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RIP Lyle Mays Feb 10th 2020
Old 13th November 2020
  #61
Gear Nut
Maybe I mistook the Korgs as all those silver colored synths they made look very similar to me especially Triton & the Trinity that preceded it. I always get those two mixed up cause I'm not really a Korg guy not since the DW-8000, Poly-800II or Wavestation EX & sacked'em all when Kurzweil came along,never had the dough for a K250 but seeing Lyle playing them made me long for'em. My prayers were answered with the advent of the K2k(as did Mr Mays) I got rid of the JX-10 also when the Kurz's came out. I pretty much gave up all my analog gear(Matrix-6 Quadra, Pro-One, Polymoog & the aforementioned Korgs) when I could finally afford a Kurzweil though I still have JX-8P. Thanx for making things a little clearer for me with your knowledge. I appreciate your appreciation of the man and his music dude.
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #62
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santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaljazz View Post
I've still never heard of Lyle using the Emulator 2 and 3 (only the E4) or the Trident or Trinity.
Emulator 2 and 3 were not used AFAIK. He used Kurzweil for samples mostly. I'm actually a bit puzzled by him using the E4 and also the Roland S760 in the 90ies as he still had the Kurzweils in his rigs.

Quote:
He did have three different Tritons, though, after using the DW-8000 for about 13 years.
It indeed died during the Solo sessions (he explains in some interview he was just in time to dump some of it's sounds to tape = sampling).

Quote:
did use some vibes-like patches on the Synclavier in 1982 in the Travels album, if that's one of the sounds you're thinking of.
Now we are on the topic of the Synclavier, it is a bit unclear for me how many Synclaviers were owned. Did Pat and Lyle have their own? From some interviews, Pat seems to suggest that (as he talks about exchanging floppy disks). But I sometimes got the idea that they only had 1 on stage which they both used. Lyle controlling it via the VPK and Pat controlling it via the guitar interface (which Robert Oakes embedded in a Roland GR808 guitar for him).

On a side note, the other guitarist to make some use of that system was McLaughlin on the 86 Mahavishnu album. Have to say that I prefer Pat's use of the Synclavier, picking better suitable timbres.

And in addition: Omnisphere and Digital Performer were used by Lyle on the last tour in 2010 (which was the Songbook tour, consisting of some nights at the Blue Note in Japan in 2009 and after that a tour of summer festivals in Europe. It was my only time to see the PMG and it sadly lasted only an hour and was condensed to the core quartet). All his sounds came from his Macbook and the grand piano. Most of the set was based around the acoustic piano sound anyways with stripped down versions, but they did a few songs which contained some pads and Are you going with me was a staple.
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #63
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Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Emulator 2 and 3 were not used AFAIK. He used Kurzweil for samples mostly. I'm actually a bit puzzled by him using the E4 and also the Roland S760 in the 90ies as he still had the Kurzweils in his rigs.


It indeed died during the Solo sessions (he explains in some interview he was just in time to dump some of it's sounds to tape = sampling).


Now we are on the topic of the Synclavier, it is a bit unclear for me how many Synclaviers were owned. Did Pat and Lyle have their own? From some interviews, Pat seems to suggest that (as he talks about exchanging floppy disks). But I sometimes got the idea that they only had 1 on stage which they both used. Lyle controlling it via the VPK and Pat controlling it via the guitar interface (which Robert Oakes embedded in a Roland GR808 guitar for him).

On a side note, the other guitarist to make some use of that system was McLaughlin on the 86 Mahavishnu album. Have to say that I prefer Pat's use of the Synclavier, picking better suitable timbres.

And in addition: Omnisphere and Digital Performer were used by Lyle on the last tour in 2010 (which was the Songbook tour, consisting of some nights at the Blue Note in Japan in 2009 and after that a tour of summer festivals in Europe. It was my only time to see the PMG and it sadly lasted only an hour and was condensed to the core quartet). All his sounds came from his Macbook and the grand piano. Most of the set was based around the acoustic piano sound anyways with stripped down versions, but they did a few songs which contained some pads and Are you going with me was a staple.
I followed the group over many years, having seen them when I was student at Berklee in 1977 at a small club in the Boston suburbs. Pat had just finished having been a teacher at the college and had done his trio record. In 1979, I saw the same (original) lineup at the Westport country playhouse in Westport ct. Pat spent much of the gig yelling at the drummer for rushing. Lol

