Wurli sounds

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by tomderham, May 10, 2001.

  1. tomderham

    tomderham Guest


    I found this sample of a song with a prominent Wurlitzer in it:
    Wurli sample
    Sounds really funky, but nothing like any wurli samples I know or even a real wurly - it's seems overdriven and really warm.
    Any ideas how to get there from a sample/synth - perhaps micing it through a guitar amp or something?

  2. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001

    Sounds like it is going through a guitar amp, compressor and bandpass filter. The BPF might be before the amp. It also might be some kind of peaking filter like a wah-wah pedal.

    Its quite a groovy little sound actually.
  3. Ditto on what Nate said, tom... I had a Wurlitzer, and it sounds to me that it is going through an envelope follower (my old Roland is called a "Touch Wah", but they have a new one. I'm pretty sure "wah" is in the name somewhere. :) and it sounds good in that context.

    If you are using a synth, I'd just experiment with going through some speaker (small speaker might be best) and a cheap microphone might also be good. If you have some sort of auto-wah type pedal, set it so that the loudest note just barely sets it off - you don't want it to "follow" too closely or quickly.

    Cool sound. Distortion, low-fi, some sort of filter with mild movement (wah), and overdriven/compression (all that can come from the speaker/mike situation and/or electronics. If you have access to an actual Wurli, the hard playing's definitely happening, but you want to stop short of breaking a reed. That's pretty hard to do (breaking a reed) but not impossible. That sample sounds like someone was possibly hoping to! ;)
  4. I just wanted to add something. I was driving yesterday, and ZZ Top's song "Cheap Sun Glasses" (think that's correct) came on. There's a very minimal, but effective electric piano (Wurli, I'm almost sure), and the sound is VERY much like the sample this thread refers to. It's very raw and distorted. Sounds like it was played with cement gloves (as opposed to kid gloves). The main difference is the filter/wah aspect. It is either not present, or it is much subtler. Nevertheless, it is similar, and you might like hearing it. I think most of us have heard it before, but it really does seem to be a very similar use of electric piano. Terribly effective in the ZZ blues/rock.
  5. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    I'm tellin' ya, Wurli is the $*^t. I wish I could've foreseen the "Wurli" revival when I was on my "vintage electro-mechanical" instrument crusade a few years ago.

    The only problem with these things are, THEY STILL GO OUT OF TUNE! Even moreso because of their age. I've done sampling sessions with my DynoMyPiano Rhodes and the lid never goes back on the thing.

    Well...I've done gigs like that too.

    Speaking of electro-mechincal instruments, I have a real oddball out in the garage. Its a Clavinet L. Just about the wackiest thing you've ever seen. It has a trapezoidal shaped case (the Gibson Explorer of keyboards) and the black/white color scheme of the keys is reversed. Also, it has a built-in speaker (heh, its a portable keyboard!) and a funky DIN connector for audio. If anyone's interested, I'll post pictures of it. I'd like to get it fixed up...anyone know a $*^t-hot Clavinet technician in LA?
  6. tomderham

    tomderham Guest

    Hi y'all

    Thanks for the replies - I tried getting this sound by using one of the Emu Vintage Keys wurli samples (yeah, I know - faking it!) straight into a smallish guitar amp, with mid-way gain with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker and it worked great. The general sound was really similar, I think a auto-wah would get the sound exactly so you'd get that peaking filter sound when the notes are played the hardest. You can only play a note or two at the same time - whole chords make the sound break up rather nastily!
    The sample was from a single called "Mr Writer" by a British band called the Stereophonics.

    Now, for the second round in the "Guess that Sound" contest - what are those weird pad/string sounds in Radiohead's excellent Pyramid Song from their new album Amnesiac? I'm going for pan pipes through a ring modulator <G> !!


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