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John Turner on Bass
Synthesizers and Bass Synth

When I saw you guys play last, your feet were moving a lot during the show.  Moog Taurus pedals, or do you just like to dance?

When I feel that 13/8 groove happening, I just can't help myself.  Actually, I do have synth pedals, but they're not the Moogs.  I use Elka 18-note foot pedal controllers wired, via midi, into a number of synths, depending on the situation, which include a Roland JV-1010, with the Vocal Collection Expansion board, a Kurzweil K2VX, a Kawai K-5m and the more recent upgrade unit, the K5000, Yamaha TG-33 and Korg M3r. Most often I use the 1010, K2VX and the K5000.

I didn't know you were also playing keyboards-- when did that start?

Actually, any synth coming from me during our live shows is going to be originating either from my feet, or else from my various bass synth modules. I don't actually play any keyboards, except on our recordings, where I perform a lot of the keyboard parts. I might end up having to perform keyboards during our shows, but I hope not - that's what the bass synth is supposed to be for.

What do you mean by Bass Synth?

My 8-string Conklin basses are wired with the RMC Piezo/Synth output. Along with having the availability of Piezo pickups in my sound, I also have the ability to play the top 6 strings of my 8-string Conklins through various synth modules, via the 13-pin Roland standard. I am going to use an Axon AX-100 for the live performance of many of the Synth parts on our cds, using both it's internal sounds, and the Roland JV-1010 as a sound source as well.

I have already talked to Bill Conklin, and I am planning on getting both necks of the doubleneck 7-string Conklin bass, as well as both of my original single neck 7-string Conklin basses refitted with the RMC Piezo/Synth system. I am also planning on incorporating a Roland VG-8 or VG-88 into my bass rig in the near future - I have played my bass through Hal's, and I really like the response and flexibility.

Does this mean the end of Bass as we know it for you?

(laughs) Hell no! I just like the diversity of sounds available via bass synth. I envision a (near) future where every "Bass" sound I make will actually be layers of amplified magnetic and piezo pickups along with synthesized sounds from the synth brains and the VG-8. Actually, this will probably be the state of my rig by October, 2000. That's the plan, anyway. Right now, all that I am waiting for is Bill Conklin's schedule to lighten up enough so that he can install the piezo/synth bridges in my basses.

John Turner on Bass
Synthesizers and Bass Synth


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