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An Illustrated Guide to Prog Rock Instruments

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Topic: An Illustrated Guide to Prog Rock Instruments
Posted By: Gerinski
Subject: An Illustrated Guide to Prog Rock Instruments
Date Posted: January 28 2013 at 10:31


This article has been moved here:


http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771




Replies:
Posted By: Man With Hat
Date Posted: January 28 2013 at 22:27
Wow. This will tremendously helpful to me (as my knowledge of anything remotely technical is piss).

Many thanks!

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Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.


Posted By: Sagichim
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 01:12
Wow!! Clap Clap


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 01:57
Oh, gawd, ... that's a lot of stuff! Quite the affair!

Jimmy Page a synth star?


Posted By: zeqexes
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 02:10
Wow, very interesting! Clap

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Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 02:16
How long did it take you to compile all this, Gerard?


Posted By: Moogtron III
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 03:31
Amazing, a great piece of work Clap


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 07:07
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

How long did it take you to compile all this, Gerard?
Thanks to all for the appreciation.
I had been toying with the idea in my head for quite some time and mentally collecting the information I knew, but before I started writing I thought that it would be quite a short article with just a few basic comments on each instrument. When I started searching for the pictures and a few more details to complement what I already knew I learnt many things I did not know and the thing got longer and longer, it was great fun working on it Tongue
Let's say that from the moment I started writing and collecting pictures until I posted it a few weeks and some sleepless nights have passed LOL



Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 07:23
Excellent, fascinating and unique blog. Well done. brilliant job. I look forward to browsing this from time to time. 

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Roland113
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 07:35
Clap

Holy smokes, well done.  I loved the keyboard section which I was at least somewhat familiar with.  Once I realized that you went into the other instruments, I realized 'I've got to get back to work'.  Let's just say that I know what I'm reading tonight after the family goes to bed.


Posted By: Ambient Hurricanes
Date Posted: January 29 2013 at 21:16
Man, great article, Gerard.  I know what kind of stuff I'm saving up my money for now LOL

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I love dogs, I've always loved dogs


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: January 30 2013 at 06:34
Emersom definitely played the organ upside down. Or at least with him underneath it from behind. Whiich is what he says  here. (from the floor)

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: January 30 2013 at 07:26
Thanks Jim,

Not being English perhaps the expression 'upside-down' is not really the correct one, I meant this



Should I have said 'from behind', 'flipped over' or something else? or I can add the picture so people will get what I meant, I have this one and i think that also some of his knife-stabbing.

In any case it's a good suggestion to include a reference to Emerson's spinning piano, I'l do an edit in the piano entry, I have pictures already Tongue

And I'm of course open to remarks, corrections or criticisms, during my research I found contradictory information regarding certain subjects and at some point I had to choose for the version which seemed most logical or reliable, but there can certainly be mistakes and if anyone finds one I'm happy to edit.
 



Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: January 30 2013 at 08:12
Spinning piano, Emerson's abuse of the L-100 and a new pic in the keytar entry added Tongue


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: January 30 2013 at 08:13
I thought what you wrote was fine.

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: ProgMetaller2112
Date Posted: January 30 2013 at 13:47
Good stuff Clap

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“War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.”

― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four



"Ignorance and Prejudice and Fear walk Hand in Hand"- Neil Peart





Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: January 31 2013 at 09:21
New entry added for the Octoban drum toms


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: January 31 2013 at 11:21
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

I thought what you wrote was fine.


I think what he wrote was more than fine - now I realise it was a reference to the generalised L100 abuse, as opposed to what I thought he meant, I have removed the post as promised

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: notesworth
Date Posted: January 31 2013 at 23:15
Just wanted to say this is a great post.


Posted By: Angelo
Date Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:09
Nice!!! 

There are a few things that could be added though: fretless basses, such as Gary Willis' bass, en Percy Jones, and the double necks that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson used in the 70's


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http://www.angelosrockorphanage.com" rel="nofollow - My blog: Angelo's Rock Orphanage


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:35
Lee and Lifeson double-necks are there.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:01
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Lee and Lifeson double-necks are there.
Yeah, I did not mention their brands (Gibson and Rickenbacker if I'm not wrong) but they are there, it's not the purpose to mention and show every instrument ever used, there are so many others missing as well!
But some mentioning to fretless basses is perhaps indeed deserved.


Posted By: Angelo
Date Posted: February 01 2013 at 14:00
My bad... I missed that photo while scrolling through the post.

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http://www.angelosrockorphanage.com" rel="nofollow - My blog: Angelo's Rock Orphanage


Posted By: HemispheresOfXanadu
Date Posted: February 02 2013 at 20:26
This is awesome! The keys part was really helpful. Smile


Posted By: Ajay
Date Posted: February 02 2013 at 23:37
Great roundup! You've done a lot of work and shared your great knowledge of and passion for these wonderful instruments. Well done. I'll take one of each, please.

Allow me to share a little Fairlight love. Yes, the timing kept it from taking part in the symphonic rock of the '70s. In the '80s, though, as you noted, Peter Gabriel used it - as did Kate Bush, Mike Oldfield, and Rick Wright, who made albums which have been described as "made in the Fairlight." Not to mention Trevor Horn and his production team who made heavy use of it in producing Yes. The Fairlight really was one of the major sounds of the '80s.

