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The Spirit of Radio -- a testament to the mighty Kronos
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: The Spirit of Radio -- a testament to the mighty Kronos Reply with quote

I wanted to provide a great example of the Kronos' diversity and ability to tackle a specific musical need. I'm in a 4 piece cover band where I multitask as bass and keyboard player, backup vocals and sound (XR18 ftw).

In Rush's The Spirit of Radio, there are several sections where a high sustained string and/or a low Taurus line is being played. These lines are in addition to an already grooving bass line, or a section where both hands are already busy playing the keys (as in the chorus log drum and panning glockenspiel parts). I use foot pedals (FCB1010) to trigger the 8 Kronos pads pre-programmed with single notes/chords as a sort of 3rd hand to play those sustained lines.

However, there are more than 8 combinations of lines/chords to be played. By careful programming of the pads keeping in mind that I could use the Dyn Compressor FX to mute/unmute groups of programs, I've got it now so that I'm triggering 16 lines/chords, using Switch 2 assigned to the Dyn Comps' outputs. So the foot pedals that were playing the chorus Taurus lines become the Oberheim strings during the pre-solo interlude, thanks to SW2.

And I've even got Switch 1 assigned to hold a single high E note (via the Dyn Comp). This way I'm not tethered to a sustain pedal or my FCB while I rock out with the guitar player on stage while he shreds the solo near the end.

Also, for the reggae section with the steel drums, sampled crowd cheer, and FM sync bass, so that you can really *feel* and hear the character of the low end to match the bass guitar, I've got the bass sound routed out both Output 1 to my bass head's Return and Output 2 to the FOH sub (the Taurus parts as well). The song goes out on that big bottom bass playing the main motif while I'm banging out that classic rock piano part, gliss and all. Good times. Cool

That's a great testament to the flexibility of the Kronos. I don't think there are any other keyboards that could do all this, right? Although I'd guess one could try with a laptop using various DAWs and VST instruments and hosts, and a sound card with multiple audio and MIDI outs to connect to 2 MIDI controllers and a foot pedal...
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a Rush fan and Kronos owner, I'd love to see/hear some clips of this Smile
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've got a bar gig coming up on the 21st, then a house party a week after. I'll get someone to record some video, then link it here. Thanks for asking, always good to interact with other Rush fans.
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look forward to it. I reckon that Rush has the best rhythm section on the planet and Alex is no slouch on guitar either!

I still remember being 15 in 1980 and hearing Xanadu for the first time.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was about 15 when I was first introduced to Rush. The whole double album Exit Stage Left, and then Hemispheres were eye-openers for me. I was new to rock in general, being a band geek and only into band music and jazz. I bought the Rush bible, a thick black book with sheet music for every album up to Signals. Alex was like a god on guitar, and those atmospheric and technical yet catchy riffs were imprinted on me for the rest of my life.

I'm lucky to finally have a working cover band that knows the priority of playing songs that gets the audience participating, drinking, and dancing. The drummer, guitarist, and I are Rush fans, and we only pull out TSOR, Subdivisions, or YYZ deep into the last set when everyone is already sauced and the night is basically over. The audience loves it by then. Of course, they love everything by then... Razz
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great. I'd love to do some Rush, but don't know people with the chops. And what about those high vocals?

My musical awakening, bearing in mind that nobody in the family was really into music (my sister was an Elvis fan and that was about it), came in 1980 on BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show "All time listener top ten". I heard bands like Yes and Rush for the first time, and my musical tastes were never quite the same again. Smile
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Wagnergrad96
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:

I'm lucky to finally have a working cover band that knows the priority of playing songs that gets the audience participating, drinking, and dancing. The drummer, guitarist, and I are Rush fans, and we only pull out TSOR, Subdivisions, or YYZ deep into the last set when everyone is already sauced and the night is basically over. The audience loves it by then. Of course, they love everything by then... Razz


Exactly! After my band finished trying to "make it," we were a pretty successful cover band for a while. We wanted to play "chops" songs but realized how it worked. So we used to sneak a few extra solos here and there and also use cool riffs as segues so the music didn't stop between songs.

We somehow were able to end "Video Killed The Radio Star" with an extended solo section from "Spirit Of Radio"

Here's Me doing "Subdivisions" Other than the guitars and vocals, it's all KRONOS. Not my best vocal performance . . .

https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763/subdivisions
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wagnergrad96 wrote:
Exactly! After my band finished trying to "make it," we were a pretty successful cover band for a while. We wanted to play "chops" songs but realized how it worked. So we used to sneak a few extra solos here and there and also use cool riffs as segues so the music didn't stop between songs.

