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Vectorman

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  1. And now that cool and surprising announcement is followed by completely unexpected sad news. https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2022/06/01/sequential-founder-father-of-midi-dave-smith-has-died/
  2. It definitely is a cool and inspirational thing to see a new entry in the Oberheim OB series for the first time in SO long. A few years ago, I probably wouldn't have bet $10 on it ever happening. Hard to say how long the wait could be for those looking to buy the UB-Xa. According to what was stated by Behringer, the only holdup now is getting sufficient quantities of components for a big enough batch to justify starting production, but that might be a while yet. I'm in no big hurry for any of these, though. Leaving aside sentimental factors, my occasional desires for an Oberheim-like texture in a new song are probably, in all honesty, satisfied by software solutions like Synapse Obsession.
  3. The new synth has aspects of the Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa and OB-8 all rolled up in one. The oldest of those three, the OB-X, was of course the source of the "Tom Sawyer" filter sweep, as well as the poly sounds on "The Camera Eye" and "Subdivisions", etc. Not cheap at $5K, but I guess it's a bargain compared to original OB-X's which are now going for close to $20K. www.oberheim.com
  4. I had posted about what looks like a forthcoming new Oberheim OB-X (or OB-X-inspired synth), but I think the post was lost when there was a glitch with the board. Another short teaser has come out in the interim. Looks like it may be another project done in tandem with Sequential (like the OB-6 from a few years ago). No word on any specifics or expected release schedule.
  5. American Horror Story (on season 1, had never watched it before). And also Lost in Space, season 3 on Netflix. The latter made me physically jump when they suddenly threw in "Tom Sawyer" - on Lost in Space, of all things. I think it was episode 6?
  6. Had no idea there had been new PT available for the last week. This is SO much more instantly engaging than Steven's last two solo albums (especially TFB which, even though I'm very fond of a lot of electronic music, just didn't really grab me). Granted, this track or at least the core of it probably dates back to the earlier 2010's when Steven was still doing (IMO) great solo work. It is rather interesting to see this happening after Steven said that he had become bored with doing guitar-driven music. It's really been a year of things one had given up expecting to see happen...happening. Geddy and Alex announcing a new album in the works with Stewart Copeland is surely right around the corner, LOL.
  7. The first thing that popped into my mind in pure stream-of-consciousness fashion was Misfits of Science, of all things. One of Courtney Cox's first TV roles, I believe.
  8. The Colin Farrell version of Fright Night. October is always "slip in as many horror movies as I can" month.
  9. Thanks for posting! I thought I remembered the full length version maybe having been played on MuchMusic back in the day (whereas it was definitely just the shorter edit on MTV), but I can't remember for sure now. (Of course, that was 36 years ago...)
  10. I'm sure some things were written down the old fashioned way in the early days. Later on though, with instruments that could save patches to cassette and then diskette or memory cards/cartridges or even computer-based editors, I'd expect the archiving was digital. A lot of times, we didn't actually get exact recreations of studio sounds live. For the intro chords on "The Big Money", for example, on the PoW and HYF tours, we didn't get that big, layered sound...Geddy was just playing a single PPG synth brass patch. Several sounds were played on completely different synths where you wouldn't even be able to transfer patch settings because the newer synths had different architectures. Like on the HYF tour, where he played the "Tom Sawyer" lead on a square wave unison mode preset from the Prophet VS (that was...different!), or played the "Subdivisions" poly parts on the PPG and the leads on the Roland D-50. Or the "Red Sector A" arpeggiator bass played on a Prophet VS preset on the HYF tour. "Red Sector A" went through a lot of changes regarding the sounds used over different tours. Seems like there was a fair bit of just looking for the closest approximation on whatever new instruments had been incorporated into the setup. And then, of course, from the Presto tour onwards, we hit that stage where, for some parts, they just started sampling synth bits from the original masters and triggering samples live. That's when the "Big Money" chords started sounding like the album and various things from the "Camera Eye" OB-X parts to the main chords from "Between the Wheels" were just triggered samples. If you watch him play on vids from the last several tours, there's a lot of just pressing one key and getting a chord or an entire phrase going on.
