Ryota Hayashida

SOUNDS: Ryota Hayashida


Ryota Hayashida: President of Iroha Sound Productions Corporation. Active as a recording engineer based at the Iroha Studio, Hayashida also maintains, the oldest (1994) Japanese-language information site on vintage synthesizers. He is active as a supporting member of 9dw (Nine Days Wonder), the Japanese electronic fusion band; and has also performed at SXSW in the United States. When he was in sixth grade, he first heard Kraftwerk and other German electronic music, and is a veteran synthesist who has been operating synthesizers since before MIDI existed.

Daft Punk “Robot Rock” -style oscillator sync riff

The music video of Daft Punk's “Robot Rock” is a realization of the 70s worldview of Giorgio Moroder—who later offered to produce their album “Random Access Memories.” Robots dancing in a disco amid galactic space sounds and a rock image have been added, but it's as if the music video emerged from the world of illustrations by Shuusei Nagaoka, who created artwork for Giorgio and the Italo-disco units such as Music Machine, with whom he participated. The synth riff that is repeated countless times in “Robot Rock” is definitely the ARP Odyssey. I've reproduced the unmistakably powerful oscillator sync that's so difficult for any other synthesizer to create. The sonic signature of the sound depends on how the envelope sweeps the pitch of hard-synced oscillator 2. Slight adjustments to these parameters will dramatically change the character.


An effect-like synth sound with no sense of pitch, often used by Kraftwerk

Since the 60s, Kraftwerk has been the German forerunner of techno pop, and continues to be active to this day. From their early days, they included the ARP Odyssey in their sound. Their greatness lies in the way that they use synthesizers, and in their sheer coolness. The distinctive style that they created without any models to follow is often a very useful guide. The sound program that I reproduced here is not for any song in particular, but is a typical sound that Kraftwerk often used live and in recordings from the 80s onward. Each time you press a key, a random sound is heard, adding a slightly dark and disquieting feel that defines the chaotic atmosphere of the computer world. You can easily change the character by making small adjustments to the parameters, so try creating your own original sounds from this starting point.


Heavy synth bass in the style of Gary Numan

The poster child for the synth pop and new wave that swept the 80s, Gary Numan played analog synth and is particularly known for his androgynous image, perfectly done hair, and white makeup that are reminiscent of glam rock figures such as David Bowie. His music is marked by vibrato-heavy pads and light yet memorable rhythm, and he continues to be active today without significantly modifying that style. A major element in his sound is undoubtedly the ARP Odyssey synth bass. At times he used two units in stereo to play heavy synth bass sounds. It was always an ARP Odyssey. It's sharp and thick sonic character seems perfect for him. I've created a sound program that resembles his favorite bass sound.


A synth solo part by Billy Currie (Ultravox)

In England of the 80s, Ultravox was just as major an artist as Gary Numan. Their general popularity began its ascent when Midge Ure, known as the composer of “Do They Know It's Christmas?,” joined the group as vocalist. The interesting thing about this band is that while Midge played guitar, the solo parts were always synth, and not just any synth but an ARP Odyssey. Billy Currie, the keyboardist, had received classical training, and would sometimes demonstrate his abilities on the violin, but the solo parts he played on the ARP Odyssey were distinctive. In live performance, he would sometimes raise the VCA GAIN to hold the sound during a solo, and then go out in front of the stage and stir up the audience. That's the sound that I've imagined here. The key points are that the filter is fairly closed, and that the slider used for vibrato can be boldly adjusted by hand while you perform. Adding a bit of phaser and delay will make the sound even more realistic, so please try it out.