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Audiofanzine put the Waldorf Streichfett digital synthesizer to the test. Released earlier this year, the small box is designed to replicate the sound of vintage string machines.
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Home » Artists, Featured Videos, Music, Videos

Say it ain’t so!

Submitted by on November 4, 2009 – 2:20 pm One Comment

Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder – all playing in a mega-synth-jam, live in Los Angeles in 1985. When I came across this video, I got so excited – Four musicians that helped put synthesizers into mainstream music in the 80’s, all together on one stage, ripping it up.

I cranked up my speakers, pressed play and sat back. It was definitely filmed in the 80’s – keytars, big hair and a huge circular rack of synths that would make any synth geek like me drool.

Just then, something started to seem a bit off. Some of the sounds seemed like they were coming from the wrong synths… there was also Fairlight monitor in the back that seemed to be blank. And where were all the cables?

And then Thomas Dolby did something that made me hang my head in shame – he was jumping around the stage, evidently triggering samples… on a Roland TR-606 drum machine. Sure, some artists have to lip sync just due to logistical problems – I understand this, but for a synth heavyweight to jump around on stage like a moron pretending to trigger samples on a drum machine is just unthinkable. C’mon – at least pretend like you’re playing!

I have so much respect for all four of these musicians, which makes this all the more unpalatable. I only wish I could turn back time and fix this for them.

Thomas Dolby actually has a good post on his personal blog about that night. He talks about why it was faked, and he describes a practical joke they played on Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately he doesn’t apologize to the synth community for embarrassing us all, but it’s a good read. Check it out here.

One Comment »

  • entropicon says:

    ha ha, and I don’t even think that Roland was plugged in 🙂 Great find and thanks for sharing. My fav Herbie Hancock was his synth solo on Simple Minds Hunter and the hunted from New Gold Dream – don’t know why I shared that, just love the solo.

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