Den Taylor

Did Hammer steal from Gabriel?

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

I came across this on a synthesizer forum, don't remember which one. Some detected that Hammer used a sample from Peter Gabriel in his Miami Vice theme. I add that he also used it in Columbia. Gabriel's song is from 1982, you can hear the sample at 0:30 and several times during the song.
 


Also in this cool remix:




Compare (at 2:10)



Compare (0:07)



I dug a little deeper and also found a thread about this on some defunct fairlight forum in the wayback archive. The story goes like this: Someone from Gabriel's studio snuck some of his samples out and somehow they found their way to the record company Hammer worked for, including Jan himself. Apparently Jan wasn't aware that this was originally from Gabriel so he stole only "inadvertently". I find that kind of weird though. Then again, we don't know what story was that the actual "sample thief" spun. Gabriel's record company however did investigate how these samples ended up on Jan's songs and that's how they were able to narrow the "thief" down to their studio. Needless to say what happend to him afterward.

I'm wondering if the company took legal steps against Hammer but I guess back then small samples like this weren't that much of an issue yet and if we look at the fact how often Gabriel's music was featured on the series I guess they might have had some type of out-of-court settlement.? I'm not sure if this story is true but on both forums this was kind of the narrative and these people are indeed knowledgeable and some apparently have/had ties to the record industry themselves.

Another explanation was that this is an actual Fairlight sample since Gabriel used that synthesizer extensively, just like Jan. But I can tell you that this sound is NOT in the Fairlight II library. And Gabriel did record a lot of his own samples such as breaking all kinds of stuff. :D Not sure exactly what the sample in question is - someone suggested that its from a can.?

Personally I don't see what the big fuzz is really about since it's only a short sample albeit quite a unique one. If anything it busts the myth of an always inventive Jan Hammer. Though I find it nonetheless creative how he used this sample. And it's quite funny how the same sound was used in such different songs (I'm talking all three of them)....

Edited by Den Taylor
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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

I though that sound came with the IIx. Hmmm

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Daytona74    501
Daytona74

The way I remember it, Peter Gabriel was among the first, if not the first musician who took delivery of the then brand spanking new Fairlight Mk I right after it came out. And I think he even worked out some of the last bugs of it together with Peter Vogel... it is possible that on Peter Gabriel's songs, we are simply hearing the first time that some of the default library samples of the Fairlight I were used. Or maybe some of Peter Gabriel's homemade samples were included in later factory libraries...

Peter Gabriel did create his own samples:

 

Edited by Daytona74
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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

Well, wasn't the Fairlight I library the same as the II? If not, then that could explain it. But that shouldn't have posed any legal issues.

Either way - I have found the sample in question! It can be found on a fairlight website where the person went to the trouble of converting all CMI II and III floppies into IMD Files (Image Disks) and offering them for download. In order to access the voice files in a DAW or sampler one first needs to extract these from the IMD files and then convert them to wav. Apparently that is a tedious task in itself even with this program that some other guy made for this purpose. I tried it and I had to get into DOS and all that stuff....gave me a couple of headaches but it worked!

The disk that this comes from is not from the CMII or III disks though, it is from a collection called "Jeff Disks". And there is one floppy called PGMONKEY (which undoubetly stands for Peter Gabriel and his song Shock the Monkey) that has a voice file named SCRAPE. That is the sample! The name sheds a bit more light on how this sound was created I guess. Would be interesting to know if this "SCRAPE" can be found in the Fairlight I series.

Either way, I've been very excited to have tracked this down and use it in my music. :D 
 

Edited by Den Taylor

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

I'm more and more inclined to believe that this actually a factory sound. I found two sounds in my overall library now that are very similar. One is from the Fairlight II called "Spoon" (from the Effects bank) and one is from an 80's Drum Machine by Yamaha. What type of percussion do you think this Scrape sound is from, Dadrian? You mentioned something about ridges...but that only makes me think of a Guiro and that it's not metallic enough to produce that type of sound IMO. (I have a few Guiro sounds in my library and they don't come close enough)

Edited by Den Taylor
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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

Idk man. Just guessing, as with most everything in Jan's MV score.  

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ivoryjones    163
ivoryjones

It's funny how there was some sort of affinity between their work in the '80s, at least to me, especially considering the "Security" album and a particular subgenre of Jan's Vice work. Those strong, sort of drone-like, deep synth/sampler basses, a kind of "sinister" feel both could bring it to music every now and then... I regret the fact that I could never get that hooked on PG's releases after "Us", but I digress.

Sometimes I forget how cool are the music discussions here (I guess I over focus the color issues of Miami Vice and other "TV show itself" stuff). On another topic, Ferrariman just mentioned "The First Seven Days", one of my dearest albums. And here "Security" X Jan Hammer, "Security" another one of my favorites.

I would also have the same doubt about a sound used in "The Rhythm of the Heat" that Jan seems to work with on "The Maze". I think the sound is called Pitzwang, and I don't think it's a CMI factory sound. Considering that case, I'm inclined to think it was indeed a Gabriel creation. If I didn't dream about it, Gabriel created that sound from sampling the piano. But I've found here that it actually came from various hammered-string instruments.

