The Magnetic Fields bass

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5178
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by madtheory » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:39 pm

No, the "modular" is a rack of MDB polysequencer and RSF Kobol Expanders etc. See Micke's post above. I don't see more than one OBXa, only Jarre plays one and it's always on top of the Fairlight. I've watched that doc many many times, had it on VHS originally :)

Ya the Chinese footage is strange, but cool. It's a pity there isn't more actual live performances. The version of Magnetic Fields 1 here sounds very much live, and on the edge of falling apart. Very cool. The close ups of Equinoxe where he's on the wall of Synthis is fabulous, as is the close up (with no reverb) of the Fairlight stuff on "Night in Shanghai".

Radek's met him so yes, he's probably the one to ask about the bass! :)

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:30 pm

Bitexion wrote:[...] And Francis Rimbert playing basslines on what seems like a Moog modular system. [...]
RSF Kobol Expander 1 & 2 as well as Sequencer/Programmeur. Apparently, Jarre acquired an entire job lot.

There is a Prophet 5, Korg PE 2000, RSF Kobol Keyboard, ARP 2600, Yamaha CS60, Korg KR 55 and Mini Pops 7, multiple stacks of RSF Kobol Expanders, Fairlight CMI, oh, and some EMS.

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

rschnier
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:52 am
Location: USA

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by rschnier » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:32 pm

madtheory wrote:Why am I only seeing pure black in each of the images?
Same here, even clicking on the images results in an expanded window containing just black. Hm.
-- R.

User avatar
Micke
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Micke » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:58 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Bitexion wrote:[...] And Francis Rimbert playing basslines on what seems like a Moog modular system. [...]
RSF Kobol Expander 1 & 2 as well as Sequencer/Programmeur. Apparently, Jarre acquired an entire job lot.

There is a Prophet 5, Korg PE 2000, RSF Kobol Keyboard, ARP 2600, Yamaha CS60, Korg KR 55 and Mini Pops 7, multiple stacks of RSF Kobol Expanders, Fairlight CMI, oh, and some EMS.

Stephen

Additionally, there's an Oberheim 2-voice, Moog liberation, Elka X-705 and a couple of Eminent 310U's.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:00 pm

Micke wrote:
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Bitexion wrote:[...] And Francis Rimbert playing basslines on what seems like a Moog modular system. [...]
RSF Kobol Expander 1 & 2 as well as Sequencer/Programmeur. Apparently, Jarre acquired an entire job lot.

There is a Prophet 5, Korg PE 2000, RSF Kobol Keyboard, ARP 2600, Yamaha CS60, Korg KR 55 and Mini Pops 7, multiple stacks of RSF Kobol Expanders, Fairlight CMI, oh, and some EMS.

Stephen

[...] Oberheim 2-voice [...]
Ah, I thought I had caught a glimpse of the characteristic two cut-outs in its back, standing to the left of the RSF Kobol Keyboard.

No idea why the pictures don't work, I can see them clearly, even when not being logged in.

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

User avatar
Micke
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Micke » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:10 pm

Yes, the Obie 2-voice is briefly seen behind Perrier at 53:51:



Not sure why it wasn't included in the equipment list for the Concert in China album.

According to the following site it was used for the Laser harp sound http://www.jarrography.free.fr/details_ ... d_equip=26
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

User avatar
Synthprophet
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:05 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Synthprophet » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:05 pm

Micke wrote:Yes, the Obie 2-voice is briefly seen behind Perrier at 53:51:



Not sure why it wasn't included in the equipment list for the Concert in China album.

According to the following site it was used for the Laser harp sound http://www.jarrography.free.fr/details_ ... d_equip=26
Exactly and well spotted. Damn I have spent several hours watching jarre concert on repeat and on pause, just to spot gear.
Clavia: /Nord Lead 2x/
Roland: /AX-Synth/D-50/SH-201/
Korg: /EMX-1/Microkorg/Monotron/MS-20 Mini

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:53 pm

Micke wrote:Yes, the Obie 2-voice is briefly seen behind Perrier at 53:51:



Not sure why it wasn't included in the equipment list for the Concert in China album.

According to the following site it was used for the Laser harp sound http://www.jarrography.free.fr/details_ ... d_equip=26
Not sure how seriously I can take a site that writes:

"PE-2000 is a string machine like the ARP Solina but less versatile and eventually less popular.
The sound is very characteric to the 70s electronic period."


What is so flexible about a Solina and the scope it has? Mind you, the PE even has a built-in "Pitch Shifter Effect" :facepalm: ...

Where exactly was the PS-3300 used on "Concerts in China"?

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Bitexion » Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:51 pm

The 1981 laserharp was more or less just a bassy strings pad. Could be anything. Great to see a laserharp that doesn't sound like a Synthex though 8-)

Mooger5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: Lisbon

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Mooger5 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:09 pm

Bitexion wrote:
Mooger5 wrote:Thanks for your replies. I had no idea the OB-Xa had appeared so early; Wikipedia says 1980, that's one year before Magnetic was released. And I thought the Concerts only featured the OB-X.

Anyways the bass does sound a little Oberheimish and the OB-X even has CV/Gate controls for voice 1. Both discrete VCOs, tuned one octave apart and one monovoice could be all that's needed! But what about the envelopes? Can they be that fast? And you'd think, given the OBies popularity, such bass would have been noticed more often, on a good number of records.

