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Thriller SYNTHS
Old 20th June 2010
  #91
Gear Head
 

FWIW I have an old Akai sample CD from years ago called Vintage Time Traveller that has the Beat It Synclavier patch on it...
Old 20th June 2010
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWG View Post
Hello,

Micke, have you verified this? Afaik, the bass lines on Quincy Jones productions were played by Greg Phillinganes and Louis Johnson.

Regards,

-L
Well, Boddicker does mention in the article I quoted above (the one analogaddict linked to above) that Thriller, PYT and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ were his two Minimoogs, so I just assumed he played the parts as well. But maybe he programmed the sounds only, I'm not sure.
Old 20th June 2010
  #93
Here for the gear
 

I knew this article.
But it takes a lot of time to get the effect of what they describe.

"The big synth blasts that begin “Thriller.” A Roland Jupiter-8 in double four-voice mode, with the modulation “wheel” opening the filter. I was always afraid it sounded cheesy, but it’s withstood the test of time. There’s no shape to the sound, just a sort of fizz or buzz, until the hold where I close the filter. It was tracked multiple times with a slightly different timbre and tuning each time."
"The synth basses on “Thriller,” “P.Y.T.,” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Those were my two Richie Walbourn-modified Minimoogs, set side by side, with engineer Bruce Swedien’s special multiple-mono compression."

Now - please work with that information to get a sound that nearly nails it.
It's still hard again!

For example - try to listen hard to the bass of "Thriller".
The "ba da da da da da - brrr" (u know what I mean), the typical phrase. Every repeat of this phrase sounds different. There is a lot of detailed work that happens with the filters on it!
There is a kind of slow breathing on the resonance. Sometimes it muffles, sometimes it's squeals - but this breathing is slower than over 1 bar.
You will never get a 95% original sound, because you can't get the timing of the oscillators etc.

I think we all have one purpose. We all like to know what's the way of the sound, that helped making this music the best that has ever been produced. It's very exciting!
Old 20th June 2010
  #94
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydanny View Post
Every repeat of this phrase sounds different. There is a lot of detailed work that happens with the filters on it! [...] There is a kind of slow breathing on the resonance.
Is this simply not the cumulative effect of an analog filter and the rest of the instruments influencing the volume of that track (tape compression) - and a human being playing it, causing small differences in timing?
Old 20th June 2010
  #95
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yes -maybe it's the compressor ...
The timing of the notes you can hear, that it's handmade ...
In my tribute I used a lot of non-quantizing and shuffled with 20-40% notes.

One question I have is - there was no MIDI at this time. Was there a possibilty to play two minimoogs with one keyboard? hmmm...
There are a lot of pitch-wheel slides in it ...
Attached Files

Thriller 1.03 drmbass.mp3 (1.92 MB, 1689 views)

Old 20th June 2010
  #96
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NoDrums-Version ...
Attached Files

Thriller 1.03 nodrums.mp3 (5.72 MB, 1716 views)

Old 21st June 2010
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydanny View Post
One question I have is - was there was no MIDI at this time. Was there a possibilty to play two minimoogs with one keyboard? hmmm...
There are a lot of pitch-wheel slides in it ...
CV/Gate out on one MM -> CV/Gate in on the 2nd. Easy peasy.
Old 21st June 2010
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnypowell View Post
OK - I really want to try this.. I have a model-d and an SEM for my mono synths, plus i have a multiple module.
How would I go about getting all the oscillators synced?
Do i need to my Model-D modded??

Cheers,
Jonny
Anyone?
Old 21st June 2010
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydanny View Post
NoDrums-Version ...
I'm loving it thumbsup
Old 21st June 2010
  #100
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Jetty's Avatar
 

spotify:track:3MQLS2ZSsvHPCAtF5RcBhK

Or just avoid the problem alltogether and be creative.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #101
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Regarding Michael Boddicker's Mini's (he had three of 'em): they were essentially modular Minimoog's. He could get into the filter, the amplifier,
the mixer, the keyboard control voltage, the gates and the mod wheels.
Old 24th June 2010
  #102
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jonnypowell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
Regarding Michael Boddicker's Mini's (he had three of 'em): they were essentially modular Minimoog's. He could get into the filter, the amplifier,
the mixer, the keyboard control voltage, the gates and the mod wheels.

I want that!!! I wish there were still techs around these parts that did these kind of mods!
Really wanna pimp my mini.. Bought new bushings, complete set of keys, new front panel and am even considering synthwood as mine is pretty beaten-up!
Also have to re-cap it, but i'd love to have some mods done. PWM would be great if possible??
Old 24th July 2010
  #103
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There's one thing I mentioned - when you hear the original version - There is a nice Plate Reverb you especially hear on the hand claps with a late feedback that hits first on the right and short after on the left side in the stereo image. You hear? nice
Old 24th July 2010
  #104
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analogbass's Avatar
 

Although Thriller was/is held as the gold standard of pop production of that era, as someone who lived it I believe that there were many other LPs and singles that were as good but didn't receive the hype.

