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Brian Eno: An Ending (Ascent) Questions on Transcription Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 18th September 2011
  #1
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Brian Eno: An Ending (Ascent) Questions on Transcription

Hey all,
Being a new synth guy one of the first songs I want to learn is Brian Eno's classic An Ending and Deep Blue Day.
An Ending: I read it was done on a DX-7 sounds like 3 voices with a high octave saw way back in mix. What are the root notes (very hard to get exact with elastic sounds) and can it be played on a Gaia 3 octave board- all I have to work with right now. What wave forms are they sound like a sine and an LFO driven square, could be wrong though. If I am correct me!

Thanx
Old 18th September 2011
  #2
Akh
Gear Maniac
 

Here's a cover of Eno's song on the piano:



It seems to me, for the most part, it's a series of minor chords. In Brian Eno's composition of course a large part of the sound is how the chords fade from one another, with absolutely no percussive qualities. I'm not familiar with the Roland Gaia, but as with much of Eno's work I'd suggest a lot of what gives this particular song a powerful quality is his production and treatment of the recording.
Old 18th September 2011
  #3
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Thanx I saw that one. Theres also a nice 'strings' cover of it with no video. I just hate when people are unwilling to share the chords- maybe he hasn't checked back. It doesn't help me too much, but the timing is there. If I had $1 for every time I steered someone to the right guitar effect sound -I'd be retired.
I agree. Eno prolly doesn't have ONE stock synth. That album 'Apollo' was done with modified DX-7's from what I read on Wiki.
He likely had a click track for 'Ascent' as a nice 4/4 fits right in.
Old 18th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
Thanx I saw that one. Theres also a nice 'strings' cover of it with no video. I just hate when people are unwilling to share the chords- maybe he hasn't checked back. It doesn't help me too much, but the timing is there. If I had $1 for every time I steered someone to the right guitar effect sound -I'd be retired.
I agree. Eno prolly doesn't have ONE stock synth. That album 'Apollo' was done with modified DX-7's from what I read on Wiki.
He likely had a click track for 'Ascent' as a nice 4/4 fits right in.
it looks like variations on Db, Ab, Eb...

looking for someone to work out the voicings for you?

I'll get you started I guess.
(first chord) = Db Ab (Db?) F
(second chord) = Ab Eb (Ab) C
(second and 1/2 chord) = G Eb
(third chord) = Eb Bb (Eb?) G
Db
G
Ab
etc...

just curious but did you even *try* to figure it out yourself?

it's not that hard and it's good practice for your ear.
Old 18th September 2011
  #5
Akh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
Thanx I saw that one. Theres also a nice 'strings' cover of it with no video. I just hate when people are unwilling to share the chords- maybe he hasn't checked back.
I'm assuming, among the comments on that YouTube video I linked to, yours is by "progrockfan90" requesting a transcription? Take a good look at the video -- he isn't reading from sheet music, but rather listening to the Eno track on headphones and playing it out on the piano by ear. If you'd like him to write it out for you, you're asking him to undertake several hours of work. If you have a piano, or piano software, you could piece together what keys are being played by replaying each part of the video and playing along, matching keys, over the course of an hour or two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
It doesn't help me too much, but the timing is there. If I had $1 for every time I steered someone to the right guitar effect sound -I'd be retired.
Steering someone to a file on the internet and sitting down and transcribing a song are two entirely different efforts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
Eno prolly doesn't have ONE stock synth.
Eno most certainly doesn't have "one stock synth", but that's not what I was saying at all by "a lot of what gives this particular song a powerful quality is his production and treatment of the recording". Rather, Brian Eno's use of effects, EQ's, compressors and other mixing tools is a creative endeavour in and of itself, which most certainly plays an important part in the sound of his music.


Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
That album 'Apollo' was done with modified DX-7's from what I read on Wiki.
I've never heard of Brian Eno owning, or using, a modified DX-7. Unlike most synthesists at the time, and now for that matter, Brian Eno has an exceptional understanding of how the DX-7 works and how to get the most out of it however. It's my understanding a great deal of DX-7 presets, on the keyboard itself and on expansion-cartridges, were designed primarily by Eno and a handful of other synthesists.


Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
What are the root notes...
There is no single root to Eno's track by the way, as many chords and keys are used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LimpyLoo View Post
just curious but did you even *try* to figure it out yourself?

it's not that hard and it's good practice for your ear.
Nail + head.
Old 18th September 2011
  #6
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

Take the song and throw it into melodyne.

That will give you the exact notes and chords
Old 18th September 2011
  #7
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Thanx for feedback. Great as usual.
I am just teaching myself technique. Very odd transition being a 20 year guitar player learning synth. Timing my left hand is difficult since I play guitar right handed, but my right had surprisingly seems up to task even though I fret with my left.
I have a good ear since I don't read music but know keys obviously. I did figure the basic notes and layered some sounds. I'm still familiarizing myself with what wave form is what and how it applies to what music I listen to. Much like locking myself in a room as a kid and learning Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden.
I seems one can get away with OK technique with synth, it's the actual sound design process that needs developing and what makes synth playing so addictive..
Old 18th September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
I have a good ear since I don't read music but know keys obviously.
if you didn't recognize this as a I-IV-V joint from listening to it, your ear still has some work to do.

yeah, I'm a guitar player that plays keys. The most helpful thing I found was taking the idea of "throwing" positions (which is the technique used for playing scales up and down a single string really fast) and applying that to keys. i suppose i could learn *actual* piano technique...
Old 18th September 2011
  #9
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Hypnocil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnocil View Post
If you look here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-dan...72-apollo.html

Daniel Lanois himself says a bit about it. It was a CS80.
He's talking about Apollo as a whole, so it is possible this track was done with a DX7 and treated to death.

If you want to transcribe this track, why don't you start by listening to the top line, which is most clearly audible, then try and fill in the lower parts?
Old 18th September 2011
  #10
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Wasn't the recording of this reversed?

Have a listen to this, the notes are more clearly defined:



EDIT: that doesn't seem to be working, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiB2ZuukqP4
Old 18th September 2011
  #11
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I think it is a CS80, through a "shimmer" type effect (like the one made by the great Valhalla shimmer plug-in ValhallaShimmer: $50 – ValhallaDSP ) made probably an ams 15-80 harmonizer into a Lexicon reverb into a Yamaha spx90. And I do think that the recording was then reversed, which gives this great slow attack.

Regards,

Santiago
Old 18th September 2011
  #12
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericyeoman View Post
Wasn't the recording of this reversed?

Have a listen to this, the notes are more clearly defined:
No, but the backward reverb effect was done in the mix.
Old 19th September 2011
  #13
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I can get the "shimmer" with the LFO at a relatively fast rate, assigned to the amp section of the synth. I tried a slow chorus with high depth effect and got similar results. I am getting some great sounds out of my Digitech RP1000 floor unit. Can't have enough modulation. Helps with EQing as well.
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