Terry Lawless Merges Math and Music to Program for U2

See how keyboard tech and programmer extraordinaire Terry Lawless supports legendary rock band U2 using a variety of M-Audio gear.

Behind every supergroup are great techs and programmers like Terry Lawless, who supports U2 from the studio to the stage. Lawless laid his foundation in Iowa, studying performance, music education and mathematics in college while playing single and double reeds in both academic bands and combos.

He soon started pursuing piano as well, drawing on his mathematical background to master the synths and effects of the day. This firm grounding in electronic music technology gives him tremendous appreciation for today’s powerful virtual instruments.

What projects are you working on?

Right now I’m in the middle of working with U2 and company on the newest CD release. When I am off the road and not gigging locally, I can always be found in my production studio in Santa Maria. I write for two music production libraries, one in London and one in Philadelphia. Of course, I have also been adding session work in the studios around the Central Coast and, more recently, vintage keyboard sessions over the Internet.

How did you get started as a touring keyboard tech?

I got to Los Angeles with degrees in music and math in 1983, the year that the Yamaha DX7 hit. Programming with relationships of numbers made perfect sense to me and I started to get a lot of programming work. A good friend of mine, Todd Grace, was moving from a technical position with Barry Manilow to a playing position in the band and got me the job as the technician. I got my hands on every synthesizer I could and read every scrap of paper about programming. The rest is just application and honing. The jobs started to become very steady.

What M-Audio gear are you using on the road with U2?

I use M-Audio USB keyboards for extra keys. In the show, two of the U2 principals can be seen using an Oxygen8 on stage to play some parts with MIDI wireless to my rig. For special TV appearances and hotel room work, I use a laptop with the FireWire 410 interface. I also use the BX8 monitors when editing.

You also use the KikAxxe and TimewARP 2600 virtual instruments by Way Out Ware. What are your impressions?

Both of these emulations are as exact as I have ever heard. The oscillators on both have absolutely no aliasing and extra garbage when you play extremely low or extremely high. They are the best. The addition of the step sequencer into the KikAxxe was a stroke of genius. I mostly use it to add step filtering into a sound, but the arpeggiating and retriggering makes a great palette from which I “paint.”

How do the Way Out Ware software instruments compare to their vintage counterparts?

I own both an ARP 2600 and an ARP Axxe. I can assure you that these emulations are absolutely perfect! Every knob, every function seems to react exactly the same as the original instruments (except, of course, for the additional features). I am back in the ‘70s all over again!

For More info visit:

M-Audio Oxygen 8 v2

M-Audio KikAxxe

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Great Offer on Yamaha P-85 Contemporary Digital Piano

Dolphin Music is offering a pretty good deal on the new Yamaha P85! Play with authentic sound and remarkable expressiveness on a compact, sleek piano you can afford – under £500!

        

The Yamaha P85S Contemporary Digital Piano features 88 keys with improved graded hammer action, and improved multistrike piano sample recordings.

The P85S gives you realistic, acoustic-like touch response with Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) stereo-sampled piano voices in a compact digital piano with the high quality you expect from Yamaha. 64-note polyphony, a built-in song recorder and metronome, and stereo speaker system make the P85S is the perfect portable piano.

The headphone jack lets you practice in peace while the sleek, contemporary design fits in any room d‚cor.P85S  feature meticulous digital sampling of a full concert grand piano—that change in tone and volume depending on how you play—thanks to Yamaha’s sophisticated AWM stereo sampling.Realistic, acoustic-like touch response
Enjoy authentic, naturally expressive key touch—modeled after an actual acoustic piano, from the low notes to the high—with the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard.Ultra-compact, stylish design
The attractive, slim, lightweight design of the instrument—less than 25 lbs.—suits virtually any room decor, while the built-in speaker system fills your room with luscious sound.Extensive voice selection and dual-voice function

The versatile P85S also gives you a variety of other high-quality instrument voices, including electric pianos, organs, strings, and harpsichord—plus a Dual Voice feature for playing two voices at once.

Exceptionally high-quality sound
The gorgeous piano sounds of the

Record your performance
You can capture your own playing with the song recording feature, then play it back for studying or accompaniment. There’s even a built-in metronome for practicing and recording in perfect time.

Expressive half-pedal control
Features a half-pedal effect that gives you greater acoustic-like expressive control over the sound (with optional FC3 Foot Controller or LP-5 Pedal Unit).

View Yamaha P-85 (Silver) page

Yamaha’s Tyros 3: Get Close & Personal!

See The Tyros 3 in action, live! Dolphin Music will be one of the first stores in the UK to recive the Tyros 3, and Dolphin will be organising two instore events for those simply too anxious to know more about the eagerly awaited YamahaTyros 3.

Yamahas new Tyros 3

Yamaha's new Tyros 3

 

The ‘Up Close And Personal’ days will take place on Wednesday 22nd October (Gateshead shop) and Friday 24th October (Huddersfield shop).