Shameless namedrop: I've met Peter Vogel, the inventor of the Fairlight. Our children attend the same school. He's a lovely man. He's emulated the Fairlight for iPad, and at this year's NAMM he took over one of his 30th anniversary Fairlight CMIs to show and ended up selling it. More power to him.


Posted By: prog4evr
Date Posted: February 03 2013 at 00:00
Very well-researched and articulate article!  Among the myriad keyboard instruments, you forgot to mention the Mander Pipe Organ.  Was Rick Wakeman the only one to ever play it live while touring with Yes?


Posted By: Vin776
Date Posted: February 03 2013 at 04:33
It's Vincent from Bluebeard - I really appreciate your kind words. By the way, I sold synthesizers - and programmed them professionally for Yamaha for years. I worked in music stores from 1972-1985 or so (my day job). If you ever want to talk shop - I am a guitarist, but the money in sales was in synthesizers, et all

We used a Hammond M-3 (easier to carry)
Mini Moog
Arp String Ensemble
Farfisa organ/elec piano mix (like on Bad Dream)
And in the studio Yamaha or Steinway grand pianos - hear Sad Forgotten Song

I also use Roland Guitar synthesizers since 1978

I am writing a book and would love a review. Let me know where I can send CDs (I hate MP3s)

- Vincent
I added you to my Buddy list.  Ok?


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Vincent Bitetti - Video Game & Media Consultant (and prog rock musician)


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 03 2013 at 10:53
Originally posted by prog4evr prog4evr wrote:

Very well-researched and articulate article!  Among the myriad keyboard instruments, you forgot to mention the Mander Pipe Organ.  Was Rick Wakeman the only one to ever play it live while touring with Yes?
A Mander Pipe Organ being played live on tour?  I'm not aware of that and I would be surprised if that was true.

The Mander Pipe Organ he played for the recording of CTTE and Jane Seymour (Six Wives of Henry VIII) was the one at the church of St. Gilles, Cripplegate (which is actually an organ from the 18th century but fully rebuilt by Mander).
He also recorded at the church of St. Martin, Vevey, Switzerland for Parallels (Going for the One) and Judas Iscariot (Criminal Record).
Keith Emerson used the organ at the church of St. Marks for The Only Way (Tarkus).

Good idea, I'l add an entry!


Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: February 03 2013 at 23:24
Indeed, an excellent and very comprehensive article!  Thank you for mentioning Andy Manson (John Paul Jones' acoustic builder), he is the brother of my own luthier Hugh Manson of Exeter, Devon UK.  Hugh is the luthier and tech for Jones, Steve Howe, Martin Barre and many more.  My bass in my avatar is a Hugh Manson custom fretless bass.

I would like to see a bit more about Robert Fripp regarding his use of the Roland synth guitar system, as he really drove that innovation very far.  This is a very good interview:   http://www.joness.com/gr300/fripp.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.joness.com/gr300/fripp.htm

Your history of the Chamberlin/Mellotron was excellent, and I appreciate its accuracy!   Even more information about these amazing instruments may be found at this exhaustive website: 

http://www.planetmellotron.com/index.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.planetmellotron.com/index.htm

Please keep up the good work!  Much could be written about guitar effect pedals....Fripp told me that he always used the "cheapest fuzz tone he could find since they all sound the same," and he first used the guitar volume pedal "to emulate the sound of a violin."  Steve Hackett, Peter Banks and many others also used the volume pedal extensively throughout the seventies.   

Other common devices were the wah pedal, and various delays & chorus sounds.   Fripp was an early pioneer in many of these, with his "Fripp pedal board" (which, when I saw it up close, was quite primitive and jury-rigged!)

Of course, these guitar devices weren't exclusive to prog, but the prog musicians seemed to use them in novel ways that were distinct from musicians in hard rock, blues rock etc.   John Wetton employed a fuzz tone and wah with bass on occasion, and David Cross used wah pedal with his amplified violin.  


Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: February 03 2013 at 23:45
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by prog4evr prog4evr wrote:

Very well-researched and articulate article!  Among the myriad keyboard instruments, you forgot to mention the Mander Pipe Organ.  Was Rick Wakeman the only one to ever play it live while touring with Yes?
A Mander Pipe Organ being played live on tour?  I'm not aware of that and I would be surprised if that was true.

The Mander Pipe Organ he played for the recording of CTTE and Jane Seymour (Six Wives of Henry VIII) was the one at the church of St. Gilles, Cripplegate (which is actually an organ from the 18th century but fully rebuilt by Mander).
He also recorded at the church of St. Martin, Vevey, Switzerland for Parallels (Going for the One) and Judas Iscariot (Criminal Record).
Keith Emerson used the organ at the church of St. Marks for The Only Way (Tarkus).

Good idea, I'l add an entry!

As I recall, Wakeman toured with a portable Mander pipe organ for the "Going For The One" tour, which I saw in Chicago in September, 1977.  Great show!  