I loved everything they did, especially lyle’s contributions aurally and compositionally, but after the still life album, they began to lose me, both live and in the studio. I always wished Lyle had had a bigger go at a solo career as a composer, his work on those rabbit ear productions (children’s books) had some of his best cinematic soundscapes. He was a big influence for me. Miss him terribly.
Old 13th November 2020 | Show parent
  #64
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Now we are on the topic of the Synclavier, it is a bit unclear for me how many Synclaviers were owned. Did Pat and Lyle have their own? From some interviews, Pat seems to suggest that (as he talks about exchanging floppy disks). But I sometimes got the idea that they only had 1 on stage which they both used. Lyle controlling it via the VPK and Pat controlling it via the guitar interface (which Robert Oakes embedded in a Roland GR808 guitar for him).

On a side note, the other guitarist to make some use of that system was McLaughlin on the 86 Mahavishnu album. Have to say that I prefer Pat's use of the Synclavier, picking better suitable timbres.

And in addition: Omnisphere and Digital Performer were used by Lyle on the last tour in 2010 (which was the Songbook tour, consisting of some nights at the Blue Note in Japan in 2009 and after that a tour of summer festivals in Europe. It was my only time to see the PMG and it sadly lasted only an hour and was condensed to the core quartet). All his sounds came from his Macbook and the grand piano. Most of the set was based around the acoustic piano sound anyways with stripped down versions, but they did a few songs which contained some pads and Are you going with me was a staple.
I highly doubt that Lyle had his own Synclavier, especially considering how much they cost. I'm assuming they were just exchanging their ideas via floppy disks. Just as Lyle toured with Pat's piano, I'm fairly sure he played Pat's Synclavier. It's not on Lyle's self-titled album, which I'm sure it would be Lyle owned one. Lyle didn't use it much live apart from on AYGWM. I think he mostly used it for sequences and for additional parts on albums. But even on the albums, most of the main Synclavier stuff is done by Pat. (As an aside, Pat's modified Synclavier guitar is a Roland G303 (one of at least three that he owns).)

Thanks for the info on what Lyle used on those last two PMG tours. So the Triton was just a controller? He used it for at least six different sounds on the tour (from the recordings I have), and I'm sure Lyle wished he had a MIDIed piano for that one too. But I really love hearing a lot of those synth parts done purely on piano.

I didn't get to see them on the 2008-09 or 2010 tours. I did get to see them on their tours in the '90s and '00s. On one of the shows I saw him in 2002 I recall him having trouble with the K2000. He had been using that for a long time at that point, though I don't know if the problem with was the synth or something else. He still had it for The Way Up recording sessions, alongside the K2500. I know that on TWU tour he had a K2500 rack module. I'm not sure if it's there on albums or earlier tours.

It also puzzles me what you said about having so many different samplers with him at once. Must have gotten some for the different capabilities, different factory samples.
Old 14th November 2020 | Show parent
  #65
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agstreyiii View Post
Maybe I mistook the Korgs as all those silver colored synths they made look very similar to me especially Triton & the Trinity that preceded it. I always get those two mixed up cause I'm not really a Korg guy not since the DW-8000, Poly-800II or Wavestation EX & sacked'em all when Kurzweil came along,never had the dough for a K250 but seeing Lyle playing them made me long for'em. My prayers were answered with the advent of the K2k(as did Mr Mays) I got rid of the JX-10 also when the Kurz's came out. I pretty much gave up all my analog gear(Matrix-6 Quadra, Pro-One, Polymoog & the aforementioned Korgs) when I could finally afford a Kurzweil though I still have JX-8P. Thanx for making things a little clearer for me with your knowledge. I appreciate your appreciation of the man and his music dude.
That's really amazing you have had so many of the same synths that Lyle had. Those Kurzweil's are all incredible. We have Lyle to partially thank for that as he was consulted in the development of the K250, and every Kurzweil since has come out of there in one way or another. It took Lyle a really long time to completely give up analog gear, as he was still using the JX-10 in 2003. I wonder if he had an analog rack synths after that that I can't spot in his rig?

