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defining all these piano sounds


MIDIdiot

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After a number of mths reading kb mag and this ultra cool forum, I keep seeing references to the various piano sounds, wurly, rhodes, clav etc. I'm pretty sure I know what these all are but how about a song that you think highlights very well, the sound if one wanted to really get the picture.

Here's some off the top of my head (and I may be wrong)

 

rhodes: riders on the storm

wurlitzer: logical song

clav: superstitious (intro)

hohner pianet: not sure bout this one

mellotron: never been too sure but recently read was used on strawberry fields, I guess was used to imitate any number of sounds...Genesis used this a lot ??

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You're right about the other sounds (and I'm also in the dark about the Pianet) but probably the best example of the Mellotron was the Moody Blues' Knights in White Satin , where you'll hear it "do" strings and choir (the flute was real).

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Rod

Here for the gear.

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Originally posted by Tom Fiala:

A good example of Hohner pianet is the Zombies "She's not there" and many other of Argent's early songs.

Funny, I could swear that's a Wurlitzer.

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Rod

Here for the gear.

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Originally posted by InTheDark:

As for JPJ, wow, I never realized he played keys, I always figured it was a session guy. What did they do in concert?

In concert John Paul Jones played keyboards on many songs while playing bass pedals. Stairway to Heaven, Thank You, Trampled Under Foot, No Quarter, etc. He also played a mean mandolin in concert :cool:
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Another good example of mellotron is the string sounds and sound FX like birds in Yessongs (by Yes). As a live album recorded back in 73 or so, we're assured that the mellotron sound is relatively unadultered by postprocessing. No doubt some live fx were used, but I don't think anyone even made a decent stereo chorus back then.

 

I don't know what "logical song" is.

 

I believe "Do It Again" by Steel Dan is a good example of a wurlitzer. That's from memory, though -- just possible it's a rhodes and my memory is at fault. There are some songs with parts where I find it hard to tell whether it's a rhodes or a wurlie -- hard to imagine since they sound so different when played. Maybe I just need a better stereo ;)

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Originally posted by InTheDark:

hohner pianet: not sure bout this one

Listen to early Genesis. IIRC, Tony Banks used a Hohner Pianet T on Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot before replacing it with an RMI piano for the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

 

mellotron: never been too sure but recently read was used on strawberry fields, I guess was used to imitate any number of sounds...Genesis used this a lot ??
Indeed they did, as did King Crimson, the Moody Blues, Yes and quite a few others .

 

The Mellotron isn't a piano, though - it's basically a giant tape player. Each key triggered it's own seven or eight second piece of tape that had a few different sounds recorded on it. The most widely used/recognized Mellotron sounds were strings, flute and choir.

 

Here\'s more if you're interested.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I don't know what "logical song" is.

;)

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,

a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.

And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,

joyfully, playfully watching me.

But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,

logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

clinical, intellectual, cynical...

 

There are times when all the world's asleep,

the questions run too deep

for such a simple man.

Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned

I know it sounds absurd

but please tell me who I am.

 

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,

liberal, fanatical, criminal...

Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're

acceptable, respecable, presentable, a vegtable...

 

At night, when all the world's asleep,

the questions run so deep

for such a simple man.

Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned

I know it sounds absurd

but please tell me who I am

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

:)

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Pink Floyd used a Wurly for the Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here albums.

 

The best single Clav track I can think of is "Play With Me" from Jeff Beck's Wired, on which Max Middleton played Clav extensively.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I believe "Do It Again" by Steel Dan is a good example of a wurlitzer. That's from memory, though -- just possible it's a rhodes and my memory is at fault. ;)

I think that may be a Rhodes. However, Steely Dans' "Dirty Work" is definately a Wurli.
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And also from what I've been reading, it seems these 'classic' ep sounds are some of the most sought after sounds today, together with great analog sounds from the '80s. It's that this would be the trend for kb instruments, being the most (only) tech advanced instruments in music. So why do you think that is? The simple answer might be, they just sound awesome but I'm curious what else you guys think. Maybe Mick Jagger was right when he said there's no such thing as new music, everything is recycled.

Lastly, I'm killing myself because last year I bought an EMU B3 module, wholesale, when I could have gotten the vintage instead. What was I thinking!

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Ah, yes -- logical song -- guess I just never knew the name, but I certainly remember it. Supertramp definitely used a lot of wurlie. Never had one myself but played 'em a number of times. I always just wished the keyboard went a bit lower.

 

I'm listening to "Do It Again" right now and I'm sure it's a wurlie. It's listed as that on the web page linked to above (along with a number of other interesting examples).

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Originally posted by learjeff:

I'm listening to "Do It Again" right now and I'm sure it's a wurlie. It's listed as that on the web page linked to above (along with a number of other interesting examples).

Right on. :thu:
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For the older guys, I believe Joe Zawinul played a Wurlitzer electric piano with Cannonball Adderly on the tune Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. (I'm dating myself, I know.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

Originally posted by Immordino:

I do believe it was a Mellotron flute sample.

Yep. Played by McCartney, IIRC.

 

I believe it was the first time a Mellotron was used on a pop record.

 

dB

Have you listened to Abby Road lately? I can't believe there was so much synthesizer on it. At the time of release, I never really heard the parts - probably just wasn't aware they existed. I think Abby Road may have seen one of the first extensive uses of a synth on a pop record . :cool:

____________________________________
Rod

Here for the gear.

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Originally posted by Tom Fiala:

A good example of Hohner pianet is the Zombies "She's not there" and many other of Argent's early songs.

Another example of Hohner Pianet for prog/avantgarde folks is Mike Ratledge's work in Soft Machine around the time of Third (esp. "Slightly All the Time").
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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Have you listened to Abby Road lately? I can't believe there was so much synthesizer on it. At the time of release, I never really heard the parts - probably just wasn't aware they existed. I think Abby Road may have seen one of the first extensive uses of a synth on a pop record .

Yes, there is a minimoog that George used in "Here Comes The Sun" for the leads in the changing meters.

"Learn the changes, then forget them."

 

-Charlie Parker

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Nope, not a mini. It was a full modular Moog.

 

You'll find it almost throughout Here Comes The Sun. In addition, it's (of course) the 'wind' sound in I Want You (She's So Heavy), and it's the primary instrument in Because. Plus it's heard in other places on that record.

Originally posted by hermanjoe:

Yes, there is a minimoog that George used in "Here Comes The Sun" for the leads in the changing meters.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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"Don't Let Me Down" a Wurlitzer?

"Get Back" a Rhodes?

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find 700 of Harry’s piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and jazz piano tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas

 

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