We somehow were able to end "Video Killed The Radio Star" with an extended solo section from "Spirit Of Radio"

Here's Me doing "Subdivisions" Other than the guitars and vocals, it's all KRONOS. Not my best vocal performance . . .

https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763/subdivisions


Subdivisions sounded great, vocals and all! Nice drum programming, better than what I programmed into the Kronos.

We had practice last night to add a few new songs to our set -- Uptown Funk, Footloose, Just What I Needed, 500 Miles. Even at practice we made sure to stick to business and work on getting parts right.

After the singer left, the 3 of us then went into Rush mode, hehe. TSOR, Subdivisions, Red Barchetta, Limelight, Xanadu, La Villa, Show Don't Tell, Driven. The guitarist did the vocals too, and while they were in key, they were pretty strained. Now that I think about it, since I had my Kronos all set up, we should have done Big Money and Countdown, maybe next time.

One thing that is a challenge though is getting the Kronos levels to match band volume. Sometimes the bass part is too weak, a main line too loud, the pad parts barely audible, etc. What is balanced at home doesn't necessarily translate well with guitars and drums in the mix. I'm going to try re-balancing them all by using David Champagne's tip of using the MFX master volume to bring the entire combi up or down.

Good luck with your band. Keep that audience dancing, and sneak in a little Rush education for them when you can Laughing
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wagnergrad96 wrote:
psionic311 wrote:

I'm lucky to finally have a working cover band that knows the priority of playing songs that gets the audience participating, drinking, and dancing. The drummer, guitarist, and I are Rush fans, and we only pull out TSOR, Subdivisions, or YYZ deep into the last set when everyone is already sauced and the night is basically over. The audience loves it by then. Of course, they love everything by then... Razz


Exactly! After my band finished trying to "make it," we were a pretty successful cover band for a while. We wanted to play "chops" songs but realized how it worked. So we used to sneak a few extra solos here and there and also use cool riffs as segues so the music didn't stop between songs.

We somehow were able to end "Video Killed The Radio Star" with an extended solo section from "Spirit Of Radio"

Here's Me doing "Subdivisions" Other than the guitars and vocals, it's all KRONOS. Not my best vocal performance . . .

https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763/subdivisions


Sounds great - everything. And I love the idea of going from "Video Killed.." into "Spirit of Radio" - that must be an interesting juxtaposition! Smile
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Wagnergrad96
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to try to upload a clip of that somewhere.

The band I did that with is defunct, but I used to tape gigs directly off the board into a cassette! I'll find one and put it up somewhere. Smile
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look forward to it! Smile
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Wagnergrad96
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek Cook wrote:
Look forward to it! Smile


https://soundcloud.com/user-331086571


So I ended up just making a sound cloud page for the old band. The first song you should see is Video Killed. The transition starts around the 2:55 mark.

Most of the songs on there were recorded by me on a cassette directly from our board. We usually had to do our own sound. However, some (including Video Killed) were recorded on a mini disk by a soundguy. It's a decent sounding live recording.

We weren't the greatest cover band of all time, but we certainly had fun.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wagnergrad96 wrote:
Derek Cook wrote:
Look forward to it! Smile


https://soundcloud.com/user-331086571


So I ended up just making a sound cloud page for the old band. The first song you should see is Video Killed. The transition starts around the 2:55 mark.

Most of the songs on there were recorded by me on a cassette directly from our board. We usually had to do our own sound. However, some (including Video Killed) were recorded on a mini disk by a soundguy. It's a decent sounding live recording.

We weren't the greatest cover band of all time, but we certainly had fun.


Quite a clever change. I just love the idea of "video killed the radio star" juxtaposing into "spirit of radio"! Too clever for me to have thought of! Wink
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Last edited by Derek Cook on Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wagnergrad96
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek Cook wrote:
Quite a clever change. I just love the idea of "video killed the radio star" juxtaposing into "spirit of radio"! Too cleaver for me to have thought of! Wink


I'm not sure what the genesis was. We just always tried to segue songs so that there was never any dead air. Nothing stops the groove of a cover band like dead air.

So when the singer was telling people to tip their bartenders, etc. there was always something being played.

I think originally it was just trying to stick a rush riff somewhere. We started out as an original band that played prog like DT and Rush. Once we started doing the cover thing, we knew that wasn't going to cut it but we wanted to still maintain our *yawn* "artistic integrity." So we would stick a few harder songs in there or do something like this.

I think the cleverness of it dawned on us as we were figuring out the segue. It probably came to us subconscious because the word RADIO was in the title of Video Killed.

Glad you liked it.

- Tony
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video Killed The Spirit of Radio. I like it. Kinda like Computers Killed the Spirit of Musicianship (j/k)

We didn't video record TSOR at last Friday's gig, but we will this coming Saturday. Stay tuned....
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