The deeper I listen to Lyle the better I can hear the importance of his equipment. While I'd argue that piano and composition make up at least 90% of Lyle's musical identity, how he used and programmed synths was incredibly unique. No matter what he did with synths it had to have a musical purpose, and the sounds had to breathe like a real instrument would. While that concept isn't unique to Lyle, he had his own special way of doing it. Any tool he used to accomplish his goals is important, though not as important as how he used the tools.
Old 14th November 2020 | Show parent
  #66
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santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaljazz View Post
I highly doubt that Lyle had his own Synclavier, especially considering how much they cost. … It's not on Lyle's self-titled album, which I'm sure it would be Lyle owned one
That's a very good point. Never thought about it but indeed, I don't hear the Synclavier on his first record.
But I wonder though how Pat was able to get hold on the Synclaviers, given their extreme high cost. He used both the ORK keyboard (Witchita/Offramp years) and later the VPK keyboard (First Circle and beyond).

Quote:
Lyle didn't use it much live apart from on AYGWM. I think he mostly used it for sequences and for additional parts on albums.
Sorry, have to correct you here. It's literally played by Lyle on every song on Travels with the exception of Farmer's Trust (I'm still a bit unsure if the glockenspiel like sound is sequenced Synclavier or if Nana plays it). Pat didn't really play Synclavier guitar on that tour because that was still in development.
He worked with NED to get the guitar interface going, inspired by the Roland GR lineup of synths where your guitar playing was very well converted to synth sounds (though the sound itself was limited in it's shaping, but that's the architecture of the actual synth used). So some of these prototypes were tried on the road by Pat. He would often play some open solo on the prototype before kicking into a condensed version of Witchita. One of these prototypes can be seen at the video for the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1982. That prototype uses touch sensors in the fretboard I believe.
NED eventually settled on using the Roland GR tracking mechanism and created an interface for that as that tracking (still to this day) is superior. So basically you could convert any Roland GR guitar or any other guitar with GR based tracking mechanism (which is just a special pickup and tracking box) to use with the Synclavier. NED created a control panel which you could attach to your guitar or put on a mic stand or something in order to have some patch selecting mechanism. McLaughlin attached it to his guitar, Pat hacked one of his Rolands specially for this purpose (and the other one he fitted with a tremolo). I think Pat had 3 Rolands: the GR303 with tremolo (I think), the 808 as a regular unit (which has a larger headstock), and a 303 which housed the Synclavier panel. They all use these horrible expensive 24 pin cables.

I played these Roland GR's. My late friend who introduced me to the PMG had these Rolands (regular one and one with white finish) and also the Ibanez (the one from the 90ies which Pat had in black colour). Great sound and the tracking was amazing. No matter what weird stuff I put to it, it just worked. The Ibanez also sounded beautiful.

Quote:
Thanks for the info on what Lyle used on those last two PMG tours. So the Triton was just a controller? He used it for at least six different sounds on the tour (from the recordings I have), and I'm sure Lyle wished he had a MIDIed piano for that one too.
Yes just a controller, and I believe it was a MIDIed piano (but rental at the festivals) as I vaguely remember him playing Farmer's Trust and using the foot pedal to fade in pads. They toured very lightly. Only taking the bass, guitars, drums, and keyboard with small rack (only housing a Motu interface and macbook pro). Oh and that Bose system Pat was so fond of…

Quote:
It also puzzles me what you said about having so many different samplers with him at once. Must have gotten some for the different capabilities, different factory samples.
Except that none of these samplers have factory samples because all sounds you get are bought expansions in the form of floppy's or cdroms. My Emu comes with nothing on it's internal drive. And same with the Roland. It also makes me wonder why Roland and for example not Akai (who together with Emu and Kurzweil dominated the sampling market. Roland, Ensoniq, Yamaha, and even Korg were in that market but all with small market share).

