drums were not used on their own but combined with the other drums to produce a new, composite, drum sound).

Linn drum (mainly used to put the sync code for the RX-11 drum machine on to track 24 of the tape).
Roland MSQ-700?
UMI/BBC B micro sequencer package

Hope this helps!
"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: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by cornutt » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:28 pm

Yep, an Odyssey. I though at first it might be an Axxe, but I see that the only version of the Axxe that had three PPC pads was the orange-and-black version.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Benetton93 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:31 pm

Wow Micke... that's really more than informative... :shock:
(And yeah, i heard about usage a MC4, it was mentioned on album version of "Twilight's Last Gleaming", being operated by Mike Howlett.)
Much appreciated! ;)
Last edited by Benetton93 on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by xparis001 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:35 pm

this thread delivers :)

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Micke » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:58 pm

I'm glad I could help a little bit :)
"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: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by pinky_blue » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:54 pm

Hi Micke,

Do you know what synths were used on 'The Garden'? Was it a similar setup to The Golden Section?

Thanks

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Micke » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:31 pm

Afaik on "The Garden" (1981) John used the ARP Odyssey, VP-330 vocoder/strings, a hired Linn LM-1, a TR-808 and Polymoog (according to recording engineer Gareth Jones).
Moreover, Duncan Bridgeman played on most of the tracks and he brought his Prophet 5 and Jupiter-4.

EDIT: this album might feature the Elka Rhapsody string synth too, and according to some sources Robin Simon (the guitar player) played a Roland guitar synth on some
track(s).

Here's an excerpt from an old post I found on the John Foxx/Metamatic forum:

"Just going through The Service I and II fanzine magazines I noticed a few answers from John to some questions from some fans:

Here's a list of the synths used on The Garden album:

ARP (the ARP Odyssey - could have been a MKII)
Lynn Drums (the LinnDrum)
Roland Jupiter 8
Movement Systems Drum Computer (the Movement Drum System 1)
Elka Strings (the Elka Rhapsody 610)
Roland Strings/Vocoder (Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus)
Roland Guitar Synthesizer (could have been a Roland GR-500)
Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
ARP Sequencer"
"

This seems pretty much correct to me except for the Jupiter-8 and Linndrum, and the Polymoog is not listed. The album was recorded in the spring of 1981 and to the best of my knowledge neither the Jup-8 nor Linndrum were available at the time. Also, I know for sure that Duncan Bridgeman had a Jup-4.
"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: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by pinky_blue » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:46 pm

Thanks Micke! Love that LP.

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Re: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by Micke » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:22 pm

You're welcome :)
"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: Question about synths - John Foxx 1983-1985 albums

Post by desmond » Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:32 pm

There is an article from Sound On Sound on John Foxx recording "In Mysterious Ways" up on my site, if you're interested - pretty much confirms what Micke posted (except about the JP8):-

mu:zines | John Foxx - In Mysterious Ways

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