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Thread: Yessongs

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    I owned Yessongs years before I had copies of either The Yes Album or Close to the Edge. Obviously, I had heard the radio cuts on TYA, but I was rather shocked at how 'stodgy' those albums are compared to the corresponding live versions on Yessongs.

    g Yessongs and Yesshows.
    My experience exactly. I owned Yessongs before I owned any studio albums. When I finally got the studio albums I felt the same way about them. It took me a long time to warm to them. I still think the live versions of "Starship Trooper" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" are superior to the studio versions.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek
    He actually always used an acoustic snare, even when the rest of his kit was all Simmons (apart from the cymbals).
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    On the Union tour, Bill did in fact use a digital snare sound. And rolls did in fact sound like a machine gun.
    While I have actually seen the Union tour at Olympiahalle Munich, and there was plenty of Simmons snare rattling to be heard, I have searched for my Keyboard magazine issue of August 1991, where in the context of extensive interviews and reports on Wakeman and Kaye the drum setups of Bruford and Kaye were featured as well.
    Here's a diagram of Bill's kit, depicting an actual acoustic snare drum at the center, which doesn't rule out he played an electronic one often on a pad (I think also to provide contrast to Alan's acoustic one, being the 'main' snare for many, if not most of the songs.)
    But you can also see Bill play his acoustic snare during the drum duet, where the main 7/8 motif [tátata tátata tátatata] is first started by Bill, then played by both gentlemen.

    I remember that Jon Anderson was a vocal advocate of Bill's Simmons set when ABWH came together (I believe to have read this in the tour booklet), with maybe naïve novelty at play (he often announced the marvels of technology on stage with kid-like enthusiasm), but also the potential for various 'ethnic timbres' (think Birthright) and contemporary pop sensibilities, helping to tone the rock element down (I think Jon really wanted to go commercial in a way), surely to Steve Howe's ongoing and increasing frustration.

    Bill Bruford Union Setup IMG_5841.jpg
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    While I have actually seen the Union tour at Olympiahalle Munich, and there was plenty of Simmons snare rattling to be heard, I have searched for my Keyboard magazine issue of August 1991, where in the context of extensive interviews and reports on Wakeman and Kaye the drum setups of Bruford and Kaye were featured as well.
    Here's a diagram of Bill's kit, depicting an actual acoustic snare drum at the center, which doesn't rule out he played an electronic one often on a pad (I think also to provide contrast to Alan's acoustic one, being the 'main' snare for many, if not most of the songs.)
    But you can also see Bill play his acoustic snare during the drum duet, where the main 7/8 motif [tátata tátata tátatata] is first started by Bill, then played by both gentlemen.

    I remember that Jon Anderson was a vocal advocate of Bill's Simmons set when ABWH came together (I believe to have read this in the tour booklet), with maybe naïve novelty at play (he often announced the marvels of technology on stage with kid-like enthusiasm), but also the potential for various 'ethnic timbres' (think Birthright) and contemporary pop sensibilities, helping to tone the rock element down (I think Jon really wanted to go commercial in a way), surely to Steve Howe's ongoing and increasing frustration.

    Bill Bruford Union Setup IMG_5841.jpg
    I found the edition. Also some heavy keyboard set-ups.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    While I have actually seen the Union tour at Olympiahalle Munich, and there was plenty of Simmons snare rattling to be heard, I have searched for my Keyboard magazine issue of August 1991, where in the context of extensive interviews and reports on Wakeman and Kaye the drum setups of Bruford and Kaye were featured as well.
    Here's a diagram of Bill's kit, depicting an actual acoustic snare drum at the center, which doesn't rule out he played an electronic one often on a pad (I think also to provide contrast to Alan's acoustic one, being the 'main' snare for many, if not most of the songs.)
    But you can also see Bill play his acoustic snare during the drum duet, where the main 7/8 motif [tátata tátata tátatata] is first started by Bill, then played by both gentlemen.

    I remember that Jon Anderson was a vocal advocate of Bill's Simmons set when ABWH came together (I believe to have read this in the tour booklet), with maybe naïve novelty at play (he often announced the marvels of technology on stage with kid-like enthusiasm), but also the potential for various 'ethnic timbres' (think Birthright) and contemporary pop sensibilities, helping to tone the rock element down (I think Jon really wanted to go commercial in a way), surely to Steve Howe's ongoing and increasing frustration.