The ARP sounds overall brighter IMO and again it could have already appeared on Equinoxe at least.

So my vote goes to the Kobol. Fine machine.
If you watch the documentary/live footage film that was shown on TV (it was never released as a DVD, but it's widely available online now), it shows his crew carrying and setting up OBXa on stage.
used mostly for strings pads yes.



I found it on youtube. It's a very nice insight in what gear he used in 1981. Also lots of live performances, intersected with really strange footage of chinese everyday life. You can see the famous wall of Synthis too. And Francis Rimbert playing basslines on what seems like a Moog modular system. Far from everything was sequenced.
I was surprised to see that the twangy bassline on Equinoxe 7 is played live on the modular by him.

Most of the tracks from the double live album are here. I believe it was shown on TV in both france and china to promote the album, and thus, Jarre doesn't own the rights to it so there's no DVD of it.
Sorry for the late reply. The film went on national tv here in 81 or 82, and Jarre flew here to give a live interview to promote it. I had bought the LP when it came out and so I watched the movie religiously. Shame about the editing, it was really annoying, even if a strong point of the movie was about the end of the cultural revolution and the opening of china to the outside world and all that.

This full length video wasn´t on youtube until recently and by that time the la concorde footage, the rerelease of oxygene and the live on your living room concert were very disappointing to listen to and watch so I never payed much attention to it. I must say watching Jarre playing the fairlight and the obx-a live has restored my "faith" a little on jarre as interpreter.
Herrare umanum est.

User avatar
VCO8
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:59 am
Location: US

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by VCO8 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:30 am

Micke wrote:

Additionally, there's an Oberheim 2-voice, Moog liberation, Elka X-705 and a couple of Eminent 310U's.
Don't forget the Linn LM-1 which is heard on 'Arpegiator' and 'Souvenier of China'

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Bitexion » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:50 am

For me, Jarre live shows have been an important part of my life, ever since childhood when I discovered Houston/Lyon on cassette, I listened to that religiously. My friends were also into it. I hardly knew what a synthesizer was back then, I just loved the sound. I was an organ keyboardist, my parents sent me to classes, so I sat at home emulating Jarre on my technics c-30. Two manual beast w/bass pedals.
A new TV broadcasted concert was a major event for me, most of them were never released on DVD later.
I have found most of them on the internet though.

I didn't even get my first synth until 2003 and I'm 38 now.
I don't really care about how much is actual live playing and how much is prerecorded tapes or sequences. It's a performance spectacle of the music he's made himself, not a DJ pressing a "play" button and holding his hands in the air the rest of the show. In the 90s concerts he spent more time running around stage engaging the audience than playing, but his cohorts in the back did all the busywork anyway.

OITL is "boring" to listen to, but fascinating to watch. No audience, just the four of them playing everything live.
I also attended a show at the OITL inhouse tour, and it was magical. So much mood lighting, mirrors lowering and rising above the players so we could see their hands, the crowd (2500 ppl) being completely mesmerized during the songs then erupting into cheers and clapping at the end of each song..It could have been all playback for all I cared. Was still a wonderful experience to be there.

They did play small mistakes though so it wasn't playback. Like on the solo part of Oxygene 5, Jarre's Moog Liberation wouldn't keep in tune, there was what sounded like a sawtooth LFO modulation of the VCO, even though he tried to adjust it frantically. Afterward he apologized and said these old synths are like an old Rolls Royce. Sometimes they malfunction when least expected. Audience laughed with him, not at him.

Mooger5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: Lisbon

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Mooger5 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:08 pm

Some people I know who were there at the La Concorde concert back in 78 or 79 said they couldn't see Jarre's face because he was surrounded by the keyboard stacks. They say it in a good way. Well, maybe he went backstage to have a snack while the music was playing. Because the entire show was just mimicking and playback tapes.

There's an error in Oxygene IV: the intro is five bars long instead of four. Why they didn't correct it in the new recording, I don't know. Perhaps because it's the same old recording?

In the DVD, Jarre playing the keytar is just terrible. No sense of metrics nor timing. Absolutely pathetic. One begins to question: is this the composer of Magnetic Fields?

Sorry to the diehard fans for all this. I still treasure the old LPs. For me JMJ's career begins with Oxygene and ends with Zoolook. Great electronic music albums. Magnetic is the perfect blend of analog and digital. And that's about it.

Back on topic, Arpeggiator is my favourite track in the China Concerts. There's a pretty powerful "bass lead" and it sounds like it's the same synth that plays the bass in Magnetic Fields. Going to watch that part on Youtube see if there's a glimpse of someone playing it live, although that track sounds like it was recorded in the studio...
Herrare umanum est.

Mooger5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: Lisbon

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by Mooger5 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:02 pm

Well, the "bass lead" begins at 04:15. Can the ARP2600 sound like this?

Herrare umanum est.

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: The Magnetic Fields bass

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:43 pm

Mooger5 wrote: [...] Because the entire show was just mimicking and playback tapes. [...]
Most of the instruments weren't even plugged in. I have the original TV broadcast (not the commercial VHS tape that was studio stuff interspersed with live footage). I'd feel deeply ashamed if I were to deliver this sort of c**p...

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

Post Reply