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Depeche Mode early 80's Setup? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 31st January 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 
GameBoyColor's Avatar
Depeche Mode early 80's Setup?

Thinking of doing a one off cover of Speak and Spell with my band for a local cover band festival and was wondering if any DM heads out there might know the synths/setup they might have been using on stage.

Thanks!
Old 31st January 2014
  #2
227861
Guest
Moog Prodigy
Boss DR55
Jupiter 4

There's more but that's what I can tell you for sure.
Old 31st January 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
danielb's Avatar
Yamaha CS5.
Old 31st January 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
Here's a good site for that stuff: Depeche Mode keyboards

And copy pasting some..
Concerts during 1981:
1 Moog Source synth
1 PPG Wave 2.0 synth
1 TEAC A3440 Tape Machine (w/ D.B.Y. Unit)
1 REVOX A77 Tape Machine
+ some other stuff

Some shows in the beginning of 1982 (See You Tour):
Martin: PPG Wave 2.0 and a Yamaha CS-5.
Fletch: Moog Source
Alan: Roland Promars
In the article named "The New Sythesizer Rock" (Keyboard Magazine 1982) the following equipments were listed: ARP2600, Moog Source, Roland Promars, Roland SH-1, Roland MC-4(early digital sequencer), Korg KR55 ( preset drum machine) Roland TR808 (programmable drum machine)
Old 31st January 2014
  #5
Gear Head
 
GameBoyColor's Avatar
Thanks for the advice, I myself have a Moog Source, and a few other's that might fill the void (Octave Cat, Pro One, Odyssey). and a buddy in the group has a prodigy. Not sure about where I'd find a 2600, or if I'd want to use one on stage.
This helps a bunch though.
Old 31st January 2014
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I think they had a Roland SH-2 also.
Old 31st January 2014
  #7
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GameBoyColor View Post
Thanks for the advice, I myself have a Moog Source, and a few other's that might fill the void (Octave Cat, Pro One, Odyssey). and a buddy in the group has a prodigy. Not sure about where I'd find a 2600, or if I'd want to use one on stage.
This helps a bunch though.
I don't think they ever used a 2600 live, just in the studio.
I believe most of the kick drums from Speak and Spell came from the 2600.
Old 31st January 2014
  #8
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dougt's Avatar
 

Korg KR55 is all over it. The punchy snare is easy to spot...
Old 31st January 2014
  #9
Gear Addict
If you want to use 2600-like sounds you can always rely on Arturia's emulation
Old 31st January 2014
  #10
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ranzee's Avatar
I really started to liked DM more when they started to use the EMU Emulator (iii iirc). This is when they produced their Violator album.
Old 9th January 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Speak & Spell gear

Keyboards :

ARP 2600 (Daniel Miller)
KAWAI 100F (Vince)
KORG MINIKORG 700S (Daniel Miller)
MOOG Prodigy (Fletch)
ROLAND Jupiter-4 (Vince)
ROLAND SH-1 (Daniel Miller)
YAMAHA CS-5 (Martin).

Drum Machine :

KORG KR-55 (Daniel Miller)

Séquencer :

ROLAND MC-4 Microcomposer (Daniel Miller),

Magnétophone :

STUDER ReVox A77

Microphone :

SHURE SM57

From different but pretty accurate sources (mostly Daniel and Vince)
Old 9th January 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
jammybastard's Avatar
 

According to David Gahan, and more recently Peter Hook (in his book “Substance”), Depeche Mode did not play “live” in the 80s.
They mimed to precorded tracks with Gahan's vocals being the only “live” element.
Old 9th January 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jammybastard View Post
According to David Gahan, and more recently Peter Hook (in his book “Substance”), Depeche Mode did not play “live” in the 80s.
They mimed to precorded tracks with Gahan's vocals being the only “live” element.
I believe this is about TV performances they talked.

For full concert, I still believe the synth were on juice because on bootlegs from pre-Alan 81 tours, you clearly hear, before most of the songs, the players trying the patch to be sur it's the accurate one. It would be useless to do that if all was on tape.

I don't say you're wrong, I just say it's hard to believe.

