Michael wins 'Eagle-Eyed Geek' award!

Michael Ouellette writes: "Hey Tom, I'm a geek who previously didn't know anything about the Fairlight - your recent posts about it have fascinated me! Thanks!
     "Anyway, I'm watching the new Duran Duran video last night, and I see that Nick Rhodes is playing what looks like a Korg MicroControl and a Powerbook sitting on a table, and I think about how much times have changed that players can replace a huge keyboard stage rig with a notebook and a midi contoller, blah blah blah.
     "So, I keep watching the video and realize that the 'table' the Korg and Powerbook are sitting on is a Fairlight keyboard! And it looks like he's playing the Fairlight keyboard, not the smaller Korg one.
     "Now, I realize that it's only a video, but I was jazzed to see it. Do you think it's just his way of giving a nod to the past, for the benefit of us eagle-eyed geeks? Or is there a chance that he's actually using the keyboard in his rig?"
I don't know, Michael, but thanks for spotting it. Perhaps Nick is out there and can let us know? (And maybe explain why he's secretly been replaced by a crudely-drawn manga animation in his video?)

as an ex-fairlight user i'd suggest that his reasons are:

(i) it looks cool

(ii) it's got a nice flat surface on top to balance powerbooks, korgs etc.

(iii) no other sucker's got one.
Nick is not using the Fairlight on tour. The video appearance is a nod to eagle-eyed Nick-synth-geeks (like me). Hey, I should win this awards - I walked up to the stage after a show in the park last summer just to ID his current rig, which is as follows:

He's using an Alesis Andromeda, a Roland V-Synth (me want), a Kurzweil K2000 (or 2500?), and the real blast from the past, his trusty Jupiter 8. Also in their are the powerbook, a Krg microcontroller, a Korg Kaos pad, and some Korg device for vocoder effects.


The Fairlight, I'd wager, sits in the home studio.
ahh…the JP8.

anyone remember it going completely mental during 'save a prayer' when they played Live Aid?

Haven't seen it in 20 years, obviously, but looking forward to having a nostalgic chuckle at it when i get my reviw DVD (hint!)
Their new album really blows, regardless.
Nick Rhodes once said that there would be no Duran Duran without the fairlight, and you only have to listen to their early stuff to believe him no that one. He may well have said this before he added a lot more gear to his arsenal, but I'd say the controller he's using in the video is a there purely as a nod to eagle eyed fans, and if he is still using it I'd suggest it's probably only as samples, rather than the real thing. I can't for the life of me remember what I've done with it, but I used to a have a copy of Sound on Sound magazine which had an interview with the engineer of the last Duran album in which he gave quite extensive information about how sounds where synthesized and sampled by Nick. I'll try and dig it out.
The Fairlight keyboard is from a Series III, and Nick owned a Series IIx. IOW, it's posing.
Hey guys, love the story of fairlight. we currently have a Fairlight Series III. We have a huge! library of disks for it. It is the most amazing, rich sounding synth. We are in Miami, Florida, and if I'm not mistaken, it's one of only a few left in working condition in the U.S. Very few people can even understand what it is when they see it.
I used series IIx, then III at MGM on Fame with a live orchestra...first in LA sight reading and playing back pre-sequenced dance cuts with fsk tone from Dr. click...(pre smpte)....it opened a lot of doors if you consider timing important.....was still punchier than anything today....
Nick is using a Kurzweil K2000S under the V Synth. FYI
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