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Great benders...


Sundown

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Hey all,

 

I was inspired early on by keyboardists who weren't big on bending (e.g. Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Geoff Downes, etc). They were all great players, but they definitely approached the synth like an organ. You might find some glide in their sounds, but not much use of the pitch/mod wheels.

 

In contrast, guys like Steve Winwood, Jan Hammer, Jordan Rudess, Chick Corea, and Rick's son Adam are big users of the pitch/mod wheels. (A side note: If you ever wondered what Rick Wakeman might sound like if you cross-modulated him with Jan Hammer, listen to the live version of "Paint it Black" on Wakeman with Wakeman - The Official Bootleg... Adam Wakeman's two Wavestation solos using the "Mini Lead" patch are pretty amazing).

 

So who else has great pitch/mod technique? It's something I'd like to improve upon, and I'd be curious to listen to other artists.

 

Steve Winwood did some very expressive playing on "The Finer Things" from 1986's Back in the High Life. I'm not sure what instrument he was playing, but it sounds great. I've seen some of the old Mahavishnu Orchestra performances with Jan Hammer, and there are a few Youtube clips with Jordan Rudess working the wheels (along with some old Return to Forever clips with Chick Corea).

 

Any other suggestions?

 

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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There is Jan Hammer and then everybody else.

 

I would also mention David Sancious' Minimoog leads on "True Stories", and Manfred Mann's rather unique downward bending.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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George Duke is a great bender, he can make a synth talk.........

 

So true. Ran across this gem recently (with Cobham, Sco and Alphonso Johnson). George Duke's solo begins at 4.20 ....

 

[video:youtube]bN9Vaml0dZE

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Guys -

 

I forgot about Kevin Moore (especially on Images and Words). The solos on "Take the Time" and the guitar/synth unison lines in "Metropolis, Pt. 1" are pretty incredible.

 

Sundown

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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Roger Powell on any of the Utopia 4 piece stuff from the late 70's/early 80's.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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+1 on Roger Powell. He had a slightly different style from the Jan Hammer school of bending, but very evolved. A lesser-known Duke solo to check out is on "In Spiritual Love" by Jean-Luc Ponty; it's one of the gruntiest, most soulful Minimoog solos I've ever heard.

 

Also...

Adam Holzman,

T Lavitz,

Wayne Famous, from The Producers--incredibly underappreciated soloist,

David Cutler Lewis, from Ambrosia,

Donald Fagen--his synth harmonica stuff is just smokin.'

 

Steinway L, 1958 Hammond B3, Kurzweil Forte, Prophet-6, Minimoog Voyager, Kawai VPC-1,Oberheim SEM-Pro, Doepfer Dark Energy, Nord Rack
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http://static.tvfanatic.com/images/gallery/bender-smoking.jpg

 

I can't believe it took that long for a Futurama reference. That was my second thought when I saw the thread title. The first involved large quantities of fermented beverages.

 

I don't really have a favorite, but one bender I thought was poorly done, and I hope I don't get banninated for this, was Ray Charles. I never liked what sounds he was bending. Really deterred from the overall performance IMHO.

 

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Mate Stub:

 

That Jan Hammer bit is one of most incredible things I've heard... I've seen him improvise to the Miami Vice theme with distortion, and I've seen some of the old Mahavishnu Orchestra clips (e.g. "Noonward Race"), but I've never heard anything like that opening run...

 

Until I heard Tusker's contribution of George Duke...

 

Holy s.....

 

I showed it to a non-keyboard player, and even she was blown away. People aren't accustomed to hearing a keyboard bend like that, and the immediate assumption is that it's a guitar.

 

Amazing... Absolutely amazing....

 

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; They Live, We Groove

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

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You folks got most of the greats. For me, the most expressive playing in the past usually involved guys like Hammer, Duke and Sancious playing the pitch wheel of something like a Minimoog. I must have worn right through four or five pitch ribbons on a Multimoog trying to capture that fire.

 

I would add to the list Stu Goldberg on his duophonic Minimoog (a Steiner-Parker mod, I think) and the rockin' version of Tom Coster. More recently I also came to appreciate Neil Alexander's playing. (http://www.nailmusic.com/site.html) Also check out his Youtube channel.

 

There a quite a number of older players that have been added to our list. I wonder if any of you prefer the older playing because keyboard players weren't able to set their mechanisms to bend exactly one whole tone up. I prefer the expression and tension that players get when they have to work harder to nail pitches that include a variety of intervals. I also love the personality that comes through when people do vibrato manually with the pitch bender.

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