Jump to content


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

Close to the Edge - Opening Ostinato - Instrument?


Sundown

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

I'm pretty familiar with Rick's rig from the early/mid-70's, but I can't identify what instrument he used for the opening ostinato to "Close to the Edge".

 

Someone posted an isolated version of his tracks, so you can hear it pretty clearly at the start of this video:

 

[video:youtube]3H3DuHLdm0M

 

For live performances he has used a Hammond (e.g. Yessongs and An Evening of Yes Music Plus), but the studio track is definitely not a Hammond. If it's a Moog, he's using a very, very short release, but I don't think it's a Moog either.

 

My hunch is that it's a harpsichord with some sort of muted strings, but I could be totally wrong.

 

Does anybody know definitively what it is?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 14
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Considering his rig, I'd say a minimoog. It's definitely a synth, and I think that's the only one he was using. You can tell it's a monophonic synth patch by listening to the envelopes... if he doesn't lift his finger high enough between notes, a new note picks up the envelope of the previous note. There's a lot of that right at the start, like between 2 and 4 seconds in. A minimoog could certainly make a sound like that. (Not a harpsichord, though!)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second the Minimoog vote. Definitely not a harpsichord.

 

Honestly, given the keyboards he had available at the time, there won't be a lot of options. Work it backwards:

Not a piano

Not a Hammond

Not a Mellotron (although someone will probably argue that he recorded something himself)

Etc.

The Minimoog ends up being the only viable candidate, totally aside from the synth-i-ness of the sound.

 

Where are all these marvelous isolated tracks coming from?

 

Grey

I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where are all these marvelous isolated tracks coming from?

 

Boy, good question... I can't think of any DSP that would be capable of doing the isolation. Someone must have access to the original multi-tracks.

 

Todd

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second the Minimoog vote. Definitely not a harpsichord.

 

My thought on the harpsichord was the attack, and the fact that he used one for other parts of the track (and "Siberian Khatru").

 

But I hear what Scott is saying... Some of the attacks sound like a mono-synth, and a Mini would be Rick's go-to axe at that time.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely not an acoustic harpsichord, the body of the note is UNMISTAKABLY a filtered sawtooth. But the attack has WAY more harmonics than a sawtooth alone. So it's probably two oscillators, but then you'd need two parallel envelopes to make the attack oscillator die completely, and a mini can't do that. You could do it with a semi-modular synth like an ARP2600, modular Moog or Buchla.

 

It couldn't be an organ, electronic piano (CP-30, etc), acoustic instrument either because it's clearly monophonic: each successive note abruptly cuts off the last. That isn't just precise legato playing (the great thing is it's not even that precise, you can hear some slop and wrong notes, but who cares!), that's a monophonic oscillator. Sometimes the attack is triggered, sometimes it's not, as if the attack sound has a mono trigger too, so it only triggers when no other keys are down (like the percussion stage on a B3).

 

So yeah, I'm gonna go with a 2600, Modular Moog, Buchla, or other modular synth laying around in the studio.

Puck Funk! :)

 

Equipment: Laptop running lots of nerdy software, some keyboards, noise makersâ¦yada yada yadaâ¦maybe a cat?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, it sounds do-able on a Minimoog. More than one oscillator, yes, but no extra envelopes needed.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, it sounds do-able on a Minimoog. More than one oscillator, yes, but no extra envelopes needed.

 

Not sure how that would work. The body of the note sounds like a single oscillator (sawtooth) to my ears. If you only had one envelope, a second oscillator would still be around through the body of the note. I could hear that attack sound being a resonant sawtooth, noise generator, or thin pulse wave, but then we'd hear that generator sustain through the rest of the note.

Puck Funk! :)

 

Equipment: Laptop running lots of nerdy software, some keyboards, noise makersâ¦yada yada yadaâ¦maybe a cat?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm missing some subtlety, but I don't hear anything tricky about it. I think I got pretty close pretty quickly...

 

[video:youtube]

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Presumably one envelope (fast attack, fast-ish decay, medium sustain) modulating filter and amplitude simultaneously?

Minimoog has one envelope for filter and one for VCA, you can't use the same envelope for both. Of course, you could set the two envelopes the same way if you want to, more or less. (In my quick go at it above, I didn't.)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone. I would have never guessed a Minimoog.

 

And thanks to Scott for posting the clip and demonstration.

Sundown

 

Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Driven Away

Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361

DAW Platform: Cubase

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...