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Found 12 results

  1. New MV covers by Dadrian?

    There is still many covers that @Dadrian has not done yet. Are you up to finish the rest of the shows music? Ill donate 50$ to this forum for every new cover that you do, and I encourage every one to do the same. (Or maybe 25 to Dadrian and 25 to the site?) We need every song available when we go to Miami, film locations, AND crusing Ocean Drive an the rest of the streets of Miami!
  2. Miami Vice. Moments

    I adore them. I can`t stop:)
  3. Jan Hammer Podcast

    Really interesting, recommended to the ones who don't know Jan's career besides MV.
  4. Like many of you, I've been fascinated by everything in MV when it was on air. Music soon emerged as one of the most defining features of the show, not less than fashion, cars, colors etc. Being a young musician at that time (I was 24 to 29), I was impressed, and wanted to learn and master that music lexicon to recreate those moods on my own. Remember, it was something new back then. So I started to analyze, study, and decode every single aspect of the music of MV. After many years, joining this community, I discovered there's still a huge interest about it, and many young music lovers aim to recreate those moods today. After sharing my tracks, I had a lot of requests concerning this subject, so I thought about writing a more music-oriented analysis of Jan's work. While is pretty easy to find articles and investigations about his equipment, very little information is available about his writing and production. I won't go too technical, but when a technical term is needed, I provided a bracketed explanation, so that even non musicians can enjoy it and hopefully find it interesting. Sure the ones who attempt to recreate that mood will be pointed in the right direction. I don't mean to be teachy, nor exhaustive. Feel free to ask questions or fix/add informations. After all it's something I did long time ago and I'm trying now to recollect, but beware: it's gonna be a long post. THE FAMOUS MIAMI VICE SOUND I'd start from what is supposed to be the Holy Graal when it comes to Jan's music: the "sound". On music forums you can find people desperately asking about that particular keyboard, synth patch or piece of gear Jan used on MV. A frustrating research that - in my opinion - misses the very point. The sound of Miami Vice is made of many ingredients, and the difference is often in the way they are blended and cooked. The timbre or color of the keyboards is just one of those elements. You recognize it's him after a couple of bars, like it happens with a Bacharach song. No matter who sings, no matter how's arranged, no matter if it's a cover: It's Burt Bacharach, you get it since the first bars. And this means one thing: strong personality and music identity. It takes a lot more than "sound" to barely come close to it. INSIDE MV MUSIC - WRITING In my attempt to inject Hammer in my veins, back in the 80s I tried to analyze the way his tracks are written and arranged. Here we go. 1. Harmony - Though Jan's roots lie in jazz and jazz-rock, you'll hardly find a jazz chord on his MV cues. Most of them are built upon simple, naive triads (three sound chords). Their progressions often make the difference. Even when he starts obvious, sooner or later an apparently "foreign" chord comes in. The difficult part, when using such tricks, is to make you feel the whole progression as natural and consistent. And that's what he does. 2. Melody - One of the keys of JH success is being simple without being obvious. Many of the themes are real elementary, but - as for the harmony - they have a twist. And remember, changing a single note can dramatically turn a boring melody into an intriguing one. And viceversa. More, when a theme is repeated, rhythmic variations in performance are added. Anticipations, displacements, delays of notes are introduced at every repetition. A good example of this concept can be heard on "Marina", where the melody is repeated with such variations. That's one of the reasons it never gets boring. Some themes are made of moving chords instead of a single voice, so you have a full harmonization over the whole melody, like on "Alvarado Chase" or "Candy In The Alley", kindly shared by our member Crockettt. 3. Influences - Jan's music life's been a 360 degrees journey through almost every kind of musical expression, and it happened during the years music was still important. So his influences are many, spanning from jazz to latin (mostly spanish and cuban), rock and blues, from classical to pop. No trace of funk or soul instead: when he goes black is always blues. INSIDE MV MUSIC - PERFORMANCE Layering and changing in the lead voice are often used. "Crockett's Theme" is an example. Beyond the famous plucked sound, fuzzy guitars and synth voices are added as the track progresses. In addition to that, lead parts are not copied and pasted. They are played each time. That makes a big difference. Even if you play the same thing 10 times, it will sound different each time. Since we're not machines, micro time-floating and variations in dynamics always occur. You don't hear them consciously, but the melody keeps sounding fresh to you. It' doesn't happen with copy and paste. More - while most of the rhythm parts are quantized (a software function allowing to set the recorded part "on time", even if you played it wrong) - many crucial parts are not. So 100% of the human feel is preserved. Sure, you have to be good at play to do that ;-). Synthwave, retrowave etc. is 100% copy and paste and quantized, also because most of the people into it are not even trained musicians. That's one of the reasons why you probably won't listen to them in 30 years time. Sure, the most defining aspect in JH playing, is his bending technique (for the non musicians, it's the way you change the pitch of a note while playing, like the guitarists do. On keyboards it's done by moving a wheel back and forth). He's famous for that. I did spend lots of time trying to master it, and it's not easy, especially in fast passages, cause you have to play a "wrong" note thinking you're going to raise or lower it to the right pitch. He uses this technique with great skill and huge musical taste. Also listen to George Duke for that. Rhythm textures are another trademark of MV. Sometimes they sound even overcrowded, but you can listen to the same loop hundreds of times without getting bored. Why? Cause they have depth and articulation. Listen to the rhythm texture on "The Search" and try to spot how many percussion voices/parts you hear, and try to write down each part: you'll be surprised to see how complex it is. Other times they're basic, but set in a way a real player would never do. Sometimes "ghost notes" (the softer, non-accended hits between the accented ones) are used. They add an incredible realism to the sequence, as if it was performed by a real player. INSIDE MV MUSIC - ARTICULATION Articulation in writing, arranging and production. This alone could be the key advice for the ones who attempt to recreate the sound of Miami Vice. Even "obsessive" tracks like "One Way Out" or "Evan" have lots of subtle variatons and surprises. Jan's cues are articulated and change as the track goes on. They may have an intro, an A part, a B part, a solo, a breakdown, a C part, an outro e so on. Lead instruments often pass the melody from one another. Just some of the features that set him apart from the music you hear today where - once you start - you know it will stay like that till the end. Dynamics is also one of the keys. Changes in dynamics and articulation of themes, plus a moderate use of quantize, help to keep a track interesting time after time. INSIDE MV MUSIC - THE TOOLS I kept this for last, cause - as said - to me it's not so crucial as many think. On the other hand, it has its own importance. It's a fact Jan made a fashion from some particular instruments, and they are tied to his sound. Unlike I have read here, Memorymoog is not the most defining sound on MV. Yamaha DX7 is. Just a couple of notes played with this instrument are able to evoke the vision of a night-cruising Crockett or a sneaking Castillo. Jan has been a master in blending the metal-sounding of the DX7's FM generation with the warmth of analog gear. We owe to the DX7 the amazing steel guitars you hear in "The Talk", "Last Flight", "Turning Point", "Lombard Trial", or the Spanish lead guitar on "Incoming" and tons of other cues. The DX7's been extensively used for slightly saturated guitar solos ("NIght Talk, "Rico's Blues") and for "country" guitars as in "El Viejo". DX7 is largely used on "Stone's War": the tremolo guitar/wurlie and the quasi-piano sound of the solo. Tons of bell-ish sounds, sitar-esque, eastern sounds etc. are made with this beautiful piece of gear. (I had 2 of them, shame on me I sold both). Other instruments used in MV soundtrack include CMI Fairlight, Roland Jupiter 8, MiniMoog etc. but you can find these infos everywhere on the net. Less people know Jan also played real guitars in his MV recordings (never for solos though), as well as modules from Kawai. Anyway, many sounds could come from a wide range of machines and this tells us one thing: it's not about what you use, it's about who you are. CONCLUSIONS Hope you have enjoyed this long investigation about the music of Miami Vice. I especially hope non musician have, cause that was my goal. Much more could be said, but I wrote a lot already. As we saw, "The Sound" is not just made of sounds. It takes talent, strong personality, a great musical taste and - in this case - the right chance to show them. Jan Hammer himself said he had the best possible one with Mann and MV. And we all agree. JB
  5. Just found this forum through the Twitter page. Been a MV fan since late 80s, but got the fanboy re-ignited after I saw the Cocaine Cowboys documentary on Netflix. So much so, I had to record my own version of "Crockett`s Theme", AND... make a bloody music video for it! Thought I might share it with you fellow fanboys ... anyways, "skål" from Norway!
  6. New Tracks (last ones)