Wakeman talks quite a bit about his touring rig in this interview, it is especially interesting for keyboard fans! 

http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html" rel="nofollow - http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html


Posted By: Vin776
Date Posted: February 04 2013 at 08:25
Hello
Nice articles
My band used a lot of that "stuff" we even put together a device we called the Bluechestra for guitar
If you get a minute check us out at www.reverbnation.com/thestoryofbluebeard and play Bad Dream and They're Not Like They Used to Be and maybe Come to The Dance
Looking to make new friends ere!

Best 
Vincent Bitetti newbie 
Guitarist Bluebeard


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Vincent Bitetti - Video Game & Media Consultant (and prog rock musician)


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 04 2013 at 09:46
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

Wakeman talks quite a bit about his touring rig in this interview, it is especially interesting for keyboard fans! 

http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html" rel="nofollow - http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html
Thanks for the link, a very interesting interview, I did not know that the pipe organ tracks he played in Vevey Switzerland were actually recorded in the studio in the UK via a leased telephone line, that's really funny.

I have also found some references to a portable Mander pipe organ for the GFTO tour but nothing very clear, I want to believe it but I would like some harder evidence in order to mention it in my article, if anyone can provide further info it would be great!


Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: February 04 2013 at 10:49
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

Wakeman talks quite a bit about his touring rig in this interview, it is especially interesting for keyboard fans! 

http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html" rel="nofollow - http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html
Thanks for the link, a very interesting interview, I did not know that the pipe organ tracks he played in Vevey Switzerland were actually recorded in the studio in the UK via a leased telephone line, that's really funny.

I have also found some references to a portable Mander pipe organ for the GFTO tour but nothing very clear, I want to believe it but I would like some harder evidence in order to mention it in my article, if anyone can provide further info it would be great!

This guy also talks about it:  

Within that section, the buildup of http://www.rwcc.com/" rel="nofollow - Rick Wakeman ‘s pipe organ solo. Saw this live in concert ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/2866924796/" rel="nofollow - St. Louis Checkerdome , September of 1978, http://forgottenyesterdays.com/date.asp?s=5&tname=9&tdate=1375&navb=10" rel="nofollow - Tormato tour ), when the stage was in the round and real pipe organ – a portable http://www.mander-organs.com/index.html" rel="nofollow - Mander with pipes under the stage – was used.

http://blogdebill.com/?p=165" rel="nofollow - http://blogdebill.com/?p=165


Posted By: Maktor
Date Posted: February 06 2013 at 11:02
Great guide! 


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 06 2013 at 14:29
This interview with Wakeman indeed confirms that he toured with a Mander pipe organ so I have edited the entry, it was indeed used in the GFTO tour, not Tormato (the first question is about his gear in the Tormato tour and he says that "the RMI Keyboard Computer took away the need to carry the Mander Pipe Organ this time").

http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html" rel="nofollow - http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html

Rick's comment compelled me to add a well deserved entry for RMI and I have also done a couple of updates in the Birotron and Farfisa entries.


Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: February 08 2013 at 18:34
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

This interview with Wakeman indeed confirms that he toured with a Mander pipe organ so I have edited the entry, it was indeed used in the GFTO tour, not Tormato (the first question is about his gear in the Tormato tour and he says that "the RMI Keyboard Computer took away the need to carry the Mander Pipe Organ this time").

http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html" rel="nofollow - http://zenponies.com/yitp/1979/feb/febxx_79.html

Rick's comment compelled me to add a well deserved entry for RMI and I have also done a couple of updates in the Birotron and Farfisa entries.

Well done!  You've taken on an ambitious project!

I saw Yes on the GFTO tour, Chicago 1977 (I don't remember which day though).  I DO remember them opening with "Parallels," and that Mander pipe organ just shook the place (a huge hall!).  Steve Howe wailed on a red Stratocaster, it was a fantastic concert!  (well, ALL Yes concerts I've seen have been fantastic!)

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Yes_concert_tours#Going_for_the_One_Tour" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Yes_concert_tours#Going_for_the_One_Tour


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 09 2013 at 06:20
Entries for fretless basses and 5 / 6 string basses added, and a couple of updates in other entries.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 10 2013 at 08:39
Entries for the Talk Box and the Vocoder added, I think I'm gonna leave it like this for a while now Smile (unless anybody spots mistakes or important ommisions).


Posted By: Ajay
Date Posted: February 10 2013 at 10:34
Save a future slot for the Eigenharp.


Posted By: DamianX_JVL
Date Posted: February 10 2013 at 21:31
Love the synth guitar of Page.

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https://soundcloud.com/agurto


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 11 2013 at 08:54
Originally posted by Ajay Ajay wrote:

Save a future slot for the Eigenharp.
A fascinating instrument indeed, it's just that if I start including too many interesting modern instruments this can go on forever, let's see if the Eigenharp or some others find a stable place in modern Prog.






Posted By: Warthur
Date Posted: February 11 2013 at 11:11
I would like to perk up to mention one synthesiser not mentioned in the (very impressive) OP: the humble stylophone.