That said, Spectrasonic's Heart Of Asia is used on Imaginary day as I recognise some of the samples in the title track. The brass and string sounds sound like the Emulator library (and indeed come from the E4, you can see the midi indicator blink on the front panel).
Old 14th November 2020 | Show parent
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
That's a very good point. Never thought about it but indeed, I don't hear the Synclavier on his first record.
But I wonder though how Pat was able to get hold on the Synclaviers, given their extreme high cost. He used both the ORK keyboard (Witchita/Offramp years) and later the VPK keyboard (First Circle and beyond).
I never noticed the VPK, but you're right! The ORK is still in photos I have seen of Lyle's PMG rig in 1984, but he has the VPK in 1985. Considering Pat first got the Synclavier in 1981, I really don't know how he afforded it. He gave workshops for them and was literally their poster boy, so maybe they gave him a discount or gave him free things to test. They had to give him something for the promotion. He always mentioned Synclavier by name amongst the instruments he and Lyle played on the album, but I'm not sure if that was because Synclavier gave them stuff in exchange for the credit or because Pat wanted to show off that he had a Synclavier. By the time he was with Geffen that kind of money made more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Sorry, have to correct you here. It's literally played by Lyle on every song on Travels with the exception of Farmer's Trust (I'm still a bit unsure if the glockenspiel like sound is sequenced Synclavier or if Nana plays it). Pat didn't really play Synclavier guitar on that tour because that was still in development.
My bad, you are right. I was just thinking about other recordings of the tunes on that album when he didn't use the Synclavier so much. I don't think he added it to Phase Dance or San Lorenzo, or am I missing something? It is indeed Nana playing a glockenspiel on Farmer's Trust. You can see one in his setup in the 1982 Montreal video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
He worked with NED to get the guitar interface going, inspired by the Roland GR lineup of synths where your guitar playing was very well converted to synth sounds (though the sound itself was limited in it's shaping, but that's the architecture of the actual synth used). So some of these prototypes were tried on the road by Pat. He would often play some open solo on the prototype before kicking into a condensed version of Witchita. One of these prototypes can be seen at the video for the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1982. That prototype uses touch sensors in the fretboard I believe.
NED eventually settled on using the Roland GR tracking mechanism and created an interface for that as that tracking (still to this day) is superior. So basically you could convert any Roland GR guitar or any other guitar with GR based tracking mechanism (which is just a special pickup and tracking box) to use with the Synclavier. NED created a control panel which you could attach to your guitar or put on a mic stand or something in order to have some patch selecting mechanism. McLaughlin attached it to his guitar, Pat hacked one of his Rolands specially for this purpose (and the other one he fitted with a tremolo). I think Pat had 3 Rolands: the GR303 with tremolo (I think), the 808 as a regular unit (which has a larger headstock), and a 303 which housed the Synclavier panel. They all use these horrible expensive 24 pin cables.

I played these Roland GR's. My late friend who introduced me to the PMG had these Rolands (regular one and one with white finish) and also the Ibanez (the one from the 90ies which Pat had in black colour). Great sound and the tracking was amazing. No matter what weird stuff I put to it, it just worked. The Ibanez also sounded beautiful.
Doesn't the G808 always have the inlays down the middle? Pat never played one like that. I think all three are G303s. The headstock looks the same. He changed the neck twice on the G303 with the tremelo bar, and I don't think I've seen him use that one since 2005.

Here you can see both the Synclavier-modified G303 and the trememlo G303 (with the original neck): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3CZHr5uiNM

And here's from the same concert (with a squashed video), the regular G303: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sdZqTn7dPg


Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Yes just a controller, and I believe it was a MIDIed piano (but rental at the festivals) as I vaguely remember him playing Farmer's Trust and using the foot pedal to fade in pads. They toured very lightly. Only taking the bass, guitars, drums, and keyboard with small rack (only housing a Motu interface and macbook pro). Oh and that Bose system Pat was so fond of…
I have a lot of recordings from the 2010 tour, and I can't hear a MIDIed piano in any of them. For example, in Six-Eight it's always just the straight piano, with him playing a bit of organ on the Triton, and it's straight piano for that amazing horn part. On the previous tours that was all MIDI through the piano. Maybe he had a MIDIed piano for the gig you went to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post

Except that none of these samplers have factory samples because all sounds you get are bought expansions in the form of floppy's or cdroms. My Emu comes with nothing on it's internal drive. And same with the Roland. It also makes me wonder why Roland and for example not Akai (who together with Emu and Kurzweil dominated the sampling market. Roland, Ensoniq, Yamaha, and even Korg were in that market but all with small market share).

That said, Spectrasonic's Heart Of Asia is used on Imaginary day as I recognise some of the samples in the title track. The brass and string sounds sound like the Emulator library (and indeed come from the E4, you can see the midi indicator blink on the front panel).
Thanks for the info! I've noticed the E4 and the S-760 in his rack on the Imaginary Day tour. I'm assuming he would have had the JV-2080 then as well?