At those events, customers will be able to see a demo and have ago on the Tyros 3 – courtesy of Yamaha’s top demonstrator Richard Bowyer, who’ll be giving 1-2-1 lessons on the day. Customers are advised to phone the Dolphin shops to book a slot and avoid disappointment.

Tyros 3 UCAP Event @ Dolphin Gateshead

22/10/2008

16 Garden Walk
Yellow Quadrant
Metro Centre
NE11 9XY

Tel: 0191 493 2244

Tyros 3 UCAP Event @ Dolphin Huddersfield

24/10/2008

11-15 Market Street
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
HD1 2EH

Tel: 01484 427455

 

Hurry up!

We were informed that the Huddersfield shop has just 2 places (12pm & 2pm) available to fill for a private viewing hosted by ace Yamaha demonstrator, Richard Bower. Call David now on 01484 427455 for more information.

View Yamaha Tyros 3 @ Dolphin

Lisa Harriton – A Smash Hit with the Smashing Pumpkins

Long before joining one of the biggest, multi-platinum-selling bands of the 1990s, Smashing Pumpkins, Los Angeles native Lisa Harriton had already established herself as a respected jazz pianist and singer.

Her jazz background may seem to some an unlikely pairing with the Pumpkins’ sound, but her voice and style on the keyboards caught the ear of bandleader Billy Corgan right away. In 2007, she debuted as the band’s keyboardist and backing vocalist.

With a knack for melody and harmonic textures, Lisa is a key element of Smashing Pumpkins’ experimental style, which ranges from driving, distorted guitar hooks to extended jams and full-on orchestral arrangements. As she embarks on their latest world tour, on the road with her is her essential keyboard—Roland’s RD-700GX Digital Stage Piano.

“The first keyboard that I ever purchased was actually the RD-600 ten years ago. There’s been so many improvements since then! One of the things that drew me to the Roland brand was the touch of their weighted keys. Coming from an acoustic piano background, the touch was really important to me,” says Lisa, “With the RD-700GX, I really love that I can customize a piano sound, which you can’t do with other keyboards in the same way.”

See Lisa in action, and to hear more about how she uses Roland keyboards to amp up Smashing Pumpkins’ sound.

Roland news: Ladytron Talk About Their Gear

Since 2001, Ladytron has been on the forefront of the new, electronic rock movement beginning with their first release, “604.” Some called it Electroclash, but Ladytron, since their earliest days, have never been easy to categorize.

Ladytron (from left): Danny, Helen, Reuben and Mira

2008 has been Ladytron’s most successful year so far, and since the release of their new album ‘Velocifero’ they are playing to increasingly bigger audiences, with gigs at large venues and international festivals both in the UK and in the rest of the world. Though recently chosen by Gibson as one of the best bands from Liverpool, truth is that Ladytron are truly international: with two members from Liverpool, one from Glasgow and one from Bulgaria, they belong to the world.

The band has an effortless way of combining old school technology within a 21st Century context — and always with strong songwriting. Known for their high-energy live shows, the band is able to translate the same excitement and mood of their studio productions to the stage.

Ladytron relies on a mixture of different Roland synthesizer technologies, from some of the earliest vintage pieces to the latest workstations. Roland Product Specialist Dan Krisher met up with the band in New York during their tour for their latest release, “Velocifero.” Present were Mira Aroyo (keyboards and vocals), Danny Hunt (keyboards, guitar and vocals), Helen Marnie (keyboards and vocals) and Reuben Wu (keyboards and vocals).

In this interview for Roland, the band discuss their new CD, their songwriting process and how Roland gear fits into their enigmatic and compelling sound.

Dan From Roland: We’re here in New York, just before you go on stage. So what would be your ultimate live show, if you had unlimited time money and resources?

Reuben: The North Pole. We could fly everyone out.

Danny: Soulwax told us about this urban myth about the black Amex card. Apparently one of its default functions is to be able to hire a jumbo jet and fly your friends all over the world anytime.

Helen: And ideally no sound check!

Mira: And lots of pyrotechnics. Lots of lions jumping through hoops over us while we were playing.

Dan From Roland: I didn’t expect so much “Vegas” from Ladytron.

Helen: No, not so much Vegas..

Dan From Roland: What would the lights be?

Danny: Well, we really like the lights we have now.

Mira: Maybe more of them.

Reuben: Like maybe a million of them.

Dan From Roland: The band has a new release out. What’s the concept behind it?

Danny: It’s a long playing format with thirteen songs, called “Velocifero.”

Helen: But we all don’t say it like that.

Reuben: I say, “Velo-KI-fero.”

Helen: I say, “Velo-SO-fero.”

Danny: And it’s out now, and it’s been going well. We’re touring it at the moment. This is the first time we’ve really toured before an album came out. We’re playing seven songs off it.

Danny and his Roland keyboards

Dan From Roland: Last time we spoke, you described your process. You recorded this quickly, in December I believe. Was the process the same or different this time?

Danny: Similar process, but with little pockets of development.

Mira: It’s just that we really don’t have a process. So it’s easy to say it’s a similar process, because we don’t have a set process. So it was the same lack of process.