Its operation is simple. You have a stylus. You run a stylus across the pad, making an electrical connection. The tone of the tinny bleeping noise the stylophone makes varies across the pad. It was sold as a novelty and tended to be used by one, but there's a few interesting uses of it on the periphery of prog. David Bowie played one on Space Oddity (accompanied by Rick Wakeman on more grown-up keyboards!), Kraftwerk made use of one on Pocket Calculator, and the "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside" bit at the end of Queen's Seven Seas of Rhye (album version) features some.

Not, in short, a particularly clever or even impressive instrument, but an iconic one anyway, not least because many British kids of a certain age have fond memories of mucking about with stylophones received as stocking-fillers.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 13 2013 at 00:58
Originally posted by Warthur Warthur wrote:

I would like to perk up to mention one synthesiser not mentioned in the (very impressive) OP: the humble stylophone.


Its operation is simple. You have a stylus. You run a stylus across the pad, making an electrical connection. The tone of the tinny bleeping noise the stylophone makes varies across the pad. It was sold as a novelty and tended to be used by one, but there's a few interesting uses of it on the periphery of prog. David Bowie played one on Space Oddity (accompanied by Rick Wakeman on more grown-up keyboards!), Kraftwerk made use of one on Pocket Calculator, and the "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside" bit at the end of Queen's Seven Seas of Rhye (album version) features some.

Not, in short, a particularly clever or even impressive instrument, but an iconic one anyway, not least because many British kids of a certain age have fond memories of mucking about with stylophones received as stocking-fillers.
Yeah I remember them in my childhood, nice comment! Tongue


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 16 2013 at 05:37

Going off-topic just a little (well quite a lot really), in the OP Gerard mentioned the Telharmonium as a possible (controversial) forerunner of the electronic synthesiser.

Back in 1897 (that's not a typo - this was a 19th century device) this fascinating electronic instrument was built by a gentleman with the impressively Victorian name of Thaddeus Cahill. The final version of the Telharmonium weighed in at an astonishing 200 tons.
It used tonewheels (that predated the Hammond organ by some 40 years) to generate electronic sounds, several of which could be mixed toegether (additive harmonic synthesis) and controlled by a truely polyphonic keyboard. These sounds were then transmitted by telegraph/telephone wires to electromechanical paper diaphragms (that were an early form of loud speaker) often several miles from where the instrument was located.
 
 


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What?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 16 2013 at 09:36
Thanks Dean, a very impressive instrument and concept for its time indeed, the precursor of muzak (or how do you say it in English, 'piped music'?) to say the least!

What's your personal take on the first (musical) synth?

I'm not an expert but it seems that the tone generating mechanism of the Telharmonium would classify it as an organ.

Many sources refer to the Hammond Novachord (1938-39) as the first musical (vacuum tube) synth but the Trautonium (1933) even if not having a traditional 'piano-like' keyboard seems to me worth qualifying already for a synth?





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium

And what about the Ondes Martenot (1928)? Sound was generated from oscillation in vacuum tubes, that would qualify it as a synth wouldn't it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondes_Martenot" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondes_Martenot

Or perhaps any others I'm not aware about?




Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: February 16 2013 at 10:03
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:


I have just noticed that. That's just ... weird ... a pipe shoved up Dave's mouth. ... Just weird.



Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 16 2013 at 10:35
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

 I have just noticed that. That's just ... weird ... a pipe shoved up Dave's mouth. ... Just weird.
I guess he could have worse things in his mouth LOL


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 16 2013 at 11:04
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Thanks Dean, a very impressive instrument and concept for its time indeed, the precursor of muzak (or how do you say it in English, 'piped music'?) to say the least!

What's your personal take on the first (musical) synth?

I'm not an expert but it seems that the tone generating mechanism of the Telharmonium would classify it as an organ.

Many sources refer to the Hammond Novachord (1938-39) as the first musical (vacuum tube) synth but the Trautonium (1933) even if not having a traditional 'piano-like' keyboard seems to me worth qualifying already for a synth?





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium

And what about the Ondes Martenot (1928)? Sound was generated from oscillation in vacuum tubes, that would qualify it as a synth wouldn't it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondes_Martenot" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ondes_Martenot

Or perhaps any others I'm not aware about?


The dictionary definition of synthesis means "a complex whole formed by combining"  so IMO the term Synthesis denotes how the timbral quality of the sounds are put together rather than how the individual tones are generated (whether by tonewheel, air pipe or reed, electronic oscillator or memory sample), though I would add a proviso that the instrument has to generate that sound at the required pitch within the unit itself (as opposed to just modifying the timbral quality of tones generated by another instrument... as that would be an effects unit). This would make both the Telharmonium and the Hammond Model A early synthesisers as they both use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_synthesis" rel="nofollow - additive synthesis to create the timbral quality of the sounds they produce. By that definition a pipe organ is a mechanical synthesiser - the "flute" stop sythesises the timbral quality of a flute by adding the tonal qualities of various individial pipe tones together by means of mechanical air valves.
 
From a pure technical/electronics point of view there is no difference between an electric organ, an electric piano and a synthesiser, the only difference is in application - an electric organ was designed to replicate the sound of a pipe organ and an electric piano was designed to replicate the sound of a piano and to do that the synthesis of timbres were engineered towards the sounds they were designed to replicate. The tab, stops and draw bars of the Hammond replicate the same tab, stops and draw bars in a pipe organ but operate electrical switches rather than levers and air-valves. Even the famous Leslie rotating speaker was an attempt to make the Hammond sound even more like a pipe-organ so essentially, a Hammond Organ is a fixed purpose synthesiser with presets. And the same is true of the electric piano... a preset synthesiser with foot-switches instead of piano peddles.
 
