SOUND: Ryota Hayashida(Part 2)


Ryota Hayashida is a Recording Engineer and Director of Sound Productions Inc. based at Iroha Studio (Meguro-ku, Tokyo). Ryota also hosts, the oldest (1994) Japanese informational site on vintage synthesizers. He is also a supporting member of the Japanese electronic fusion band 9dw (Nine Days Wonder), and has performed at SXSW in the United States. As a child, he became a fan of German electronic acts including Kraftwerk, which inspired him to create his own sound. Hayashida is a veteran performer who prefers classic synthesizersthat pre-date MIDI.

Lustrous synth lead reminiscent of John Foxx

Former leader of Ultravox, John Foxx, now British synthesizer nobility, demonstrates his unparalleled sound-design abilities on the Arp Odyssey with this unique lead. ohn’s dark, world-view style still resonates in the music industry today. This lead has a lustrous character that’s distinctive of the ARP Odyssey, created by settings that I myself think of as “full-out,” wheremany of the parameters are full-on. Oscillator sync is applied, and the overtones generated by ring modulation and the sound from sample & hold is output from the mixer and then modulated to create a saturation-like luster. This method of sound design is similar to Billy Currie’s solo sound, but the trick is that while playing, you set TRANSPOSE switch to 2 OCTAVES DOWN and turn the VCO2 COARSE setting upward. It’s as though the ARP Odyssey is screaming.


Thick synth bass in the style of DAF

They were encouraged to use the ARP Odyssey by their producer, Conny Plank, through a bass amp, adding to the signature tone. The key to achieving this sound is to apply a very small amount of detune to the two VCOs, and add some of the overtones from the RING MOD circuit. High-pass filter is also applied. Some of you may be wondering why I would use a high-pass filter when I want a thick-sounding synth bass, but you should try using it aggressively to get the sound you want. Depeche Mode was also fond of this type of synth bass and used it frequently on their earlier material.


Funky synth bass used in YMO’s Hurrah live performance

Even people who are not major fans of YMO will admit that the legendary live film of their performance at Hurrah was exceptional. The synth bass for this unforgettable stage performance came from the Arp Odyssey, played manually by Mr. Hosono. Using these settings, you can replicate almost exactly the same sound.


An experimental sound that explores sound-design possibilities

Since these sounds are all “in the style of” someone famous, I thought I’d come up with a sound that’s unique and interesting. I use S&H so that a different pitch is produced each time the sound is played; then while playing the keyboard, I fiddle with the attack of the ADSR to create this result. The ADSR decay and the LFO FREQ value also have a significant impact on the sound, so find the settings that work best for you. It’s a demonstration of how the ARP Odyssey offers opportunities that rivals the routing possibilities of a modular synth.