a few synth questions …

Ask Katy

Since Nick gets so many:

Hello. I was wondering, how does Nick feel about the new infusion of digital music creation software (EG Garageband, Logic, Soundtrack). Do you use like software in the creation of music for Duran Duran? Brian

Yes, I am a huge software fan, however, I still find myself using mostly analogue synthesizers because the soft synths simply to not compare yet. NR

Hello Katy,this question is for nick.I wondering besides using your synth harware do you use virtual synths as well,and if so,which one do you prefer best.best wishes to you nick, simon, andy, john and rogernRADIUM X

"I am somewhat of a purist when it comes to analogue synthesizers. Whilst I am all for any positive developments in technology, I have yet to find a soft synth which truly sounds as good as an analogue synth. No doubt this will eventually happen- there are some really interesting options out there already, some of which I have used for different effects. I also find thatsoft synths tend to work better when blended in with real analogue. Will keep you posted if I find something great...NR"

I am a musician and I play an acoustic nylon guitar, only in Bossa Nova jazzy way: 1st I/d like to know what keyboard instrument FAB Nick Rhodes plays in the "Perfect day" video; 2nd I would like an advice or suggestion on what electronic simple instrument would be cool to make an ambience along with the guitar playing pop/fusion melodies...It would be great if there was an answer on that. thanks to all. Louis, London

"The instrument used in the "Perfect Day" video is an EMS Synthi AKS. It is quite a rare synthesizer manufactured in the 1970s. It fits a suitcase & was also made in a different format under the name VCS 3.There are many synthesizers available today which would probably suit your purpose. I always prefer analogue synthesizers as they have bigger, warm sound. These are mostly vintage instruments and can be acquired from specialist dealers or the internet. Roland made an extensive range from the Juno synthesizers to the Jupiter 6 and Jupiter 8. I also highly recommend Moog. However, should you wish to buy a digital synthesizer, perhaps the Roland V-Synth is the most adaptable of the current models. Nick"

so... in all the videos i have seen from the 1984 seven and the ragged tiger tour, there is a little tv screen setup behind nick's keyboard racks. Occasionally he could be seen fiddling with what looked like a pen tool. my geeky question of the day is whether that was a fairlight synthesizer or just a nifty looking, but useless bit of kit? this has been driving me nuts for years! dj shiva

�It was a Fairlight Screen that came with a light pencil. So the chances are, I was probably doing my shopping list�NR�

Hi Katy, I think I may be right on this and have a bet going on it- I say that Nick is using the same synth on "Sunrise" as he used on "Planet Earth". My friend says that they are different synths. Who wins the bet? And is the synth in question Nick's Jupiter-8? Thanks Katy, Erik Berntsen

You lose the bet, they ain't the same. I can't remember the synth I used in PLANET EARTH (but it can't have been the Fairlight, since it wasn't even invented then). The Fairlight IS used in SUNRISE. However, I did use the Fairlight extensively on the 3rd album so I am sure it must be in live footage  SING BLUE SILVER or THE REFLEX video. NR