Excellence On Obscure Instruments

In summary, this man records with a backup of four Stylophones but I feel this is going too far. He also has a keyboard player who paid a lot for it and has been offered a ridiculous amount to sell it. There are also new Moogs being produced, e.g. Moog One (and others here). The market for vintage synthesizers is very small and not well-covered on the Internet.
  • #1
Hornbein
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Kazoo



Keytar



Harpiji



Stylophone

 
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Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Triple neck guitar.

 
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  • #3
Otamatone. In Japan these are sold in musical instrument stores.



There are heavy metal versions.

This man also records with a backup of four Stylophones but I feel this is going too far.

Then there's the Otamatone Jumbo. It costs three thousand dollars. Really.

 
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  • #4
Telephone Line Simulator

 
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  • #5
Dan Bau

 
  • #6
Serpent and octavin

 
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  • #7
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone is better with a singing frog.

But if you want obscure instruments, let me present the floppy drive array:



 
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  • #8
And of course...



C'mon you did this in graduate school too. Admit it.
 
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  • #9
Hornbein said:
Triple neck guitar.


At least he didn't go down the novelty route.

Is he starting to look like Ronnie Wood? I suppose that is the fate of all rock musicians, eventually they all start to look like one of the stones.
 
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  • #10
Hornbein said:
Telephone Line Simulator


That's like all my 1970s kids programs!
 
  • #11
Vanadium 50 said:
And of course...



C'mon you did this in graduate school too. Admit it.

I experienced one of these at Burning Man. Cool.
 
  • #12
pinball1970 said:
That's like all my 1970s kids programs!
This man does sound tracks and TV commercials, so you may have heard it before.

I wonder how much those original huge Moog synthesizers go for these days? The market is so tiny it doesn't show up on the Internet.
 
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  • #13
Hornbein said:
I experienced one of these at Burning Man.
Get too close and that's exactly what you would become. After all, it's essentially a people-sized bug zapper.
 
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  • #16
Gayageum. It isn't really an obscure instrument, but this sure is excellent. Johnny Rivers lives.

 
  • #17
If you want a vintage synth for the sounds, a few hundred dollars. If you want it for the nostalgia, many thousands - especially if you want it playable.
 
  • #18
Hornbein said:
This man does sound tracks and TV commercials, so you may have heard it before.

I wonder how much those original huge Moog synthesizers go for these days? The market is so tiny it doesn't show up on the Internet.
Our Keyboard player has one. It sounds awesome (check out Tarot woman intro and outro)
He paid a lot for it and has been offered a ridiculous amount to sell it.
 
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  • #19
 
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  • #20
I heard people talking about Moogs and synthesizers... :smile:

Hornbein said:
I wonder how much those original huge Moog synthesizers go for these days?
Pretty expensive, I think. It was a while since I looked last time.
There are actually also new Moogs being produced, e.g. Moog One (and others here).

A new Moog One can be bought for merely $10'000. :eek::cry:
But it's got 16 voices! So you pay $625 per voice. :smile:

And while we're at it, why not mention one of the holy grails of vintage synths, the massive, legendary Yamaha CS-80 (very rare).

Used on records by e.g. legends like Vangelis, Herbie Hancock, Kate Bush, ABBA and Michael Jackson (read more here about famous artists who used it on their records: An introduction to the Yamaha CS-80 and 10 records it helped define)

Wikipedia said:
Yamaha CS-80

Dates 1977 - 1980
Price
US$6900
GB£4950

Production of the instrument ceased in 1980. Vying with the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and Oberheim OB-X polysynths for the title, the CS-80 is often described as the pre-eminent polyphonic analog synthesizer, and, together with the monophonic Moog modular synthesizer, commands amongst the highest prices of any synthesizer.

YCS80.jpg


yamaha_cs80.jpg


For us mere mortals it is also available as a VSTi plugin software here:
https://www.arturia.com/products/analog-classics/cs-80v

Moogs are also available as plugins:
https://www.arturia.com/products/analog-classics/mini-v

And last, this is one of my absolute favorite software synthesizers (top 5): GForce MiniMonsta.
It's a Moog clone and sounds really, really good, in my opinion.
 
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  • #21
I'm surprised:

1. Nobody commented on the singing frog.
2. Nobody quibbled that the Tesla coil is a bit of a cheat.
3. Nobody mentioned the thermin in Good Vibration, one of the few cases it was used musically not just to "sound spooky"
 
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  • #22
pinball1970 said:
Our Keyboard player has one. It sounds awesome (check out Tarot woman intro and outro)
He paid a lot for it and has been offered a ridiculous amount to sell it.
Ha, real data. How much?
 
