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Podcast: SONIC TALK 249 - Synthesizing The Planets
  28-Dec-11
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


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