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What instrument is used in the intro to “Closing Time”?

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:16 pm
by Wellshell

New here...

Have always been curious about what is being played in the intro to CT and throughout-as the kind of refrain.

Sounds like some kind of synthesizer violin or harmonica preset. In some performances I’ve seen someone is clearly playing a keyboard.

Any ideas/ make/ model would be much appreciated


Re: What instrument is used in the intro to “Closing Time”?

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:40 pm
by Franks
I am pretty sure Neil Larsen plays a Hammond B3 with a Leslie.
I think he also plays a Fender Rhodes.
From concert pictures, I can see he also uses a synthesizer but I can't make out what make and model it is.

Re: What instrument is used in the intro to “Closing Time”?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:18 am
by Steve Wilcox

Hi. Regarding the original studio version on The Future, I suspect you already looked on the album credits and noticed the Bob Furgo plays violin, and that looks to be Bob in the official video, filmed in black and white in the crazy nightclub scene. Obviously violin is playing the prominent part, but I agree with you there sounds to be a lower synth sound under the satanic fiddle hoedown riff. The credits also list synthesizer programming. I don't know how you would ever get the details you seek (make, model) unless you talk to someone involved in the production.

Here's a 90s live video with Bob (long hair) and a 2nd fiddler, but the synth is very prominent throughout the verses. And, here it's obvious the synth plays when the fiddlers do not. Except for Bob Furgo, this does not appear to be Leonard's band, but the synth sound is convincingly like the original. The keyboard brand is obscured by a music stand.

Regarding the 2008-2013 tour, Neil just plays Hammond B3 (as pointed out by Franks). The riff was played by either Dino on the Akai EWI4000 Electric Woodwind or Alexandru on the violin. Neil had a Kurzweil synth on stage, but I don't recall him using it in CT. Likely Bob or Mitch was playing the riff on guitar, but no synth in these performance.

My best guess, based on the original being 1992, would be a Korg M1 or T2 Workstation and a violin patch. Sold my M1 by 2000 so can't research further. Good luck.

Re: What instrument is used in the intro to “Closing Time”?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:29 pm
by Wellshell

Thanks both of you so much for getting back to me. I’ve checked out the video and it does sound similar to the album so I’m guessing it might be the same synthesizer.

I am thinking it could be the Korg M1 as I’ve gotten similar sounds from a software version I used to have installed on my laptop...but who knows.

The combo of the synth and the fiddles is what really makes it I think anyway.

I’ll keep my ears open as I set up the M1 again.

Thanks again