    So here they are, folks. I could manage the time to finally recover two more tracks from the documentary I was hired to score in 1989. I also find the original midifile of another track which wasn't supposed to be into it, but I wanted to include it in the playlist because of its strong Hammer feel. While the first two have a classical Vice vibe, the bonus has a more cuban flavor. As for the other ones, they are not fully produced tracks, just demos. These are the last ones, I no longer write/produce music in that form. But I thought this place deserved the effort of making them heard for the first time. Thank you all for giving me the right excuse. Hope you'll enjoy. JB
  7. I have two CDs that I purchased about 10 years ago, both CDs by Jan Hammer. Jan Hammer - MIAMI VICE - The Complete Collection (2 CD set) with autograph by Jan Hammer - 2002The Best of MIAMI VICE by Jan Hammer - with autograph by Jan Hammer -2004Both CDs have been opened and the discs are in excellent condition. The "security device" tape with the UPC is still on the Complete Collection case, but is slit down the middle to allow opening the case. I had read on a forum somewhere that the Complete Collection CD was very rare and valuable. Since these have Jan Hammer's autograph, I was curious if anyone could place a rough value on these items? Thanks!
  8. "The Trial (Extended Version)"

    "The Trial" by Jan Hammer has only been released mashed up with "The Search", I really love "The Trial" and how it's used in the Miami Vice episode "Golden Triangle (Part II)"... It's one of my favorite Jan Hammer pieces. I extracted the first part of "The Trial And The Search" (so only "The Trial") and extended and edited it into its own song for its own glory! I think the song deserves its own track! My version adds an extra minute to "The Trial"! Around 2:33 is where the song would segue into "The Search", but my mix returns to the first melody again. Enjoy!
  9. Jan Hammer - Drive (album, 1994)

    Did anyone buy this album? I listened to the samples, and sadly, it wasn't one of my favorites. But if someone tells me, "Whoa! Wait, it's awesome," then I'll give it another chance. I went to check it out because of this cool video for Knight Rider 2000 [spoilers, if you haven't seen the movie]. Movie was so-so, but the sad parts really bummed me out. Need to watch it again sometime and see if I like it.