The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Has Anyone Emulated The Gary Numan Synth Sound (circa 1980) ? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 6th October 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Has Anyone Emulated The Gary Numan Synth Sound (circa 1980) ?

So, a few months ago, my best friend and his girlfriend show up with 3 CD's for me : Replicas, Pleasure Principle and Telekon. WOW. In High School I dismissed him too easily. The fusion of organic instruments (bass, guitar, drums) with the Prophet 5, Minimoog, etc., struck me as oozing with sparkling sonic warmth. --- Please tell me I'm not the only one to be in awe of the sound he got on those albums..... and do any inexpensive plugins do the job of getting the exact synth sound he delivered ?
Old 6th October 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Diametro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
Please tell me I'm not the only one to be in awe of the sound he got on those albums.....
Hardly. For me, though, it's also about the style, imagery and attitudes ... Those albums are the holy trinity of electronic rock ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
And do any inexpensive plugins do the job of getting the exact synth sound he delivered ?
Is this a joke ... ???
Old 6th October 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
There's a patch on the Virus TI called "Numanesque" that sounds pretty good...
Old 6th October 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
flat's Avatar
I was quite impressed with these efforts I found on YT:

(Particularly at 0:55)

Old 6th October 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro View Post
Is this a joke ... ???
Oops... should read "does any inexpensive synth software sound predominantly similar in tone, color and quality" ? I'm basically wishing for a preset for a newbie with moderate standards.
Old 6th October 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djpablo View Post
There's a patch on the Virus TI called 'Numanesque' that sounds pretty good...
Well, wishes come true... thanks !
Old 6th October 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 

'The Aircrash Bureau' and 'I Dream Of Wires' are phenomenal, original *MASTERPIECES* of sonic *art*.............. EEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYAAAAAHHHHH !!!!! The sheer GLORY of it ! AIYYYYYeeeeEEEEE !!!(help!)
Old 6th October 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Mike6581's Avatar
 

There's a cracking freeware MiniMoog VSTi called MiniMogue VA which is a good start. There's tonnes of MiniMoog on the first three albums. (Tubeway Army, Replicas and PP).

As for the "Vox Huma" and "Strings 2" sounds which are the Polymoog's contributions to Pleasure Principle and Telekon, I'm not too sure to be honest. You can get close to Polymoog strings on a decent VCO analog poly by detuning one of the VCOs and putting a bit of LFO-induced vibrato onto the oscillators but that's not a cheap option. There must be some good cheap or freeware VST strings/poly synth? I'm not sure about how to get a convincing Vox Huma either as I've never tried to emulate that sound. Does anyone have any cheap suggestions?

Last edited by Mike6581; 6th October 2009 at 10:08 AM.. Reason: Grammar!
Old 6th October 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Pschelfh's Avatar
Hollow Sun released Vox Humana (Cars) + some other Polymoog strings as a freepack in Kontakt/Akai format : --- FreePacks ---

Peter.
Old 8th October 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Meriphew's Avatar
 

Roland JP8000's go for fairly cheap on the used market, and it can really nail a lot of the Telekon/PP/Replicas sounds. I caught a Numan show a few years back. He was using a JP8000 and was getting many of those old classic synth tones that he's famous for out of it. I went out and bought one the following week.
Old 9th October 2009
  #11
N88
Gear Maniac
 
N88's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro View Post
Those albums are the holy trinity of electronic rock.
The Pleasure Principle, Telekon, and Dance were actually meant as a trilogy.

You'll need an Arp for some of that stuff.

There was an interview with one of the keyboard players on the Novation site a ways back.
Old 9th October 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
Roland JP8000's go for fairly cheap on the used market, and it can really nail a lot of the Telekon/PP/Replicas sounds. I caught a Numan show a few years back. He was using a JP8000 and was getting many of those old classic synth tones that he's famous for out of it. I went out and bought one the following week.

They're not really very difficult sounds to make, frankly.

I have a DVD of a live performance of Telekon, and in the accompanying interview Numan talks about reproducing the sounds for live performance on Viruses. He describes the Virus as "just like the old synths, but bigger".

