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Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

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Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby Dave B » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:02 am

Something that's been bugging me for years now. I know that most of this album is Daniel Miller's Arp 2600 and sequencer (iirc it's about 80% the 2600), but the Arp is one of 2 synths used on the album. What's the other one? I can't hear it as being anything obvious (no distinctive Roland sub-osc, etc) - anyone got a link to an interview?

:)
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby BJG145 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:33 am

It's got a Pro One on it according to this...

http://www.unease.se/proone.htm

...and apparently a Minikorg 700S.

http://www.tuug.fi/~jaakko/dm/keyboards.html
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:19 am

Yea I also read that a 700s was used too... I got one my self, great synth!
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:42 am

Hmm, well Vince Clarke had a Jupiter 4 (which he used to lug about underarm on the tube, apparently) and they had stuff like a Prodigy and CS5 around that time too. I've never seen any hard & fast "this is what we used" list from the people who made it, though, and nothing from others that doesn't conflict, either with the timeline of available equipment, or each other. I take all suggestions with a pinch of salt.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were some 808 snares on there, alongside the 2600-generated kicks and blips. I believe that's what happened on Upstairs at Eric's, and the two albums have a very similar build.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby Dave B » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:12 am

I can't hear a Jupiter 4. Had one many moons ago and know the sound, but nothing leaps out at me as being JP4... And whilst I'd like to think that there was a proone on it, some old memory rattling round the back of my head keeps making me think that Vince didn't get one until after then - though I'd love to be proven wrong. Korg 700s would make sense though...

But that album really is a tour de force for the 2600 :lol:

It's funny - everyone is trying to make big ballsy Moog-y type analogue synths at the moment, but I nobody seems to be making anything that is more Arp-y .. all the punch and weight of the Moog sound, but more 'zing' to the sound. I'm guessing that if I want that, then I'll have to look into a modular..
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:49 am

look on YouTube for them playing 'New Life' and 'Just Can't Get Enough' on Top of the Pops, and see what they had!
(or course, this may just be what was in the BBC prop cupboard ;) Or it may be what they'd brought with them to match their cheeky leather outfits.....)

I wouldn't rule out there being Jupiter 4 on there, for instance... not *every* JP4 sound has 4VCO unison, squawking FM from the bender, or the arpeggiator on 'Random', you know! You can make plenty of traditional analogue sounds on it that are fairly generic and would be hard to identify as JP4 just by listening.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby BJG145 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:47 am

Dave B wrote:whilst I'd like to think that there was a proone on it, some old memory rattling round the back of my head keeps making me think that Vince didn't get one until after then
There's a section on his website where he talks about his synths...

http://www.vinceclarkemusic.com/video/index.html

First up is the Pro One, which he says he bought around 1982, so it looks like you're right (Speak and Spell being 1981).
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:50 am

feline1 wrote:(or course, this may just be what was in the BBC prop cupboard ;)


That's always the danger of going by TOTP or videos... they're not necessarily using their own gear.

As for the JP-4, when I got mine a few years ago I was playing the presets and the "saxophone" (I use inverted commas deliberately there...) jumped out as being very Vince-ish.

EDIT: the link above to VC's own videos contains one of the JP-4 - he says he used it for "most of the DM gigs in 1981".
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby fatbenelton » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:12 pm

The Korg KR55 provides a lot of the drums on Speak and Spell - preset but tweakable.....

I also thought the JP-4 and Prodigy was used as well................
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:40 pm

nathanscribe wrote:
feline1 wrote:(or course, this may just be what was in the BBC prop cupboard ;)

That's always the danger of going by TOTP or videos... they're not necessarily using their own gear.

Yeah - particularly when you see a band miming piano sounds on 3 Yamaha CS-80s, or whatever.