  11. I can get a reasonable approximation of this on my OB-X synth, so I always guessed that's what it was. But it does almost sound like something else with how distinct and percussive it is. Watching some P/G footage, he appears to turn to his PPG Wave to make this sound when playing it live on that tour (although his OB-Xa is tied up with playing the choir patch). The sound is also a lot more drawn out and synthy compared to the original recording. Yes, on the OB-X. You aim for a celesta patch, which takes on a music box/toy piano tonality in higher octaves. Plink around, then drag that index finger up and down the white keys. Perhaps a Synth/Synth Settings appendix would be a champion idea for the memoir. You don't suppose the editor would dismissively chortle at the idea, do you? Ooooo....it would be great if Geddy had a chapter called Synthworld in the memoir! I'd love to hear him talk more about that stuff and not just give the standard "I just got tired of playing triads and not playing bass" thing he's been saying for the last 10+ years. It would be nice to see something like that, definitely. Though I suspect that, like Terry Brown, there are probably a lot of details he just doesn't recall by now, especially since synths apparently haven't been a major source of interest for him for the last three decades. Not that he completely abandoned using them and stopped following any tech developments - I did see him on the Access Virus user list, so I presume he probably picked one up when they were relatively new and hot and maybe used it on MFH. But obviously you don't commit all the details to memory the same way you do with something that is a real passion. It occurred to me that if I was asked about the details of what I used on this or that thing from like 1993 when I was recording stuff for my first attempt at an album...I'd probably be almost as clueless. Which sound from the Samplecell II library (there's a blast from the past) or the Kurzweil or whatever did I use on that chordal part? Uhm...dunno...that was more than half a lifetime ago...couldn't tell you if the fate of the world rested on it. And of course Rush's synth heyday dates back even further than that.
  12. iirc, when we used to do "Subdivisions" in cover bands eons ago, I just had some sort of swimmy, ethereal PWM sound with a moderately low filter cutoff tuned an octave up that I would bring in on top of the main sound for the intro/outro...I think I had it programmed to come in when I flicked the modwheel to active position. It's interesting that I can't recall Geddy himself ever incorporating that detail live. Regarding the DEW intro, I doubt that was accomplished with the onboard capabilities of any synth/sampler in his setup at that point. To my knowledge, the only sampling capability Geddy had on P/G was the Waveterm, and I don't think the lowpass-only filtering one could do in the Wave 2.2 with a Waveterm sample would accomplish what we hear on the album. To me it sounds more like some sort of noise source run through outboard effects units (possibly a chain of them). Sounds like there's a phaser in there. I remember several years ago, (I think) Howard Scarr very quickly whipped up a patch for u-he Zebra by request on the KVR forum for that sound that was sort of evocative of it but not quite there. Btw, the vocal sounds Geddy referred to on "Afterimage" I'm guessing are the "aaaah" and "ooooh" drones you hear in the midsection after the second chorus. The stuff that almost reminds me of some of the male choir samples from the Spectrasonics Symphony of Voices library. If anything, it actually became easier to identify sound sources from HYF and after because it seemed like there started to be less bespoke synth sounds and more use of presets. HYF is full of Prophet VS presets. Roll the Bones has a lot of Wavestation and JD800 presets on it.
  13. Complete OT, but I was listening to a Youtube demo of a software synth with a groove patch playing in the background while browsing TRF, and when I scrolled down this thread, the groovin' kitty in your sig was in PERFECT sync with the beat from the Youtube audio and stayed locked in for a good 20 seconds or more. :7up:
  14. I see it was Geddy's newer Taurus 3 pedals, the ones Moog put out around 2008-ish. (But then, who knows if he even still has any sets of the original Taurus pedals by now.)
  15. I've watched it a couple of times. IMO, a vast improvement over the theatrical version. Much more backstory and depth. One can see, based on this version, how much edge was taken off the theatrical version, which felt somehow a little too cutesy and leaned a bit too much on comedy. It's unfortunate that, now that they salvaged that film and made us want more, they're apparently playing the reboot game AGAIN with yet another Batman. They're never going to give the MCU a run for its money if they can't make up their minds what they want to do and stick with something for more than 2 or 3 movies.
