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Synclavier


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From the HC review:

 

This machine is a sampler,a harddiskrecording system,an oversized FM synth,a Fouriersynth.All interact always together.

 

The system is a 16 BIt Audio system.It has a maximum of 100kHZ of

Sampling Rate !!!

 

So basically, the one thing you need to get it is a computer with a good soundcard that can do 24/96 with no problems. You might pick FM7 as the FM synth (because it's improved on the original DX anyway), you might get Virsyn Tera or Cube (either of 'm, since I don't do soft you might have to search) as a "Fouriersynth" - I think the reviewer meant 'additive' here, and a softsampler like Kontakt, Mach5 or whatever-floats-your-boat as sampler. Sample everything as 24/96, though :). Add any sequencer of choice as a harddiskrecorder, and you're set.

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Regardless of the fact that About.com omits any mention of Pat's use of the Synclavier, I had the opportunity to stand five feet away from Pat in a studio while he played the Synclavier via a Roland guitar controller - probably a Roland GR-303 but I can't remember the make.

 

As to how to get his sound? I think it has more to do with Pat's playing than the box. He's a monster player and that's made even more apparent when you hear him live.

 

But-

 

As a long time Synclavier programmer, I've been able to coax Synclavier-like sounds out of a Waldorf XT. The thing with the Synclavier though, is that the FM aspect of it was used to integrate expression into the sound, rather than just being the modulator that it is on the XT. For instance, one would use the FM to create the bow against string sounds to enhance the realism of the string sound; or the breath against horn sounds for a brass patch. You can't do that on an XT. But you can approximate those otherwordly Synclavier leads and pads.

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Favorite Methany album would be 'As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls'.

Favorite Synclavier sound would be the preset gong at the top of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It'.

Favorite Synclavier albums would be Laurie Anderson's 'Sharky's Day' and Frank Zappa's 'Jazz From Hell' which as far as I remember both featured pre-sampling Synclavier arrangements. 'Sharky's Day' is interesting in this regard: it has some realistic ambient sounds layered in the mixes and those sounds aren't samples - they're synthesized sounds.

 

Some other Synclavier heavy songs include Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' - as was probably most of anything produced by Mike Thorne in the eighties & nineties.

Martin Rushent was another producer and Synclavier fan and I suspect all the Human League Albums are arranged on a Synclavier as were -if I recall correctly-the electro elements on Pete Shelley's 'I'm a homosapien too'.

 

After Synclavier incorporated sampling technology a lot of users abandoned the synthesizer capability of the machine and simply used the instrument as a sampler and workstation. Thereafter, a lot of that music created on a Synclavier can't be discerned as originating from any synth except insofar as that samples of real instruments were manipulated in ways which weren't possible before then. At that point the Synclavier became less a synthesizer and instrument and more of an engineer's tool - very much the ProTools of its day - as it continues to be albeit in fewer and fewer studios.

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Favorite Synclavier song: Metheny's "Tall Chris" & "X-Files" by Mark Snow.

 

The "Air Piano" on the K-1 sounds like the Synclavier on the X-files. You can fake that theme string & keys pretty well with a K-1.

But my K-1 doesn't have a good whistle. I use the XG whistle for it.

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cryptozoon looks like the right guy to ask and get a definitive answer... but any of you who are sure can answer for me :)

 

What is the correct pronounciation?

 

I've most commonly heard: Sin-clah-VEER

 

But I have heard:

Sin-CLAV-ee-er

 

and:

SEENK-la-veer

 

Definitive answer, anyone? :)

 

Doug

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No definitive answer:

 

It's a tomAYto-tomAHto thing.

 

But-

 

Most people I knew -including the American sales staff & product specialists at New England Digital- used the 3-syllable version: Sin-Kluh-Veer

 

Oscar Peterson pronounced it: Sin-KLAH-Vee-AIR and I wasn't about to correct him. :)

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