But in Depeche's case, the gear they had on those appearences (CS-10, Prodigy, JP4? or summat like that) does seem similar to what I've read talked about as being used at their early gigs, and seen in other footage (e.g. on the documentary on the Speak & Spell 5.1 DVD)
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:08 pm

fatbenelton wrote:The Korg KR55 provides a lot of the drums on Speak and Spell

I've always assumed that to be one of the urban myths of the synth world - I've never seen any real evidence it was used, and though the snare sounds similar, the KR can't be triggered from anything, plus I thought they used the ARP sequencer fired from tape.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was just another widely-accepted rumour, either.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:34 pm

Some interesting reading http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec98/a ... el.624.htm

And also from a interview with John Freyer
"Home to spooks or not, for a period of time in the early '80s, chiefly thanks to Depeche Mode, Blackwing became the home of the hits. The Basildon quartet recorded their first two albums there, 1981's Speak & Spell and 1982's A Broken Frame, with Fryer engineering using a Tascam eight-track and rudimentary sequencing. Favoured synths of the day included the Kawai 100F, Korg Minikorg 700s, Moog Prodigy, Roland Jupiter and SH1, Yamaha CS5, and perhaps most importantly, the ARP 2600."
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby fatbenelton » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:01 pm

nathanscribe wrote:
fatbenelton wrote:The Korg KR55 provides a lot of the drums on Speak and Spell

I've always assumed that to be one of the urban myths of the synth world

I got one just last month and it's defo a candidate though to be fair I haven't instantly managed to recreate everything on Speak & Spell.....It was defo used on Photographic as this vid shows.........


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYJ-BAGrK5E

It's a great machine..........
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:08 pm

Yes, I've occasionally scoped sales at various times over the last few years... never pulled the trigger though. I have service notes if you should ever need them, by the way.

As for S&S, I would suspect some layering and/or replacement going on with some of the sounds as well. I very much doubt those rhythm tracks are as basic as they seem.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:20 pm

well people had to be inventive back then!

John Foxx's metamatic was only done with a Roland CR78, but if you listen to the album, a CR78 sure doesn't sound like that all on it's own! They had to be devious in the FX they put on (a lot of flanging, ussually) and managing to throw ridiculous amounts of reverb on the snare at times but dropping things in and out on the desk, dub-style.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:06 pm

feline1 wrote:John Foxx's metamatic was only done with a Roland CR78, but if you listen to the album, a CR78 sure doesn't sound like that all on it's own! They had to be devious in the FX they put on (a lot of flanging, ussually)

MXR Flanger-Doubler, on Metamatic, I think. I read an interview about the recording of that album and he said there were about 500 (IIRC) different patches written down for it, for the ARP Odyssey. I believe he still has the patch sheets... it's a great album, a wonderful example of what can be done with attention to detail and not much gear - as is S&S.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby fatbenelton » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:28 pm

John Foxx clearly still loves his CR78....His newer stuff - John Foxx & the Maths -still has a fair smattering of CR78. Interplay is a cracking album and there is another out this month I think...
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:05 pm

fatbenelton wrote:[The KR55} was defo used on Photographic as this vid shows.........


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYJ-BAGrK5E


Seems maybe that was just the one version, the Some Bizarre version - I've also just listened to a demo with what I think is the Boss Dr-55, but I still think the 1981 album version uses custom sounds - the kick is different, and the constant hats are gone. There's quite an even spread of the drum sounds across the whole album that to me doesn't have the ring of the KR55 about it. Kick and snare are pretty easy to make on a regular but capable monosynth, but hats are not. Conjecture only, but I'd like to know for certain.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby hollowsun » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:22 pm

I knew Daniel Miller back then and he told me that the kicks and snares for S&S were ARP2600. Can't say if there were ALL 2600 but he told me words to the effect of "I do kick and snare on the ARP2600". Vince Clarke carried on the tradition after he left (and there's some vid Vince made of him showing how).
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:41 pm

Interesting, cheers. I've just listened to the album through, and there's very little else percussive going on except kick and snare. Occasional blips, noise bursts that are short enough to resemble hats, no cymbals, a few swept tom-like sounds - but not many. It's almost exclusively kick and snare and around 4 melodic parts plus vocals.

Note to self: win lottery, buy 2600. :D
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:06 pm

nathanscribe wrote:

Note to self: win lottery, buy 2600. :D


:D Man same here, even a Odyssey will do lol I almost had a CAT but that deal never went through.

