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Billie Jean Keyboard?


metromike

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Anyone know what keyboard(s) were used in MJ's Billie Jean?? I'm trying to learn this song....It's easy enough, but looking for that "hooh hooh" sound.....thanks for any input!
Gear: Roland RD700, Yamaha MotifES6, Roland Fantom FA76, Roland JP-8000, Roland AX-7, Roland Juno-106.
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I layer a vocal patch from my Fantom XR across an analog string patch on my S70XS, and the upper end of the S70 takes care of the descending string line later on in the tune. I think I'm using a total of 3 string sounds + the vocal hoo-hoo patch.

I wouldn't pop a vein over it. I believe Jackson is singing those hoo's lightly mixed in as well.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

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I layer a vocal patch from my Fantom XR across an analog string patch on my S70XS, and the upper end of the S70 takes care of the descending string line later on in the tune. I think I'm using a total of 3 string sounds + the vocal hoo-hoo patch.

I wouldn't pop a vein over it. I believe Jackson is singing those hoo's lightly mixed in as well.

 

THIS

 

Although, if you listen close, the "Hoo, Hoo" layer is only in the beginning, and after the first bridge, it's just strings. The challenge in that song, and the reason for the need for multiple string patches, is changes in string attack/decay/release. Some of that may be able to be acheived using volume pedal, and possibly some other controllers or velocity to adjust attack, but I just tackle it with multiple patches.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I read somewhere that it's CS80 blended with MJ. The CS80 was done in one take, played by MJ himself.

 

I believe it was Greg Phillinganes that played the keyboard part. Also, Bruce Swedien recorded a direct signal from the keyboard, as well as a mic'd cabinet in a room. There used to be a Bruce-Swedien forum on Gearsltuz. He posted several techniques he used when recoding with MJ. Unfortunately, the link to the forum no longer works.

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I believe it was Greg Phillinganes that played the keyboard part.

 

Not according to the Keyboard mag issue re: Michael Jackson.

 

But whatev... one take, same groove, no sequencing, and no foul ups... that's focus.

I make software noises.
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I believe it was Greg Phillinganes that played the keyboard part.

 

Not according to the Keyboard mag issue re: Michael Jackson.

 

Are you sure you aren't confusing what the article is saying? The article that discusses "who played what" in Keyboard is talking about the live band for the "This Is It" performance, not the recording of the album.

 

I don't have it in front of me, but I don't recall that article specifically stating who played on what track, but rather what keyboard was used on each track for the 'signature' sounds.

 

Here's the link: Clonk away.

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I did find something about MJ recording the vocals in 1 take (and something about him singing through a cardboard tube).

 

Here's the quote from the above link:

That fuzz was also part of a multi-layered sound I used for the four-chord basic string vamp on Billie Jean Michael Jackson himself played that part on a CS-80 in one take. No punches. No repairs. No sequencers or time correction. Seven minutes. Perfect performance.

 

 

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Here's the quote from the above link:

That fuzz was also part of a multi-layered sound I used for the four-chord basic string vamp on Billie Jean Michael Jackson himself played that part on a CS-80 in one take. No punches. No repairs. No sequencers or time correction. Seven minutes. Perfect performance.

 

Yep, but that's the string line, not the "hooh hooh" the OP was asking about. ;)

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Mike, looking at the list of gear in your sig line, you shouldn't have a problem finding the appropriate sound. Be creative mayne. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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If I may be so bold (and trying to bear in mind we've got a "be classy" thread devolving into a cage match here on the forum ;) ), I'll offer this:

 

Often we'll see questions asking "which keyboard" was used on a song; frankly, unless you're interested in going out and buying said keyboard and learning how to program it (because, frankly, there aren't many presets being used on classic tracks :thu:), it would be a better approach to say "I'm trying to replicate X sound on one of my boards, which are A, B and C. Any thoughts?"

 

In this thread, for example, if I were to say that the vocal "hooh hooh" sounds were from a custom Fairlight sample, what bloody good would that do anyone? :snax:

 

So yeah, more time spent learning the gear you have, and being able to realize that there are some decent vocal formant samples on the Motif and Fantom series boards would be far more beneficial, IMNACTHO (In My Not Anywhere Close To Humble Opinion). :D

 

Have a great weekend, all!

 

:wave:

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Brotha Sven, I totally agree. Taking it a step further, most modern ROMplers have presets closely resembling the sound(s) used on hit songs of yesteryear.

 

Of course, the preset name may not be so obvious due to copyright but it provides good reason to go through all 1,532 of them. :laugh:

 

Seriously, layering the Fantom and Motif should result in a sound far better than on the record. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I'm not sure what this hooh hooh sound is of which people speak. I've been playing in a high profile MJ tribute for about 2 years, and I am so sick of these songs . . . . oh wait, that's for a different thread. Anyway, my point is, this is a band where, arguably, authenticity is of some importance. I've changed keyboards and/or patches any number of times, on most of the songs. As far as I can tell, it hasn't made any difference, as long as the sounds are in the right ballpark. If I screw up the notes, lose the groove, or just plain can't be heard, those are all problems . . . relax and enjoy it, focus on your chops.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Thanks everyone....but how would I layer the Fantom and Motif?? midi??

 

Given where you're at, Mike, I'll respectfully say just use one keyboard and get the sound. Going with MIDI is adding way more to your plate than you want to deal with, given that you're also learning a batch of new tunes and how to program your boards.

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had the pleasure of meeting mj when he lived in grouse lodge (search grouse lodge studio ireland ... ireland (check it out..... his dark days) and i can testify that man could play all instruments better than most of could imagine, two words...............musical, genoius, y,all would have needed to c that. not saying this lightly but this genious owned any instrument he decided too. could brag but fornunately mj gave me memories that i shall never forget. good bye friend. fucking legend
Korg kronos, casio px5s, studiologic sl 88 studio, korg m50,korg triton, yamaha moxf6, hammond xk1, korg sp200
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Thanks everyone....but how would I layer the Fantom and Motif?? midi??

 

Given where you're at, Mike, I'll respectfully say just use one keyboard and get the sound. Going with MIDI is adding way more to your plate than you want to deal with, given that you're also learning a batch of new tunes and how to program your boards.

 

+1. Take a stock choir patch with some attack, a stock poly synth, a string patch, layer them together, and you have a workable patch. No need to go 2nd keyboard controlled by MIDI for that.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

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Did this song a couple years ago using a custom patch on the RD-700. Layered 3 sounds (voice pad, poly synth & strings) and split the stings by them self on the lower octaves for those cool string passages.

 

 

 

 

We play for free. We get paid to set up and tear down.
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