All of the early electronic instruments were forerunners of the modern synthesiser, though none of them actually lead to the development of the synthesiser as we know it. This lack of continuity from the Novachord and Martenot to the Moog (for example) excludes them from being seen as the first musical synthesisers - they were just electronic musical instruments that used timbral synthesis to create sounds.


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What?


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: February 18 2013 at 21:51
Hi,

Very nice ... and the pictures make it a nice treat as well.

I do not think, however, that I would write this in a book as "progressive rock instruments", since this IS a part of the history of the development of the piano, guitar into the electronic age, and as such, the evaluation and history of it, becomes more important. We forget that the 50's and 60's ... was the major gate to history ... it all became ELECTRIC ... and that was a massively major change for ALL music and instrumentation!

I would never want to suggest that none of these was ever used in pop music, specially when ELP were very much a part of the pop music thing, with a couple of "hits" and then doing fun, rock'n'roll songs on the incredible instruments as a joke ... I mean you don't need that much to do the sheriff any justice ... but it sounds good and fun all the same!

We should/could add here folks like Beaver & Krause, the works of various composers like Stockhausen that was a forerunner of Riley and many others, and then Tomita for sure.

As a book, this will likely do a lot better with a different title than "prog rock instruments" ... because these were ... the instruments of a generation of music history that is what the 20th century was about in music. What we call "progressive" is a lot more about the full work - lyrics and all, than it is about the instruments.

But it is a very good piece of work ... makes me want to tell Storm that he needs to update his book on album covers! And Roger needs to do a Views 2 and Views 3 ... and I like the 12x12 format! Yours would be magnificent in that size as well!

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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now try finding your own mirror/art! www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 19 2013 at 06:27
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

 
All of the early electronic instruments were forerunners of the modern synthesiser, though none of them actually lead to the development of the synthesiser as we know it. This lack of continuity from the Novachord and Martenot to the Moog (for example) excludes them from being seen as the first musical synthesisers - they were just electronic musical instruments that used timbral synthesis to create sounds.
I have no idea but were not the Buchlas and Moogs a development of the Novachord synthesis principles but replacing the vacuum tubes by transistors?
Replacement of vacuum tubes by transistors was a standard evolution in every electronic device so if that was the case that would make the Novachord a direct precursor leading to the 60's transistor synths?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 19 2013 at 06:31
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

Very nice ... and the pictures make it a nice treat as well.

I do not think, however, that I would write this in a book as "progressive rock instruments", since this IS a part of the history of the development of the piano, guitar into the electronic age, and as such, the evaluation and history of it, becomes more important. We forget that the 50's and 60's ... was the major gate to history ... it all became ELECTRIC ... and that was a massively major change for ALL music and instrumentation!

Thanks Pedro,

Indeed the correct title should have been 'An Illustrated Guide To Some Of The Instruments Frequently Used In Classic Prog Rock' but I had to condense because of title length limitations and I thought that in the present PA context that would be evident. I never meant to give the idea that any of these instruments 'belonged' to the Prog genres!

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

We should/could add here folks like Beaver & Krause, the works of various composers like Stockhausen that was a forerunner of Riley and many others, and then Tomita for sure.

The article is about instruments, not about music or musicians, although I admit that Keith Emerson is perhaps a bit over-mentioned but hey, he did really play a role in all of that story and besides, I'm a fan of him Tongue

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

 ... and I like the 12x12 format! Yours would be magnificent in that size as well!

Excuse my ignorance, what is a 12x12 format?



Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 19 2013 at 07:58
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

 
All of the early electronic instruments were forerunners of the modern synthesiser, though none of them actually lead to the development of the synthesiser as we know it. This lack of continuity from the Novachord and Martenot to the Moog (for example) excludes them from being seen as the first musical synthesisers - they were just electronic musical instruments that used timbral synthesis to create sounds.
I have no idea but were not the Buchlas and Moogs a development of the Novachord synthesis principles but replacing the vacuum tubes by transistors?
Replacement of vacuum tubes by transistors was a standard evolution in every electronic device so if that was the case that would make the Novachord a direct precursor leading to the 60's transistor synths?
Not really. The type of oscillators used was not a simple replacement of valves by transistors, there was a radical shift in the types of oscillators used. Making stable low frequency valve oscillators is difficult - however you can make a stable high frequency tone and divide that down to the required low frequency. Other valve based musical instruments generated tones that were above the audio spectrum and them used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hetrodyning" rel="nofollow - heterodyning to shift them down into the audio spectrum. This still presents design and stability problems so the Novachord essentially turned to digital techniques: creating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip-flop_%28electronics%29" rel="nofollow - bistable circuits that could oscillate (multivibrators) to generate the 12-tones of the top octave which were then divided down by further bistables to produce the full 72 notes of the instrument. The keyboard essentially gated (switched) these free-running squarewave tones through to the timbral shaping section - this is not dissimilar to the techniques by some electronic organs. The Novachord was a hybrid system mixing digital and analogue technology (albeit in thermionic valves).
 
