Podcast: SONIC TALK 249 - Synthesizing The Planets

In conversation with Mike Leghorn      28/12/11

Download MP3 Audio | iTunes | Subscribe to Podcasts
34:17 mins

Guests:

Mike Leghorn - synthesizer arranger
Nick Batt - editor Sonicstate.com

A Christmas treat - for those quiet days between lunch and New Year - we caught up with Mike Leghorn - who’s been working on a classical synthesizer arrangement of Gustav Holst’s classic, The Planets. So far Mike has finished up Mars, Jupiter and Mercury - the rest will follow.
See how he works and what he uses..




Show Sponsor
Yamaha - Check out the Yamaha Pocketrak W24 and C24 pocket recorders.
and
macProVideo.com - use our custom link for 20% off video tutorials on a huge range of audio software training courses.


Please do come and join us LIVE each week as we stream our live recording at  
Sonicstate.com/Live Every Wednesday at 4pm UK time.
 

Yamaha Show Sponsors!  Check the C24 and W24 Pocketrak recorders
MacProVideo.com - get 20% discount on download video courses

Remember... Join Us Live!
 
Show video archive
Every Wednesday at 4pm UK time we record and stream video live with a chat room for you to get involved in. So head over to Sonicstate.com/LIVE and check it out.  Plus we've set up a Skype account for people to leave comments or requests.

Skype: sonictalk
US Tel: (312) 376-8089  Intl: 001 312 376-8089
UK:  020 3287 5331
Email: sonictalk@sonicstate.com

 

More From: SONIC TALK
Even more news...

7 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
   Said...

Haven't listened yet, but Isao Tomita did this 30 years ago.

28-Dec-11 05:13 PM


The Guvnor    Said...

Not to knock this guy, but there is a huge difference between getting a bunch of Holst MIDI files & using tweaked Zebra presets and what Tomita did in the 70s. Tomita's albums were pure genius. Every sound was programmed manually on the Moog & Roland modulars, and for the most part, all notes were played live. This is worlds apart from this rendition.

29-Dec-11 12:18 PM


Nick B    Said...

true enough, but still quite an accomplishment. Really nice guy too.

29-Dec-11 04:02 PM


Mike Leghorn    Said...

Ravel used pre-defined presets when he orchestrated Pictures at an Exhibition -- violins, violas, horns, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, etc... He had all the notes created for him too.

I am no Tomita. I can't do what he did. Still, I'm putting a lot of effort into this, just not the same kind of effort as Tomita. Maybe the proof is in the pudding, i.e. how it sounds -- and maybe getting things to sound good isn't so complicated after all. An English teacher once joked to me, just take these 26 letters and arrange them the right way, and you have a great novel.

30-Dec-11 12:11 PM


Paul Shillito - Classitronic.net    Said...

Tomita had no choice but to make every patch and play each note by hand monophonically back in the 70's as the technology for anyhing more just did not exist but given the choice even he has used modern synths and samples of his old modular system as he did on the 2011 update version of his original Planets interpretation.

Doing classical interpretation like this is a long winded and time consuming business even if you only use presets because you still have to find the right ones for the right parts and it surprising how few actually work with the piece as a whole. You still have to tweak or make your own for it to work and Mike certainly makes his work. In the end its how it sounds overall that counts.

03-Jan-12 08:57 AM


Paul Shillito - Classitronic.net    Said...

Tomita had no choice but to make every patch and play each note by hand monophonically back in the 70's as the technology for anyhing more just did not exist but given the choice even he has used modern synths and samples of his old modular system as he did on the 2011 update version of his original Planets interpretation.

Doing classical interpretation like this is a long winded and time consuming business even if you only use presets because you still have to find the right ones for the right parts and it surprising how few actually work with the piece as a whole. You still have to tweak or make your own for it to work and Mike certainly makes his work. In the end its how it sounds overall that counts.

03-Jan-12 09:06 AM


nick    Said...

It does all come down to the results being interesting and listenable and they are. I'm not sure the Ravel analogy works. The Holst work appears to be a re-orchestration to a degree. Ravel was taking solo piano melodies and fully orchestrating them as others (including Tomita in 1966 and 1975) have done. Ravel's use of 1922 Orchestral colors still stands out. Others have worked in 19th Century orchestral colors or in Tomita's second arrangement, then modern synthesizers. Aside from that different sort of parallel "pre defined presets" doesn't hit too well with me though I guess one could use a preset in a skillful or different way just as an instrument.

I guess maybe I'm being a little harsh but I get the impression of a really skillful model kit builder. You can put lots of interpretation into it and I'm definitely hearing it though the parts seem there o do something with and versions of the finished work are well known.

07-Jan-12 06:29 PM


Post a comment 
 


More Videos

Cubase Focus: Using The Chord Track To Drive The Arrangement 

On the fly arrangement of chords and melody


Cubase Focus: Tempo Detection 

Free yourself from the grid


Cubase Focus: Groove Agent 4.0 

Drum track creation tool just got even more serious


New Korg Electribe Product Preview 

We get Video with James Pullen AKA Mista Bishi