To continue with "I believe', I believe that Fletch basslines on his Moog during early live tours were all on tape and the he, and only him, was all pretending his act.
Old 9th January 2018
  #14
You can tell it's live when you hear/view old concert recordings just from the way it sounds. There may well have been tape elements (in fact early on, the drums were on tape), but most (if not all) of the synths are real performances. The early material is built around three monosynth parts, even if it was embellished a little in the studio - that's why Speak & Spell is so simple (and brilliant).

On TV, not so much, but then New Order were one of the very few bands who actually played live on Top of the Pops (the main pop music show in the UK); everyone else usually mimed (or "lip-synced" as people say nowadays). I don't think any music fans thought the bands were playing live, and I don't think Depeche would have claimed they did. There were other TV shows where bands played live, but I believe Hooky was talking about ToTP where at that time no-one did (and the producers didn't really want people to, as the show was set up for miming). ToTP had live performances (or at least live elements) at other times in its history, but not throughout most of the 80s.

I'd also add that later on (mid 80s onwards), there may well have been sequencing when Depeche played live, but I believe even then many elements were played live (I think Alan Wilder said he'd be bored if he wasn't playing stuff on stage).
Old 9th January 2018
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGrainger View Post

On TV, not so much, but then New Order were one of the very few bands who actually played live on Top of the Pops (the main pop music show in the UK); everyone else usually mimed (or "lip-synced" as people say nowadays).
IIRC New Order are the only act in the show’s history to ever drop down the charts after that appearance!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGrainger View Post

I'd also add that later on (mid 80s onwards), there may well have been sequencing when Depeche played live, but I believe even then many elements were played live (I think Alan Wilder said he'd be bored if he wasn't playing stuff on stage).
They used backing tapes late 80s, 90s for the percussion, bass lines etc.
Old 10th January 2018
  #16
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I thought in the early days (Speak & Spell era) the tape was only for percussion.
Old 10th January 2018
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Could the KR-55 be connected to Roland MC-4 or, for instance, to a CSQ-100?

Korg made all his gear in Hertz/octave and Roland (except SH-2000 and perhaps SH-1000) used Volt/octave.

I know that with Daniel and Vince they had two synth-wizards but it's hard for me to believe that the drum machine was played like that, just connected to the multitrack recorder. They had to synch it someway with the basslines and others sequences.
Old 10th January 2018
  #18
In the Speak & Spell era the basslines were played live. I don't know about the period after that - they may well have had other stuff synced up by A Broke Frame. I mean on stage, BTW: in the studio, they did use sequencers.
Old 10th January 2018
  #19
Gear Nut
 

So what was the point of the MC-4 in studio for speak and spell?
Old 10th January 2018
  #20
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Polymooger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilak View Post
So what was the point of the MC-4 in studio for speak and spell?
Tightness? Production expediency?

It's not a unique situation. Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes bassline was was a sequenced synth (DX7? Fairlight?), but live Mark O'Toole played it on a Fender Precision.
Old 10th January 2018
  #21
Gear Nut
 

I understand.

But Daniel bought this machine (The MC-4) especially for the recording of S&S.
It was a very expensive tool and if a sequencer was needed, he already had an ARP Sequencer.

It was somehow used because Vince was said to be very unhappy about his Kawai 100-F not working with the MC-4.
I would like to know how this machine was used.

What comes first to my mind, is to synch the ARP 2500 noise with the KR-55 preset. That's why I asked about KR-55/MC-4 communication.
Old 11th January 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammybastard View Post
According to David Gahan, and more recently Peter Hook (in his book “Substance”), Depeche Mode did not play “live” in the 80s.
They mimed to precorded tracks with Gahan's vocals being the only “live” element.
I saw them fourth row in '86 at Radio City on the Black Celebration tour and they were killing time between songs as they loaded floppies into their synths so I'm pretty sure it was live.
Old 11th January 2018
  #23
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilak View Post
Could the KR-55 be connected to Roland MC-4 or, for instance, to a CSQ-100?
The KR-55 has a trigger out that can be set to 16th notes or 8th notes or the bass drum. In practice I think they generally used the 16th note trigger to drive an ARP 1613 sequencer that triggered an ARP 2600 for the bass drum. So the KR-55's bass drum was replaced with a different sound that could be programmed. Various other rhythmic noise sounds are probably made the same way. I don't know if the MC-4 can be clocked by a 16th note trigger pulse.
Old 11th January 2018
  #24
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
The KR-55 has a trigger out that can be set to 16th notes or 8th notes or the bass drum. In practice I think they generally used the 16th note trigger to drive an ARP 1613 sequencer that triggered an ARP 2600 for the bass drum. So the KR-55's bass drum was replaced with a different sound that could be programmed. Various other rhythmic noise sounds are probably made the same way. I don't know if the MC-4 can be clocked by a 16th note trigger pulse.

