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What synth is this? (Night Ranger 1983)
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Author What synth is this? (Night Ranger 1983)
Rex Coil 7
Yes ... I was into Night Ranger's album "Midnight Madness" back in the early/mid 1980s. I liked early Loverboy too.

I've heard (~ahem~) rumours over the years that their keyboard player used a Memorymoog. One synth riff that always grabbed me was in the song "Rumours In The Air". Punchy as hell, and really fit in well with the two guitar players in the mix.

FFWD to 1:20 (where that riff starts) if listening to this is just too much to deal with ... lol lol





Any ideas on what that synth is?


cookie?!?
Dave Peck
That could be a lot of things. But something noteworthy about that patch is the use of a very short A/D envelope being applied to osc pitch (could be to just one of two oscs), to create that brass-type 'blat' or 'blur' right at the beginning of each note by very briefly detuning one or both oscs. It's one of the aspects of the patch that helps it cut through the mix. This patching technique showed up in a lot of factory patches in 80's Roland and Korg gear, but of course can be done on just about any polysynth. Try using the technique with whatever polysynth you have and you'll probably be able to get pretty darn close to this sound.
Rex Coil 7
Dave Peck wrote:
That could be a lot of things. But something noteworthy about that patch is the use of a very short A/D envelope being applied to osc pitch (could be to just one of two oscs), to create that brass-type 'blat' or 'blur' right at the beginning of each note by very briefly detuning one or both oscs. It's one of the aspects of the patch that helps it cut through the mix. This patching technique showed up in a lot of factory patches in 80's Roland and Korg gear, but of course can be done on just about any polysynth. Try using the technique with whatever polysynth you have and you'll probably be able to get pretty darn close to this sound.
Hmm ... you're right. Emerson used the hell out of "pitch envelope" and it was especially apparent in songs he recorded/performed in the 1980s (starting with his use of the GX-1).

EDIT: In addition to pitch envelope in the Night Ranger song, the musician also used a very well done staccato technique giving each note a definitive beginning and end.

Thanks. thumbs up
sduck
With the layers of production that are involved here, it could be any number of things. Memorymoog, Obie, even a D50 are things that come to mind, although with the kind of eq magic they had available it could be almost anything.
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
With the layers of production that are involved here, it could be any number of things. Memorymoog, Obie, even a D50 are things that come to mind, although with the kind of eq magic they had available it could be almost anything.
Might help to remember that album was produced in 1983. That narrows down the choices somewhat.

seriously, i just don't get it
sduck
Oh - well then, no D-50. Although the Jupiter 8 came to mind. It could even be a DX7, although I kind of doubt it. And the memorymoog would be the cool kid to have back then, along with various flavors of Oberheim. I found several intervies with Eric Levy about his gear on youtube, but wasn't actually interested enough to listen to them - maybe they're worth investigating.
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
Oh - well then, no D-50. Although the Jupiter 8 came to mind. It could even be a DX7, although I kind of doubt it. And the memorymoog would be the cool kid to have back then, along with various flavors of Oberheim. I found several intervies with Eric Levy about his gear on youtube, but wasn't actually interested enough to listen to them - maybe they're worth investigating.
Thank you.
umma gumma
Roland JX-3P?
tim gueguen
There's some live footage from 1983 of the band on YouTube. Alan Fitzgerald's synths appear to be a Memorymoog, a DX7, and one if not two Juno 60s. Other sources online indicate he had a CS80 as well, but that might have ended up left at home by this point.
Rex Coil 7
tim gueguen wrote:
There's some live footage from 1983 of the band on YouTube. Alan Fitzgerald's synths appear to be a Memorymoog, a DX7, and one if not two Juno 60s. Other sources online indicate he had a CS80 as well, but that might have ended up left at home by this point.
Oh hell .... THANKS MAN!! I get right to it (searching YT that is).

You're a legend Member *Tim ....

Right on.


thumbs up
cornutt
Trivia: Alan Fitzgerald was a bass player who switched to keyboards when he joined Night Ranger. He had played bass for Montrose/Gamma and Sammy Hagar.
sduck
I lose all semblance of points by not even knowing that they had several keyboard players. I lost track of them after the 80's mostly. Night Ranger was Jack Blades and Brad Gillis and that other guitarist as far as I was concerned, I didn't even know they had a keyboard player.
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
I lose all semblance of points by not even knowing that they had several keyboard players. I lost track of them after the 80's mostly. Night Ranger was Jack Blades and Brad Gillis and that other guitarist as far as I was concerned, I didn't even know they had a keyboard player.
Both guitar players were masters of "arpeggio sweeps". The "other guy" guitarist had also mastered two-handed-tapping so he could play scales/riffs/arps that "were like what keyboard players can do because they used both hands to access 8 octaves worth of notes" (paraphrased).

Rockin' Banana!

I gave up on them with "Sister Christian". I didn't listen to Night Ranger for that kind of music, I listened to Night Ranger for that frenetic music they made and the whole "Rock In America" vibe. I also love the heavy midrange content in the guitar sounds.

thumbs up
Shrigg
Night Ranger with Gillis' acrobatic guitar playing brings back a lot of testosterone-fueled memories from my high school days. Here are a few clips I grabbed of them playing live a few years ago when they came to town.





