Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]



 

[ Track this topic :: Email this topic :: Print this topic ]

Topic: Stylophone on HR?, Discussion< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Platinumpty Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 135
Joined: May 2011
Posted: Feb. 08 2013, 11:47

Hiya

Listening to HR (2010 reissue) though my ipod the other day I heard what I suddenly relised was probably a Stylophone - a little melody of about 12 seconds in duration (I'm not near a computer with i-tunes to give precise timings right now) occurs just before the "thunderstorm" section on side 2.

For anyone who doesn't know it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stylophone

It had been around since '68 so reasonably likely that Mike would have gotten hold of one.

Can anyone confirm if I'm hearing what I think I am?
Back to top
Profile PM WEB 
Korgscrew Offline




Group: Super Admins
Posts: 3511
Joined: Dec. 1999
Posted: Feb. 09 2013, 05:15

I know exactly the part you're thinking of, and it does sound quite like a stylophone, but I'm fairly sure that's an overdriven organ (I'd guess some of the upper harmonics of the Farfisa Clarinet/Sharp section).

There were a number of electronic instruments around which made sharp and buzzy sounds, though - another that comes to mind is the Clavioline, as featured on The Tornadoes' Telstar.
Back to top
Profile PM 
Ugo Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 5490
Joined: April 2000
Posted: Feb. 23 2013, 19:35

Off-topic question for Richard a.k.a. Korgscrew (sorry): why do you think Mike almost never used a regular Hammond organ (if he ever did... right now I don't remember if he ever did or not! :D), like a B3 or something? Sleeve notes for HR credt Farfisa, Lowrey and Gemini organs, which, as far as I know, are all Hammond "derivatives". Why did Mike never go for the 'real thing'? Maybe he didn't like the sound of the Hammond?

EDIT: I do own an original Stylophone from the Seventies and I can confirm that it sounds nothing like that bit on HR. :p


--------------
Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
Back to top
Profile PM 
stpaul Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 230
Joined: Feb. 2005
Posted: Feb. 24 2013, 02:14

There's a real Hammond on tracks like Heaven's Open, No Dream and Gimme Back. There are also some passages on Tubular Bells 2003 and L&S (Softsynth /VST B3). Maybe he didn't use it as much as other organs because of it's distinctive Rock'n Roll and Blues sound.
Back to top
Profile PM 
Ugo Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 5490
Joined: April 2000
Posted: Feb. 24 2013, 07:51

@ stpaul: a softsynth is not a B3, however close it may come. :) Anyway, that's what I was saying: it may be that Mike doesn't like the Hemmond sound which is usually associated with rock and blues. But that's not really the sound of the B3 - it's the sound of the B3 through a Leslie amp/speaker. :) If you listen to Fais que ton rêve soit plus long que la nuit by Vangelis or to "Oxygéne 13" by JMJ, you'll hear the sound of a B3 on its own. Whether Mike is aware of this or not, I have no idea.

--------------
Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
Back to top
Profile PM 
Holger Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 1506
Joined: Feb. 2003
Posted: Feb. 24 2013, 20:51

My guess would be that they just didn't have one at the Manor. Mike talks about one organ that Richard Branson gave to him, the same model that David Bedford had, in Changeling, but I guess other than that, the organs he used were the studio's. (Talking about the early stuff here of course.)

That, or he just wanted to sound different from the rest. He also never used a Mellotron even though I'm sure he could have fit it in his 70s stuff.
Back to top
Profile PM 
larstangmark Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mar. 2005
Posted: Feb. 25 2013, 03:24

I read a fantastic interview in an old issue of Record collector with a guy who used to runt a rehearsal place in London in the late 60s that among others David Bowie used to rent. David Bowie rented the place because there was a Hammond there and he could never figure out why he couldn't get that groovy sound of out of it! :-D

--------------
"There are twelve people in the world, the rest are paste"
Mark E Smith
Back to top
Profile PM WEB 
Korgscrew Offline




Group: Super Admins
Posts: 3511
Joined: Dec. 1999
Posted: Feb. 25 2013, 06:20

Quote (Ugo @ Feb. 23 2013, 23:35)
Sleeve notes for HR credt Farfisa, Lowrey and Gemini organs, which, as far as I know, are all Hammond "derivatives". Why did Mike never go for the 'real thing'? Maybe he didn't like the sound of the Hammond?

There are a lot of things wrapped up in that question...

I'm not sure it's helpful to look at these organs in terms of derivatives vs the 'real thing' - the means of sound generation in a Hammond versus those other types of organs is very, very different, so both the sound and the construction of the instruments is very different too.

The classic Hammonds are electromechanical - they use wheels that are spun by a motor in front of something like a guitar pickup. The Farfisa, Lowrey and Gemini are, by contrast, electronic, using oscillator circuits to generate their sounds.