    Bill Bruford Union Setup IMG_5841.jpg
    Speaking of which, the piano sound on Wakeman's Roland A-80 was horrendous. It's astounding how good we all thought cheesy keyboards sounded back them...what were we thinking.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  5. #55
    Actually, I have to admit that I was astonished even back then that he didn't use more of the available samplers with maximum memory back then for more realistic/aesthetic sounds.
    Kurzweil had somewhat better acoustic tones as well (even in the 1000/1200 series modules).
    But Rick often did weird things. Around that time he did a reissue of one of his solo piano albums, performed on his Korg T1 weighted action workstation. That was really not a sound choice…
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    Actually, I have to admit that I was astonished even back then that he didn't use more of the available samplers with maximum memory back then for more realistic/aesthetic sounds.
    Kurzweil had somewhat better acoustic tones as well (even in the 1000/1200 series modules).
    But Rick often did weird things. Around that time he did a reissue of one of his solo piano albums, performed on his Korg T1 weighted action workstation. That was really not a sound choice…
    I suppose it depends on whoever was throwing free keyboards at Rick in return for a favourable mention.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    Actually, I have to admit that I was astonished even back then that he didn't use more of the available samplers with maximum memory back then for more realistic/aesthetic sounds.
    Kurzweil had somewhat better acoustic tones as well (even in the 1000/1200 series modules).
    But Rick often did weird things. Around that time he did a reissue of one of his solo piano albums, performed on his Korg T1 weighted action workstation. That was really not a sound choice…
    According to Keyboard, they had this rig
    Rick Wakeman: Yamaha V50, Korg M1, Ensonig VX-SD, Roland A-50, Korg T1, Roland D-70, Cheetah 7P, Yamaha V50, Korg Wavestation
    Understage rack: Roland U-110, Roland P-330, Akai S1000 PB, Korg M1R, Ensoniq SQ-R, Kawai K1R, Roland D-550, Yamaha TX802,Oberheim Matrix 1000, Cheetah MS6
    Tony Kaye: Yamaha KX76, Yamaha KX76, Korg BX-3
    Understage rack: Oberheim DPX-1, Korg EX-8000, Korg EX-8000, Roland D-550, Roland MKS-20, E-Mu Proteus/1, E-Mu Proformance/1
    Understage rack: Korg EX-8000, Korg EX-8000, Roland D-550, Roland MKS-20, E-Mu Proteus/2, Yamaha TX216, E-Mu Proformance/1+
    Understage set-up: Yamaha KX76, Korg DVP-1, E-Mu Emax II, E-Mu Emax II

  8. #58
    I have the very same mag at home, where I scanned (OK, took the picture of) the image of Bill's setup.

    Now, of this whole list of Rick's keyboards and modules, only the Akai S1000PB (playback-only version of the S1000 sampler) could produce somewhat realistic acoustic sounds that fit into its comparatively huge 8 MB (when maxed out) memory, but due to being playback-only, it depended on the quality of commercially provided multisampled instruments (the industry of sound libraries was in its infancy at that point), adn you couldn't make your own.
    Tony fared a little better in this department, because he had two Emax IIs with (optionally) 8MB each, plus the diminutive Oberheim DPX-1 sample player with 1(!)MB RAM.

    The downside to these samplers was of course, that the RAM memory was volatile and had to be loaded from disk each time, which can be a problem in a live setting. Hence the reliance on more compact, but always available sounds from the various digital workstation keyboards with small sample sets, that could be shaped and ‚enhanced‘ with synthesizer features.

    Sorry for the MIDIGeekness and oversplaining of redundant historics.
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    I have the very same mag at home, where I scanned (OK, took the picture of) the image of Bill's setup.

    Now, of this whole list of Rick's keyboards and modules, only the Akai S1000PB (playback-only version of the S1000 sampler) could produce somewhat realistic acoustic sounds that fit into its comparatively huge 8 MB (when maxed out) memory, but due to being playback-only, it depended on the quality of commercially provided multisampled instruments (the industry of sound libraries was in its infancy at that point), adn you couldn't make your own.
    Tony fared a little better in this department, because he had two Emax IIs with (optionally) 8MB each, plus the diminutive Oberheim DPX-1 sample player with 1(!)MB RAM.

    The downside to these samplers was of course, that the RAM memory was volatile and had to be loaded from disk each time, which can be a problem in a live setting. Hence the reliance on more compact, but always available sounds from the various digital workstation keyboards with small sample sets, that could be shaped and ‚enhanced‘ with synthesizer features.

    Sorry for the MIDIGeekness and oversplaining of redundant historics.
    You're right.The whole sampling thing was in it's infancy at that time. And loading samples would take quite some time. Even with my Akai Z4 it can take some time to load the samples I need for a song.

    In the magazine are also schemes of the midi set-ups and some explanations, from the keyboard techs.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    According to Keyboard, they had this rig
    Rick Wakeman: Yamaha V50, Korg M1, Ensonig VX-SD, Roland A-50, Korg T1, Roland D-70, Cheetah 7P, Yamaha V50, Korg Wavestation
    Understage rack: Roland U-110, Roland P-330, Akai S1000 PB, Korg M1R, Ensoniq SQ-R, Kawai K1R, Roland D-550, Yamaha TX802,Oberheim Matrix 1000, Cheetah MS6
    Tony Kaye: Yamaha KX76, Yamaha KX76, Korg BX-3
    Understage rack: Oberheim DPX-1, Korg EX-8000, Korg EX-8000, Roland D-550, Roland MKS-20, E-Mu Proteus/1, E-Mu Proformance/1
    Understage rack: Korg EX-8000, Korg EX-8000, Roland D-550, Roland MKS-20, E-Mu Proteus/2, Yamaha TX216, E-Mu Proformance/1+
    Understage set-up: Yamaha KX76, Korg DVP-1, E-Mu Emax II, E-Mu Emax II
    Nice! Thanks for this! I have many of those units still.