It was essentially having high-end vintage largely analog components of that era that were the norm then during a time when it wasn't about compromising or jamming multiple features in whilej compromising sound. Entirely different world musically then. It was hard to go wrong with the Linn that was used, or Moog or Prophet all of which already sounded great out the box-it would be difficult for them not to sound good. Same thing on many many other records of the first half of the 80s.

Though the gear lists were long, it's really about sticking with high quality all the way through and using them well, in which case not a lot of equipment's needed.

As far as Yamaha DX sounds, it's quite possible though most of those sounds are analog. Most here don't realize that top names got early prototypes before they were on the market, in this case either a DX-7 if they wanted one or a DX-1 or 5 for a few others before that.

Getting the same now wouldn't be that difficult, IF you know what you're doing in terms of sticking with good quality components either vintage or some of today's very good emulations of same, combined with the ear/talent to know how to use em. Do that and Thriller production ain't that difficult actually. It's actually easier and simpler now, if those things are in place.

Period
Old 28th July 2010
  #105
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that's kind of a truth ...
Old 14th September 2010
  #106
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2 x Minimoog to Vintage Amp+TransientFormer etc ...

Hi yall,

I worked on the bass minimoogs' for a long long time again.
Read a little bit about what's described about from Swedien and Boddicker.
I interpreted that the little box must be something between amplifier, transient shaper and something else I experimented.
So I took two instances of a Arturia Minimoog. On One I made something like a subbass and was doing a Bass-Amp on it. The other one got more cheesy with two OSCs. I played a little with the EQ than I routed both to a group channel, put a transientshaper on it and a Tube/Amp. (Before I did a phazer on it and made it mono again (!) nice effect)

Here is the result. Hope you like it. )
Attached Files

Thriller 2.2.mp3 (5.15 MB, 1789 views)

Old 14th September 2010
  #107
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UpNSmoke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydanny View Post
Hi yall,

I worked on the bass minimoogs' for a long long time again.
Read a little bit about what's described about from Swedien and Boddicker.
I interpreted that the little box must be something between amplifier, transient shaper and something else I experimented.
So I took two instances of a Arturia Minimoog. On One I made something like a subbass and was doing a Bass-Amp on it. The other on was more cheesy with two OSCs. I played a little with the EQ than I routed both two a group channel, put a transientshaper on it and a Tube/Amp. (Before I did a phazer on it and made it mono again (!) nice effect)

Here is the result. Hope you like it. )

Wow..that's all I gotta say. Sounds great! I felt like a kid again in front of the tube watching the MTV awards when MJ was doing the moonwalk.. (but secretly hoping Rick James would win the award)...
Old 14th September 2010
  #108
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alexp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreedymonk View Post
FWIW I have an old Akai sample CD from years ago called Vintage Time Traveller that has the Beat It Synclavier patch on it...


I would be VERY interested in that!!!



alexP
Old 15th January 2011
  #109
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Newest version of My Thriller Minimoog Settings + Outro Bass

Hi y'all again,

here are my newest experiments on Thriller, especially the bass sounds have been worked on.
As I discribed, I use two Arturia Minimoog instances (second one with midi trigger from the first one)
The first has been designed for the lower bass frequences and as a longer decay - the second one is for the nasal and resonance thing with short decay. Both Audo is routed through a phazer and a mono comp and sharped by a transient shaper. The Transient shaper only emphasizes the first 30 milliseconds.

In the Outro There is one additional Minimoog one octave down playing the C-sharp and its audio goes thru a ring modulator which is tuned on a higher C-sharp too (look excact frequency on wikipedia). An EQ cuts the lower frequencies and has some peaks on 1Khz and the higher frqncs. This makes the dark farting bass sound.

Hope you have fun

Daniel


Attached Files

thriller 3.1.mp3 (7.60 MB, 1838 views)

Old 26th March 2011
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakydanny View Post
Hi y'all again,

here are my newest experiments on Thriller, especially the bass sounds have been worked on.
As I discribed, I use two Arturia Minimoog instances (second one with midi trigger from the first one)
The first has been designed for the lower bass frequences and as a longer decay - the second one is for the nasal and resonance thing with short decay. Both Audo is routed through a phazer and a mono comp and sharped by a transient shaper. The Transient shaper only emphasizes the first 30 milliseconds.

In the Outro There is one additional Minimoog one octave down playing the C-sharp and its audio goes thru a ring modulator which is tuned on a higher C-sharp too (look excact frequency on wikipedia). An EQ cuts the lower frequencies and has some peaks on 1Khz and the higher frqncs. This makes the dark farting bass sound.

