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Duran Duran – Nick Rhodes keyboards setup 2004

So I posted a question on vintagesynth forum how people think Nick Rhodes setup is done in the 2004 Wembley concert. I added screenshots for illustrations. If you’ve seen the video you notice there are a lot of synth parts you don’t see him really playing (some claiming he doesn’t play live at all which I’m sure is not true). Day later I noticed a web site copied my pictures: http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007/10/nick-rhodes-setup.html Oh well, I guess that’s how nowadays content is created on web sites.

So here’s how I think it’s done:

  • Nick uses the Mac for all sequencer parts. Sound comes directly from the Mac and they are complete samples (e.g. entire song track)
  • Tempo syncing is done through a signal transmitted from the Mac to the wireless earpiece of the drummer (the other members probably hear complete monitor signal). Alternative is that the Mac is getting an external clock signal
  • The 4 synths are hooked up to a midi bay (Digital Music Corp, MX8) that selects the sound patches for each song. I don’t see a midi in going to the midi patch bay. So I believe all 4 synths are completely live.

So you may think it’s not live at times when he hits some keys simply because he’s playing background parts in many songs. However I’m sure he plays it’s live. As a keyboard player it may not be as interesting to watch since most parts are pretty simple, however the audience certainly doesn’t mind since it just sounds great and as good as the recording. We still have Mike Lindup from Level 42 for more live play although I noticed in latest performance he also reduced # of live synth parts.

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