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Richard Barbieri talks about his 2022 tour rig


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Some months back a poster here wondered why a modern keyboard player would have a set-up with wires everywhere and bits and bobs of analog and a laptop etc. and posted a photo of Richard Barbieri (Japan, Porcupine Tree).  Here Barbieri talks us through putting together his rig and sound programming for the upcoming PT tour following the new album release in about 3 weeks.  Interestingly he mentions Joe Zawinul as well as Brian Eno as a major influence.

 

 

 

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Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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Very interesting, thanx for sharing.

 

I like his approach and find his sonic adventures within the context of pop songs really special. His case is the one of a player who is not toο prominent on the mix but everything will fall apart if he stops playing.

Very much an important part of the sound of PT for sure. 

 

 

 

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Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Barberi's talk is inspiring on many levels. For me, it helped me scratch an itch, I've trying to scratch for weeks now ... a longing for adventurous musical sound-design. It's led me to Vangelis and Tomita and Peter Gabriels soundtracks ((Long Walk Home has some decent sound-design). Even Johann Johannson and Hilda Guonadottir. Most of my heroes are bit too familiar to me though. Sometimes they can sound  ... "canned." And then along comes this clip from Barbieri and he's doing it all quite expressively: samples, noise, audio rate modulation, FM (those gongs). Lovely!

 

Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with PT's catalog.  Do you think you would be willing to name the songs he discusses?  

 

I love how well he knows his way around the Prophet. It's very cool to see an electronic musician who has developed that type of intuitive relationship with an instrument. :clap: 

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Already got my tickets to see them in Dallas.

Seen him play with Steven Wilson's solo tours a couple times.  If you've never seen PT or Steven Wilson Live....well you really need to. They're phenomenal.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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5 hours ago, Tusker said:

Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with PT's catalog.  Do you think you would be willing to name the songs he discusses?  

I would jump right into Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet or Deadwing. Both those albums blow me away.  But I think he's discussing Harridan, an early release from their unreleased new album. You can Youtube any of those.

The really early PT albums are very much nods to Pink Floyd. The later albums, they started to get their own voice.

RB talks down about his chops, but I think he's a great player. He can certainly rip out a solo when he needs to.

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You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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12 hours ago, yannis D said:

a player who is not toο prominent on the mix but everything will fall apart if he stops playing.

 

When I´ve seen PT, he was very well audible in the mix and yes,- even he wasn´t into virtuoso soloing, his performance was exiting, inspiring and was exactly what the band needed.

He already got my attention when he was a member of "Japan".

 

☺️

 

A.C.

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He’s discussing a track from the new album due out next month. My favourite album is The Sky Moves Sideways. Also love his work with David Sylvian, e.g. Gone to Earth.

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Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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15 hours ago, Al Coda said:

 

When I´ve seen PT, he was very well audible in the mix and yes,- even he wasn´t into virtuoso soloing, his performance was exiting, inspiring and was exactly what the band needed.

Steven Wilson is so into making everything sound right. Only band I've ever seen that uses surround sound live, and uses it very effectively.  There's times when they bring in the surround sound effects that will just make your jaw drop.

He's evidently moved well past the mono vs stereo argument.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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19 minutes ago, Delaware Dave said:

Never heard of him .....

I guess he's no good then? Not sure what you're getting at.

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You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

Forte7, Nord Stage 3, XK3c, OB-6, Arturia Collection, Mainstage, MotionSound KBR3D. A bunch of MusicMan Guitars, Line6 stuff

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12 hours ago, Delaware Dave said:

Never heard of him .....

Member of Japan back in the day. And the keys player for Porcupine tree. A very inventive keyboardist 

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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I’m a fan of PT. Discovered them sometime ago when I was searching for music similar to Pink Floyd and their earlier albums are indeed close to that mood. 
 

As to who heard them. I think some popular journalist described PT as “the best band you never heard of” or something along these lines 😀 It’s both funny and sad though.

 

Thanks for the video. 

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Maybe I should’ve titled the thread: “The best synth player you’ve never heard of” ?

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Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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BTW, since someone was asking for recommendations. Here's a very isolated and peculiar one. So, I am a big fan of Animals by Pink Floyd and especially "Dogs" and one day I searched on the Internet if there's any music that is in the same mood. And yes, that was discussed on a forum already 🤣 The recommendation was for a specific piece by Porcupine Tree from their latest album:

 

I'm not sure if it was intentionally made to resemble (be a tribute to?) Dogs but it's very similar. And from there on I discovered their entire output which isn't small. And I wondered how come I had never heard of that great band. Go figure...

 

P.S. Here's a comment under the video:

Quote

This song's been criticised as a clone of "Dogs" by Pink Floyd, but I seem to remember Steven Wilson saying that this was exactly the point, it was a specific aim that it be a "hats off to Pink Floyd" track. So much of the rest of the output of PT over the years has shown that, even though Pink Floyd were an early influence of SW, the PT project eventually went far beyond anything that PF ever did in terms of signatures and chord changes, all that stuff. And I'm a lifelong Floyd fan (with the exception of much of The Wall and the rather depressingly bad Final Cut that is). And of course, there's also a nod to "Sheep" in here too towards the end.

 

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Thanks for sharing! I've been looking to check out more Porcupine Tree as it is. The bass player I frequently work with has played for many years with Randy McStine, who was recently announced as their new guitarist for this upcoming tour.

Samuel B. Lupowitz

Musician. Songwriter. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.

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"Harridan" and "Of the New Day" are both on Itunes now. Thank you for pointing me to Harridan. I am enjoying his sound design  on Harridan very much. 👍

 

It wasn't clear to me if he is discussing other songs in the video clip. Is he? Thanks.  🙏

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What a cool video, I love to see his process. Interesting to see that he has no problem with combining mini and full-size keys in his rig, even to tiny Roland keyboard. Have been a fan since the 80’s, he has a unique way of fitting synths into songs.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

-Captain Beefheart, Ice Cream for Crow

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22 minutes ago, NewImprov said:

Interesting to see that he has no problem with combining mini and full-size keys in his rig, even to tiny Roland keyboard.

 

I really like the sounds he creates for the shows,- but I was also surprised he´s going on tour w/ such rig.

Many small devices on a table which need to be set up and wired every day again.

My roadies killed me when I came w/ such a rig in the past.

I´d go and put a<ll on sliding shelfs in a rack, prewire and program for the shows, then send MIDI program changes from a set of 3 controller keyboards.

 

But I guess he can´t because current Reason Studios "Reason" and stock devices as well as REs don´t accept program changes at all.

 

☺️

 

A.C.

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