Thank you for your answer.

I just read that the KR55 is on "S-trigger" (negative polarity) and that Roland/ARP/Oberheim sequencer are on "V-trigger" (positive polarity).

The owners manuals of those engines confirm this.

Is it a problem to make them communicate.


But you are affirmative, a KR-55 can be somehow connected to a Sequencer in Volt/octave?
Old 11th January 2018
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Loads of info here direct from Alan Wilder;

Shunt the Official Recoil Website - q+a archives
Old 11th January 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
the Pro one was often used by them in the 80's - was it not responsible for i just can't get enough?
Old 11th January 2018
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by empirix View Post
the Pro one was often used by them in the 80's - was it not responsible for i just can't get enough?
No, No Pro-One on Speak and Spell.

Vince Clarke bought a Jupiter-4 with his royalities in time to use it for the record.

BIG INFO (The "I" is not me, but someone called "Dael") :
I SPOKE TO VINCE CLARKE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND HE TOLD ME THE DRUM MACHINE USED ON SPEAK AND SPELL WAS A KORG KR55 PRESET MACHINE .THE BAND USED JUST THE SNARE AND HIGH HATS SOUNDS FROM. THE BASS DRUM WAS GENERATED FROM AN ARP 2600 SYNTH WHICH WAS SYNCHED TO THE MACHINE AND AN OLD ROLAND MC4 MICROCOMPOSER SEQUENCER. SO THERE THE ANSWER IS!THE SAME MACHINE WAS USED ON MOST OF THE EARLY DANIEL MILLER PRODUCED TRACKS INCLUDING THE FAD GADGET STUFF LIKE 'RICKYS HAND AND THE FABULOUS MEMORABILIA BY SOFT CELL!! PS .BOBBY ORLANDO ALSO USED ONE ON THOSE FANTASTIC TRASHY NY DISCO RECORDS BY DIVINE AND THE FLIRTS (PASSION ' NATIVE LOVE SHAKE IT UP ETC..)


They used the Pro-one for the first time on "A Broken Frame".

A Broken Frame gear :

Keyboards :

ARP 2600
MOOG Prodigy
MOOG Source
PPG WAVE 2
ROLAND Jupiter-8
ROLAND MRS2 Promars
ROLAND SH-1
RSF KOBOL EXPANDER
SCI Pro-One

Drumm machines:

KORG KR-55
ROLAND TR-808

Séquencer :
ROLAND MC-4 Microcomposer

Tape recorder:
TEAC A-3440. 4-track

Microphone:
SHURE SM58
Old 11th January 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
SlutButtMcNabb's Avatar
 

LOVE the S&S kick. There are a few places in the album where you can sample the kick and the snare as they are played in isolation. 'What's your name' and 'Nodisco', I think.
Old 11th January 2018
  #29
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilak View Post
I just read that the KR55 is on "S-trigger" (negative polarity) and that Roland/ARP/Oberheim sequencer are on "V-trigger" (positive polarity).
Sure, so if you use a KR-55 to clock the arpeggiator of a Juno 60, or conversely use a CR-8000 or TR-808 to clock a Poly 61 or whatever, the timing will be off. But it's not a big deal to just invert the trigger signal.
Old 11th January 2018
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
Sure, so if you use a KR-55 to clock the arpeggiator of a Juno 60, or conversely use a CR-8000 or TR-808 to clock a Poly 61 or whatever, the timing will be off. But it's not a big deal to just invert the trigger signal.

Even in 1981?

I know that in a pro studio there's always an electric nerd that can help, I may be too curious!

Those instruments you're talking are mostly post-1981. I know electronics and musical technologies made huge and exponential progress in the early 80's but 1981 is not that prehistoric so I'm sure you're right.

So thank you.

The choice of a KR-55 was primary because Daniel already own it. But the reason he favored it may be because it had a clock that the CR-78 didn't have, didn't he?
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