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Rush - Subdivisions. What sounds?


Mr Roboto

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I'm trying to either find a good patch for this song for my M1, or edit my own. It sounds to me like the bass parts are some kind of saw wave sound, but the higher parts sound like they could be strings and saw together. Or, maybe I'm just not hearing it right. Anyone have any insight into this?

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Most Romplers that are a little newer than the M-1 have factory patches that make reference to Sub-Divisions.

 

 

Hah, that figures.:lol:

 

This might be a stupid question, but what is a rompler exactly? I assume "rompler" is ROM/sampler?

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Cool. I wish I knew what those sounds were. Maybe I should also mention that I'm totally new to keyboards/synths.
:)

 

Roboto - Moog and Oberheim are like - the Fender and Gibson of the synth world. They are classic "analog" synthesizers from the late '70s/early '80s that have a very classic, "fat", powerful sound. They are "analog" as opposed to the M1 which is purely "digital".

 

You will never have a true analog Moog or Oberheim sound from the M1, but you can get good "digital" approximations. Also, the M1 can be expanded with cards that have additional synth waveforms. Start from the sawtooth waveform and experiment... that's the key...

 

Hah, that figures.
:lol:

This might be a stupid question, but what is a rompler exactly? I assume "rompler" is ROM/sampler?

 

You got it... it's a synth that plays back sampled waveforms. The M1 would be one of the earliest forms of ROMplers.

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Roboto - Moog and Oberheim are like - the Fender and Gibson of the synth world. They are classic "analog" synthesizers from the late '70s/early '80s that have a very classic, "fat", powerful sound. They are "analog" as opposed to the M1 which is purely "digital".


You will never have a true analog Moog or Oberheim sound from the M1, but you can get good "digital" approximations. Also, the M1 can be expanded with cards that have additional synth waveforms. Start from the sawtooth waveform and experiment... that's the key...




You got it... it's a synth that plays back sampled waveforms. The M1 would be one of the earliest forms of ROMplers.

 

 

Thanks again Paolo. Maybe eventually I'll stop annoying you with these very basic questions. I know that the classic Van Halen - Jump sound is an Oberheim, and the M1 has a factory preset that is VERY close.

 

My wife is getting very annoyed. I guess I need to get a new set of headphones. :lol:

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Thanks again Paolo. Maybe eventually I'll stop annoying you with these very basic questions. I know that the classic Van Halen - Jump sound is an Oberheim, and the M1 has a factory preset that is VERY close.


My wife is getting very annoyed. I guess I need to get a new set of headphones.
:lol:

Take the preset that sounds like "Jump" and lower the filter cutoff. That should get you something close to the Subdivisions sound.

 

Often these sounds will have "Brass" in the preset name, so look through any synth-brass presets your M1 has.

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I don't know if this is accurate, but Wikipedia reports that Geddy Lee used the following synths on that album: Minimoog, Oberheim OB-X and OB-Xa, Roland JP-8, Moog Taurus pedals, Oberheim DSX and Roland TR 808 rhythm machine.

 

If you want to re-create these sounds without going the vintage route, you could buy any modern VA (that stands for Virtual Analog) synthesizer and you should be able to get approximations that would sound alright. The Alesis Ion, for example, would do the job very well and it can be found cheap in the used market.

On the other hand, an older ROMpler like the M1, will get you sounds that kind of resemble the originals, but don't really sound much like them. A newer ROMpler will have sounds that are much closer but even if you buy a used one, it will be more expensive than a used VA.

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Back in the old days I used to play Subdivisions a lot on my Korg Polysix. It's been a couple of decades, but if I recall correctly, I used the ensemble effect to get the sound just right. The reason I mention it is that effects can be an important facet of matching the sound on commercial songs.

 

So take the advice about turning the filter down on a Jump patch, then add a chorus or similar effect on the M1.

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I created a Subdivisions patch on my Andromeda, and also have a preset on my Motif that comes pretty close. There is little/no resonance in that patch, and AFAIK it was originally done on an OB-X so there's no split involved. The bass and the chords were the same patch. Perhaps the key tracking on the filter is tweaked to make the bass a bit punchier.

 

If the M1 has an Oberheim-ish detuned saw waveform (which it does if it has a decent Jump preset), that waveform could be used to make a decent Subdivisions patch too. You'll want some kind of chorus effect on there too.

 

Now if you want to do the solo, you'll want a VA, or a Moog. ;)

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Well as you know Geddy used a Fantom (X?) and Little Phatty on the Snakes and Arrows tour. What I don't know is if his patches on the Fantom were samples of an Oberheim or a patch that he or a tech made to sound like it.

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M1 has no resonant filter.

 

 

It's a matter of using the right tool for the right job. If you don't want to spend a lot, there's still a whole load of options; it's just that a VA has what your M1 doesn't.

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Subdivisions was a Nord Lead :p

 

Seriously, the OB-Xa is the majority of the sounds. The OB-Xa has a split function but not the OB-X. Geddy configured the bottom split with a unison patch - four voices (eight VCOs) firing at once. Then he layered this with the Taurus pedals. The chords are the upper split. I've seen the video of the song that has an overhead shot over Geddy's keyboards and you can see his hands and feet playing.

 

I have duplicated this configuration on the Andromeda and nailed the sound.

 

The hard part is the Oberheim 12dB filter. It has a unique color that is seldom replicated in anything. That filter color is largely responsible for the timbre of the chords. Good luck finding a rompler that can emulate that.

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The M1's sawtooth waveform(s) may not have the right character. I'm not too familiar with the M1, but I know that the saw waves in my Triton (probably similar with respect to the single-cycle synth waveforms) are kind of thin and reedy sounding, even with both oscillators stacked and detuned. In contrast, I've an old Ensoniq SQ-80 synthesizer, which nails the sound perfectly and does a nice "Tom Sawyer" Minimoog lead and VH "Jump".

 

Augerinn, I noticed you have an ESQ-1... You may have a patch called "SINPAD". I used to use it all the time to play Subdivisions and it sounds just right. That was all three oscillators, all set to Saw, slightly detuned from one-another with the filter cutoff about halfway up and filter Q about a quarter of the way. The lead sound used for the solo isn't that much different... Maybe accent a few notes with vibrato.

 

Point is... An older analog/digital hybrid like an 80s Ensoniq synth, a newer VA like an Alesis ION or a Nord, a new rompler with a VA board installed, or of course, a real OB-Xa will all get you there.

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Subdivisions was a Nord Lead
:p

Seriously, the OB-Xa is the majority of the sounds. The OB-Xa has a split function but not the OB-X. Geddy configured the bottom split with a unison patch - four voices (eight VCOs) firing at once. Then he layered this with the Taurus pedals. The chords are the upper split. I've seen the video of the song that has an overhead shot over Geddy's keyboards and you can see his hands and feet playing.


 

Geddy plays the part on the OB-X in the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu9Ycq64Gy4

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