 

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Dadrian    763
Dadrian
8 hours ago, ivoryjones said:

I would also have the same doubt about a sound used in "The Rhythm of the Heat" that Jan seems to work with on "The Maze". I think the sound is called Pitzwang, and I don't think it's a CMI factory sound. Considering that case, I'm inclined to think it was indeed a Gabriel creation. If I didn't dream about it, Gabriel created that sound from sampling the piano. But I've found here that it actually came from various hammered-string instruments.

 

If I'm thinking of the same sample you're mentioning here,  it is on my Fairlight IIx factory sample disc. From the "KEYBOARDS" disc.

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ivoryjones    163
ivoryjones

Dadrian, I don't know if it helps, but the sound I'm talking about starts at 0'12'' on the video below

Sorry for getting a little out of topic, Den Taylor!

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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

Yes, we're talking about the same sound. 

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

Nah, you're pretty muich on topic, ivoryjones. And personally I don't mind some digressing either. ;-)

That piztwang sound is definitely a Fairlight II patch! I too have it in my library and it sounds exactly the same. So both Jan and Peter used it (and Im sure some other artists too). Jan actually used it a lot I believe or similar sounds from the Fairlight, not just on the Maze. For instance, at the end of the actual MV theme! (Where did he actually use it in the Maze, can you pinpoint? I don't really have that cue in my head)

I agree with you that Us was Gabriel's last good album...
 

Edited by Den Taylor
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Dadrian    763
Dadrian
6 hours ago, Den Taylor said:

That piztwang sound...(Where did he actually use it in the Maze, can you pinpoint? I don't really have that cue in my head)

It's in various places throughout the episode, but most notably when the police van is picking the kids up from in front of the hotel after a hostage negotiation. The sample hits repeatedly with some great DX7 acoustic guitar leads, then that really beautiful--almost haunting--melody/chords follow as the kids file out and the van drives away. 

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airtommy    807
airtommy
On January 28, 2017 at 1:49 AM, ivoryjones said:

 

I would also have the same doubt about a sound used in "The Rhythm of the Heat" that Jan seems to work with on "The Maze". I think the sound is called Pitzwang, and I don't think it's a CMI factory sound. Considering that case, I'm inclined to think it was indeed a Gabriel creation. If I didn't dream about it, Gabriel created that sound from sampling the piano. But I've found here that it actually came from various hammered-string instruments.

 

Fascinating discussion all around!  I'd recommend clicking on that link ivoryjones posted.  It's cool reading the description of the song as you listen to it.  Here is the most important paragraph:

pizztwang.png

 

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

Yep, that's a dulcimer. In my library I have that sound twice and one is labeled as a honky tonk piano. I guess it could pass as that...

That swanee sound is one of the most beautiful ones I've ever come across! It reminds of a peruvian or bolivian flute.
Jan used it in several of his songs too - Colombia, Milk Run and Prodigal son (these short flute interludes) and I believe another one (?) but I can't remember right now.
Wang Chung used it in a really cool and twisted kind of way in their song "Wake up Stop Dreaming" from their superb "Live and Let Die in LA" soundtrack. Its right at the beginning. Check it out!

 

Edited by Den Taylor

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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

@Den Taylor Can you be more specific about the JH cues you mentioned with this sound from the beginning of this Wang Chung song? Usually MV sounds jump out at me, but I'm struggling with this one. 

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Crockettt    376
Crockettt

Bogota Theme from Milk Run/Smuggler's Blues, but Jan used pan flute in that cue, so it sounds quite different.

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor
Am 28.2.2017 um 05:56 schrieb Dadrian:

@Den Taylor Can you be more specific about the JH cues you mentioned with this sound from the beginning of this Wang Chung song? Usually MV sounds jump out at me, but I'm struggling with this one. 

Ok, this is the flute sound I'm talking about. I'm pretty sure these are all the swanee patch from the Fairlight.

Prodigal Son:
 


Milk Run cue (covery by Rick Leon), right at the beginning (there may be another sound layer underneath or its two octaves at the same time):


And of course Colombia, starts at 1:26. It's just one octave lower. One of the most beautiful sounds ever!

.Colombia is definitely Swanee patch. The other two may be a smiliar one from the Fairlight or DX-7.

(And feel free to compare with the Wang Chung tune too - sounds like they're doing pitch bending with it :D )
 

Edited by Den Taylor
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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

Could be! Good work!

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Crockettt    376
Crockettt

It sounds more like Pan Flute to me.

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AndrewRemington    74
AndrewRemington

The Prodigal Son and Milk Run songs sound like DX7 Caliope or Pan Flute to me.  Colombia could be Fairlight, but I don't know if Jan Hammer ever used breath controller for DX7?  I don't have one but I'd to get one.  Colombia has more breathy sound to that pan flute sound.

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Dadrian    763
Dadrian

I've often wondered if he used the breath controller on those saxophone sounds in "Junk Love". There is quite a bit of expression there. 

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor

Is this documented that Jan ever used breath controller?

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Tony D.    804
Tony D.

I don't think the music of any other police show is analyzed and enjoyed as much as Miami Vice!

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Dadrian    763
Dadrian
1 hour ago, Den Taylor said:

Is this documented that Jan ever used breath controller?

Not that I'm aware of. 

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Den Taylor    76
Den Taylor
Am 29.4.2017 um 04:33 schrieb Tony D.:

I don't think the music of any other police show is analyzed and enjoyed as much as Miami Vice!

lol. Yupp. Makes total sense too.

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