  16. I'd take HYF, on the whole, over any album that came after. Among its other merits, it (like PoW) contains some of the most inventive, intricate bass playing of Geddy's career. He had a strong ear for melody during that period too. But I got into the band in the spring of '85 so, to me, that more orchestrated approach with a lot of keyboard textures was the sound of Rush at the time I boarded the train. And of course I'm more into synths than I suspect many Rush fans probably are, so I suppose I tend to hear those mid '80s records a little differently. (That said, there are a few keyboard parts on HYF, like that Emulator II shakuhachi sample that worked better on the intro of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" than it did in the overly repetitive way it was used on "Tai Shan", that even I don't entirely dig in hindsight, hehe.)
  17. Just finished watching all of The Big Bang Theory last week (took us around 3 months, I think?). I had never watched the show before, and now it's one of my all-time favorites. We were moderately bummed to be out of episodes to watch.
  18. Yes - Talk It's not an album that gets brought up a lot since it was a bit of a commercial flop compared to 90125 and Big Generator, but there was a fair bit of technological envelope pushing going on. It was, to my understanding, one of the earliest albums where the majority of the recording was done random access digital with computer-based hard disk recording. At his home studio, Trevor Rabin set up four Macintosh IIci computers running MOTU Digital Performer software that were synced together, getting four tracks of hard disk audio from each for a total of 16 tracks...which sounds incredibly primitive today, but back in 1992/93 when Talk was recorded, that was a fairly new and exciting thing. He was a bit ahead of the curve and trying to do that probably a bit before the tech was really ready. Apparently there was a lot of back and forth between Rabin and the guys from MOTU with feature requests, shaping the software into something he could actually get it done with. I remember during the Rockline premiere of the album, when talking about how it was done with hard disk recording, the host asked him, "So do you think this is the future of Yes?" He replied, "I think it's the future of the recording industry. Tape is on its way out." Indeed. So yeah, this recording an album on a home computer thing that everybody takes for granted now, Rabin was one of the first to do it with Talk.
  19. Very sad to hear. I always liked him. The role that always comes to mind first for me is brow-beaten Henry in Creepshow's "The Crate" story (IMO the highlight of the collection). "Just tell it to call you Billie!" I was just remembering that my rather eccentric senior-year English teacher used to put on different audio tapes for us to listen to during quiet study time, and one of them was one of Hal's Mark Twain routines. Not something you'd expect a bunch of 17 and 18-year-olds to really appreciate, but I recall it got some laughs even from that tough audience.
  20. My dad, who was constantly hearing Rush music since both my older brother and I got into the band at high school age in the '80s, would jokingly sing his versions of some lyric lines. Some of them genuinely misheard and some, I think, just Dad being Dad and poking fun at things. "New World Man" became "New Squirrel Van" The chorus from "Distant Early Warning" was interpreted as "A whirlwind on my shoulder, and whatcha gonna do!" I remember when "Force Ten" hit the radio, I thought the chorus was "Look in - to the eye of the stone/ Look out - for the voice without form". There were a few other lines I just couldn't make out. (I had no CLUE what that song was supposed to be about when I first heard it. Was it somehow based on the movie Force 10 from Navarone, a film I'd heard of but never actually seen? Maybe...some of the lines almost sounded like they were describing military manoeuvres. I don't think I'd heard of the Beaufort Scale at that point.) My most recent (non-Rush) misheard lyric was actually on Porcupine Tree's "So Called Friend". Their Arriving Somewhere DVD is one of the various concert DVD's I've been watching for the last few years while getting in my workout on the elliptical machine. And for years I've been wondering what the lyrics on that song were. It almost sounded like "She blends the snow cone send and rips my life apart." (???) Finally last week I looked it up. "She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart".Oh.
  21. Man, what an emotional moment in television...actually made me tear up just a little bit. It was like my childhood was back for a few minutes. So satisfying to see something Star Wars related finally, really hit the bullseye. Okay, I did like Rogue One pretty well but, for me, they really nailed it this time.
