[b]Synth used in "Don't Be Late" for the opening a

[b]Synth used in "Don't Be Late" for the opening a

Beitragvon Arpollo15 » Mo Dez 22, 2008 9:31 pm

The opening arrpeggiated synth part of "Don't Be Late" is just amazing. And as it repeats throughout the breaks it really has this thematic quality to it, which brings me back again into the center of the movement. I was wondering which analog synth that is? Perhaps an OB-1 or Moog? It has this lovely silvery, bubbly quality to it. I would love to be able to get that synth sound for some of my own original songs. I was also wondering if Jim is still using this original synth for this song or if he is now using VA synths? maybe the Yamaha Z1 (which can be seen in one of the photos of him playing live)? Thanks! ;)
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Beitragvon mouseinamaze » Fr Dez 26, 2008 3:03 pm

Hi Apollo15, very interesting question. I'm not sure if you know this already or not but the arpeggiated parts you speak of are played in realtime by Jim.
I've gone through some of the concert footage I have fromthe time period Silent Knight was released and the best I can come up with based on the synths used at the time is it is either a Polymoog or Memorymoog. They did use a Yamaha CS80 sometimes but I couldn't see one in any of the videos.
I would think you might be able to duplicate the sound fairly closely by programming an Arturia minimoog(if using software VSTs) or possibly a VA keyboard like the Alesis ION or Micron.

Saga was endorsed by Korg some years ago and so began using Korg synthesizers exclusively when touring, so you are right, Jim is using two Z1s in his rig as well as some Tritons, etc.
I know they recently began using a Moog Phatty and hopefully it will be in use on the new DVD when it's released.

I highly recommend purchasing any or all of their concert DVDs.
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Beitragvon Arpollo15 » Sa Dez 27, 2008 5:13 am

Thank you for your reply mousinamaze. Yes, I know that jim played this part in realtime. I should have said "Arrpeggios' rather than "arrpeggiated"...sorry.

Just recently, I saw what looks like the original video for "Don't Be Late". This still has live footage but it is different from Saga's other perfomance, which was filmed one or two years later I believe. In the video, there is a closer shot of the keyboard Jim is playing with the brand name "Yamaha" on it. It does look like a CS-80, the same model synth Vangelis used for Blade Runner and other soundtracks. Can a CS-50 or CS-60 get some of the awesome sounds of the CS- 80 on a budget? If not, maybe a VA would be the way to go.
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Beitragvon mouseinamaze » So Dez 28, 2008 6:47 pm

Hi Apollo, sometimes Saga plays their parts so fast, it's hard to believe they aren't arpeggiated or sequenced :lol: that's why I made that comment, unsure if you had actually seen live footage or not.

I know when Jim joined Saga he already owned his own CS80 so it's possible that is what he used. I've studied the YouTube videos from that time and I still can't name what synth it is, however it doesn't look like a Moog.

Here is a link that provides, pictures and specifications on all the old synths, including the Yamaha CS series.
Check it out:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/cs50.shtml
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Beitragvon MichaelNoi » Fr Jan 09, 2009 7:05 am

You could post your question in this board called: questions to Jim Gilmore,
or ask him at his own homepage.
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Beitragvon dr_raven1 » Fr Aug 14, 2009 1:52 am

Hey guys,

Pretty sure it was a Yamaha CS-80, and here's some pretty solid evidence.

Here is a live video of Don't Be Late from 1981.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs9JgSuz8t4

At 25 seconds in to the video you get a decent focused shot of the synth as Jim is playing the arpeggiated part, and if you pause the video you can see how the layout of the buttons and switches line up with the picture of a Yamaha CS-80 below:

http://www.synthmuseum.com/yamaha/yamcs8001a.jpg

Not to mention that even with the poor quality of the video's audio you can very clearly hear that it's the synth that they used on the recording.

P.S. While it's impressive that Jim plays the arpeggio in real-time with the band, what's even more impressive to me is that he plays it with his LEFT HAND, which is traditionally the weaker hand. Amazing!

P.S. 2 - Also interesting to see that Ian was using Marshalls back then (at the 1:21 mark bottom left corner of the screen and again at the 5:23 mark)

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