Rick Wakeman, how can I sound like him?

Jim Johnson jamos at technotoys.com
Thu Nov 4 06:56:27 CET 1999

Of course this is more appropriate for AH, but I'll bite - "Journey" was
one of the two records that got me where I am today...

In addition to having a synth that sounds exactly like a Mini, and the
techniques Michael mentioned, there are two other things you'll need - 1)
Monster keyboard technique, and 2) a little trick that Rick originated,
which I call "note-chopping". (Did I invent this term?  I'm unclear...)

Anyway, do this:

1) Make sure your keyboard has low-note priority.
2) Create a smooth, flowing sound with just a hint of portamento.
3) Play a note and, without releasing it, rapidly press and release
(several times) the note a fifth below that. (Or an octave, or a second,
whatever the music demands.) Way cool, and totally unique to the monophonic

Jim Johnson 
Metaphoric Software
Makers of Techno Toys
Software for Electronic Music
info at technotoys.com

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 11/3/99 at 7:14 PM WeAreAs1 at aol.com wrote:

>I don't know the particular songs you mention, but in those days, Rick
used a 
>Minimoog for almost all of his synth solos.  If you want to get the same 
>portamento that he gets, you'll need to have the Minimoog type portamento,

>which has a linear time response (unlike the typical exponential "lag 
>generator" portamento found in ARPs and most DIY synthesizers).
>The Minimoog portamento circuit is rather arcane, and I wouldn't recommend

>copying it directly, since there are less complicated ways to achieve that

>effect.  For instance, the Sequential Circuits Pro One and the Prophet
>have a nice linear portamento circuit that is pretty simple to copy.
>Another trick that Rick used to use a lot was two or three oscillators
>several octaves apart (at least three octaves apart).  Sort of like a
>and bass clarinet in unison.  On the moon.  On mushrooms.  Sort of.
>Michael Bacich

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