On the synthesiser side, he still remains very much committed to the old analogue models. So while the first takes of his solo album were laid down four years ago with a DX7, for the recent Talking Heads recording, he dug out his old Prophet t8, Sequential's touch-sensitive, MIDI-equipped successor to the Prophet 5.more
"Zawinul did not stop at the Wurlitzer and Fender Rhodes electric pianos he used in the 1960s. By the late 1960s he was extending his sonic palette with effects like phase shifters, Echoplexes, wah-wahs and ring modulators, and when synthesizers came on the market he was among the first to buy one (the EMS Putney). The list of synthesizers he has used since then — among them the ARP 2600, Rhodes Chroma, Oberheim Four-voice and Eight-voice, ARP Quadra, Sequential Prophet 5 and Prophet T8, Korg Trident, Oberheim Xpander, Korg VC10 vocoder, Emu Emulator, Casio CZ101, Korg DW8000, DSS1, DSM1 and M1 — reads like a synth museum's treasure list."more
"Q. I noticed that during your solo albums you moved through the gamut of classic 80s keyboards including the PPG Wave, Yamaha GS-1 and Roland D-50. What are your fave synths from the 80s? I loved the GS-1. It was big and high quality but I don’t think I used it a lot on my solo albums. I think it was originally made for the small church market in America so that they could get the sounds they needed without buying a huge church organ. I had a deal with Yamaha who stuck with us over the years and when the GS-1 came out I ended up going to Hamburg and sitting with a Yamaha programmer who created some great string sounds for me. I loved playing that instrument and I could play the vibrato with my feet. I’d stand up and rock back back to keep the sustain going and do the vibrato with my foot. I used the PPG a lot. I got into the Rack Mounted DX-7, the TX-816. I’d got into MIDI in the early days in my own studio for the first couple of solo albums, Transportation and Stand Up and Walk and linking all these things up to get new sounds. I had a Prophet T8, the Prophet Sampler, the Roland D-50. it was like Keyboard City. The Prophet VS was used a lot. I really liked the joystick and the way you could morph between sounds."more
I imported one of these over from tribeca manhattan back in 2001 not long after 911, it took an age to arrive and it had smoke damage, had it not been fully recovered by a synth engineer genius by the name of Tony Allgood it would have never seen the light of day again, even though it had been fully rebuilt i never got on with its sound, it was a shadow of the Prophet 5 i'd had a couple of years earlier, different Curtis chips, and architecture, what was supposed to be an 8 voice poly prophet 5 with aftertouch ended up as a Prophet 800 with a piano keyboard in my opinion, and incredibly overrated synth of which i wouldn't have twice, i was glad to see the back of it.