I really appreciate the info and discussion you've shared!
Old 16th November 2020
  #68
Gear Nut
Hey thanks guys for all ur knowledge and valuable info. I can really see that u know what you're talking about. Appreciation to you clsjz for the Kurzweil plug I don't think many people today understand what they're capable of (Lyle sure did) & was wondering if you were a gutair player by chance, since u know so much NED and Roland GR stuff. Apologizes to you sntibks didn't mean to quibble about the Rhodes thing. I can tell that you're a seasoned person by the looks of of ur impressive studio gear list I can't hold a candle to it now or ever good stuff man. Both of you are extreme enthusiasts and seem to be very comprehensive in your jargon about the man and legend Lyle David Mays more than I could ever be. It's nice & refreshing to read your thoughts in this discussion of one of my definite all time musical hero's thanx again dudes
Old 16th November 2020 | Show parent
  #69
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agstreyiii View Post
Hey thanks guys for all ur knowledge and valuable info. I can really see that u know what you're talking about. Appreciation to you clsjz for the Kurzweil plug I don't think many people today understand what they're capable of (Lyle sure did) & was wondering if you were a gutair player by chance, since u know so much NED and Roland GR stuff. Apologizes to you sntibks didn't mean to quibble about the Rhodes thing. I can tell that you're a seasoned person by the looks of of ur impressive studio gear list I can't hold a candle to it now or ever good stuff man. Both of you are extreme enthusiasts and seem to be very comprehensive in your jargon about the man and legend Lyle David Mays more than I could ever be. It's nice & refreshing to read your thoughts in this discussion of one of my definite all time musical hero's thanx again dudes
Thanks for the kind words. I've never played a K250, but I've read a lot about what they can do. Ray Kurzweil himself is one of the few legitimate geniuses in the world, and I've seen him speak in person. Hearing him talk about all kinds of things (beyond music) has only helped me to appreciate his instruments even more. Also, listening to Lyle play the Kurzweil since the 1980s (when I was a young kid) has also helped me to appreciate Kurzweil's achievements tremendously. There's something about the sounds of that instrument that are so unique. I just find the history behind instruments so fascinating. Sure, Lyle could play great music on a Casio, but he also helps us to appreciate the hard work that goes into creating the highest quality instruments too. Lyle was also genius enough to know how to use the most sophisticated synths to get the most amazing sounds out of them, and not overuse them.
Old 17th November 2020 | Show parent
  #70
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santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaljazz View Post
I really don't know how he afforded it.
Normally one's finances are really not up to me to discuss. But the Synclavier is kind of this notorious system which cost as much as a house so in that context it is an interesting topic. No idea how he got it but as he did partake in development of the guitar interface, I can only assume that NED had a role in it.

On the topic of the NED; slight divergence to Tony Banks of Genesis who bought his Synclavier in 1981 as well. His actually had problems hence he didn't use it much on the 1981 Abacab album (but it's there on a few tracks, ironically mostly the B-sides). NED got it fixed and they also told there was a sample option coming. When that option was released it was horribly expensive and more than anticipated. That triggered Tony to actually buy the Emu Emulator which was cheaper.

I believe the only other in jazz to use the Synclavier was Chick Corea with the Elektric Band. Used for sequences, drums, and some sounds. The Eye of the beholder record has a soundscape called Cascade pt1 which is all Synclavier.


Quote:
I don't think he added it to Phase Dance or San Lorenzo, or am I missing something? It is indeed Nana playing a glockenspiel on Farmer's Trust. You can see one in his setup in the 1982 Montreal video.
Thanks, there is a lot of footage which I have seen but most of it so many years ago that I don't remember details from most of them. I don't hear the Synclavier on Phase Dance. San Lorenzo I don't know (long story short: only heard it a few times on youtube as I don't have it). I'm not really sure if Lyle plays P5 and Synclavier in unison for Witchita (during the guitar arpeggio's) or if that's an auto harp.

Quote:
Doesn't the G808 always have the inlays down the middle? Pat never played one like that. I think all three are G303s.
Yes you are correct, all G303 models. the 808 is actually a neck-thru design (hence the stripes). These are all very good guitars I should say. Even without the "synth" stuff, just as solid body electric guitars, they are very usable and highly playable. That guitar is all over King Crimson's Discipline record (highly recommended btw).

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The headstock looks the same. He changed the neck twice on the G303 with the tremelo bar, and I don't think I've seen him use that one since 2005.
This is the one with the longer headstock I was referring to. I think I noticed it first on the Imaginary Day dvd. This picture was taken in 2011 at the Orchestrion shows. I'm assuming it is probably on the Orchestrion dvd as well.