Rex Coil 7
Shrigg wrote:
Night Ranger with Gillis' acrobatic guitar playing brings back a lot of testosterone-fueled memories from my high school days. Here are a few clips I grabbed of them playing live a few years ago when they came to town.






Wow, they sounded great ... I've always wondered how that ~warbling~ sound was made that Gillis and other guitar players of that era produced. It's just before he starts wanking on the tremolo bar. It's short, but right at about 2:11 until 2:14 or so. I've been able to emulate that type of riffing (that ~warble~) on my synths from time to time, but it's not as dramatic as what you hear Brad doing.

Speaking of keyboards ... Their kybd player in these videos was so far off to one side of the stage he may as well have been in that tent next to him!

lol lol lol
Shrigg
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Shrigg wrote:
Night Ranger with Gillis' acrobatic guitar playing brings back a lot of testosterone-fueled memories from my high school days. Here are a few clips I grabbed of them playing live a few years ago when they came to town.






Wow, they sounded great ... I've always wondered how that ~warbling~ sound was made that Gillis and other guitar players of that era produced. It's just before he starts wanking on the tremolo bar. It's short, but right at about 2:11 until 2:14 or so. I've been able to emulate that type of riffing (that ~warble~) on my synths from time to time, but it's not as dramatic as what you hear Brad doing.

Speaking of keyboards ... Their kybd player in these videos was so far off to one side of the stage he may as well have been in that tent next to him!

lol lol lol


Agreed, Gillis still does impress with his playing. I've been able to achieve a similar warbling effect by flicking my Nord Lead 1's pitch stick. Although my musical taste progressed past cocky lead guitar playing decades ago... cool!
jimmie
remind me of 'power brass' or something like that of DX preset (with some tweaking added). ..and my high school days Rockin' Banana!
sduck
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
I've always wondered how that ~warbling~ sound was made that Gillis and other guitar players of that era produced.


That's just a flick of the tremelo bar, just enough to make it vibrate. Depending on how the bar is set up, it'll keep vibrating for several beats if you're lucky. Sometimes it depends where the bar is located relative to the bridge how long it vibrates - I.E. having it parallel to the strings might give more wobble but less time, or having the bar at 30-45 degrees to the strings will vibrate less, but longer. You've got to have a floating tremelo bridge for this to work.
Rex Coil 7
sduck wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
I've always wondered how that ~warbling~ sound was made that Gillis and other guitar players of that era produced.


That's just a flick of the tremelo bar, just enough to make it vibrate. Depending on how the bar is set up, it'll keep vibrating for several beats if you're lucky. Sometimes it depends where the bar is located relative to the bridge how long it vibrates - I.E. having it parallel to the strings might give more wobble but less time, or having the bar at 30-45 degrees to the strings will vibrate less, but longer. You've got to have a floating tremelo bridge for this to work.
Floyd Rose?

If so, boy do I have a neat guitar for applying that technique. It's a mega modified Dean ML with a Floyd Rose trem ... that I've completely defretted and ~chopped~ for dedicated use as a slide guitar. I'll be posting a project thread on it within a week. I can imagine trying different angles with the trem bar. Even better, perhaps an adjustable weight that can be ~slid~ up and down the trem bar to adjust the warble time/depth.

Oh boy! applause

Thanks man ... I was kinda picking up on that warble technique by watching Brad over and over but your explanation confirmed things!

thumbs up
dubonaire
In this video it seem to me he's playing it on a Memorymoog

Rex Coil 7
dubonaire wrote:
In this video it seem to me he's playing it on a Memorymoog..
Yup! I'd read that in some long lost interview in some long lost music/guitar magazine in the mid 1980s (or was it Keyboard mag?).

Man, I used to dream about having BIG STACKS of performance synths, Hammonds, electric pianos (heavily processed of course). Seeing that pile of keys in that video just re-lit that lust.

woah
powertran




What is that guy wearing in the middle? Did he have to dash out of an operating theatre for the photoshoot?
bitflip
Wow, man... Night Ranger, now that is a trip down memory lane to the era of Floyd Rose dive bombing and people fearing MIDI technology hihi

My fondest memory of Gillis was on Osbourne's Speak of the Devil which i must've wore the vinyl out on my parents' stereo SlayerBadger! oh yeah, that rendition of NIB still raises the hackles SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger! SlayerBadger!
Rex Coil 7
powertran wrote:




What is that guy wearing in the middle? Did he have to dash out of an operating theatre for the photoshoot?
lol Surgical "scrubs" were in vogue back then. I had a few myself ... in fact now that I think of it, I still have them! They are super comfortable and breathe very well ("cool" .. as in loose and flowing allowing air to cool your body).

His hat isn't what it appears to be at first glance. It's one of those hats like the ones men wear when driving old convertible sports cars ... just imagine it turned around with the bill in front, now add him smoking a pipe with a handlebar mustache ... get the picture? He's got it on backwards .... cuz style.

meh lol
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