Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.)

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Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.)

Post by logix » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:23 am

Harold Faltermeyer is a long time 80's synth favourite of mine (along with Paul Hardcastle) who made a lot of funky synth instrumentals (but also backing tracks for songs with vocals).
For those not familiar with his name, I'm sure the instrumental "Axel-F" (from the 1984 movie "Beverly Hills Cop") rings a bell or two along with music for other well know 80s movies such as "Fletch" (1985) and "Top gun" (1986).
"Axel-F" (Beverly Hills Cop theme) -Harold Faltermeyer. Wikipedia says he used a Moog 15 modular, a Linndrum, a Yamaha DX-7 and Roland's JX-3P and JX-8P, but other sources say the Roland Jupiter-8 and not the JX-synths.

"Fletch theme" -Harold Faltermeyer. I've been told a Roland JX-3P or JX-8P sync lead is used here (I have a JX-8P myself and can get a pretty similar lead sound from it).

"Top gun anthem" -Harold Faltermeyer (here's the original version with Steve Stevens' guitar)

My favourite Faltermeyer tune however is "Shoot out" (from the "Fletch" movie):
"Shoot out" -Harold Faltermeyer.

Does anyone have any background info on that one? Instruments used, recording technique etc. or anything else they'd like to share?

If anyone has any other Faltermeyer info in general (especially during his 80s period), please do feel free to share here!
Here are some links I have which might be of interest:

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by elsongs » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:10 pm

logix wrote:"Axel-F" (Beverly Hills Cop theme) -Harold Faltermeyer. Wikipedia says he used a Moog 15 modular, a Linndrum, a Yamaha DX-7 and Roland's JX-3P and JX-8P, but other sources say the Roland Jupiter-8 and not the JX-synths.

We need to clear this up once and for all. Everyone knows that Van Halen's "Jump" is from an Oberheim OBXa, and it's confirmed that Herbie Hancock used a Rhodes Chroma for the lead line of "Rockit." So it's imperative that we nail down the source of the lead line of Faltermeyer's iconic song.


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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by gcoudert » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:03 pm

As I posted in another thread, he produced Al Corley's 'Square Rooms' album in 1984 and his keyboards are all over it. Not a bad album, actually. It's on Spotify.
GC

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by Solderman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:04 pm

I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by Micke » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:29 pm

The syncl lead on FLETCH was indeed the JX-8P. Not totally sure about the main bass synth but if I recall correctly it's a DX-7, at least the powerful one
that kicks in at 1:06. The pads are from the JP-8.

The lead synth on AXEL F is the JP-8.

Most of the gear used on BHC, Thief of Hearts (his first score) and Fletch was the same:

Roland Jupiter-8
Roland system 700 & 100M
JX-3P (replaced with JX-8P for Fletch)
Moog 15
Oberheim OB-8
Yamaha DX-7
Linn LM-1 & (modified) Linndrum
Roland TR-808

Faltermeyer then added a Yamaha TX-816 and a QX-1 digital sequencer for Top Gun (1986), and a Synclavier
system for BHC 2 and The Running Man (both from 1987). Interestingly, he preferred the DX-7/TX-816 over
the Synclavier for FM sounds. The Synclavier was afaik mostly used for sampled sounds.

Thief of hearts additionally features the Fairlight CMI courtesy of Gary Chang.
"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: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by elsongs » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:49 am

Micke wrote:The syncl lead on FLETCH was indeed the JX-8P. Not totally sure about the main bass synth but if I recall correctly it's a DX-7, at least the powerful one
that kicks in at 1:06. The pads are from the JP-8.

The lead synth on AXEL F is the JP-8.
Thanks. What does those little percussive noises during the breakdown section (Obviously influenced by Yazoo's "Situation")?

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by Micke » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:47 pm

From what I understand he did the blip-bloppy "water drops" (or "footsteps") on the Roland system 100m. You can see him working on that sound in this
video clip (note the system 700 to the left). In the same clip he's seen programming the lead line on the Jup-8
And here Harold's programming the bass line and reverse noise effects
on the Moog 15.

It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:


The synthesizer clicks and effects were most likely done on the System 700 and 100M:


The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8.

I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
"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: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by krzeppa » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 pm

Micke wrote:From what I understand he did the blip-bloppy "water drops" (or "footsteps") on the Roland system 100m. You can see him working on that sound in this
video clip (note the system 700 to the left). In the same clip he's seen programming the lead line on the Jup-8
And here Harold's programming the bass line and reverse noise effects
on the Moog 15.

It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:


The synthesizer clicks and effects were most likely done on the System 700 and 100M:


The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8.

I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
Thanks for posting these clips. Really enjoyed them!

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by minime123 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:10 pm

"Thanks. What does those little percussive noises during the breakdown section (Obviously influenced by Yazoo's "Situation")?"

if you compare the Axel F with Yaz Situation, you'll notice that Axel F was totally a Situation knockoff.
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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by logix » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:09 pm

Micke wrote:The syncl lead on FLETCH was indeed the JX-8P. Not totally sure about the main bass synth but if I recall correctly it's a DX-7, at least the powerful one
that kicks in at 1:06. The pads are from the JP-8.
That's truly awesome! A DX-7? Really?
I've got one and know I've only touched the surface of what that synth can do. Did Harold tell you the one starting at 1.06 was a DX-7?
The JP-8 pads, are they the "voice" like starting at 0.34? With a flanger maybe? In any case very cool.

