Experimental Recording Techniques: Turning a Wurlitzer into a Toothy Synth

Last week's installment of Experimental Recording Techniques used a noise gate to make a drum beat trigger a guitar. The resulting sound was chopped-up and glitchy, edging the foundational instrument of rock 'n' roll closer to a dance music machine. A previous episode remade an acoustic piano into an ambient soundscape generator.

In the video above, the fifth and final of our series, Noam Wallenberg of Chicago's Rax Trax Recording studio takes another stab at turning an old standby into a new instrument—recasting a Wurlitzer 200A Electric Piano into a toothy, acidy synth.

The Wurlitzer's signal is fed through a DI box into a Digitech Whammy pedal and a ZVEX Mastotron Fuzz, along with an MXR Ten Band EQ to quell some of the harsher high-end. The signal then goes into a Neve 1073 Preamp, directly into the console.

Through these effects, the dulcet tones of the Wurlitzer, as heard on Supertramp's Crime of the Century, suddenly sounds right at home on Kanye West's industrial/acid-house-influenced Yeezus. Be sure to check out the video to learn how to bring these harsh sounds to your own electric piano, and watch the rest of the series for further inspiration.

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