Quote:
I have a lot of recordings from the 2010 tour, and I can't hear a MIDIed piano in any of them. For example, in Six-Eight it's always just the straight piano, with him playing a bit of organ on the Triton, and it's straight piano for that amazing horn part. On the previous tours that was all MIDI through the piano. Maybe he had a MIDIed piano for the gig you went to.
I recall him triggering a pad in Farmer's Trust but that's over 10 years ago now so my memory can play tricks on me here. It was a rental piano for sure as it was provided by the North Sea Jazz festival (which is Yamaha sponsored).

Quote:
I'm assuming he would have had the JV-2080 then as well?
100% sure because that sequenced techno bass sound on Roots of Coincidence is a factory sound from the JV-2080.
That is one of the things which I couldn't explain though. He always seems to trigger that part from one of his Korgs and "playing along" the first bars. But it never made sense to me as it is all sequenced and not just a simple arpeggio in latch mode or something.

Quote:
I really appreciate the info and discussion you've shared!
Likewise! Thought I was the only fan of Lyle, at least in GS land.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agstreyiii View Post
Hey thanks guys for all ur knowledge and valuable info. I can really see that u know what you're talking about. Appreciation to you clsjz for the Kurzweil plug I don't think many people today understand what they're capable of (Lyle sure did) & was wondering if you were a gutair player by chance, since u know so much NED and Roland GR stuff. Apologizes to you sntibks didn't mean to quibble about the Rhodes thing. I can tell that you're a seasoned person by the looks of of ur impressive studio gear list I can't hold a candle to it now or ever good stuff man.
Thanks for the kind words. Yes I play guitar myself but just basic stuff and certainly not in the "jazz idiom". But I have had the pleasure to play with Metheny's models (the Ibanez and the GR300) and that is really great stuff.
I did work my way through the Metheny Songbook to get some of my (lousy I should add) jazz chops.

Actually, a project I had in mind for a long time and maybe should work on next year is the counter part to Metheny's Songbook with Lyle's tunes. I did a transcription of "Are we there yet?" years ago (not fully complete though) and have some other notes and things lying around here as well from his first record. So maybe I'll pick up on that next year.
Old 17th November 2020
  #71
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🎧 5 years
Thanks to the folks posting here for the wealth of information about Lyle and Pat's gear - I learned a lot. I am a big fan of PMG and Lyle's solo work in particular. I first saw PMG on the First Circle tour and sadly did not have a chance to see Lyle on a solo tour.

I recently recorded an original tribute piece for Lyle called "Toward The Sky." Many of the synth and sound choices came from listening to Lyle's tracks over the years - especially his first solo album. I did use a tweaked Omnisphere patch named after Lyle based on his signature Oberheim lead sound.

Old 18th November 2020 | Show parent
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Thanks, there is a lot of footage which I have seen but most of it so many years ago that I don't remember details from most of them. I don't hear the Synclavier on Phase Dance. San Lorenzo I don't know (long story short: only heard it a few times on youtube as I don't have it). I'm not really sure if Lyle plays P5 and Synclavier in unison for Witchita (during the guitar arpeggio's) or if that's an auto harp.
On the Wichita album, Lyle is playing a real autoharp for sure because Pat didn't have the Synclavier in 1980 when they recorded the album. I think it's a real autoharp on Travels too because I don't think the Synclavier could do such expressive samples at the time. I'm still amazed at how expressive Lyle's signature sound is through the Prophet 5. Later on in the Travels version of the tune I love how Lyle plays the descending bells on both the Prophet 5 and the Synclavier, just to hear the contrast of analog and digital trying to do the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Yes you are correct, all G303 models. the 808 is actually a neck-thru design (hence the stripes). These are all very good guitars I should say. Even without the "synth" stuff, just as solid body electric guitars, they are very usable and highly playable. That guitar is all over King Crimson's Discipline record (highly recommended btw).


This is the one with the longer headstock I was referring to. I think I noticed it first on the Imaginary Day dvd. This picture was taken in 2011 at the Orchestrion shows. I'm assuming it is probably on the Orchestrion dvd as well.
I do love King Crimson's use of the Roland.