    However, sometimes Rick’s sounds were...not great...despite the fact that there were some good choices out there that he might have used. For instance, my old (mid 80’s) Roland MKS-20 module produced a quite-good piano sound. No other than Elton John used them for years and years. (He used several because they were only 16 voice units).

  11. #61
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    With one or two exceptions like 'Cans And Brahms', I loved Wakeman's sound choices on all keyboards until you get to around Criminal Record. That's where the cheese starts kicking in for me, and it's worse still on Tormato.

    The sounds weren't too bad again in his early-mid 2000s period with Yes, as far as I remember.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
    I have the very same mag at home, where I scanned (OK, took the picture of) the image of Bill's setup.

    Now, of this whole list of Rick's keyboards and modules, only the Akai S1000PB (playback-only version of the S1000 sampler) could produce somewhat realistic acoustic sounds that fit into its comparatively huge 8 MB (when maxed out) memory, but due to being playback-only, it depended on the quality of commercially provided multisampled instruments (the industry of sound libraries was in its infancy at that point), adn you couldn't make your own.
    Tony fared a little better in this department, because he had two Emax IIs with (optionally) 8MB each, plus the diminutive Oberheim DPX-1 sample player with 1(!)MB RAM.

    The downside to these samplers was of course, that the RAM memory was volatile and had to be loaded from disk each time, which can be a problem in a live setting. Hence the reliance on more compact, but always available sounds from the various digital workstation keyboards with small sample sets, that could be shaped and ‚enhanced‘ with synthesizer features.

    Sorry for the MIDIGeekness and oversplaining of redundant historics.
    As I recall, most samplers loaded using floppy disks. I remember the Akai piano set being one floppy per octave.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  13. #63
    It's true that most samplers came without hard drives, but with a pile of floppies loaded with factory sounds for the ordinary consumer.
    But by this time ('89/'91), there were small, but very expensive (and loud!) harddrives available, typically 20 or 40 MB in size, that cost not that much less than the main unit itself, often in a self-contained enclosure, such as the Oberheim HDX-20 for the DPX-1. Still quite better than swapping floppy disks while playing songs…

    Some British Akai price quotes from Dec. 1988:
    S1000, £2899;
    S1000PB, £2199;
    S1000HD. £3999; (with onboard 40Mb hard disk = £1100 more)
    EXM005 2Mb memory upgrade card, £699;
    AES/EBU digital input card, £99;
    Atari and Supra hard disk interface card, £99;
    SCSI hard disk interface card, £99

    Of course, prices came down in the new decade, so in 1991 a 40 MB hard drive would set you back only by 3-400£.
    Last edited by sphinx; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:43 PM. Reason: More info
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  14. #64
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    ^^ In the early 80s, a 5MB Winchester Drive for the Apple II cost around $3K. But at least it was easy to install...just plug the entire drive assembly into one of the Apple II's expansion slots. Installing the standard floppy drive required more expertise, but not nearly as much as the TRS-80.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  15. #65
    Just because you mention it, "Winchester" is still the most popular expression for hard drive in Hungarian.
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    My experience exactly. I owned Yessongs before I owned any studio albums. When I finally got the studio albums I felt the same way about them. It took me a long time to warm to them. I still think the live versions of "Starship Trooper" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" are superior to the studio versions.
    Same deal here, the studio versions just kind of came off like an elementary paint by numbers exercise. Maybe that opinion would be a little different now, but there seemed to be some validity in believing that the music had grown and loosened up a bit on the road. By the time this came out I'd maybe adjusted to live albums not being faithful copies of studio records, (thanks largely to the Who Live at Leeds, which was a big disappointment at first). Hearing the Roxy Music Viva album and the 1st Live Genesis records before the studio stuff kind of did the same thing for me as Yessongs. The first Kraan Live album might be another example, but w/smaller gaps, (at least in terms of energy and tempo) between the live and studio recordings.

  17. #67
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    It was the first YES album I bought, but I was rather dissapointed with the sound. Found it mediocre at best, no bass for at start, so I never really got happy with it.
    I knew Fragile and Close well from friends and the radio, so I wasn't very happy with Alan Whites way of drumming on the tracks from these albums either.

  18. #68
    Also my first Yes album. The intro to "Yours Is No Disgrace" and the last part of "Starship Troopers" both blew my socks off.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  19. #69
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    I dont own a DVD copy (Have a VHS tape packed up in a box somewhere) but saw this was free with Prime Video to watch to I spent my morning watching this.
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMWeasel View Post
    I dont own a DVD copy (Have a VHS tape packed up in a box somewhere) but saw this was free with Prime Video to watch to I spent my morning watching this.
    The video quality is surprisingly good, but the sound is so bad I could only take about 10 minutes.

  21. #71
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    ^^ The main reason the sound is so bad is it's mono, unlike the album version in stereo.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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