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Yes, I have played the PPG and Fairlight

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  • Yes, I have played the PPG and Fairlight

    I was house programmer at Unique Recording Studios in 1986, then later house engineer, then later free-lance session guru who worked their a lot.

    Bobby Nathan, the owner of Unique ( who owns the killer URS plug-ins BTW- U.R.S. stands for Unique Recording Studios-duh!)
    Was the consumate gear slut! He owned EVERYTHING. His outboard collection was only bettered by Blackbird in Nashville. He owned several SSL consoles a dozen Studer 2" machines, a Neve console and much much more.

    But Bobby wanted to offer a studio what no other could and that was every cool synth and keyboard he could get his hands on, and get them before anyone else. The guys at Fairlight were always at the studio and Bobby had two complete Series III''s with all of the options plus the full PPG.2.3 with the even rarer Waveterm.( a fully loaded Series III had a retail of 90K)
    I didn't gravitate toward the PPG that much, its a very odd axe to navigate and get useful or reliable results quickly for studio usage. Although the sound is very interesting, it was very thin, and it wasn't that useful for the sessions I performed there, i.e. no one EVER asked for it.
    The Fairlight was a different story. The Series III was a beast in every sense of the word yet very elegant and inviting. It was a blast to sample and edit with, 16 bit with up to 100kHz sampling rate, the monitor and light-pen. I made a small library for my personal use there but someone stole it and made E2 and Akai samples from it (bummer!) The Sequencer page was a bit cumbersome and flaky, back ups took forever (onto data tape drives) but it really shined on drums. Listen to Def Lepard HYsteria- its practically all Fairlight. I'd still love to have one and tinker with, like an antique car.

  • #2
    The studio I worked at had a full blown Synclavier w sampling, which replaced a crapload of analogue stuff - giant E-Mu modular, Emulator II, 2 Oberheim Xpanders, lotsa SEMs, etc.

    Always wanted to try the Fairlight too.
    Moe---It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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    • #3
      There was a Fairlight at the university I went to many moons ago. We couldn't get our grubby little hands on it though - it was for demonstrations by the instructors only at that time. Too expensive to risk it.

      We got to play with the minimoogs and A.R.P.'s though.

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      • #4
        this is an interesting quote:

        "I didn't gravitate toward the PPG that much, its a very odd axe to navigate and get useful or reliable results quickly for studio usage. Although the sound is very interesting, it was very thin, and it wasn't that useful for the sessions I performed there, i.e. no one EVER asked for it."

        its user interface takes some getting used to, and it doesnt always sound good and definitely not automatically fat, but if you know how to use it and know what to use it for, ppgs sound great. if someone came to me looking to own a single synth, i definitely wouldnt recommend it though.
        i would never go without a ppg.
        mini
        VINTAGE SYNTH DEALER
        We buy, sell & trade analog synths
        http://www.123synthland.com

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        • #5
          I love mine. Very rewarding...

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          • #6
            I had a IIx in the early 90's. It came from Hall and Oates and had some of their custom samples on the disks. It was definitely a cool sounding piece of gear. The fun thing was transposing sounds way up and down and hearing how differently the Fairlight handled it versus more conventional samplers.

            I picked up a PPG 2.3 in the late 80's and it's still here with me. I had the 2.2, Waveterm A, Waveterm B, EVU, etc as well over the years. In some ways, if I had to have only 1 vintage synth, I might pick the PPG over most other things. You can get great low end out of it, along with lots of modulated/complex sounds. It's certainly very versatile and fairly quick to program.

            One small thing about the PPG - it was the only synth I own that saved the position of the mod wheel as part of the patch. So you could dial in the exact amount of modulation you wanted, save the patch, and capture that amount as part of the patch.

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