Hope you have fun

Daniel

I have to say this is very impressive. Emulating the exact sounds and feel of a classic track is extremely difficult and this is as close as I've heard to someone nailing it. Possibly one of the most difficult tracks I've heard attempted too. You have either incredible skills or great patience (probably both).
Old 26th March 2011
  #111
Gear Maniac
 

Great Daniel!!!Well done!
Old 26th March 2011
  #112
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that was amazing!
Old 15th September 2011
  #113
Here for the gear
 

Hidden playing style on the minimoog ...

Here is an example on how I would get the notes and slides from a bass track and learn how to play like the original.

I first time-strech it than I pitch it one octave, because humans can make out better higher frequencies.

Do you hear what the player is doing in the bass line on 3rd verse from Thriller?

He pitch-bends a tone and to that he puts up the modulation wheel for a short vibrato.

In original time you never get out what he's playing but so ...
Attached Files

thriller 3rd verse slide.mp3 (642.4 KB, 1501 views)

Old 15th September 2011
  #114
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for sharing your demo of Thriller, it sounds really good.
What did you use for the pad sounds and drum machine sounds?
They sound great, very very close to the original.

Cheers.
Old 16th September 2011
  #115
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Hi sunrobot,

thanks a lot.

In the beginning it's an Arturia Jupiter8 - the brassy Pads in the Verse are Jupiter8+Prophet5+CS-80.



Drum-Sounds are original LINDRUM-Samples with pitched congas+cowbell to the right tone. Bassdrum is LINDRUM+808, like told by Bruce Swedien.
Old 16th September 2011
  #116
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@Johnny Powell: you need to get your synth modded if you want the oscillators to sync up. I saw a really cool Moog Prodigy (I think) with its Oscillators synced. I plan on doing the same for my Mini, once I get some more $$.
Old 17th September 2011
  #117
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the reply!
Old 17th September 2011
  #118
LWG
Gear Nut
 

Re: thread topic

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogbass View Post
Although Thriller was/is held as the gold standard of pop production of that era, as someone who lived it I believe that there were many other LPs and singles that were as good but didn't receive the hype.
Hello,

Thriller is part of a broader context. The album was the
culmination of a string of Quincy Jones-produced releases for
Michael Jackson (RIP) and a number of other artists.
The releases that were recorded before Thriller utilized the same
core personnel that went on to make history with Thriller.
Whats more, the keyboard work/sound design was a sort of prelude
to what would later come.
One example is Donna Summer's 1982 release "The Woman In Me".
This release had similar production, personnel, etc.

Donna Summer - "Love Is In Control" (1982)

Donna Summer-Love Is In Control(Finger On The Trigger)-1982 - YouTube


Donna Summer - "State Of Independence" (1981)

Donna Summer-State Of Independence(1982) - YouTube


Donna Summer - "Mystery Of Love" (1982)

Donna Summer-Mystery Of Love(1982) - YouTube


One of the main logistical differences between these earlier QJ productions
and Thriller is, they predate Roland's release of the Jupiter 8.
There is also no Emulator, as its release to the public was 82.

Regards,


-L
Old 17th September 2011
  #119
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LWG View Post
Hello,

Thriller is part of a broader context. The album was the
culmination of a string of Quincy Jones-produced releases for
Michael Jackson (RIP) and a number of other artists.
The releases that were recorded before Thriller utilized the same
core personnel that went on to make history with Thriller.
Whats more, the keyboard work/sound design was a sort of prelude
to what would later come.
One example is Donna Summer's 1982 release "The Woman In Me".
This release had similar production, personnel, etc.

-L
Wow - that's really amazing! Thanks for that information!
Old 17th September 2011
  #120
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LWG View Post
Hello,

Thriller is part of a broader context. The album was the
culmination of a string of Quincy Jones-produced releases for
Michael Jackson (RIP) and a number of other artists.
The releases that were recorded before Thriller utilized the same
core personnel that went on to make history with Thriller.
Whats more, the keyboard work/sound design was a sort of prelude
to what would later come.
One example is Donna Summer's 1982 release "The Woman In Me".
This release had similar production, personnel, etc.

Donna Summer - "Love Is In Control" (1982)

Donna Summer-Love Is In Control(Finger On The Trigger)-1982 - YouTube


Donna Summer - "State Of Independence" (1981)

Donna Summer-State Of Independence(1982) - YouTube


Donna Summer - "Mystery Of Love" (1982)

Donna Summer-Mystery Of Love(1982) - YouTube


One of the main logistical differences between these earlier QJ productions
and Thriller is, they predate Roland's release of the Jupiter 8.
There is also no Emulator, as its release to the public was 82.

Regards,


-L
Actually, the Emulator I and the Jup-8 were already available on the market by the time Donna Summer's album was recorded. Both keyboards came out in the fall of 1981, and afaik the album was recorded in the spring of 1982 (correct me if I'm wrong). That doesn't necessarilly mean they feature on the record though.

Anyway, that's Michael Boddicker singing through the vocoder on "Love Is In Control", just like he did on Summer's "Transformers Train", Michael Jackson's "Pretty Young Thing" and Toto's "99".
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