Dan From Roland: That’s probably one of the elements that keeps things moving forward and staying fresh all the time.

Reuben: Yes. This was thirteen happy accidents.

Dan From Roland: How did your Roland gear play into the new recording?

Danny: We had the V-Synth [GT] , the Fantom, the SH-201 and the Juno-G. Most of the recording was done in Liverpool.

Mira: Then we requested for other things to be there when we finished up in Paris. We specifically asked that an SH-201 be there in Paris to use.

Danny: There’s a lot of [SH]-201 on “Ghosts and “The Lovers.”

Reuben: We used a lot of SH-2 and SH-9. There’s always a lot of old school stock.

Danny: Juno-6, too. We used Fantom piano on “Runaway,” and on “Verses,” there’s a V-Synth patch called “Orgone.”

Dan From Roland: How’s the tour been going?

Danny: Really well — biggest so far. Biggest crowds, biggest venues.

Mira: When you have a new album out, it’s all more exciting and fresh.

Dan From Roland: For your millions of Roland fans, what are you using on stage?

Danny: We’ve got the Juno-G and we’re using the [SH]-201 of course.

Dan From Roland: And you use a lot of BOSS pedals too. You use these with the guitar and keyboards, right?

Reuben: We’ve got the Space Echo [RE-20] pedals. They’re our favorite toy.

Danny: They are brilliant.

Reuben: They’re so cool!

Helen: Definitely.

Danny: It’s amazing — if you’ve got a static instrument, the Space Echo gives it all this life and chaos to play with. Especially by pressing and holding the right hand pedal, which was this trick we learned about from the ‘net. That wasn’t in the manual.

Reuben: It’s made out of metal and has the same look as the original one, the same color scheme. It’s just authentic.

Danny: We’ve got that [RE-20] going through a couple of the keyboards and guitar as well.

Helen: Danny just goes off into his own world. He forgets what he’s doing, and all we’ve got in our in-ear monitors is all this echo.

Danny: You know what happens is that we’re both using our own at the same time! You look at me thinking it’s me, and then I look at Reuben and he’s got his foot on his using it too.

Reuben: [to Danny] Sometimes you play with the intensity knob. You are playing, then hit intensity and get this massive feedback from the keyboards — it’s great.

Mira, using FX pedals with her Korg synth

Dan From Roland: What happens after the North American tour ends?

Mira: More touring!

Danny: We’ll probably be out until next Summer.

Mira: Lots more big festivals.

Helen: We do a couple of support slots for Interpol, then all the big European festivals. Then we go to Australia. Then back to the UK and Europe.

Reuben: We could actually tour for years and years until we decide to put a new album out.

Dan From Roland: Can you tell me what the next single might be?

Danny: We think it’s “Runaway.” What do you think?

Dan From Roland: Well, I’m into “Tomorrow” and definitely “Burning Up.”

Danny: A lot of people say that.

Helen: Maybe we release all of them as singles.

Danny: Thirteen singles!

Look out for Ladytron everywhere in 2008. For more information, check out http://ladytron.nettwerk.com

Read our Hooking up Guitar FX Pedals To Keyboards article

Nord special prices – for a limited time!

Here’s some good news for Nord. Dolphin Music is offering some really good prices on several of their best and most popular models!

Fancy playing a Nord? Great news for you, then – Dolphin Music is offering a great selection of Nord products for very special prices! But hurry up – offer is for a limited-time only!

Nord C1 Combo Organ – ONLY £1499

The dual manual Nord C1 Combo Organ comprises three types of vintage organs: a classical tonewheel, Vox* Continental and Farfisa* Compact Deluxe, all carefully modeled from their originals. Also featuring our famous tube style overdrive, rotating speaker simulation, delay, reverb and more. FULL INFO

Nord Electro 2 – 61 Key – ONLY £899

Remember that great organ sound from Procul Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale”? Or the electric piano from Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”? What about the Clavinet from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”? These classic instruments have inspired generations of players and the Electro 2 brings those sounds back. FULL INFO

Nord Electro 2 – 73 Key – ONLY £999

The Remember that great organ sound from Procul Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale”? Or the electric piano from Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”? What about the Clavinet from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”? These classic instruments have inspired generations of players and the Electro 2 brings those sounds back. FULL INFO

Nord Rack 2X- ONLY £549

Used extensively in studios, on stage and on records by the world’s greatest artists, the Nord Leads have contributed with their characteristic sound on hit song after hit song. Get this sound, and more, with this rack module! FULL INFO

Nord Stage 88- ONLY £1999

Featuring the best of Clavia’s award-winning technologies, the Nord Stage hosts three different instrument sections – Organ, Piano and Synth – plus an extensive effects section. . FULL INFO

Nord Stage Compact – ONLY £1599

Featuring the best of Clavia’s award-winning technologies, the Nord Stage hosts three different instrument sections – Organ, Piano and Synth – plus an extensive effects section. Compact model! FULL INFO

For more Nord,  Nord page at Dolphin Music