That guitar has a custom neck, and it's the second time Pat replaced the neck on that guitar. The original neck is on the video above with Herbie Hancock. You can see the first neck replacement on the Secret Story and We Live Here DVDs. Watch here for it starting at 7:12:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2oVCU8ZTuQ

He replaced it before the Imaginary Day tour with the one you noticed.

He doesn't play this guitar on the Orchestrion DVD, and I don't think played it at the two American Orchestrion shows I saw in 2010. For a long time in the PMG shows, Pat played that modified G303 for every tune requiring the GR300 except for Are You Going With Me, when he played the G303 without the tremelo arm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
100% sure because that sequenced techno bass sound on Roots of Coincidence is a factory sound from the JV-2080.
That is one of the things which I couldn't explain though. He always seems to trigger that part from one of his Korgs and "playing along" the first bars. But it never made sense to me as it is all sequenced and not just a simple arpeggio in latch mode or something.
That's a good question about Lyle is playing on the Korg at that point. It might be some subtle pad we can hardly hear that is just reinforcing the sequenced bass part.

I don't think anyone has every identified the guitar Lyle plays on that. Any guesses? It's not a Roland. I'm assuming it's Lyle's own guitar.
Old 18th November 2020
  #73
Gear Nut
The Autoharp was a main instrument of Lyle's( just like the Obie & piano were) He used it from Watercolors(my favorite album BTW) onto The PMG up until when is uncertain to me. Any chance the autoharp was done on K250 in lieu of the Synclavier. I think it might've been a preset on the Kurz not sure about that though. I know there's a floppy out there of it for the K2k but that wasn't available until later on. Also at some point u were able to transfer K250 sounds to the K2k when that exactly was is unclear. Even so since Mr. May's had a hand in the development of the Kurzweil that is the reasoning behind this train of thought. Plus IYAME the K250 was much more flexible & versatile not to mention less expensive than the NED. Just for the sake of it I've been wondering about this for some time because of Lyle's unique use of this instrument which was prolific in other forms of music like folk & country but not really in jazz. Thanks to his creative innovation the Autoharp was never applied to the jazz idiom until a stroke of genius by the main focus of this thread Lyle David Mays. I think we've started something with this forum and I couldn't be more grateful thanx dudes.
Old 19th November 2020 | Show parent
  #74
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agstreyiii View Post
The Autoharp was a main instrument of Lyle's( just like the Obie & piano were) He used it from Watercolors(my favorite album BTW) onto The PMG up until when is uncertain to me. Any chance the autoharp was done on K250 in lieu of the Synclavier. I think it might've been a preset on the Kurz not sure about that though. I know there's a floppy out there of it for the K2k but that wasn't available until later on. Also at some point u were able to transfer K250 sounds to the K2k when that exactly was is unclear. Even so since Mr. May's had a hand in the development of the Kurzweil that is the reasoning behind this train of thought. Plus IYAME the K250 was much more flexible & versatile not to mention less expensive than the NED. Just for the sake of it I've been wondering about this for some time because of Lyle's unique use of this instrument which was prolific in other forms of music like folk & country but not really in jazz. Thanks to his creative innovation the Autoharp was never applied to the jazz idiom until a stroke of genius by the main focus of this thread Lyle David Mays. I think we've started something with this forum and I couldn't be more grateful thanx dudes.
Lyle's autoharp didn't appear until the first Pat Metheny Group album. On Watercolors you're hearing Pat's 15-string harp guitar. I think Lyle's self-titled album from 1986 is the last album he recorded with an autoharp, but one or more were in his setup on most tours up through the final 2010 PMG tour. It was absent from a few tours in the 1990s and in 2005 when they didn't play Phase Dance.

Because Travels was recorded in 1982, there was no Kurzweil yet. Lyle wouldn't start playing it until mid 1984. It seems that Lyle started playing it at the time it was released at 1984 Summer NAMM show, though he worked on it behind the scenes before then. It's not in any albums or live recordings before then. The Falcon and the Snowman is the first time he recorded with it, and from then it was in his rig through the early 1990s. I think he got the K2000 V3 to replace it in 1994.
Old 19th November 2020 | Show parent
  #75
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by santibanks View Post
Actually, a project I had in mind for a long time and maybe should work on next year is the counter part to Metheny's Songbook with Lyle's tunes. I did a transcription of "Are we there yet?" years ago (not fully complete though) and have some other notes and things lying around here as well from his first record. So maybe I'll pick up on that next year.
If you ever do that, please let me know. I've got the Songbook, but I'd love to have some of Lyle's stuff as well, even though it'll be years before I can play it with anything close to competence (I'm just starting out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcub View Post
Thanks to the folks posting here for the wealth of information about Lyle and Pat's gear - I learned a lot. I am a big fan of PMG and Lyle's solo work in particular. I first saw PMG on the First Circle tour and sadly did not have a chance to see Lyle on a solo tour.

