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The "Aaaaaah" sound in New Order's "Blue Monday": is that a Fairlight CMI?

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I'm talking about the low pad after the sequenced snare but before the first verse. I have a hunch that it's a Fairlight, and would have to be a Series I or II because "Blue Monday" came out in '83.

 

I just want to be sure because I can't find that sound sample while searching for Fairlight stuff, and New Order also used a bunch of Sequential Circuits stuff.

 

So:

 

1. Is it a Fairlight?

2. Fairlight or not, is there a sample of this anywhere?

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The formants at least reveal to me that it's a "male choir" sample of sorts - not the usual saccharine Sararr-sound.

 

I don't know what libraries the Fairlights had :(.

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It's a Mellotron. My band is covering that song and I had to build up a custom patch for that since there is no Mellotron sample in my Fantom-X.

 

There's a website that has great Mellotron samples. Try searching for it on Google....

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Originally posted by Yoozer

The formants at least reveal to me that it's a "male choir" sample of sorts - not the usual saccharine Sararr-sound.


I don't know what libraries the Fairlights had
:(
.

 

So far, the closest Fairlight choir sound I can find is the one used on "Shout" by Tears For Fears, not the "druid-like" choir sound on Blue Monday.

 

I simply can't think of what other keyboard could do that sound in '83. Mass-production FM synthesis came out that year, and it's conceivable that this could be an FM-synth sound, but I doubt it-- it sounds too Fairlight-y.

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Originally posted by midiguru

It's a Mellotron. My band is covering that song and I had to build up a custom patch for that since there is no Mellotron sample in my Fantom-X.


There's a website that has great Mellotron samples. Try searching for it on Google....

 

Whoa, what a surprise.

 

The last thing I would have expected would have been a Mellotron. New Order was so MIDI'd out by the mid-'80s that it didn't even occur to me that they'd use a Mellotron.

 

THANKS!

 

I think Hollow Sun might have a sample.

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Originally posted by Synthoid
Say what you want, that sound still gives me "goose bumps.":cool:

Sorry, I didn't mean that the sound being "saccharine" was a bad thing ;).

 

I'm glad that it's in my E-mu Vintage Keys. I'd -LOVE- to see a simple VST with a perfectly resynthesized version with no loop points whatsoever, and some variations (my XP-30 has a patch called "Arabian Morn" which has a sound almost identical to it - my W5 has a patch called "Itopia" which hums like that, too.

 

Too bad I can't extract the samples from the ROM.

 

As far as the Mellotron stuff goes - that was my first guess.. then I thought, "naah... any electronic gear whore would think that the Mellotron would be too dated." ;).

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Mellotron would also be my guess. Never seen or heard anything mentioned about this band having used the fairlight series, they did use the early emulators though.

 

Samplers with synth features are a joy. The most simple of vocal snips can be looped to give fantastic, often haunting choir like sounds. I have often wondered what it would be like to make an whole albums worth of material just using vocal samples manipulated and twisted with samplers.

 

The kawai K1 synth can do a full range of hard edged choir sounds. There is also a low priced softsynth available that supposedly emulates the Mellotron. The roland u110 and u220 modules, also u20 keyboard do fine choirs for little cash, the u110 can do a haunting and dreamy choir sound, can sound beautiful yet powerful if mixed carefully.

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Originally posted by Mookus

pretty sure it is the male gregorian choir on the emulator

 

Correct! :)

 

I have a video of New Order live in 1983/4 and its an Emulator 1 played by Stephen (the Joy Division drummer?) playing that part.. the brass chord stab is a prophet 5... they mess up the song a little... but its mostly live

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you beat me to it. emulator I . fairlight has way different (distinctive) sound.

 

I have a video of New Order live in 1983/4 and its an Emulator 1 played by Stephen (the Joy Division drummer?) playing that part.. the brass chord stab is a prophet 5...

 

that figures - most of analog sounds on studio recording were done on Prophet 5.

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Originally posted by clusterchord

you beat me to it. emulator I . fairlight has way different (distinctive) sound.




 

It would be almost impossible to know or tell, unless you are talking about a well known and often used sample preset? Even then you would need to have amazing skills to identify the samples with the correct sampler used, someone may just be using a fairlight sample in any old akai or yamaha tx16w, obviously not for this song though ;)

 

True, the early emulators have a very lofi sound, but it would be wrong to suggest the fairlight has a sound all of its own or anywhere distinctive enough to be that recognisable. The cmi sample library is distinctive, but not the sampler itself, certainly not distinctive enough to be picked out within a song and feel certain you know it is a fairlight making the noise.