  22. Mixed feelings. I'm not entirely surprised by this direction - we got a small preview of it on "Song of I" from the last record. I recall a while back in some interview or other, Steven was praising Billie Eilish and the really minimalist production on her tracks. The songs we've heard so far make it obvious it wasn't just a passing moment of admiration, it was something he took on board in no small measure. The thing is, trying to tap into that sort of current and speak to twentysomethings in their language when you're in your fifties is a dicey thing to attempt. You may, to a degree, sort of get where their heads are at on an intellectual/philosophical level, but you can't know what it's really like to be coming of age in the current era when that phase of life was three decades ago for you. Us Gen-X'ers may have a little more in common with the kids than our parents did with us, in terms of the media we consume - we hear a lot of the same music (whether we like it or not), watch a lot of the same trending TV series, etc. But we don't fully grasp what it's like to be them, and they know it. And if he's speaking to fans who have been with him since Porcupine Tree, most of them are old enough that they don't necessarily need or want him to try to talk to them in the musical language of Generation Z. I'm definitely into some electronic music (I guess that's obvious), but I'm not big on the really minmalist, stripped-down sort that seems to have been Steven's inspiration for this record. You definitely can change your instrumental palette from being guitar-centric to more synth-based without abandoning a more complex, prog-minded approach. You don't have to discard all that's come before to strike out into new territories. He could still have had Adam Holzman come in and liven it up with some of his insane soloing and electric piano comping, for example. I think things like that might have made this shift a bit more palatable to many fans who are understandably going, "Who is this person and what happened to Steven Wilson?". Having said all that, I at least can't fault him for being self-indulgent and doing exactly what he feels driven to do at any given time. He's the antithesis of the kind of artist who locks into a groove and stays in it for the rest of their career...he takes big risks and tries things. And I also can't blame him for being a little grumpy and cynical in 2020 and feeling compelled to rail against some of the vapid, stupid, soul-destroying trends in modern society. From a selfish standpoint, I kind of hope that these experiments in semi-trendy electro minimalism are a phase that will somehow, in future work, be incorporated into a larger picture that doesn't completely ignore his past. (OMG, I feel like I just wrote a novel...but I don't feel like deleting it and trying to condense it into one paragraph, so I'll just post it, hehe.)
  23. 2010: The Year We Make Contact Had just watched 2001 the previous day and like to watch them back-to-back once every few years. I've been on a bit of an '80s movie kick in general, lately. Especially films I used to watch repeatedly when I was around 12 to 17 years old and my family had one of those enormous 10-foot satellite dishes (the only option then for decent television selection living in the sticks with no cable available). Movies like Poltergeist, Twilight Zone - The Movie, Tootsie, The Terminator, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek II & III, The Money Pit, Blade Runner, Aliens, etc.
  24. The Expanse...actually just have one episode left to watch tonight and we're all caught up. Always hate to see the episodes run out when you've found a new series you like that already has multiple seasons, eh?
  25. Poltergeist The Fog The Thing (1982) Alien/Aliens Creepshow Pumpkinhead The Ring Insidious Dark City (well, sci-fi/horror) I'm sure there are many others I'm just not thinking of now that would be favorites. Obviously many would disagree, but to me, Insidious was the first horror film I'd seen in quite a while that actually captured some of the flavor of a classic movie like the original Poltergeist...where we're drawn into the at-first-ordinary world of a typical family as terrible things lurk around the corners of their lives and gradually reveal themselves. I wouldn't quite put it up there with the classics...it felt like they got almost there but a little something was still missing...I don't know that I could articulate exactly what. I don't know that I'd put Gerald's Game in my top list, but apparently it made an impression. Over a year ago I experienced a night terror about an hour after going to bed (very unusual - haven't had one since and don't recall having any prior). Woke up screaming bloody murder, scared the heck out of my better half and the dog. I had a hard time going back to sleep because I thought the Moonlight Man was in our house. Weird, since night terrors are not the result of actual nightmares so I couldn't have been dreaming about him, but somehow after I woke up, that's what the fear fixated on. For a while, I just laid there afraid to open my eyes because I was sure I'd find him leaning over the bed staring me in the face if I did. And naturally things like that seem so embarrassingly silly the next day. (But then, most things are scarier at night...aren't they?)
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