Buchlas and Moogs did not develop their synthesisers based upon this method of tone generation - they used voltage control to alter the frequency of a single analogue oscillator module. The oscillators used were far more complex in design and operation than the bistables of the Novachord. Early analogue synths were wholly analogue. Later Moog would use a similar divide-down technique in the (not very successful) Polymoog, but I suspect that was based upon contemporary electronic organ designs rather than the lesser known 30 year old Novachord.
 
 


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What?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 19 2013 at 09:16
Thanks, very informative as always!


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 19 2013 at 09:28
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

 ... and I like the 12x12 format! Yours would be magnificent in that size as well!

Excuse my ignorance, what is a 12x12 format?

Pedro was referring to 12 inch square book format (same size as a vinyl LP) that Roger Dean used on Views and Storm Thorgerson used on books such as Taken By The Storm.
 
 
@Pedro - Dean produced Magentic Storm (Views 2) in 1984 and Dragon's Dream (Views 3) in 2008.


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What?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 20 2013 at 06:42
Added:

- Mellotron Mk V which was missing

- In the entry for Lap Steel Guitar I have added the curious Lapaphone played by John Paul Jones, it was built by Hugh Manson so that should please Chuck (Cstack3) Tongue

A couple of minor updates elsewhere.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 20 2013 at 07:03
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:


From a pure technical/electronics point of view there is no difference between an electric organ, an electric piano and a synthesiser, the only difference is in application.
Are you quite sure about that?
I always thought that, at least in common lay-man terminology, the way sounds are generated and/or edited makes such a difference. 
Devices which generate sound by mechanical / acoustic means and then convert them into electric sound signals (typically by electromagnetic pickups, say an electric guitar, a Hammond, a Hohner Clavinet, a Rhodes, a Wurly etc) are not considered synthesizers.
Devices which generate the sound directly from electronic components (vacuum tubes, transistors, oscillators etc) are considered as either 'electronic keyboards' or as 'synthesizers'.
The main difference between 'electronic keyboard' and 'synthesizer' being that in a synth the user has control on the synthesis and signal processing. An instrument with only presets but no possibility for the user to alter them (such as the ARP String Ensemble) would be called an electronic keyboard, while an instrument allowing the user to play with the synthesis and editing of the waveform would be a synth.
Am I very mislead?





Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 20 2013 at 07:39
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:


From a pure technical/electronics point of view there is no difference between an electric organ, an electric piano and a synthesiser, the only difference is in application.
Are you quite sure about that?
I always thought that, at least in common lay-man terminology, the way sounds are generated and/or edited makes such a difference. 
Devices which generate sound by mechanical / acoustic means and then convert them into electric sound signals (typically by electromagnetic pickups, say an electric guitar, a Hammond, a Hohner Clavinet, a Rhodes, a Wurly etc) are not considered synthesizers.
Devices which generate the sound directly from electronic components (vacuum tubes, transistors, oscillators etc) are considered as either 'electronic keyboards' or as 'synthesizers'.
The main difference between 'electronic keyboard' and 'synthesizer' being that in a synth the user has control on the synthesis and signal processing. An instrument with only presets but no possibility for the user to alter them (such as the ARP String Ensemble) would be called an electronic keyboard, while an instrument allowing the user to play with the synthesis and editing of the waveform would be a synth.
Am I very mislead?
I said "technical/electronic point of view" you said "common lay-man terminology" ... different.
 
From a technical/mechanical point of view there is no difference between a saloon, coupé and a stationwagon


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What?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 20 2013 at 07:54
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:


I said "technical/electronic point of view" you said "common lay-man terminology" ... different.
 
From a technical/mechanical point of view there is no difference between a saloon, coupé and a stationwagon
Well, given your usual great explanatory capabilities, I have to say that in this particular case you did not shed any light on my questions (for myself at least I mean) Confused
From a technical/mechanical point of view there is a difference between a petrol-engine car, a diesel, a hybrid, an electric or a fuel cell one, the way the power is produced makes the difference.


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: February 20 2013 at 17:09
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:


I said "technical/electronic point of view" you said "common lay-man terminology" ... different.
 
From a technical/mechanical point of view there is no difference between a saloon, coupé and a stationwagon
Well, given your usual great explanatory capabilities, I have to say that in this particular case you did not shed any light on my questions (for myself at least I mean) Confused
From a technical/mechanical point of view there is a difference between a petrol-engine car, a diesel, a hybrid, an electric or a fuel cell one, the way the power is produced makes the difference.
I don't usually use analogies because people don't really understand how analogies work... They are supposed to clarify hard to understand explanations - I made a mistake in using one this time. Your analogy is simply repeating the same point you made about tone generation, there was no need for an analogy because I already understood what you were saying.
 
I'll back out now because if you didn't understand what I've said originally and if you keep repeating the same thing you said about how tones are generated then any further explanation by me isn't going to help.