Any way I was really amazed by this.. I guess it's cheaper than a 2600 LOL
http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-big-muff

http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-new-life

Check the other songs too
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:00 pm

Ooh, nice job... I used to have a CS01. Bought it from Cash Convertors for £25, sold it on eBay for over £150. It was OK but I only really liked the PWM bass sound. Had a few CSes since then, have just the 40m now. That's a corker, but I'm going to have to go in some time and sort out the LFO routing switches. I might need a rope...

Funny what listening to this old stuff does to the brain. I just spent an hour playing Photographic and making patches for it on my Moog LP. Fun times. Now onto beer and old Dr Who. Life is good! Or sad, depending on outlook. :D
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby hollowsun » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:42 am

nathanscribe wrote:Note to self: win lottery, buy 2600.
Nah!

I had one. Paid £400 for it. It's nice but not £10,000's+ worth nice ... which seems to be the sort of completely silly money they go for these days - bloody insane ... $$$$$$s for dewy-eyed nostalgia!

For that kind of do$h, you could buy this, brand new, from Synthesizers.com which would crap all over it and still leave you a LOT of change even after all the import duties...

Image

For 'just' £1,600 (plus import duties), you could buy this which is in almost every way comparable if not better than a 2600...

Image

I have one that's similar and it is by far and away the best synth I have ever owned. And (unlike the ARP2600), it's a true modular and will soon be expanded to this...

Image

Synthesizers.com
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby hollowsun » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:47 am

nathanscribe wrote:old Dr Who. Life is good! Or sad, depending on outlook
Good.

Early Who was fab, especially REALLY early Who with William Hartnell.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:11 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Interesting, cheers. I've just listened to the album through, and there's very little else percussive going on except kick and snare. Occasional blips, noise bursts that are short enough to resemble hats, no cymbals, a few swept tom-like sounds - but not many. It's almost exclusively kick and snare and around 4 melodic parts plus vocals.

Yeah but what about "Shout!" (the B-side to New Life)? It's got a veritable menagerie of electronic percussion going on!
The album is pretty minimal in its choice of percussion sounds though, as you say...
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:15 pm

hollowsun wrote:
nathanscribe wrote:old Dr Who. Life is good! Or sad, depending on outlook
Good.

Early Who was fab, especially REALLY early Who with William Hartnell.

heresy!
Everyone knows the BEST Dr Who was all those missing Patrick Troughton episodes that don't exist any more to prove me wrong :)

(Actually my favourite story remains 1970's INFERNO, not least cos Pertwee is accompanied by Delia Derbyshire's "Blue Veils and Golden Sands", "The Delian Mode" and the spring-reverberated roar of a VCS3 pretty much the whole way through.)
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby nathanscribe » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:54 pm

feline1 wrote:Yeah but what about "Shout!" (the B-side to New Life)? It's got a veritable menagerie of electronic percussion going on!

That, plus Just Can't Get Enough - which is bit more lively too. But yes, the bulk of the album is pretty stripped back.

Have you heard Music For Parties (Silicon Teens, aka Daniel Miller). Very much a proto-DM thing going on there. Even more basic, but has a very similar feel. Mostly covers, but the tracks Miller wrote are clearly his and stand out a mile.
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby Adam Inglis » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:49 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:

Any way I was really amazed by this.. I guess it's cheaper than a 2600 LOL
http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-big-muff

http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-new-life


Oh.
My.
God.


I have had a studio full of synths for years (including the CS01) and have yet to reach this level of programming versatility. Brilliant. I can't believe how good the drums sound!
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby feline1 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:56 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:[

Any way I was really amazed by this.. I guess it's cheaper than a 2600 LOL
http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-big-muff

http://soundcloud.com/peahix/yamaha-cs01ii-plays-new-life

Check the other songs too

wow! lol Listeed to New Life and was a bit amazed... then I read it was modded with CV/Gate sockets and sequenced! Slightly cheating ;) But a good effort nonetheless :)
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Re: Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Postby Hamund » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:56 am

There is a song and sincerity in 'personal jesus' I had not expected from Depeche Mode . So now I check out Speak and Spell.
What do Depeche Mode fans think? It must be awful!
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