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Thread started 02/07/12 7:19am

alphachannel

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What Keyboard is that on the Solo for "Head"

Anyone know what synth Matt used for the solo on "Head"? Also did he use the same type of keyboard live? By the way my favorite version of the solo has gotta be Paris '86 -- then again Sam's Danceteria was pretty hot too... Hell, nearly every version I've heard smoked!

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Reply #1 posted 02/07/12 8:34am

lwr001

alphachannel said:

Anyone know what synth Matt used for the solo on "Head"? Also did he use the same type of keyboard live? By the way my favorite version of the solo has gotta be Paris '86 -- then again Sam's Danceteria was pretty hot too... Hell, nearly every version I've heard smoked!

not sure! but love when Prince says "if you cant do that to a synthesizer, dont play one"

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Reply #2 posted 02/07/12 12:57pm

BlackbeltJones

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My kind of question!

There is a good chance it was an Oberheim Four Voice - that was one of the main analog synths in their arsenal (at that time) per Matt Fink and it was used for a lot of the lead/comp sounds. They also used an Arp Omni for strings / pad sounds on that record. Here is a pic of the Oby...

And the Arp...

They upgraded their Oby synths to the latest and greatest versions throughout the early 80s (I think he was using an OB-Xa by the time 1999 was recorded), but those Obys all have a similar tone: the newer models added more voices and more ways to modulate the sound. The Oby was a HUGE contributer to the early Prince sound (Van Halen also used them) and really is as important as the Linn when you think "Purple Music" circa 80-83.


In the early 80s they likely used some type of Oby live (and I have read they used Memory Moogs on stage too, sometimes triggered by the Obys to thicken their live sound). In the mid to late 80s... who knows what they used. If I could find a clear picture of Matt/Lisa on stage behind their rigs from the Parade tour I may be able to tell.

That said, it is ultimately an analog synth. With enough tweaking and outboard processing, he could have had any number of analog synths substitute for it live, so it's tough to say. I imagine if he performed that song today (yeah right!) he'd use a virtual analog synth (like an Access Virus or Nord Lead) to replicate those vintage sounds, much like Depeche Mode does when they tour these days.

Hope that helps!

[Edited 2/7/12 13:29pm]

It's almost like there is an "event horizon" for stupidity - once you fall below that line, you're too stupid to know you're stupid.
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Reply #3 posted 02/08/12 9:08am

alphachannel

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BlackbeltJones said:

My kind of question!

There is a good chance it was an Oberheim Four Voice - that was one of the main analog synths in their arsenal (at that time) per Matt Fink and it was used for a lot of the lead/comp sounds. They also used an Arp Omni for strings / pad sounds on that record. Here is a pic of the Oby...

And the Arp...

They upgraded their Oby synths to the latest and greatest versions throughout the early 80s (I think he was using an OB-Xa by the time 1999 was recorded), but those Obys all have a similar tone: the newer models added more voices and more ways to modulate the sound. The Oby was a HUGE contributer to the early Prince sound (Van Halen also used them) and really is as important as the Linn when you think "Purple Music" circa 80-83.


In the early 80s they likely used some type of Oby live (and I have read they used Memory Moogs on stage too, sometimes triggered by the Obys to thicken their live sound). In the mid to late 80s... who knows what they used. If I could find a clear picture of Matt/Lisa on stage behind their rigs from the Parade tour I may be able to tell.

That said, it is ultimately an analog synth. With enough tweaking and outboard processing, he could have had any number of analog synths substitute for it live, so it's tough to say. I imagine if he performed that song today (yeah right!) he'd use a virtual analog synth (like an Access Virus or Nord Lead) to replicate those vintage sounds, much like Depeche Mode does when they tour these days.

Hope that helps!

[Edited 2/7/12 13:29pm]

That helped a lot!! Thanks to your input I found this old post with loads of info on Prince's early synth sound: http://prince.org/msg/7/335497

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Reply #4 posted 02/08/12 11:21am

BlackbeltJones

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Happy to help.

It's almost like there is an "event horizon" for stupidity - once you fall below that line, you're too stupid to know you're stupid.
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