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Originally posted by clusterchord

you beat me to it. emulator I . fairlight has way different (distinctive) sound.




that figures - most of analog sounds on studio recording were done on Prophet 5.

 

FWIW a Moog Source was used for the bass line and ARP Solina and Logan String Machine for chords. Oberheim DMX for those drums!.

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Originally posted by Mookus



FWIW a Moog Source was used for the bass line and ARP Solina and Logan String Machine for chords. Oberheim DMX for those drums!.

 

:cool:

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Hehe, amazing that the thread went as far as it did before the truth was revealed.

 

And yeah, lots of Prophet-5 and Source and DMX on there.

 

That said, I thought the JD/NO camp was always big on the ARP Omni, so the stringpads in there are that...ah well, guess I haven't considered it that much, I will have to go and give it a listen to try and confirm.

 

 

cheers,

aeon

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I'm glad that it's in my E-mu Vintage Keys.

 

I bought a Vintage Pro a couple years ago for some tasty 80's stuff. I was disappointed that there was only one Fairlight sample with it. Lots of great Mellotron samples......and nothing from the Synclavier. Sheesh.

 

Way too many cheesy pianos and drums as well, but don't get me started.:D

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Originally posted by Yoozer
I'm glad that it's in my E-mu Vintage Keys.

 

I think it is also in my E-mu UltraProteus, and I am glad it is in there too. ;)

 

Originally posted by Yoozer
Too bad I can't extract the samples from the ROM.

 

Not digitally, anyway! :D Time to dust off the sampling skills, and sample, map, and loop those waves! Given their nature, it should be a very easy task.

 

Originally posted by lofi 8 bit
Samplers with synth features are a joy.

 

Agreed. This is the biggest reason why I love my Yamaha A5000 so much.

 

Originally posted by lofi 8 bit
True, the early emulators have a very lofi sound, but it would be wrong to suggest the fairlight has a sound all of its own or anywhere distinctive enough to be that recognisable.

 

I very much disagree. If you have ever had a Fairlight Series IIx and an Emulator II in front of you at the same time, playing the same wavesample, the difference is *very* distinctive.

 

Now, your caveat about "in the mix"...that is indeed a very different thing, and that applies to most any sampler.

 

But make no mistake, samplers in those days were not like samplers today...what you put in was definitely NOT what you got out, due to the encoding schemes, analog stages, the non-interpolated variable-clock transposition (and resulting clock noise), and not the least of which, the resistor gate-array converters. They each had their own sound, apart from the samples they were playing.

 

Originally posted by Synthoid
I bought a Vintage Pro a couple years ago for some tasty 80's stuff. I was disappointed that there was only one Fairlight sample with it. Lots of great Mellotron samples......and nothing from the Synclavier. Sheesh.

 

I agree, Synthoid. I have the Vintage Pro ROM in my Command Station, and I think they did drop the ball as it concerns late-70s/early-80s digital samples of things like the Fairlight and Emulators. (especially galling as it was E-mu!).

 

For that matter, they could have devoted a little space to drumboxes of that era as well...certainly a Linn, DMX and such would not have used much memory. Instead, it seems each E-mu ROM has to have some space reserved for some "bread and butter" drums so each individual module that used those ROMs could do full-on sequencing...kinda like how my Protean Drums ROM has a few simple synth waves. ;)

 

Maybe they just thought enough time hadn't gone by to include the Fairlight Shawnee and the E-mu Shakuhachi! :D

 

 

cheers,

aeon

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I have the Vintage Pro ROM in my Command Station, and I think they did drop the ball as it concerns late-70s/early-80s digital samples of things like the Fairlight and Emulators. (especially galling as it was E-mu!).

 

Amen.....preach it brother!

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Originally posted by aeon




I very much disagree. If you have ever had a Fairlight Series IIx and an Emulator II in front of you at the same time, playing the same wavesample, the difference is *very* distinctive.


 

Hmm, to disagree does not mean you are correct though ;)

 

In a side by side test, sure the fairlight and the emulator are different enough to tell apart, for the most part, but no way can anyone tell what sampler is being used once a song kicks into action, it's as close to impossible as impossible can be. I can normally spot the dx7, mini moog, arp 2600, ppg 2.2 and 2.3 in music but i'll be kidding myself if i dismissed the possibility that it just may be a sampler. That is what any decent sampler does, makes a very close recordings of the original sound. The fairlight or the original emulators are not that different from many of todays samplers.