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What?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: February 23 2013 at 05:49
Entry added for MIDI, it's not an instrument but it seemed important enough to deserve some mention.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: March 08 2013 at 16:00
New entry added for the EMS VCS3 and Synthi's.


Posted By: paulmarkj
Date Posted: March 17 2013 at 12:42

Very nice, must have taken a long time but worth the effort.

How about adding guitar effects pedals? They are wonderful beasts and often not understood by non-musicians. 






Posted By: Ajay
Date Posted: March 17 2013 at 16:19
Originally posted by paulmarkj paulmarkj wrote:

How about adding guitar effects pedals? They are wonderful beasts and often not understood by non-musicians.

They're often not understood by guitarists either. Wink


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: March 23 2013 at 09:13
Originally posted by paulmarkj paulmarkj wrote:

How about adding guitar effects pedals? They are wonderful beasts and often not understood by non-musicians. 

Alright I have added an entry for effect pedals (not going into many details, the interested reader can search for more by himself).

I have also taken the occasion to add a mention about the curious (albeit admittedly not really relevant for Prog) 10-string configuration of the BC Rich Bich 10 guitars.

BTW I just realised that there are 131 pictures in the article Shocked I never thought it would grow that big.




Posted By: Larree
Date Posted: March 23 2013 at 09:36
Wow!  A most amazing post!  Thank you for writing and compiling this great article!

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http://larree.ws" rel="nofollow - The Larree (dot) Website


Posted By: Anaon
Date Posted: March 24 2013 at 10:56
Awesome thread Clap

If you want to add guitar amps, I think Hiwatt amps could be added as they were used by David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Hackett, Martin Barre, Peter Banks, Gary Green and Robert Fripp (and more I suppose...)











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My blog: http://groovesandmemories.com/" rel="nofollow - http://groovesandmemories.com/


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: March 24 2013 at 14:38
Originally posted by Anaon Anaon wrote:

Awesome thread Clap

If you want to add guitar amps, I think Hiwatt amps could be added as they were used by David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Hackett, Martin Barre, Peter Banks, Gary Green and Robert Fripp (and more I suppose...)

Great pics there!
Not sure if I will attempt to write about the amps, I don't know much about it, of course I know the main brands, Hiwatt, Marshall, Laney, Mesa Boogie, Supro, Ampeg, Vox or Hughes & Kettner (mine is one of the later) but I'm not really an expert, I should need some research in order to write something making sense. Maybe some day Tongue

Of course anyone more expert than me is welcome to write another blog 'An Illustrated Guide to Prog common Amps' Tongue


Posted By: Anaon
Date Posted: March 24 2013 at 14:56
Well, I understand... It's just that in my quest for sound, I noticed that all these prog guitar players used the Hiwatt, I never noticed that before but I thought then it's kind of a prog amp Wink

Again, great post!!


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My music: http://spleenarcana.bandcamp.com/" rel="nofollow - http://spleenarcana.bandcamp.com/
My blog: http://groovesandmemories.com/" rel="nofollow - http://groovesandmemories.com/


Posted By: doublerainbow1975
Date Posted: March 26 2013 at 06:06
Bravo - tons of work went into this - love the pre-mellotron info - and all the great early synths.

Cheers!


Posted By: AtomicCrimsonRush
Date Posted: March 26 2013 at 07:34
I love the OP and the work that went into it. 

My class is working on the history of instruments right now on an assignment and some of that info would help.

What is the history of the guitar? It began with medieval instruments such as the lute or mandoliin and developed from there. Of equal importance was the Oud and the guitarra moresca. I teach guitar and the students are citing these instruments in their projects. These photos are earliest use of guitar:  



Its all part of the progression of music - and as always its interesting to know where the music comes from.


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Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: March 26 2013 at 08:12
I have updated the Mellotron entry to include the rare models T550, 4-Track and M4000 (the analog version by Streetly) and taken the occasion to throw some light in the mess of the different company names involved in the Mellotron business (Mellotronics, Streetly, Sound Sales, Novatron, the new Swedish Mellotron...).


Posted By: AtomicCrimsonRush
Date Posted: March 26 2013 at 08:36
Nice job! Keep updating too! 

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Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: May 21 2013 at 08:39
The sad news of Ray Manzarek's passing away prompted me to update the Rhodes entry to include the Piano Bass famously played by him.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: May 28 2013 at 04:30
Added Pat Metheny's Orchestrion, 8-string basses and fretless guitars, and a couple of minor updates here and there.


Posted By: bonestorm
Date Posted: May 29 2013 at 02:08
Terrific compilation of information in this thread, thanks!

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Hibernal http://hibernal.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - http://hibernal.bandcamp.com
"This is a stunning work of art" - Muzik Reviews
"A precious gem" - Dante's Prog


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: July 07 2013 at 20:28
This is my new bible. Plain and simple.

Can't believe all of Klaus Schultze's equipment. It's about as complex and diverse as Bozzio's drum kit.



