processing / pre-amping and split the signal , with one direct and one to a custom Leslie switcher , then on to a Leslie 145 . I use one manual to trigger MIDI on a Nord Electro , which I use for other keyboard / sample sounds and as a backup B3 .
Comeau : My most used synthesizer live and in the studio is the Moog Taurus 3 . When I ’ m playing guitar , I use the Taurus pedals for bass parts . When I play bass , I ’ m able to get away from the Taurus , but the sonic impact the Taurus has is unmatched , even by my Minimoog . I almost always prefer to write and arrange parts on hardware synths because I don ’ t want to rely on laptops and VSTs on the road . Computers are unreliable enough in the studio - I don ’ t want to add more stress during sound check , but there ’ s something to be said for VSTs in the studio . It beats cutting new tape loops and cleaning heads before every session . In the studio , I prefer tracking processing in the front end : compression , modulation , reverb , and delay . I also love my Roland RE-201 [ Space Echo ] in the studio .
Copeland : For genre , thriller / dark drama scores , I ’ m a huge fan of the Slate + Ash instruments . I often use Landforms and Auras for slow creeping pad layers and Cycles for loops . The Arturia V Collection for vintage synths / retro electronic scores ; Heavyocity ’ s Forzo ( brass ), Vento ( woodwinds ), and Damage ( percussion ) for darker hybrid orchestral scores ; Native Instruments for Cremona String Quartet , Mallet Flux , and Session Guitarist Series . Soundtoys ’ Little Plate is my main reverb for orchestral and vocals , and Ozone and Imager by iZotope for mixing and mastering .
CM : What would your “ dream ” keyboard rig consist of ?
Bliss : A chopped Hammond A100 through a Leslie 147 . However , I think I ’ d still put my Fractal / switching rack in between the two because it gives me so many cool tonal and effects options . And it ’ s become a bit of a signature to my sound . I ’ d still run a Nord Electro . They ’ re great and very reliable . I have a Wurlitzer 200A at home that I particularly love the sound of . I also love the Fender Rhodes . Honestly , you couldn ’ t show me a vintage keyboard / synthesizer that I don ’ t love .
Comeau : I ’ m inching closer to my dream rig . Right now , I ’ m touring with my Moog Taurus 3s , a Nord Electro , and my [ Sequential ] OB-6 . If I add anything else , I ’ ll have to hire someone else to play it all for me . I ’ ve always wanted a Wurlitzer 200A . I picked up a Rhodes MK1 to scratch that electric piano itch , but there ’ s something special about Wurly . Everything you play on one sounds like it ’ s already a hit . I think the best polysynth ever made is the Oberheim OBX . Oberheim just released the OBX-8 , which looks like it captures that same magic without the headaches associated with vintage gear . I ’ d love to get my hands on one of those .
Copeland : A Bösendorfer grand piano and some Neumann KM 184 condenser mics would be my dream set-up . Alas , I don ’ t possess the real estate for a grand . The Bösendorfer has a beautifully haunting quality in its colour , not too dark or too bright — just right .
Currie : On stage , a Hammond organ with a Leslie , a Wurlitzer , Rhodes , Farfisa , clav , and a grand piano . That ’ s impractical , but I want the classic sounds of the OG instruments . We ’ ve done tours where we ’ ve wrestled a Hammond onto small stages and had to repair it every second night , so now I stick with my trusty Nord Electro 3 and Korg SV-1 ; they ’ re easier to travel with . I dream about playing the vintage guys every night , but , realistically , they should stay in the studio .
Dourado : For me , this would be a 9-ft Steinway , a wooden reed organ , a Wurlitzer 200A , a Hohner clavinet , and a MiniMoog . Call me old-fashioned .
CM : In your opinion , what should players / songwriters / composers understand when initially preparing their material for recording and / or live performance ?
Bliss : Preparing for any performance – studio or live – is all about being properly practiced and prepared . Being unsure of what you ’ re doing or playing is a sign that you ’ re not ready . Producers are great at directing what you should be playing or confirming what you ’ re playing is right . Nothing beats playing parts over and over , both by yourself and with your band , so that you know the songs so well you don ’ t have to think anymore .
54 CANADIAN MUSICIAN