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Styx's 'Blue Collar Man'


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Hey gang,


I've been playing this song for a long time, but I have a hard time getting an organ sound that has the crunchy rawness of the original.


Does anyone know what they used and how I might get close using a Korg Triton, if it's possible?


Thanks as always,



Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:






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Our beloved Keyboard Magazine (then called Contemporary Keyboard) did an interview with Dennis DeYoung back in '81, and asked this very question. A transcript can be found on the StyxNet website .


For those who are interested, but can't be bothered clicking a link... well, here you go. ;)


Contemporary Keyboard

How did you get that rough-edged organ sound in the intro to "Blue Collar Man" [from Pieces Of Eight]? Did you just over-drive the Leslie in the studio?



No. That sound is actually done with a digital delay. I wish I could tell you the exact settings on the DDL, but it's a combination of the miked organ sound and its own delayed signal. "Blue Collar Man" is about blue collar workers, factory workers, and I wanted something that sounded like machinery starting up. So we tried it. The first mixdown we had was the organ straight, just as it was re-corded, with just a little chamber, a little reverberation. It sounded absolutely wrong. When it was finished I had an argument with the engineer because he liked the sound, but I said, "It sounds churchy." Whenever you put any kind of reverberation on an organ it sounds churchier because it sounds like it's something big in a big room. I said, "I want that sound to be up front, right in your face. The first thing you hear has to be this angry sound." So we fooled with the digital delay until we figured out how much of it should be used with the original signal to give that quality I wanted.

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Welcome back!

Thanks, Dave. :)


I popped back in to answer a few PM's, and saw the noise... rather than add to it, I figured I'd slip in through the side entrance and pretend I wasn't here. ;)


Oh, and I changed my avatar... hope Gas is happy. ;)



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Welcome Home, Sven :D:wave:

I'm going to try to make it to the Hard Rock Live March 31. I've pretty much convinced the wife to go, and I have the night off. :cool:

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.


Now everybody's got the blues."


Willie Dixon






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