 

If I blindfold you and sat you in 5 top jap sports cars and i drove fast around a track, you could not possibly guess correctly all models you would have been in, even to the the very skilled this would be very difficult. Now if you were to drive the cars yourself? this would be similar to a side by side sampler test and would be much easier, assuming you new about cars.

 

When listening to a cd or mp3 of any music, you are as good as doing a similar blindfold test, simple really ;)

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Originally posted by lofi 8 bit

If I blindfold you and sat you in 5 top jap sports cars and i drove fast around a track

I'm gunna bite.

 

First off, I wouldn't really say Japan has 5 top sports cars. Let's say, an R34 Skyline GT-R, an S15 Silvia, an NSX, a 350Z, and for fun an Integra Type R. The Skyline would be easy to pick out, its twin turbo I6 and all wheel drive give it away. The Integra Type R is obviously going to have the dynamics of a front wheel drive car, not to mention the sound/power/revving of a Honda I4. The 350Z's V6 has an unmistakeable sound. The NSX has a the Honda high redline, but with an extra couple cylinders. Now if it were possible to do a blind folded driving test I could tell you who's who even faster.

 

CD versus MP3. Well, even at 192kbps I think hats and other high frequencies sound mushy. At 320kbps I'd probably fail the blindfold test, but I'll take a CD for my peace of mind.

 

You're saying there's no difference between the ADC and DACs of any sampler? I guess you're one of the "digital is digital" type, which is ok, but I don't think that's true either. There was an analysis I saw on the internet of a few samplers and DAWs that used a spectrum analysis, and there were visible discrepancies between ALL of them. But what goes in comes out? No. There is color added from ADC, DAC, storage method, playback method, and then eventually signal path through the filters and envelopes, even if they're all the way open.

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Originally posted by lofi 8 bit



It would be almost impossible to know or tell, unless you are talking about a well known and often used sample preset? Even then you would need to have amazing skills to identify the samples with the correct sampler used, someone may just be using a fairlight sample in any old akai or yamaha tx16w, obviously not for this song though
;)
... ...it would be wrong to suggest the fairlight has a sound all of its own or anywhere distinctive enough to be that recognisable. The cmi sample library is distinctive, but not the sampler itself, certainly not distinctive enough to be picked out within a song and feel certain you know it is a fairlight making the noise.

 

that's just it. what you hear on recordings, it's either a real fairlight playing, or lately, some "akai" loaded w samples/recording of Fairlight playing its samples, not a raw sample from 'fairlight library'. the 'sound' of Fairlight, one that you claim doesn't exist, is already embedded in it. the distinct sound is coming from it's "engine" - some from its pre-historic converters some from SSM filters, some from VCAs, and other digital and analog components..

 

yes, i agree, it's not that easy to differ E4 playing great FII samples and a real FII (altough it could be done, if filter has some modulation), but my point is - those aren't pure 'samples', those are 'samples of fairlight playing samples' . dig the difference?

 

 

have you ever heard pure samples before they were loaded into Fairlight, to be able to make the statement you did? i think not. not many people have, unless they were Fairlight employees..

 

a raw sample is just a sample.. but load it into Synclavier, PPG and FII-X and you'll get three very different sounds, believe it or not. differences are much smaller with todays all-digital samplers - they are too perfect.

 

thats' why , for example, Synclavier Sound Lib has absolutely nothing to do with sound of Synclavier. unless its played thru one.

 

 

btw, no special skills here but, when i was a teenager, it was no big deal recognizing Fairlight sound in most of the recordings we listened to at the time. we actually did it for fun.

 

 

another point - several famous FII users like PG, Oldifeld etc used their own custom samples too - and still, they sound so unmistakably 'fairlight'. go figure..

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Originally posted by urbanscallywag


I'm gunna bite.


 

Firstly, i would be picking the cars to use, although the cars you mentioned would do just fine for the test, remember i did say " to the unskilled" ;)

 

Maybe you did not fully understand what i posted earlier, or we are blowing things out of proportion here.

Is anyone here claiming that they can listen to a song from the 1980's and tell what sampler was being used? :eek:

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Originally posted by lofi 8 bit

Is anyone here claiming that they can listen to a song from the 1980's and tell what sampler was being used?
:eek:

Me, no. I have no experience with any of them.

 

Akai drums are easy to spot. Emu filters stick out. Kurzweil's VAST can be pretty apparent.

 

Even the DAC variations on Roland's JVs are said to change the sound significantly.

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