Wild Mountain Honey

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ItalianStallion81
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Wild Mountain Honey

Post by ItalianStallion81 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:49 pm

Hi,

What kind of synthesizer did Steve Miller use on his 1976 song "Wild Mountain Honey"? In the album credits for Fly Like an Eagle, Miller is credited with using a Roland synthesizer, although I don't know exactly just what Rolly it was.

Considering this song dates to 1976, Roland synths used in this year were:
*SH-5 (produced from 1975 to 1981)
*SH-1000, 2000 (produced 1973 to 1981)
*SH-3A (monophonic; produced from 1973 to 1981)
*System 100 (modular; produced from 1975 to 1979)

~Ben

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Mixolydian
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Re: Wild Mountain Honey

Post by Mixolydian » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:16 am

Let me check on that....
Last edited by Mixolydian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wild Mountain Honey

Post by Mixolydian » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:56 pm

Steve Miller is not only a great guitar player, he was (and probably still is) a synth nut.
Mix Magazine Quote:
"I had my assistant doing some things in the other room while Steve and I worked on effects — things like the rising synth on ‘Fly Like an Eagle,’ which was a little Roland synthesizer that he didn't know a damn thing about, but we played with it and this great stuff came out."

"Little Roland Synthesizer?" In 1974, that would have been a relative term - The SH-3 would have seemed little compared to a Moog Modular or an ARP 2600. That doesn't narrow it down too much, but I'd go with the SH-1000 because of the wide string synth sound on the song. Also, in the excerpt below, the engineer talks about running Oboes and wind through delays and Echoplexes. The SH-1000 has an oboe preset.

Then he bought the ARP Odyssey while making Book of Dreams: "The famous synthesizer lines at the close of the song were added as overdubs late in the process, mostly using an ARP Odyssey, “which we thought was just the greatest-sounding thing at the time,” Gaines says. “Unfortunately, the damn thing wouldn't stay in tune.” Gaines believes that some other inexpensive synths also might've gotten a workout. “We were always trying out these cheap $100 synths, go through all the presets — wind and oboe — and then we'd put them through Echoplexes and delays.”"

I saw Steve Miller in 1980 or 81. There was a keyboard player in the band, but Steve would also play a synth on the famous intros. I'm almost sure it was an Odyssey.

BTW, Wild Mountain Honey was inspired by Les Baxter's Quiet Village (made famous by Martin Denny.)

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