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Pink Floyd The Wall


The Real MC

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The Wall is not one of my favorite Floyd albums, but this looks like an awesome rig and a fun, challenging gig. Have a great show!

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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1. aren't "Empty Spaces" and "Another brick pt. III" pretty much built on sequences?

 

Yes, I am using the sequencer in the Andromeda to do the short loops. Tried it by hand. OK it's not "zero sequences" but I managed to replicate "Nobody Home" "Bring The Boys Back Home" and "The Trial" without sequences.

 

The cast really likes the loop in "Empty Spaces", it gets a reaction.

 

2. Are y'all doing the long version of AB pt. III, or the short version from the album?

 

Short version from the album, potentially stretched if the wall builders fall behind a little.

 

Where is there a long version?

 

3. are you the one who's rolling the sound effects?

 

No sampler on my end, sound FX between songs handled by FOH.

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I think you're a bit mad, Real MC - but a bit of madness can be an awesome addition to a dull world.

 

Nah I like a challenge. I've been honing my orchestration chops and this is a rare opportunity to display them. Can't play that stuff in bar gigs.

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You really managed to play the piano and orchestral parts by yourself "on nobody's home"? wow, must be a real puzzle to figure that one out.

 

What do you use for the piano in your setup? Or does the Kurzweil has onboard sounds?

 

One trick is to arrange the layers so that when the MIDIBoard configuration is called up for that song, the SOLO button activates piano only. When I want to bring in the horns and strings, I turn off the SOLO button.

 

Another trick is a different velocity curve for the horns. I can control piano / horn balance just by velocity sensing.

 

Works pretty well.

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looks sweet! i'd love to hear more about your approach - what instruments you are using on which songs and parts!

 

It really comes down the strength of each instrument and strategic switching between boards with economy of motion.

 

First off, everything is MIDI'd to my MIDIBoard. It is command central. I have patches, volumes, FX, splits, layers, et all all pre-configured in the MB for each song. One button press on the MB and everything switches for the next song or section in the song. No one makes a decent MIDI controller like the MB anymore, it's a fantastic tool for this challenge.

 

Hard to beat the Kurzweils for orchestral parts. Since the 1000 modules do not have onboard DSP effects, I am using Lexicon PCM60s for reverbs. I use two Kurzweil modules each with their own PCM60 - 1000PX with piano and percussive sounds go through a room reverb, while the 1000AX with orchestral sounds go through a plate reverb. A single multiFX doesn't cut it because the audio is muted when the reverb is changed, and there isn't time to wait for the FX to come live. I never liked reverbs on multiFX boxes because reverb is a very computative demanding process and there is always a compromise trying to design a multiFX with reverb. To my ears the dedicated reverb boxes sound better.

 

Sometimes I am using one of the analogs for orchestral stuff because the Kurzweils don't have onboard filters. While the Memorymoog excels at strings and the OBX excels at brass, sometimes I'll use the Andromeda because it has velocity sensing and the ribbon controller.

 

"Comfortably Numb" strings in the chorus is handled by the MM because I elected to use the ribbon on the Andromeda for the "whale" parts in the intro, which happens to be a trombone patch used for the rest of the song.

 

Then in "The Trial", I elected to use Andromeda for strings for several reasons. One, I need the velocity sensing. Two, I have the MB set up for brass and need to switch quickly between strings and brass. Three, the OBX is doing the english horn. Four, the MM nailed the orchestral bells (it's REALLY good at clangorous sounds).

 

For the synth sounds, the MM and OBX are well suited for the jobs. The MM does the vox humana stuff really well, and bass synth in "Brick pt I" and "Is There Anybody Out There?" can only be pulled off with the three VCO MM. "Brick pt I" shows off the MM with six voices firing in unison with all three VCOs per voice - one of the few places where 18 VCOs can show off. The sequencer on the A6 was handy for the short loops in "Empty Spaces" and "Brick pt III". The OBX synth brass are perfect for block chords and "One Of My Turns". The A6 does CS-80 sounds very well, when the cast heard the CS-80 synth parts on "Mother" they just melted.

 

I could had used the MIX feature to layer/split stuff on the A6, but I didn't have time to set that up. There had to be over fifty sounds to put together and that was enough work.

