Jean-Michel Jarre talks music technology
In this video interview done by Native Instruments, the legendary French composer, performer, and music producer, Jean-Michel Jarre talks about the evolution of music technology.
Jean-Michel Jarre pioneered electronic, ambient and new-age genres of music, and also hosted massive outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks while performing on a host of analogue synthesizers live.
His album Oxygene was heralded as a ground-breaking album of symphonic synthesis in 1976 and was probably the single most influential body of electronic music to reach the masses in the 70’s.
In this video Jean-Michel Jarre talks about the EMS VCS 3, the synth that made all those bubbly sounds on Oxygene and one he still loves today. Another favourite for him is the ARP 2600, but he of course also chats about what he regards as some of today’s most cutting edge plugins such as Razor, Massive and Monark.
It’s an interesting overview of how someone who came completely from the outboard gear, analogue age has embraced software technology too but it’s also an interesting insight as to how things have evolved.
He refers to the 90’s as a dark period as software synthesis was not evolved enough and a lot of manufacturers had stopped producing new hardware.
Other synths that get a worthy mention by Jean-Michel Jarre include the Roland Jupiter 8 and Memorymoog which he says were the first polyphonic synthesizers he recalls using. Jarre also considers the Synthex from Elka to be “the Bentley” of polyphonic synths.
Naturally there is a strong tie in with Native Instruments too; when he started to use Protools he looked to NI for plugins to generate the sounds he was after. In fact he rates Monark as better than the latest Moog – “Monark for me is better than the new Moog hardware synthesizers… I don’t care as I’m not endorsed by anyone. As a musician I prefer working on Monark than on the Voyager these days.”
He makes an interesting observation with regards to software developers and their faithful production of old analogue synths. Again it is of course an endorsement of NI products but Jean-Michel Jarre has a good point by suggesting that new concepts should be proposed, not just faithful renditions of older hardware. He likes Massive a lot suggesting that it was probably responsible for introducing a whole new genre – Dubstep – to the world.
Watch this video interview with Jean-Michel Jarre – it’s an interesting slice of history coupled with some very insightful opinion.