I pretty much nailed the opening sound from "This Wreckage" on my Virus. Plenty of other synths can do it too.
Old 9th October 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
Hi- So I was programming his typically lead string sound with the vibrato and got very close, but I can hear that he's also got some type of effect on it that adds much to what makes this sound. Anyone know what it is? Doesn't seem to be a flanger as I've got an old MXR and it didn't get what I was after.
Old 9th October 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
Never mind... a little Audio Damage Phase Two and UAD RE-201 and it's nailed!
Old 9th October 2009
  #15
I cover the sounds of 'Are friends electric' with a Pek, a moog lp and a roland sde330;
When I'll get some time, I'll post a demo if anyone is interested?
Old 9th October 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
ChristianRock's Avatar
 

There's a set of very high quality sample sets by Joeri Peeters available for free for the Alesis Fusion at the Hollow Sun website, for the Vox Humana and the Polyvox Strings I and II. They're quite good and the website has the samples in other formats as well, like Kontakt and Akai S5/6000.

Old 10th October 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
pr0gr4m's Avatar
"Man in a white car"

Yes. I think Gary Numan is excellent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
They're not really very difficult sounds to make, frankly.
Agreed. I've "recreated" them on my CS6x and in some stock Cubase plugins. They aren't exact but they get the job done.

What I REALLY want is that Billy Currie lead sound. I have never been able to make anything close to it. Just gonna have to bite the bullet and buy an Odyssey.
Old 10th October 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Meriphew's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr0gr4m View Post
"

What I REALLY want is that Billy Currie lead sound. I have never been able to make anything close to it. Just gonna have to bite the bullet and buy an Odyssey.
Don't forget to run it through an old EH Electric Mistress Flanger.
Old 27th December 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew View Post
Roland JP8000's go for fairly cheap on the used market, and it can really nail a lot of the Telekon/PP/Replicas sounds. I caught a Numan show a few years back. He was using a JP8000 and was getting many of those old classic synth tones that he's famous for out of it. I went out and bought one the following week.
Gary Numan is probably the single greatest influence on the music I've been producing for the past two years, so I thought I'd share a few insights from my own quest for the Numan Sound. First off, the easiest way to get that sound is obviously to either use one of the same instruments (e.g. Minimoog or Jupiter-4) or another analog poly from the era (e.g. OB-Xa). No surprises there. What IS surprising, however, is how I've been able to coax these sounds from a Roland JP8000! I didn't even know that Numan himself was touring with a JP8000 a few years back until I read this post from Meriphew.

The main reason I'm even bothering to work on the JP8000 when I have several vintage analogs in my studio is that I plan to play live in the near future and I'm not about to tour with my Jupiter-4. The key is 1) very careful programming of the JP8000 and 2) outboard FX, preferably analog. I've been running the JP8000 through an EH Deluxe Memory Man for delay and chorus with excellent results. So, if you're looking to emulate some of those JP-4 sounds from Telekon and Dance, I seriously recommend a JP-8000 (which, these days, can be found on eBay for a song). If you want to get even closer to the Numan Sound, and don't have issues with software emulations, then I recommend the Arturia Minimoog V and Moog Modular V. With these two softsynths, you can really nail the Minimoog sounds from Replicas, or the Polymoog sounds from Pleasure Principle.

Not only is the music of Gary Numan totally inspiring for me, the man himself is a total inspiration. In an interview I once saw, I was struck by his "been there, done that" stance on "vintage instruments." He was singing the praises of the Access Virus -- not longing for the "good old days" of component failure and unstable oscillators! Before I saw that interview, I kept quiet about my secret appreciation for virtual analogs and softsynths, but not any more! While I feel lucky to own a few of the classic synths from the "good old days" I feel even luckier to be living in an era when I could theoretically replace my entire studio with a laptop computer and be none the worse for it!

Maison Vague

Last edited by maisonvague; 27th December 2009 at 11:17 AM.. Reason: Typos
Old 27th December 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 

The Vox Humana Polymoog patch is a little difficult to replicate precisely, but if any modern synth can do it I would think that a Virus would stand a good chance. The trick would be getting multiple modulations going on at different rates. The in-your-face way that Gary used that sound is just intimidating. I really miss the late 70's / early 80's punchy, over the top synth technique. Back then when someone played a synth in a track, you knew about it, they weren't shy at all.
Old 27th December 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 

It was all good until someone gave him a Roland D50.... then it all started to go wrong and a bit Goth.

