VANGELIS: How does he do that?!!!!

Music is suppose to be fun just like this. In my opinion this speaks for itself and it's creativity and life. Everything about it is perfect. He loves music and that's what should be the right example of what music means to us
 

bcarwell

Senior Member
Is all of this via hardware sound modules or some software libraries ? If the latter, does anybody recognize any ? And what the h-- is that weirdo keyboard controller he is using. I've never seen
one with that weird little triangular rotating patch indicator that apparently you can write on. And any clue what all those pedals are doing- expression, vibrato, ... what ? Really amazing and awe inspiring !
 

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
Actually, by not focusing on screens and settings and loads of buttons, he has had his ideal vision of a musical GUI built, so that he can focus only on music.
Which is incredibly smart if you can afford it.
 

Zero&One

Senior Member
Is all of this via hardware sound modules or some software libraries ? If the latter, does anybody recognize any ?
Grabbed from another source, who spoke with the builder of the system:

The transposer units are called MTM-8

So in a nutshell, the system in its full configuration is able to control 16 synths: 16 x remotes, 2 x MTM8, 1 x PTV16 (the mixer), 1 x setup recall unit managing 24 songs x 12 setups, allowing to play a full album in one go.

"The dialog between every box is using a faster communication than MIDI, all of this is like a single machine, but using a lot of MCUs bringing globally an incredible CPU capability for this time."

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All the pedals are connected to the PTV mixer (taller box in the photo, at the right with sustain pedal on top of it). The pedals were also modified.

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JEPA

Senior Member
could his system please go to a museum where we will be allowed to visit? please, please!
 

TomislavEP

Active Member
Is all of this via hardware sound modules or some software libraries ?
I kind of doubt that Vangelis would use software libraries in his work. Unlike the other composers who started in his era, like Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis never really embraced using the computers over the acoustic and electric instruments, as well as hardware synthesizers and other studio equipment.

While listening to his later works - "Rosetta" and "Nocturne" in particular - the orchestral sounds remind me very much on those from Roland - starting from the JV series, but also present in their more recent products like the Fantom X and G.

I've never seen one with that weird little triangular rotating patch indicator that apparently you can write on. And any clue what all those pedals are doing- expression, vibrato, ... what ? Really amazing and awe inspiring !
Actually, these markings are an homage to Vangelis system conceived back in his Nemo Studios days. He developed a series of symbols, each one representing a certain type of sound or setting. For example, heart meant "choir" (from "coeur").

With the pedals, he is able to bring certain sonic elements in and out as he is performing or composing. In a nutshell, this whole system is a compact version of the fully equipped studio that Vangelis preferred to use over the years.
 

LudovicVDP

Member
Love Vangelis. Always have.
I've seen that video probably 100 times. Never gets old.

Thanks a lot for that link "Sound of Cinema...". That's excellent !
 

RobbertZH

Member
He has also made music with Jon Anderson, the singer of the symphonic rock band Yes.
I like their first two CD's: "Short Stories" and "The Friends of Mr Cairo".

This example, "The Mayflower" from "The Friends of Mr Cairo", is really atmospheric and has a wonderful buildup from calm to epic:



Also really nice is "Beside" from the same CD:

 

RobbertZH

Member
Strings sounded a little synthy

In the past (80's) you had synth keyboards totally dedicated to string-like sounds.
Sometimes they had an ensemble effect to make the sound more alive
and to widen the sound in the stereo field.
However, they definitely do not even come close to realistic (acoustic) strings.

Maybe it is me being nostalgic, but just like the Mellotron, string synths have a distinctive sound that I still like today and sometimes use in my of my music.

Recently I bought Virtual String Machine from GForce and I used one of its patches as a string pad here:

 
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Wes Antczak

Senior Member
I kind of doubt that Vangelis would use software libraries in his work. Unlike the other composers who started in his era, like Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis never really embraced using the computers over the acoustic and electric instruments, as well as hardware synthesizers and other studio equipment.

While listening to his later works - "Rosetta" and "Nocturne" in particular - the orchestral sounds remind me very much on those from Roland - starting from the JV series, but also present in their more recent products like the Fantom X and G.



Actually, these markings are an homage to Vangelis system conceived back in his Nemo Studios days. He developed a series of symbols, each one representing a certain type of sound or setting. For example, heart meant "choir" (from "coeur").

With the pedals, he is able to bring certain sonic elements in and out as he is performing or composing. In a nutshell, this whole system is a compact version of the fully equipped studio that Vangelis preferred to use over the years.
I remember seeing a photo of one of his racks that contained a JV1080. The photo was roughly from around the time of Mythodea.
 

Pincel

Member
In the past (80's) you had synth keyboards totally dedicated to string-like sounds.
Sometimes they had an ensemble effect to make the sound more alive
and to widen the sound in the stereo field.
However, they definitely do not even come close to realistic (acoustic) strings.

Maybe it is me being nostalgic, but just like the Mellotron, string synths have a distinctive sound that I still like today and sometimes use in my of my music.

Recently I bought Virtual String Machine from GForce and I used one of its patches as a string pad here:

That's such a lovely track! Tasty sounds... I totally agree, there's just something about the sound of those classic string synths that really speaks to me, and I grew up in the 90's, so certainly not an age thing. They just feel so warm and nostalgic, like you said.
 

TomislavEP

Active Member
In the past (80's) you had synth keyboards totally dedicated to string-like sounds.
Sometimes they had an ensemble effect to make the sound more alive
and to widen the sound in the stereo field.
However, they definitely do not even come close to realistic (acoustic) strings.
It's not about the sound source but about the person using the sounds to convey their emotions. Vangelis will always be able to do that no matter what kind of sounds he is using.

One of the far too many reasons why he is my strongest influence, is Vangelis' usage of technology with the primary goal of personal expression. As a completely self-taught artist and also one of the pioneers of composing through performance, Vangelis needed a way to bridge the gap between himself and the "orchestral" sound. For him, synthesizers are the bridge. You don't necessarily need to achieve the perfect realism when "emulating" orchestral music, even today when such a thing is theoretically possible; the main thing is a possibility of such expression for us who are not classically trained or prefer to work in Vangelis' style rather than doing it in a traditional way.
 

RobbertZH

Member
It's not about the sound source but about the person using the sounds to convey their emotions. Vangelis will always be able to do that no matter what kind of sounds he is using.
...
You don't necessarily need to achieve the perfect realism when "emulating" orchestral music
...
I agree. I know a few bands in the 70's and 80s that used synths to create a cinematic or orchestral feel and succeeded fully.

Vangelis is one of those. I find the song "The Mayflower" (see my previous post) a perfect example of sounding cinematic even when using synths.

Another (symphonic rock) band which sounded really orchestral, even when using synths for strings and brass, is "the Enid". Their LP/CD "In the Region of the Summer Stars" is a good example. You can find it on youtube.