It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:
I love that bass! Both the sequence and the actual sound. A genius he is!! How can someone not find it extremely groovy and funky? I've always found that song much too short, so I keep repeating it :D
Where did he say that he used that OB-8/JP-8 combination for bass -"Fletch theme"? That's a very deep and funky bassline as well! Harold F. really nailed it finding the right "formula" for getting a funky synth-bassline! I only wish he had produced more similar music at the time!
The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8
Yes, you're right -it does somehow remind a bit of saxophones!
Layering is a cool technique and he might have put one layer an octave under to make it extra fat and big. Did Harold tell you he uses the layering technique in his emails?

I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
Yes, I think he was actually asked about that by the audience at the end of the Red Bull music academy 2014 video lecture (see link in first post) and I believe he replied that he was indeed influenced by "Rockit".

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by D-Collector » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:19 pm

Micke wrote:From what I understand he did the blip-bloppy "water drops" (or "footsteps") on the Roland system 100m. You can see him working on that sound in this
video clip (note the system 700 to the left). In the same clip he's seen programming the lead line on the Jup-8
And here Harold's programming the bass line and reverse noise effects
on the Moog 15.

It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:


The synthesizer clicks and effects were most likely done on the System 700 and 100M:


The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8.

I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
Good post Micke 8-)

Do you know if the remakes he talks about in the video were released? Are the new la la land releases the original paramount scores?

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Re: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by Micke » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:49 pm

logix wrote:
Micke wrote:The syncl lead on FLETCH was indeed the JX-8P. Not totally sure about the main bass synth but if I recall correctly it's a DX-7, at least the powerful one
that kicks in at 1:06. The pads are from the JP-8.
That's truly awesome! A DX-7? Really?
I've got one and know I've only touched the surface of what that synth can do. Did Harold tell you the one starting at 1.06 was a DX-7?
The JP-8 pads, are they the "voice" like starting at 0.34? With a flanger maybe? In any case very cool.
I just re-read Harolds email and, yes, both the main bass line as well as the part starting at 1:06 were played on the DX-7.
As for the JP-8, I believe he meant the chord stabs but he might just as well have meant the voice-like pad sound or both, not sure.


logix wrote:
Micke wrote:It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:
I love that bass! Both the sequence and the actual sound. A genius he is!! How can someone not find it extremely groovy and funky? I've always found that song much too short, so I keep repeating it :D
Where did he say that he used that OB-8/JP-8 combination for bass -"Fletch theme"? That's a very deep and funky bassline as well! Harold F. really nailed it finding the right "formula" for getting a funky synth-bassline! I only wish he had produced more similar music at the time!
The film version of Shoot out is even shorter, 1:44 vs 2:44 for the album version! The bass on the Fletch theme was a DX-7, I don't think he's said that he used the OB-8/JP-8 combo for
that bass. Anyway, the Moog 15/OB-8 combo was used for the Axel F bass line and probably also for the Shoot out bass (it sure sounds like it to my ears).


logix wrote:
Micke wrote:The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8
Yes, you're right -it does somehow remind a bit of saxophones!
Layering is a cool technique and he might have put one layer an octave under to make it extra fat and big. Did Harold tell you he uses the layering technique in his emails?
He told me that he often used to layer bass sounds.

logix wrote:
Micke wrote:I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
Yes, I think he was actually asked about that by the audience at the end of the Red Bull music academy 2014 video lecture (see link in first post) and I believe he replied that he was indeed influenced by "Rockit".
Yep!
"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: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by Micke » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:00 pm

D-Collector wrote:
Micke wrote:From what I understand he did the blip-bloppy "water drops" (or "footsteps") on the Roland system 100m. You can see him working on that sound in this
video clip (note the system 700 to the left). In the same clip he's seen programming the lead line on the Jup-8
And here Harold's programming the bass line and reverse noise effects
on the Moog 15.

It sounds like he used the Moog 15 + OB-8 combination for the bass line on Shoot out too:


The synthesizer clicks and effects were most likely done on the System 700 and 100M:


The lead line in this piece, which sort of sounds like several saxophones playing together, is probably several layers of JP-8.

I'm sure Hancock's Rockit was an influence on both pieces.
Good post Micke 8-)

Do you know if the remakes he talks about in the video were released? Are the new la la land releases the original paramount scores?

Thanks D-collector :)

Yes the remakes were released, but afaik only as a digital download. The new la la land releases are indeed the original film scores, ie the complete
instrumental scores including the most notable songs. I have both CD's and they couldn't sound any better. Loving them!

Afaik they will also release the complete Top gun score in the near future.
"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: Harold Faltermeyer (80's, Beverly Hills cop, Fletch etc.

Post by logix » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:04 am

Thanks for all that info, Micke!
I've been looking into buying the La-La land "Beverly Hills cop" and "Beverly Hills cop 2" film score soundtracks too -did you get them directly from La-La land or somewhere else? Shipping costs, import duties etc. on top of the CD costs makes it pretty expensive.

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