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Topic: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

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  1. #1

    Question slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    on the song "won't get fooled again" by the Who on the Wno's next record??

    could it be a VCS3 synth made by EMS in the 60's ??
    I heard the Who were using a lot of EMS synths in Britain as Moogs and stuff were not really available back then.

    If so , is there a sample library that has that sound?? i know it's kind of easy to reproduce with modern synths but I was wondering if some samples existed or not.
    There's something about that tone that's hard to perfectly duplicate.

    many thanks!

    Yves

  2. #2

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    hey Ern ,

    definitively a great record! I don't think it was an ARP though..I think the ARP 2600 came out after that recording..I could be wrong though..
    There's is some step sequence stuff going on but I think that Townsend "played" the chords real time but there's some sort of "gate" effect on the output of the oscillators that is trigged by an LFO plus some kind of slow phase effect on the output.

    anyhow..great song..great recording..those were the days !

    man ..did it rocked!!


    best

    Yves

  3. #3

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    HA!

    You guys are all wrong....it's not even really a synth source. :-)

    It's Townsend playing chords on an old electric organ running through an Arp 2500 filter that is being triggered/gated by a click track. He made a tape loop of that with a click on one side for the rest of the band to cut their live tracks. They based the track on that improvisation he did with the organ.

    That's how he's able to create the chords changing independantly of the gating rhythm, which is what gives that sound its charm.

    Townsend had his own experimental studio where he put together these synth organ rhythmic loops and cut all his demo tracks of all the songs he wrote. They sound amazing in demo form BTW....with Pete playing and singing all the parts including drums.

    He also had his own Arp 2500 and was one of the first people to use it. People see him manipulating the Arp and think that's the source of the sound, but he's actually only using it as a signal processor...the sound source is a simple electric organ.

    I highly recommend this DVD which shows him recreating how he made this sound with all the original gear....great flick for Who fans!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...v=glance&s=dvd

    This whole series are really awesome....you'll learn a tons of how different classic albums were created. They even solo individual parts from the multitracks!

    Enjoy!

    spectrum

  4. #4

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    Spectrum beat me to it- it's actually a Hammond organ going through the 2500. I used to get a respectable emulation putting my M2 through my MiniMoog filter but you need two filters working independently to really nail it.

  5. #5

    Wink Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    Quote Originally Posted by spectrum
    HA!

    You guys are all wrong....it's not even really a synth source. :-)
    To all those who guessed it wrong, you better stick to your orchestral samples, boys!

  6. #6

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    and I'm sure you've all heard the song as the intro to the TV series "Miami CSI".

    Wow, there's something riveting about that organ sound!

    Carl

  7. #7

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    You can actually re-create that sound fairly authentically using a Hammond Plug (theres a really good one out, not B4, i cant rememmber the name..) and "chopper" .The midi effect thats in Cubase believe it or not..Rich

  8. #8

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    This link says Lowrey into EMS.
    http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/equip-baba.htm

  9. #9

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    Quote Originally Posted by bg
    This link says Lowrey into EMS.
    http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/equip-baba.htm
    That does seem more feasible given the date of the track. ARP were just starting up then. I am not sure they even had any product then (and if they did, I can't imagine they'd have been shipping internationally in 1968... I may be wrong though). EMS, on the other hand, were literally just round the corner from Townsend in London - a cab ride, the exchange of £330 at EMS for the VCS and a cab ride home would have been all that was required for Towsend to acquire one (chances are, EMS went to him!)!

    The confusion with the Townsend/ARP connection might be because Townsend did become an endorsee of ARP later on in the 70s (and was famously seen in ARP's promo reclining full length against a 2600). This was the same time that Joe Zawinul and Stevie Wonder were also endorsing ARP's products.

    If you're interested, the guy who designed the VCS3 (and Synthi A, Synthi 100 and many other EMS products) later went on to design the hardware for all of Akai's samplers and other products and I had the privilege of working with this self-effacing, modest and witty genius for 16 years in my time with Akai designing the user interfaces for his products Great bloke!

  10. #10

    Re: slightly OT ?? what instrument is used...

    Now I have to watch that "Making of Who's next" again- I could swear it showed a hammond and an ARP. BUT- a Lowry would have worked, and the case for EMS is strong, as the last poster says.

    Anyway it was a bleedin' organ through a synth filter

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