Pleasure Pricipal was stunning.
Old 27th December 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
It was all good until someone gave him a Roland D50....
LOL ... true! But he recovered! I think his new music is just as great as his classic stuff from the late 70's/early 80's. Much darker, of course, but modern and fresh IMO. I like the fact that he hasn't stopped growing musically. Granted, he's been touring a lot more with his old material in recent years, but I'm almost certain we haven't heard the last innovations from this master of the art!
Old 27th December 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
rachel's Avatar
The Akai SG-01v has the numan sounds in it as part of its palette.
For example, the vox humana from the polymoog and polyvox synths. The SG01v
seems to have focused on some of these sound patches from various classic synth
compositions.


rachel
Old 27th December 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Llitsor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
The Akai SG-01v has the numan sounds in it as part of its palette.
For example, the vox humana from the polymoog and polyvox synths. The SG01v
seems to have focused on some of these sound patches from various classic synth
compositions.


rachel
Eck! I remember those. Indeed I still have one gathering dust somewhere.. They sound very good too, given their unremarkable exterior. Plus they were cheap, even new.
Nice little under rated boxes thumbsup
Old 30th December 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
teamsterjim's Avatar
I do a 70's Tribute show and have to recreate many of the good oldies.
I use Studio Electronics synths and Scope's Modular and can pretty much get whatever sound I want. We do tunes from Pleasure Principle and the Cars patch is posted below.
The chap above is right, it's the extra Modulations and tri Oscillator design that are needed.
I am using Unsion stack detuning which boils down to 8 voices being stacked in unison w/ a setting of 2, which gives 4 large voices.
Below I am using 2 x Oscillators each w/ Triple Waves for covering the extra octave tunings that the Vox Humana used. 16' / 8' / 4'.
Attached Thumbnails
Has Anyone Emulated The Gary Numan Synth Sound (circa 1980) ?-untitled.jpg  
Old 31st December 2009
  #26
Gear Addict
 
seven's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
So, if you're looking to emulate some of those JP-4 sounds from Telekon and Dance, I seriously recommend a JP-8000 (which, these days, can be found on eBay for a song).
I agree with this. The JP8000 is a fairly smooth sounding machine with a wide vocal range. I try to avoid the "Numan" sounding synth but if tasked with the job I think my JP8000 would be my first stop.

For Numan strings I might look at the D-50 as well.
Old 31st December 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 

A while back on another forum, there were some great emulations of those sounds done with the ESQ-1/SQ-80. Does anyone remember or have a link? There were some fairly specific explanations on it. If you can find those patches, you can use the free SQ80 vst.
Old 31st December 2009
  #28
Mr Arkadin
Guest
Also worth noting is that Numan used an mxr phase90 on a lot of the Poly sounds on The Pleasure Principle - slow setting for the sweeping low note in Films, max speed for the Cars Intro.
Old 31st December 2009
  #29
Gear Addict
 
synthdood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
The Akai SG-01v has the numan sounds in it as part of its palette.
For example, the vox humana from the polymoog and polyvox synths. The SG01v
seems to have focused on some of these sound patches from various classic synth
compositions.


rachel
Excellent tip! I bought a SG01v years ago in a sale in one of our local music stores. Apart from checking the presets never did much with it, although there are some rather good sounds in there. Time to wipe the dust off and give it another go. It is this sort of thing why I never sell or trade my old instruments
Old 1st November 2013
  #30
Here for the gear
 

I play in a Numan clone band. The main essential synths for me are a Minimoog, a Virus and a Novation Ultranova. The ultranova does a beautiful job of all those early Numan "synth through a fuzzbox" sounds. It's indispensable.

A couple of years ago I saw a video by some Brit Numan cover band who did a pretty decent Vox Humana patch with a Virus, so I emailed the guy and asked if he'd email me the patch, to which he replied that he thought he was a programming god and no way, I'd just have to figure it out on my own. It pissed me off so much, I worked for 2 days to nail it on my Virus, and it quite frankly blew his out of the water. I shot a video of me playing it and emailed it to him with a note, "you're a **** and no I won't tell you how I did it. Buy more pancake makeup, ******."

I gueuss I've given him long enough to stew about it. Should anyone want MY Virus or Ultranova patches, go check out "Gnuman" on Youtube or FB or some other such ****. You like 'em they're yours.

Mos Fet
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
fross / So much gear, so little time
16
tekis / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
47
kozlikha / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
0
Lonnie5 / So much gear, so little time
5
johnnyjellybean / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump