Ah the Spoons keyboards...........
OK I'll give you as much info as I can remember, which is probably a lot (too much)!
First of all, when I was 12 I had 2 keyboards, (thanks Mom and Dad!)
A Roland SH-2000 synth, and an Elka electric piano.....
When I was 15 I got a Roland Jupiter 4 synth (again, thanks Mom and Dad!),
and when I joined Spoons I was using only the Jupiter 4......
Most of Stick Figure Neighbourhood was played on the JP4,
but I also used a Prophet 5, which was in the studio...
I only used it on For Tran. There is also some Mellotron on
Only For Athletes, but I didn't play it! I don't think they trusted me,
at age 15, to figure out how to work it, so the guy who owned it played it...he also did the cover artwork - Hugh Syme.
There is also some acoustic piano on Capital Hill, Red Light,
and on Ice Age too.
After we did SFN, I sold Gord the Elka electric piano, or maybe I
loaned it to him- and he wrote Nova Heart and No Electrons on it!
Oh and Blow Away too! I remember that period where he and I would jam together
on keyboards and a drum machine- sort of paving the way for what turned into most of the Arias songs.....
For more sound options I added the SH2000 synth to my setup..
I used this especially for the melody intro of One In Ten words,
and then I also used it for Arias (the song), Tradewinds,
and No More Growing Up...(and on the DVD it's the melody on Young English Gentleman)...
On a few songs I also played a Roland Vocoder which was lying
around the studio....And acoustic piano on Arias, and Tradewinds.
Smiling In Winter has 3 cool piano bass notes in each chorus!
(the first 3 notes- E F#D)
Oh- on Symmetry we used a Moog Source for the sequenced pattern
that runs throughout the song- it's just one note- a B- all through it....
we didn't really know how to work it, but we got it to do the one note!!
And at the end of Symmetry, on the fadeout, I used a Casio VL-1-
a little keyboard thing with little chicklet-sized keys- I got it in Germany,
and the Human League used it on 'Dare' on the song 'Get Carter'.
We plugged this little keyboard into the board in the studio,
put it through some reverb, and it sounded so amazing!
At the end it plays these high notes which I 'borrowed' from the Human League song!!
Well - it was inspired by them anyway...see if you can hear it!
(starts around 5:40 on the extended version)
For Talkback I had just bought a Roland Jupiter 6, which I used for most of the record,
pretty much retiring the SH2000- for a few live shows I used the Jupiter 4 and 6 together, and then I used only the Jupiter 6......
I also used a Yamaha DX7 in the last year of the band- I remember using that on the Frank Mills TV special for the song Candy Apple- for piano parts....
On the DVD I'm using the Jupiter 4 and SH-2000 at the Concert Hall, and at the Spectrum I'm using the Jupiter 6,
and above it is the Linn Drum which I was running- doing all the crazy drum fills live!
When we went to New York to record Romantic Traffic and Tell No Lies-
they mostly feature acoustic piano- it was a giant Yamaha grand at the Power Station....and there's also a bit of a Roland Juno 106 on both songs.
The swirling sounds at the start of Tell No Lies were done
on a Synclavier- it belonged to Nile Rodgers, and I think the sound was similar to the one used at the start of Michael Jackson's song Beat It!!
I just did some crazy random glissandos and that was it!
Oh - Sandy's Moog Taurus bass pedals were a pretty big part of the sound in the early days too- they're on Conventional Beliefs,
and at the start of Red Light, and on Only For Athletes too.......
she was really good at playing bass and hitting the pedals at the same time..... AND singing......
I still have my SH-2000 and I have a JP4 - I sold my original, but a few years later I missed it so I bought another one...
I'm glad I did because there's nothing like them these days!
I don't have them with me here in NY- they're in Burlington...when I go
to visit my family, sometimes I'll plug in the JP4 and just sort of noodle around,
and I have to laugh because eveything I do on it is so '80's' sounding- I can't really help it on those old synths..I still love that sound.!
So I think that covers it pretty much........
I have a Korg Triton and a Kurzweil PC 88 here in NY, and I'm about to get some sort of softsynth computer system up and running......
I prefer the real things, but these days I am happy to use whatever is
most accesible- and I guess that that's what I was doing all those years ago too.......everything has just morphed into a computer program!
r o b