An aspect of those that Mike used a lot on those early albums was their ability to generate square/pulse waves, creating the reedy and flutey sounds that help create the distinctive sound worlds of Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge (by Ommadawn, it was already shifting in favour of string machines and synthesisers, but that's another topic! ).

Mike used a real tonewheel Hammond on Tubular Bells 2003 - an L122 - so I think we can deduce that at least the Mike of 2003 likes the sound of the Hammond and felt that it was what he really wanted to have on Tubular Bells (whether the Mike of 1972-3 really wanted a Hammond is more a matter for conjecture).

I think it's also telling that, when Mike talks about Tubular Bells, he says there were no synthesisers then, when in fact the likes of the Minimoog and EMS Synthi AKS had been offering analogue synthesis in a portable and accessible form for a number of years (not to mention the earlier modular synthesisers). While Mike's statement is clearly not a statement of historical fact - there were plenty of synthesisers available - it does reveal that the availability of instruments to Mike was probably quite limited. He probably didn't use a Hammond for the same reason he didn't use a Minimoog - because nobody offered him one to use.

That, to tie things up nicely, is why I mentioned the difference in construction at the beginning of the post...Hammond tonewheel organs are heavy! I know people who've literally given themselves hernias taking Hammonds to gigs - a B3 is just shy of 200kg. Moving one of those into the studio was most likely more than anyone was prepared to do for the virtually unknown Mike Oldfield. They also didn't really have all that much money at the time...so Mike made do with what was available!

Edit: In other words, what Holger said more concisely in less time than it took me to finally hit send on this post ;)
Back to top
Profile PM 
Ugo Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 5490
Joined: April 2000
Posted: Feb. 25 2013, 11:00

@ Korgscrew & Holger, thanks very much for your respective replies. I was wrong in using the word "derivatives", I really meant "substitutes" - you don't play a Hammond for whatever reasons, you play one of those. (I occasionally play a contemporary Farfisa church organ which has got a built-in Leslie emulator; once, during a rehearsal, I switched it on and it really sounded like a vintage B3.)  So the matter here is more concerned with practical issues (portability, availability, weight etc.) and with money issues, than with sonical issues. Well, considering all of the circumstances which surrounded the original recording of TB in 1973 (including the number of rejections Mike had to face before finally getting to Virgin, and to the Manor), I'm not surprised. :)

--------------
Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
Back to top
Profile PM 
manintherain Offline




Group: Members.
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar. 2004
Posted: Feb. 26 2013, 05:14

"I played a real piano (a recently acquired 1908 baby grand), and I've got Hammond, Lowrey and Farfisa organs;"

"I am going to do a 'Tubular Bells II'. 'Amarok' was originally going to be 'Ommadawn II', but it went off a little in its own direction. But " 'Tubular Bells II' will use the same instruments, it'll use the same producer, Tom Newman, and I'm busy going around finding all the old instruments I used to have like the old Farfisa organ and the Vox Continental."

"I haven't been able to find all the original keyboards from 'Tubular Bell'; I found a Farfisa Professional organ in a workshop for disabled children somewhere in Surrey and swapped it for a DX7, and that gives the right keyboard sound along with a Vox Continental I found in an old shop somewhere."

Mike Oldfield on Amarok March, 1991  H & SR Magazine
Back to top
Profile PM 
Airborne Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 192
Joined: Sep. 2006
Posted: Feb. 26 2013, 13:17

Quote (manintherain @ Feb. 26 2013, 10:14)
I found a Farfisa Professional organ in a workshop for disabled children somewhere in Surrey and swapped it for a DX7

Used on Amarok and sold on.
Back to top
Profile PM 
manintherain Offline




Group: Members.
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar. 2004
Posted: Feb. 26 2013, 14:20



Back to top
Profile PM 
larstangmark Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mar. 2005
Posted: Feb. 27 2013, 03:16

He looks all church-like there. Is he going to baptise the baby?  :/

--------------
"There are twelve people in the world, the rest are paste"
Mark E Smith
Back to top
Profile PM WEB 
Craig Evans Offline




Group: Members
Posts: 237
Joined: Sep. 2004
Posted: Mar. 30 2013, 12:16

Too be honest unless you mean the organ behind the flute just before it I always thought the "Stylophone" sound was an electic guitar being played though the Glorfindel Box giving moderate distortion with very heavy compression and gating with the actual thunderstorm being 60-90 of these same guitar sounds overdubbed.

--------------
"It is good to be on Horseback" - Mike Oldfield "On Horseback"

"(Insert "The Thunderstorm" here)"
Back to top
Profile PM 
13 replies since Feb. 08 2013, 11:47 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track this topic :: Email this topic :: Print this topic ]

 






Forums | Links | Instruments | Discography | Tours | Articles | FAQ | Artwork | Wallpapers
Biography | Gallery | Videos | MIDI / Ringtones | Tabs | Lyrics | Books | Sitemap | Contact

Mike Oldfield Tubular.net
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net