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Raving and drooling I leaned on his neck with a screeeeeeeamm! ;)


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: July 08 2013 at 05:09
I edited the Hohner Clavinet entry to mention also the Pianet with a couple of pics of Robert Fripp and Peter Hammill using this instrument.
Also the RMI entry has been extended to include some more info and pics.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: July 11 2013 at 18:36
An Iona clip posted elsewhere prompted me to add a new entry for the bagpipe / uilleann pipe.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 11 2013 at 22:44
^ Since you are going that far, how about the instruments that Gryphon used (krumhorns and such) ? Gentle Giant and PFM?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: July 12 2013 at 17:18
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ Since you are going that far, how about the instruments that Gryphon used (krumhorns and such) ? Gentle Giant and PFM?
Honestly Gryphon is one of those well-known bands I have no idea about Embarrassed (never been too fond of Folk Prog), and I had to search to find out what a krumhorn is (double Embarrassed).
But who knows, maybe as I learn more these may get a place in my article too Tongue


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 12 2013 at 19:43
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ Since you are going that far, how about the instruments that Gryphon used (krumhorns and such) ? Gentle Giant and PFM? 
Honestly Gryphon is one of those well-known bands I have no idea about Embarrassed (never been too fond of Folk Prog), and I had to search to find out what a krumhorn is (double Embarrassed).
But who knows, maybe as I learn more these may get a place in my article too Tongue
Alright then.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: August 11 2013 at 23:50
I don't recall any mention of the optigan. It seems to have an unsuccessful history wedged in a no man's land historically between the mellotron and digital samplers. Did anyone other than Steve Hackett use one?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: August 12 2013 at 04:46
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

I don't recall any mention of the optigan. It seems to have an unsuccessful history wedged in a no man's land historically between the mellotron and digital samplers. Did anyone other than Steve Hackett use one?
I mentioned the Optigan in the Vako Orchestron entry, which was a descendant of the Optigan. The Optigan was meant as a home keyboard, not for professional use, so I doubt any professional musicians used it (although I am not certain). Among the Orchestron users I only know of Kraftwerk and Patrick Moraz.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: November 14 2013 at 16:04
Hi!
For personal reasons I have been rather away from PA for quite some time (and possibly will still remain little involved for some more time) and in the meantime I had been gathering some additional info for this article, but I never found the time to bring the updates to life.
 
Finally I have found some time and I updated quite a lot, around 5,000 words of text and no less than 83 new pictures have been added, more than an article it's becoming a treaty...
 
There are text updates and new pics a bit everywhere but the most significant new pieces of information are:
 
- Mellotron: added Wakeman's custom dual M400
- some new pics and info for the Hammond, ARP synths, Hohner, Farfisa, Vako Orchestron, Poly Synths...
- added Yamaha CP electric pianos
- the entry for Keytars has been significantly extended
- new entry for the Coral Electric Sitar (thanks to Dennis 'The Crimson King' for the suggestion!)
- extended info in the entries for '5 and more string basses' and multi-neck instruments
- Mister Bassman and BassMate bass pedals added in the Taurus entry
- new entry for 'Other guitars and basses'
- new entry for 'Other drums'
 
I hope you enjoy it!
Cheers,
Gerard
 
 


Posted By: Michael678
Date Posted: November 14 2013 at 18:21
2 words here:

HOLY sh*t!!!


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Progrockdude


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: September 16 2014 at 01:56
Any new entries since last fall, Gerard?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: September 16 2014 at 02:13
^ Hi, that original thread had become impossible to edit, I guess because there was too much stuff in a single post, so I migrated the article to this new thread where I split the contents in several posts

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357

Yes there have been a few updates but I can't recall them by heart



Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: October 28 2014 at 22:22
I've been playing prog music since 1971....I know, or have met, many of the best, including Bob Fripp, Rick Wakeman, and many more....

This is the best damn thread about prog instruments I've seen!  Thanks for your hard work on this one! 

Cheers, Chuck (with Ginny & Rick!)




Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: November 02 2014 at 10:21
Thanks Chuck, that's a really cool pic!

But you posted in the old version of the thread, for technical reasons I migrated the article to a new thread, here

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357

In the new thread the article has received several updates, one of them in the entry for Acoustic Guitars mentioning Ian Anderson's parlour guitar built by your well-known luthier Andy Manson Wink

Cheers!

Gerard


Posted By: LizardsExist
Date Posted: January 05 2015 at 18:27
Great topic!Clap
Man learns something new every day Thumbs Up

Are you going to write about delays and echo chambers in the future?

I find them as a very important effect in the prog music since they are creator of vast spaces and landscapes?

You really did a fine job with this write-up


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https://lizardsexist.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbI4wpMV08H4DeRlM4PfjLA


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: January 06 2015 at 00:49
Thanks! but you posted in the old version of the thread, there's a new one which has been updated, extended and corrected in some points, here:

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98771&PID=5009357#5009357

I didn't delete this old version in order to respect all the comments by members which are here.

I comment a bit about effects at the end of the article but without many details.


Posted By: Cailyn
Date Posted: March 12 2015 at 11:59
Nicely done!  Thanks for all the work you put into this.

Clap


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http://www.cailynmusic.com


Posted By: geekfreak
Date Posted: March 13 2015 at 02:43
thank you for all your hard work many thanks...

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He who is first can also be last
Maybe its a lot closer than you think it is...
jealous no envoys maybe?


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: March 13 2015 at 07:59
^ Thanks guys, my pleasure.



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