I recently recorded an original tribute piece for Lyle called "Toward The Sky." Many of the synth and sound choices came from listening to Lyle's tracks over the years - especially his first solo album. I did use a tweaked Omnisphere patch named after Lyle based on his signature Oberheim lead sound.

I liked that a lot. I've heard some good Lyle Mays tributes, but yours was different in that A: it wasn't a cover, and B: you weren't trying to out-Lyle Lyle.
Old 19th November 2020 | Show parent
  #76
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks so much! Yes - my intent was never to try to sound like him but to acknowledge his influence.
Old 20th November 2020 | Show parent
  #77
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaljazz View Post
Lyle's autoharp didn't appear until the first Pat Metheny Group album. On Watercolors you're hearing Pat's 15-string harp guitar. I think Lyle's self-titled album from 1986 is the last album he recorded with an autoharp, but one or more were in his setup on most tours up through the final 2010 PMG tour. It was absent from a few tours in the 1990s and in 2005 when they didn't play Phase Dance.

Because Travels was recorded in 1982, there was no Kurzweil yet. Lyle wouldn't start playing it until mid 1984. It seems that Lyle started playing it at the time it was released at 1984 Summer NAMM show, though he worked on it behind the scenes before then. It's not in any albums or live recordings before then. The Falcon and the Snowman is the first time he recorded with it, and from then it was in his rig through the early 1990s. I think he got the K2000 V3 to replace it in 1994.
Well that makes perfect sense clsjz could of sworn I saw him playin'em both in '92 (the K2k set above the K250) also in '94 along with the Autoharp. But that was a long time ago and I was on a lot of mind altering things at the time. Could be mistaken so I'll take ur word for it either way L.D.M. was still inspirational and I set my (altered) mind to gettin' a Kurz and ultimately did shortly afterwards. thanx dude
Old 27th November 2020
  #78
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Brand new archive website launched today - work was in progress while Lyle was still with us and the designer completed it in his absence.

Launched today because it would have been his 67th birthday!

https://www.lylemays.com
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #79
Lives for gear
 
santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaljazz View Post
I'm still amazed at how expressive Lyle's signature sound is through the Prophet 5. Later on in the Travels version of the tune I love how Lyle plays the descending bells on both the Prophet 5 and the Synclavier, just to hear the contrast of analog and digital trying to do the same thing.
Sync and P5 indeed sound different (and so does the JX10 where he programmed all these P5 soundeffects on). But most of his expressiveness is in his playing, not so much in what the P5 was capable of.

Quote:
I do love King Crimson's use of the Roland.
For sure, run through the JC120 at full volume, sounds amazing!

Quote:
That guitar has a custom neck, and it's the second time Pat replaced the neck on that guitar.
Thanks

Quote:
I don't think anyone has every identified the guitar Lyle plays on that. Any guesses? It's not a Roland. I'm assuming it's Lyle's own guitar.
It is probably his yes (though Metheny seems to have a pretty extensive collection of guitars, but I believe he is more about diversity like odd guitar types than owning 10 different les pauls). Looks to me like it is a Japanese guitar. Really reminds me of that 70ies early 80ies Japanese manufactured stuff like Matsumoko and Fujigen were releasing. Could be either for a larger known manufacturer like Aria, Kawai or one of these ten in a dozen brands they spinned off just because the headstock needed to bear some name (vantage, burny, and much more of that good stuff).
Wasn't really able to ever identify it, but also never was able to identify his autoharp or agogo bells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Brand new archive website launched today - work was in progress while Lyle was still with us and the designer completed it in his absence.

Launched today because it would have been his 67th birthday!
Thanks for sharing this! And happy birthday to Lyle
Old 28th November 2020 | Show parent
  #80
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Brand new archive website launched today - work was in progress while Lyle was still with us and the designer completed it in his absence.

Launched today because it would have been his 67th birthday!

https://www.lylemays.com
Hear, hear that's great news! & at long last. It will be a valuable resource for all to admire the man and his musical legacy again thanx dude
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