Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues -> Articles in this issue -> View

Article Group:
Frankfurt Mix

Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew

Article from One Two Testing, February 1985

What was your favourite instrument of 1984?

"It would be the Roland GR700 guitar synthesiser, because it has increased my musical vocabulary so much. Being a guitarist who concentrates on sound and tonal colours and things of that nature, I find the 700 so useful because that's the area in which it excels. It's the first time with guitar synthesis that you've been able to create a sound from scratch, like a keyboard player would do, and also to be able to store that sound on a cartridge. It's very convenient. Having had the GR700 for about four months now, I'm definitely in love with it. I've really incorporated its little quirks into my music now.

"It does of course have some tracking problems, which is something everyone says when the 700 is mentioned. I've found ways of minimising that — bearing in mind that I don't use the guitar that comes with it, I use guitars I've had a while and am comfortable with. It doesn't track as well as the previous guitar synth, the 300, presumably because it's digital and it's converting the signal from the guitar into digits. So if the guitar signal is in the least bit confusing to the computer inside the 700 then it doesn't know how to read that signal, it doesn't know what to convert.

"So the intonation of your guitar becomes ultimately the most important thing — if you play a note that is clean and clear to the computer it'll probably track it fine. If not you're likely to get bleeps or something, or no note at all. It takes a couple of hours adjusting to get right, including getting the individual pickup volumes right.

"You have to be aware that you can get too deeply involved in it — it is, for me, simply an orchestrating tool. It's not something to replace the other facets of my playing. I think it would be pretty easy for someone who was playing it to get so involved in it that soon all they'd be playing was synth and no guitar. It's not the instrument for everyone, certainly — if you want to play fast arpeggios or power chords or things like that then you're biting the wrong dog."

What would you like to see developed in 1985?

"What I would like to have is an affordable home digital recorder. I like the Fostex gear that I'm using right now (see interview Jan '85 issue) and I think that stuff has elevated to a much higher level in the last few years. But I'm not convinced you can make records on that stuff. I'm concerned that the coming age of Compact Discs will make digital recording very necessary for high quality records. I keep wishing that I'd got a digital recorder to put my ideas on as I sit at home and put things together for my next record.

"There's also the advantage with a digital recorder that you can manipulate the sound of what you've done — you can put it into another key without speeding it up or slowing it down, say, or you can turn it round and reverse it automatically. That's the kind of instrument I'd like to have.

"My dream machine would be a 24- or 32-track machine that I could afford to put into my home and make the main parts of my records with, just roll it into the bedroom and start recording straight away. I find that some of the best work I do is in the relaxed atmosphere of my home where I'm not under the gun and not looking at the clock and worrying. Consequently I have loads of cassette tapes here that I really care for, of things that'll probably never make it to record.

"The main thing for this machine would be that it would be affordable, and would bridge the gap between what's available in home recording and what's available in digital multitracks."

More with this artist

Previous Article in this issue

Bill Bruford

Next article in this issue

Roland Orzabal

Publisher: One Two Testing - IPC Magazines Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...


One Two Testing - Feb 1985

Frankfurt Mix


Adrian Belew



Related Artists:

King Crimson


Previous article in this issue:

> Bill Bruford

Next article in this issue:

> Roland Orzabal

Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

Donations for July 2024
Issues donated this month: 14

New issues that have been donated or scanned for us this month.

Funds donated this month: £20.00

All donations and support are gratefully appreciated - thank you.

Magazines Needed - Can You Help?

Do you have any of these magazine issues?

> See all issues we need

If so, and you can donate, lend or scan them to help complete our archive, please get in touch via the Contribute page - thanks!

If you're enjoying the site, please consider supporting me to help build this archive...

...with a one time Donation, or a recurring Donation of just £2 a month. It really helps - thank you!

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy