MATRIXSYNTH: Search results for Bill Wolfer

Showing posts sorted by date for query Bill Wolfer. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Bill Wolfer. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Bill Wolfer is STILL jamming on the Legacy HZ Synth

video upload by Bill Wolfer

"You ain't heard nothing yet! I have the feeling that this is the start of a beautiful friendship. All sounds and effects are from the Legacy HZ and nothing else.

Music written and performed by Bill Wolfer.
©2024 Wolftoons Music, ASCAP. All rights reserved."

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Bill Wolfer Jams With The Legend HZ Synthesizer

video upload by Bill Wolfer

"Every sound in this video is coming from The Legend HZ.

I just got this thing a few days ago, and I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Here's a quick jam using 13 instances of The Legend HZ. I love this instrument. I was sold on a faithful Minimoog emulation with six oscillators and a Fixed Filter Bank. But wait! There's more! Ha! Sounds like a paid promotion, but I assure you that I bought mine just like anybody else.

This bass line popped out of my fingers the first time I fooled around with it, so I decided to expand it, trying to use only The Legend HZ for all the sounds and effects. It was a fun thing to do.

Music written and performed by Bill Wolfer.
©Wolftoons Music,ASCAP. All rights reserved."

See the announcement post for The Legend HZ Synthesizer here. The HZ, of course, stands for Hans Zimmer.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Bill Wolfer - Working with Stevie Wonder

video upload by Anthony Marinelli Music

Discover the enchanting tale of Bill Wolfer, a young dreamer from Cheyenne, Wyoming, whose ambition led him to create a master plan: relocating to Los Angeles, securing a job at Guitar Center, and orchestrating the perfect sequence of events that ultimately launched his thriving music career alongside two legendary icons - Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

In this captivating video, Bill not only marvels at the awe-inspiring genius of Stevie as a songwriter, singer, and keyboardist but also graciously opens up about the deep emotional connection and joyful camaraderie he shared with Stevie firsthand. It's a heartwarming journey that showcases not just musical prowess but also the power of friendship and passion in shaping a magical career.

00:00 Introduction
00:36 Stevie Wonder's Early Career
01:40 Berry Gordy Years
02:38 The Guitar Center Plan for a Music Career
04:14 The Star Parade at Guitar Center
05:26 Meeting Ronnie Foster
06:42 Discovering the ARP Sequencer
09:12 Stevie Wonder Hears Bill's Music and Calls Him
09:57 Working on Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants with Stevie
11:50 Touring with Stevie
13:20 Bill's Beautiful Friendship with Stevie
16:19 All-Nighter Recording Sessions with Stevie
17:20 Driving with Stevie...and the Rolls Royce
20:42 Stevie's Sense of Humor, Incredible Singing & Musicianship
23:52 Meeting Chick Corea
26:07 Stevie, Chick and Herbie Hancock
26:57 Logo (AMM theme music)

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Bill Wolfer-The Man Behind MJ’s “Billie Jean” CS-80

video upload by Anthony Marinelli Music

"Bill Wolfer has referred to himself as "the least famous musician that everyone has heard play". He was a rising star in 80's Soul Music working with Stevie Wonder, Shalamar, Vanity, Dynasty and was responsible for programming and performing the iconic CS-80 synthesizer chord riff on Michael Jackson's biggest song 'Billie Jean'. Michael remembered a CS-80 sound he heard Bill play while they were on tour together and the rest is history.

This video provides a rare behind the scenes look at Michael Jackson's creative process while composing "Billy Jean" all the way through a detailed account of the final recording session at Westlake Studios. We discuss what it was like to work closely with producer Quincy Jones, engineer Bruce Swedien and of course Michael.

Bill was a trusted friend of Michael, someone that he could rely upon to develop his 3 original songs for the Thriller album - 'Billy Jean'. 'Beat" It', and 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin’. Bill helped Michael feel comfortable working out musical ideas and played an important role getting Michael's original songs ready for the album.

He also put together a truly great unlikely hit solo album in the vein of Quincy Jones' The Dude. The lineup of musicians include mega-stars Stevie Wonder (harmonica solo), Michael Jackson (backing vocals on two cuts), Finis Henderson (vocals) and Gospel star Jon Gibson."

Thursday, July 13, 2023

How to Synth Breakdowns by Anthony Marinelli Music

video uploads by Anthony Marinelli Music

Also see: How to make the Baby Be Mine MiniMoog Bass from Michael Jackson's Thriller

And earlier: Bill Wolfer: It's the 50th Anniversary of my Minimoog! for another Minimoog used on Thriller.

"In this series Anthony breaks down some of the most icons synthesizer patches that he programmed for Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Anthony's musical touch as both composer and performer is connected with some of the most influential creative minds over the last 40 years. He’s composed and conducted original orchestral scores for over 80 feature films including Young Guns, Internal Affairs, The Man From Elysian Fields, 15 Minutes and Planes, Trains & Automobiles, been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for his symphonic work "In the Family Way", written over one thousand TV commercials in a myriad of musical styles, co-founded Levels Audio Post (LA's premiere post production facility) and performed and arranged on big-box-office films and influential hit records such as Michael Jackson's Thriller.

His extensive work as a young arranger, orchestrator and performer for Quincy Jones, Jack Nitzsche, Lamont Dozier, Arthur Rubenstein and Giorgio Moroder was vital in launching his own career. His early years pioneering modular analog synthesizers along with his wide-ranging music scholarship positioned Anthony at the center of the music technology revolution. He attended the University of Southern California School of Music as a piano and composition major."

Playlist at the time of this post:
How I Programmed the Baby Be Mine “warble” Mini Moog Lead on Michael Jackson’s Thriller
How I programmed the Baby Be Mine MiniMoog Bass on Michael Jackson's Thriller
How I Programmed The Bass On Michael Jackson's PYT
How I Programmed the Theremin Sound On Michael Jackson's Thriller
How I Programmed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Bass on my Tonus ARP 2600
How To Program The Synth Lead From The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights"
How to program the synth bass from Tyler, the Creator's "Igor's Theme"
How I Programmed The Synth Opening On Michael Jackson's Thriller: Prophet 5 Pt.1
How I Programmed The Synth Opening On Michael Jackson's Thriller: Jupiter 8 Pt.2
How To Make The Synth Bass from "Da Funk" by Daft Punk
How To Make Any Imaginable Kick Drum Sound
How I Create Dubstep on Analog Synths (without a computer)
How I Process my TR-808 Drum Machine with OTO EFX Pedals
How To Program The Synth Riff From Prince's 1999
How I Programmed The Synth Opening On Michael Jackson's Thriller: The Synclavier Pt.3
War Games: The Sounds I Made For The Film

Saturday, April 29, 2023

How to make the Baby Be Mine MiniMoog Bass from Michael Jackson's Thriller

video upload by Anthony Marinelli

Don't miss Bill Wolfer: It's the 50th Anniversary of my Minimoog! also featured on Michael Jackson's Thriller.


1. The Sound that Started Michael Jackson’s Thriller - How We Created It #1 (Falling Star)
2. Steven Ray on Michael Jackson's Thriller Pt. 1 - How We Created It #2 (Studio Stories)
3. Steven Ray on Michael Jackson's Thriller Pt. 2 - How We Created It #3 (Studio Stories)
4. How we programmed the drums on Michael Jackson’s Thriller
5. How I Programmed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Bass on my Tonus ARP 2600
6. How to make the Baby Be Mine “warble” Mini Moog Lead from Michael Jackson’s Thriller
7. How to make the Baby Be Mine MiniMoog Bass from Michael Jackson's Thriller

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Bill Wolfer: It's the 50th Anniversary of my Minimoog!

video upload by Bill Wolfer

"I bought this Minimoog Model D in 1972, and have had it ever since. It was recently restored, so I made a video to celebrate it and its birthday!

All the sounds are straight from the Mini plugged direct into a Focusrite interface connected to an iPad, with reverb and echo provided by the iPad.

Thanks to David Rogoff for the excellent restoration work."

P.S. "It was my first synth--I bought it in 1972! Serial number 1407, clear wheels and all. Still has the original oscillators."

P.P.S. Bill Wolfer played in Michael Jackson's Thriller. You can find his self title releases and a short bio on discogs here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

As you've all probably heard by now, the King of Pop has passed away. I wasn't expecting to put a post up as all posts have to be about the synths, however it just didn't seem right to not put something up, and I did find a bit of fascinating synth history, when you think about it, below.

I remember growing up listening to bits of the Jackson Five and later Michael Jackson. My sister was in love with his music, and Elvis Presley. The perfect match. I remember when Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll and Michael announced himself as the King of Pop. I wondered if it would stick. I remember when Off the Wall came out followed by Thriller. I remember staying up to watch the Thriller video with my sister, and her telling me how it was the most expensive video ever made. I thought it was crazy how long it would be. I recently remember watching that odd video of inmates somewhere in Asia performing Thriller, a hundred plus inmates in orange, prison garbs, all in sync. All crazy memories in time, all full of life and energy. That is the one thing Michael Jackson was to me - a man filled with wonder and energy. I will always remember him as that somewhat magical character who never lost that bit of childhood wonder. I'm sure he has influenced me in ways I have yet to realize, some bits I'm coming to realize just typing this. Pretty crazy... pretty amazing... I hope he is well wherever he is. He did bring wonder to life.

As for the interesting bit of synth history and the image from Thriller. The following is a list of the synths used and the players (via micke in this VSE thread). It is an interesting look at what synths were used on THE best selling album of all time. RIP Michael. RIP The King of Pop. It definitely stuck.

"Here's a rundown of the all (?) the synths used in the making of Thriller

Yamaha CS-80
Roland Jupiter 8 (x3)
NED Synclavier II
DK Synergy
Roland Jupiter 4
Roland MC-4 microcomposer/sequencer
Yamaha GS-1 FM synth
Oberheim Four-Voice
SCI Prophet 5 (x2)
Yamaha CE20 FM preset synth
Yamaha portasound keyboard
Roland VP-330 vocoder/strings
Bode Vocoder
E-mu Emulator I
plus a couple of Minimoogs

Linn LM-1 (mostly doubled with a TR-808)
Linndrum (LM-2)

And here's a listing of the keyboardists/synthesists performing on the album:

Greg Phillinganes
Michael Boddicker (Mr. Jackson's main synth-programmer)
Steve Porcaro & David Paich
Bill Wolfer
Brian Banks & Anthony Marinelli
David Foster
Greg Smith
Tom Bahler
James Ingram"

On another non music related note, we also lost Farah Fawcett today. Sad day today.

Update via VICMOD: "And Andy huges of The Orb passed away, thats got to be synth related" Indeed.

"Andy Hughes, (born 11th November 1965 - died 12th June 2009), was an English electronic music producer from Harrow, Middlesex [1]. He is most known for his work with The Orb, where he helped mix and produce Orbus Terrarum, Orblivion, and Cydonia, as well as The Orb's singles from this period. Hughes left The Orb during the production of Cydonia, which was reworked after his departure. He also did some additional original production work and performed remixes for The Cranberries and Tangerine Dream.

Hughes died at the Liver Intensive Care Unit at Kings College Hospital in London after a short illness on June 12, 2009." via Wikipedia. And Ed McMahon. And Sky Saxon of The Seeds.

Update: Michael Jackson and the Electronium

via the Raymond Scott blog:
"In August of 1970, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy read an article in Variety magazine about Raymond Scott and his Electronium. Along with The Beatles and The Beach Boys, Motown virtually controlled the 1960s pop charts with stars like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross & The Supremes. And with THE JACKSON 5 as his latest smash supergroup, Gordy was at the height of his influence. ...

Hoby Cook was a technician at Motown’s MoWest facility who tested Scott’s Electronium extensively. 'I wanted some reactions, so as an experiment, I’d open the door and turn the volume up — loud.' Cook’s technique worked. Motown personnel heard the curious sounds and wandered in. “Cal Harris did a lot of recording with it, and MICHAEL JACKSON was fascinated,' Cook recalled. 'He was just this kid sitting there, staring at the flashing lights. He said he wanted THE JACKSON 5 to use the Electronium somehow.'"

Patch n Tweak
Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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