Vintage synth heaven


#1

Found this of interest, so thought I might share for anybody interested in retro synths.

The team at Analogue Solutions have recreated a live Pet Shop Boys performance from 1986, using all the original equipment.

Gear:

Yamaha DX1

Yamaha DX7

Emu Emulator II

Technics PX1

Friendchip SRC

Fairlight CMI II

Fairlight CMI I (upgraded)

3x Zoom R8

16 9" CRT monitors

I can’t even imagine to think how much this equipment would have cost in 1986?!

Here is the recreation - played live -

And here is the original performance -

Here is the background from Analgue Solutions;

"I remember watching The Pet Shop Boys performing Opportunities back in the 1980s live on the BBC. It was entirely live despite what some people might think. In recent years I always thought it would be great to get those original synths back together again in one room. I never thought it would happen since DX1s are extremely rare, and as it happens so is the PX1. And Fairlights don’t exactly grow on trees. After much hunting I finally completed the set, including the Friendchip SRC synchroniser.

So this video isn’t really intended as a cover, but more of a synth reunion in honour of The Pet Shop Boys and that iconic performance.

The two Fairlights are synced together and playing their sequences live. All sounds are original. One Fairlight is playing the original sequence, the other I had to reprogram myself.

All other synth parts are played live (no MIDI sequencing). All audio was recorded into 3 Zoom R8 digital audio multitracks (you can glimpse one on the floor). The audio files where then dragged into Logic Pro X and mixed. As great as these synths are, in this day and age the whole thing doesn’t sound too great mixed dry.

With only one camera and no film crew the performance had to be done several times to get some different angles. Each time we played live and had a lot of fun. So forgive me if there are any video sync problems.

I made a video wall using 9” CRT monitors with two DVD players providing the video feed.

I will post a ‘behind the scenes’ tech tour also where you will hear some sounds in isolation.

I will not be selling or offering copies of the samples or sequence discs due to the many favours, hard time and cash I had to put in to get hold of them."


#2

Nice. Wasn’t it the Performance tour of The US that lost them a ton of money as the show was so extravagant that even with a sell out crowd each date made a net loss.


#3

Yeah, Performance lost them about £500,000 - which was of course a lot of money in 1991.
They had a team on the tour who just looked after the wigs! It’s a great live show though, still looks amazing today.


#4

Will have to re watch this :+1:

Off to see them at The Royal Opera House this summer. Judging from the ticket price, they will not be making a loss…


#5

This is fucking COOL!


#6

Well this seems a good place to post this. A group of musicians near me (Cheltenham) called the Album Project do a few gigs a year where they cover a classic album live in it’s entirety. They change the lineup a bit each time to get as close as possible to the original sound. They did Dark Side of the Moon a couple of years ago and it was such a success they are still doing the odd repeat performance, including one this weekend.

So here’s the relevant part, they are using original synths to do the electronics. A friend of mine is the guy behind this part. He’s into his 70’s now and is an absolute synth nerd. He’s well into the Mellotron too and, being an electronic/software engineer by trade, actually deigned part of the last Mellotron with Streetly Electronics. His party piece here is obviously On the Run, where he (and a a friend) perform it live. I can confirm the whole gig itself is absolutely ace, If you can get down to Cheltenham this weekend it’s well worth a trip.

Here’s a facebook post they just made, completely with pics of the EMSs they’ll be using.


#7

Here’s a short live vid of On the Run from said show