Jordan Rudess recalls selling his original Minimoog: “That was the stupidest move ever!”
“Nowadays, I can’t part with any of my keyboards… you have to drag keyboards out of my house”
Photo by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images
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Jordan Rudess has recalled the moment he regrettably sold his original Moog Minimoog synthesizer and said how that has led him to being overly attached to synthesizers today.
The composer and keyboardist for Dream Theater reflects on the My Forever Studio podcast on the harrowing decision he made to sell the legendary instrument, which he originally purchased in 1973. He cites the reason simply as needing money at the time.
Rudess tells hosts Chris Barker and Will Betts: “It wasn’t the best move I ever made, let’s put it that way. Nowadays, I can’t part with any of my keyboards and that’s part of the problem. I think after selling that Minimoog, I was like, ‘What the fuck?! That was the stupidest move ever!’ So now, you have to drag keyboards out of my house.”
Fortunately, with the help of rock musician and synth collector Erik Norlander, Rudess has since managed to get his hands on another refurbished Minimoog synth. It may not be his beloved original, but at least he’s got access to that Ladder filter again.
The podcast isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Rudess also tells the incredible story of when he was recording keys for the track Slip Away with David Bowie and Tony Visconti. He says how they used “an old Brian Eno trick”, which involved placing an upright piano next to a Steinway baby grand, taping the sustain pedal of the upright, and positioning the mics close to the open upright to capture its resonance while Rudess played the baby grand.
He also praises the Osmose Expressive E synthesizer, saying that its highly sensitive expression capabilities takes the keyboard “to a place that nobody thought was possible”. Following this, he dismisses the validity that electronic instruments can’t be as expressive as organic ones.
The My Forever Studio podcast, in partnership with Audient, presents a unique opportunity for artists, producers, and engineers to envision and create their ideal creative space in any part of the universe. Every week, we offer listeners insights into the creative visions of the most accomplished personalities in the music industry. The podcast poses the question: “What does your ultimate forever studio entail?” and brilliant responses occur.
Check out all My Forever Studio episodes at musictech.com.
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