Crazy Pet Shop Boys Recreation With Original Instruments

US Analogue Solutions - 2x Fairlight, Emulator, DX and more      21/05/18

Truly a labour of love, or some might say unhealthy obsession, but incredibly, the folks at Analogue Solutions - Tom Carpenter and friends recreated the lineup (of instruments) in a classic BBC performance  "Opportunities" from the pet Shop Boys. 

An interesting project - Analogue Solutions being known for their classic analogue instruments with a retro sound, so this primarily digital lineup is a surprise.

Its a pretty monster lineup:

  • Yamaha DX1
  • Yamaha DX7
  • Emu Emulator II
  • Technics PX1
  • Friendchip SRC
  • Fairlight CMI II
  • Fairlight CMI I (upgraded)
  • 3x Zoom R8
  • 16,  9" CRT monitors

Tom gives us an insight into the why and the how here:

I remember watching The Pet Shop Boys performing Opportunities back in the 1980s live on the BBC. It was entirely live despite what some people might think. In recent years I always thought it would be great to get those original synths back together again in one room.

I never thought it would happen since DX1s are extremely rare, and as it happens so is the PX1. And Fairlights don’t exactly grow on trees. After much hunting I finally completed the set, including the Friendchip SRC synchroniser.

So this video isn’t really intended as a cover, but more of a synth reunion in honour of The Pet Shop Boys and that iconic performance. The two Fairlights are synced together and playing their sequences live.

All sounds are original. One Fairlight is playing the original sequence, the other I had to reprogram myself. All other synth parts are played live (no MIDI sequencing). All audio was recorded into 3 Zoom R8 digital audio multitracks (you can glimpse one on the floor).

The audio files where then dragged into Logic Pro X and mixed. As great as these synths are, in this day and age the whole thing doesn't sound too great mixed dry. With only one camera and no film crew the performance had to be done several times to get some different angles. Each time we played live and had a lot of fun.

So forgive me if there are any video sync problems. I made a video wall using 9” CRT monitors with two DVD players providing the video feed. I will post a ‘behind the scenes’ tech tour also where you will hear some sounds in isolation. I will not be selling or offering copies of the samples or sequence discs due to the many favours, hard time and cash I had to put in to get hold of them.

Now thats dedication!

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