  • #23
Vanadium 50 said:
2. Nobody quibbled that the Tesla coil is a bit of a cheat.
How come cheat? Just curious.
 
  • #24
DennisN said:
...Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
About 1980 I was interviewing for Silicon Valley jobs. Sequential Circuits was one. They had about a dozen people building Prophets in a garage attached to the owner's house. I was introduced to an athletic young lady who was a noted Ultimate Frisbee competitor.
 
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  • #25
DennisN said:
I heard people talking about Moogs and synthesizers... :smile:Pretty expensive, I think. It was a while since I looked last time.
There are actually also new Moogs being produced, e.g. Moog One (and others here).

A new Moog One can be bought for merely $10'000. :eek::cry:
But it's got 16 voices! So you pay $625 per voice. :smile:
I'm asking about the very first Moog synthesizer, the one with dozens of patch cords and a separate keyboard. It made a sensation even though I'm sure very few were sold due to the expense. Since it appears to have been forgotten I guess it qualifies as an obscure instrument.

1686711190074.png
 
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  • #26
DennisN said:
And while we're at it, why not mention one of the holy grails of vintage synths, the massive, legendary Yamaha CS-80 (very rare).
The Yamaha GX-1 had a 300kg console, a 78kg base, stand, and bench, and used up to four 141kg amplifier units.
 
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  • #27
Frank Zappa on the Synclavier. He even toured with this instrument.

1686713116124.png


 
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  • #28
Hornbein said:
The Yamaha GX-1 had a 300kg console, a 78kg base, stand, and bench, and used up to four 141kg amplifier units.
I pity the poor roadies who had to deal with that :biggrin:.
May they rest in peace buried on Brokeback Mountain.
 
  • #29
The Yellow Magic Orchestra had a giant synthesizer.

1686713343725.png


Along with Kraftwerk they are credited with originating the hip hop/techno style. They appeared on Soul Train. Their music is too wimpy for me but they still have fans in Japan.
 
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  • #30
Vanadium 50 said:
Nobody mentioned the thermin in Good Vibration, one of the few cases it was used musically not just to "sound spooky"
I know a singer of a rock/pop band (a friend of a friend) who used to play the theremin live now and then (when he wasn't singing). It sounded pretty cool.
 
  • #31
Ok, here's some more obscure instruments:

Infinite Guitar (which allows notes to be held with infinite sustain):

U2's The Edge demonstrating his Infinite Guitar (used on the U2 song With Or Without You):


A short clip with Daniel Lanois about the history of the invention:

Daniel Lanois and the Infinite Sustain Guitar


Ebow:

(though not an instrument itself, but an instrument accessory, which ought to be mentioned besides the Infinite Guitar since it produces a similar effect. I used to have one myself, and I've played it live. Very fun and experimental, and it can make quite special sounds.)

FIVE cool things you can do with an eBow! | Demo & Tips


Bagpipes:

Are bagpipes obscure? I don't know. At least some who don't like them wish they were, I think. :smile:
I actually love the sound of them. And maybe @pinball1970 has heard bagpipes in or in the vicinity of Scotland? :smile:

Here is an example of pure excellence. Not musical excellence but comedic excellence :smile::

Wedding - epic bagpipe malfunction
 
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  • #32
Bass clarinet. Not really that obscure of an instrument, but this style certainly is.



Eric Dolphy inspired a friend of mine to take up the bass clarinet, which he plays to this day fifty years later.
 
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  • #33
Buchla synthesizer. Most obscure of all?



This little cameo appearance is all the love the Buchla gets on Grateful Dead albums. Not only that, a few years later they wiped out the Buchla from their releases. Many years later it became once more available.
 
  • #34
DennisN said:
Bagpipes:

Are bagpipes obscure? I don't know. At least some who don't like them wish they were, I think. :smile:
I actually love the sound of them. And maybe @pinball1970 has heard bagpipes in or in the vicinity of Scotland? :smile:

Here is an example of pure excellence. Not musical excellence but comedic excellence :smile::

Wedding - epic bagpipe malfunction

Hilarious.

I do not hate the bag pipes, played in the right way at the right occasion they can sound mournful and haunting.

Or they can sound comedic and a little painful, like being out of tune is deliberately built into the instrument.

At a wedding is a risk if you ask me so they kind of asked for it to be honest.
 
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  • #35
Hornbein said:
Ha, real data. How much?
20K to sell it.
He kept hold of it.
 
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