 

Then there's the Taurus pedals. Besides bass pedals sounds, I am sometimes using the T3 as a MIDI controller. During "Don't Leave Me Now", I layer the T3 with bass notes from the grand piano. Way cool sound. That's where the JLCooper MSB comes in, I can route any MIDI controller to any board or module. The MSB lets me transpose and channel bump the T3 MIDI note messages. In "The Trial" are a couple of places I need the orchestral bell but both hands are occupied, so I used the T3 to trigger them.

 

And then there's the volume pedals for the MM and OBX.

 

As you can imagine, it's a delicate dance and balancing act with all this stuff. Probably the most ambitious I have attempted.

 

I prefer outboard FX. The A6 is the only board using onboard FX but the reverbs aren't great. I put an Eventide 2016 on the MM and Lexicon PCM60 on the OBX. Both also have their own Korg SDD-3300 and I am using a routing trick combining the reverbs with the Korg SDD-3300s. The 3300 is a triple delay unit that is IMO the best delay unit for analog synths - I gave up on multiFX boxes long ago. With the flexible combo delay/reverb setup, I have a lot of subtle non-obvious stereo processing on my analogs. I am using my own FX not the factory patches. Besides battling the sonic spectrum with two guitars in the band, that stereo imaging is necessary for the singers in the cast so they aren't drowned out.

 

All tools I have used for decades, and I don't see this flexibility on modern stuff anymore.

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I would be TERRIFIED to attempt to play live with a MemoryMoog, based on past sad, sad (and expensive) experiences! You're a braver man than I.

 

I've owned it since 1986. Ten years later it was failing so I modified it by replacing strategic components to make it more reliable. I used to work in military electronics and I know some tricks. Since then the MM has been very reliable and gig-worthy.

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Forgot to mention: the guitar player's wife - who is a musician with good ears - heard the show and was convinced that "Bring The Boys Back Home" and "The Trial" were played back from tape/CD. Keep in mind that the wall is now complete and the audience cannot see any of us playing. The guitar player told her that he watched me play all those parts live. Gives me great satisfaction to fool expert ears.
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:love:

 

MC, you are my kind of nuts! I'm so envious of you, having a project like this where you can bring every trick possible to the table to make the best music possible. It's also the big advantage of theatre gigs - set up once, tear down once.

 

Hats off to you sir, and make sure you post some audio! ;)

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  • 1 month later...

Getting the videos split up, here's some teasers.

 

Comfortably Numb

[video:youtube]

 

Goodbye Blue Sky/In The Flesh? ptII

[video:youtube]

 

Nobody Home

[video:youtube]

 

Hey You/Is There Anybody Out There

[video:youtube]

 

Finale

I'm playing all the orchestra parts in "The Trial" (some parts with my bass pedals as a MIDI controller) and the explosion FX as the wall comes down.

[video:youtube]

 

More videos to come

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Man, sounds like a lot of fun. Are you leaving your keys set up at the theater or tearing down every night? ... By the way, where is the theater? :)

 

The shows were done a month ago. I did leave my rig there; set it up once and tear it down after the last show. Nice change from the usual club show.

 

I saw this link not long ago. It's probably compiled from a detailed website but it chronicles Rick Wright's entire keyboard gear history from studio albums and live setups.

 

For those interested:

http://sparebricks.fika.org/sbzine28/WrightGear-rev156.pdf

 

I never followed Floyd or Rick Wright much but that is a very comprehensive gearlist. Almost every Floyd gearlist follows David Gilmour, nice to see one on Wright. Thanks for sharing.

 

I had no clue that my gear closely paralleled Wright's. I was conscious about using gear from that era, not knowing what synths Wright used on The Wall (others were also credited with keyboard parts). I didn't own a Prophet-5 or ARP Quadra to use for the PF shows, but the Andromeda was a worthy substitute.

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2. Are y'all doing the long version of AB pt. III, or the short version from the album?

 

Short version from the album, potentially stretched if the wall builders fall behind a little.

 

Where is there a long version?

 

They always did a longer version live, Basically, it got chopped down on the album due to time constraints. Roger Waters kept doing the long version in his solo shows after he left the band. Kinda like this:

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

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