[AH] Kansas Synths (Was: The Van Halen "Jump" patch)

From Andrew Scheidler
Sent Fri, Mar 18th 2005, 17:53

I knew I had an old magazine with a Kansas interview!  Apparently an
early Oberheim 4-Voice was used in the studio, and a Minimoog was used
onstage.  ARP use consisted of a Pro Soloist and String Ensemble...  

The (vinyl) "Two for the Show" album sleeves have pictures of the 1978
tour stage setups:  C-3/ARP strings/ProSolist for Walsh, 
CP-70/Mini/Clavinet/Korg PS-3300 for Livgren.  Excellent album btw...

>From Keyboard Magazine, August 1977
The most recent Kansas album is "Leftoverture", their fourth.
It went gold within a month.
KM: What keyboard instruments do the two of you play?
Livgren: I play Minimoog, Rhodes 73-key stage piano, Arp String
Ensemble, and Hohner Clavinet.  I also play guitar.
Walsh: I have a Hammond C-3 organ, an Arp Pro Soloist, and a Wurlitzer
electric piano.  That's all the keyboards I play, but I also play vibes
and guitar.

KM: Do you use the same keyboards in recording?
Livgren: We only use the Minimoog for the stage setup.  For recording,
we use different things.  On the latest album, we use predominantly an
Oberheim synthesizer, but I only use two modules on it.

KM: Which of your keyboards do you most enjoy playing now?
Livgren: What I'm really into, I suppose more than any other instrument,
is the synthesizer.  I really do love them; I think they're the opening
step to the ultimate instrument.

KM: Did anyone strongly influence your approach to playing the
Livgren: Yes. Walter Carlos.  He's still one of my favorite synthesists.
 I think he's one of the most accomplished insofar as being able to
conceptualize a certain sound in his head and knowing how to go about
getting it on the synthesizer.

KM: Do you have any plans for adding to or expanding your keyboard
Livgren: I'd love to have more keyboards.  I'd like to have a different
variety of synthesizers.  I haven't yet found anything I'm totally
satisfied with for onstage purposes.  I loved the Oberheim in the
studio, but I didn't find it practical at all for the stage.  It's too
time-consuming.  Since that time, there have been a number of things
that have come out that I'm interested in, like the ARP Omni, which I
haven't heard yet, and the big Oberheim 4-voice with computerized memory
circuits, which would make it easier for use in live performances. 
We'll have to see what else comes along.

BTW - In the "new" section of this same magazine, the Model D Orchestron
is described.  Allows the artist to play four memory discs at one time. 
Includes two keyboards, stereo output, two expression pedals and violin,
'cello, pipe organ and flute discs.  Price is $4,495

>>> David Cornutt <cornutt@hiwaay.net> 03/15/05 11:26 PM >>>

On Mar 15, 2005, at 9:55 PM, john mahoney wrote:

> We know that Livgren also had a Minimoog because an AHer now owns it. 
> Which
> doesn't mean that he played it on record, but... maybe on the old 
> stuff,
> like Song for America?

Now that you mention it, there's a solo about halfway through
"Hymn to the Atman" that is almost certainly a Mini, and they
do list one on that album.  I was a bit surprised about the 4-Voice
being used on Leftoverture; I was almost positive that that album
and Point of Know Return were done almost entirely with ARPs.