Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Keyboard intruments in Summer Night City


Theo Verelst

Recommended Posts

I mean does anyone happen to know which keyboard instruments were used in the well known abba hit song, it sounds like an early roland MKS or what was the predecessor of the well known RD300, and I think I hear distorted Rhodes.

 

I've recently worked on getting the studio monitoring sound I think corresponds with norms coming up in the 70s, and was trying this song, too:

 

snc.mp3 44.1, st., 256, 1min

 

The mp3 contains only 20 secs of the beginning of the song from the 9-box collection, followed by the same but then through the following chain:

 

 

http://www.theover.org/Diary/Ldi104/Screenshot-124bc.png

 

which didn't all work (yet) as similar processing done on maybe a thousand other CD songs I tried. It's eq followed by a delayed path in parallel with a FFT-based eq and expander, followed by more eq and 4 band multi-expansion and more eq.

 

Why is this interesting too? The path appears to agree with the Kurzweil PC3 too, at times scaringly great.

 

Theo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply
To make sure: there's no compression (except ever so slight limiting in the FFT eq), but ONLY expansion (the actual opposite of compression) in my added signal path. Of course those songs are quite compressed on CD with varying degrees of success. For me the second version already works a lot more natural on my pretty neutral system, at moderate volume (it's got some loudness related eq, so too loud won't work good).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it sounds more bass-y then for normal general use because well CDs always sound so un-bassy, but I didn't make the sound suitable for loud playing back, so according to the Loudness Curve there's some dip in mid and lift of bass. Not really the point.

 

To explain what points I meant to make (at least): the midrange thing is a complicated matter which I suppose is an averaging which makes dangerous resonating mid tones mellowed out (so as to protect people who play the CD or record loud). But the mastering process on many CDs appears to make mistakes and destroy a nice spatious and lively mid-range sound. The mulitband DE-copmpression is supposed to undo some of the mastering compression and if I'm not mistaking, that's often a way to work.

 

The example I put here doesn't really "tune" nicely into the nice record-type (as least that's how I remember it) of album-sound, which I was wondering about, but never mind, it wasn't an intelligence test. Honestly I was working also on correcting FFT-based "changes" made to many TV audio signals, which is quite a rough amount of corrections, maybe that's what's going on.

 

I think it's cool music and like it to sound fuller and of course with a live type of sound feel to it, but probably that would soon blow up stereos if the star music would be put on media that way.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ABBA were huge fans of the Yamaha CP70 and CP80.

 

The MKS series from Roland came many years later.

 

I find the glossy production of ABBA's records makes it hard to distinguish instruments sometimes. They took the Beatles' approach of trying to have a unified sound. Sometimes the guitars are hard to tell from the keyboards, due to doubling, playing technique, and mixing choices.

 

So, what you may find, is there's some Clavinet in there as well.

 

I don't have access to the song right now as I only have it on cassette tape; this is just a general point about ABBA's songs and also what I can remember of the sound of that song without playing it. I'll see if I can dig it out later. It's one of the few I haven't covered (I was in an ABBA tribute band once), so I'm less confident of the instrumentation on this one than some of the others.

 

Here's another hint though: see if it's discussed in Sound On Sound, as I seem to recall an interview with the producer or engineer a year or so ago that went into great detail about this specific song or at least the ones from that session (the Voulez-Vous album, primarily, but this song was only ever a single).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Additionally, ABBA used the Yamaha CS-80 now and then -- although they also used real orchestra players and other analog synths.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recall mixing shots from TV with serious rakcs full of equipment, and I recall an interview from about the time of that song where the Yamaha GS or GX-1 was mentioned..

 

I think a low of work went into bass shaping and reverb-preparation as well. Almost none of the songs sound either unnatural (i.e. except for synth the sound is like a bass guitar somewhat) but with only a few exception they all sound unregular.

 

May well be a CP sound what I heard, indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm pretty sure ABBA had a GS or GX-1 as well; I wanted to research that first before saying so. I'm 100% positive about the other gear though. I'm pretty sure they had either or both of the GS-1 and GX-1; I just don't recall when those went into use. The vintage of Summer Night City sounds about right though (1978?).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...