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Moog Taurus

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Petary791, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Can somebody explain to me what this is? I'm watching the Rush in Rio DVD and it appears that Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee both use them. Are they synth activators, or a keyboard for your feet, or what? I think Alex Lifeson plays it in "Dreamline."

    I want one.
  2. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    the taurus was a foot activated analog synth--like the pedals on a church organ. I forgot all about them.

    I think the guys in rush had them configured to trigger other things
  3. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I loooooove Taurus pedals. I even had a set of Taurus IIs. Used them a lot in the 80s. Geddy is way past the simple, non-midi Taurus', and uses his rather extensive knowledge of midi and synthesis to trigger all kinds of things from his pedals.

    I currently have a one-and-a-half octave set that was custom-made by a guy on E-bay called Dr. Freak. They are Hammond pedals in a custom diamond-plate enclosure. When I use them, I trigger an Emu Vintage Keys Pro. It has the classic Taurus sounds.
  4. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Can you guys give me examples of how one could go about setting up patches and activating them and stuff?

    EDIT: And what are some good songs with Moog passages?
  5. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    There is a pedal made by Roland. I think it is called PK5. It is kind of a midi keyboard (1 octave only) for your feet. You connect it via midi to any Synth module.
    Back in my Prog days I used to trigger a "Waldorf Pulse" to get Moog Taurus like sounds.
    As the original Taurus is hard to come by (and very unreliable, they say), this was a good option.

    The bassplayer in Marillion used to use both options. Nowadays he does not use the Taurus anymore.

    Look for old Genesis , IQ and Marillion (3 first albums). It is the ultra deep fat bass synth sound.
    PM me for details on the songs.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Info on the Taurus: http://www.oldtech.com/synth/MoogTarus1.html

    As said earlier in this thread, most old Taurus players have retired them in favor of more reliable and flexible modern gear. Nothing quite sounds like the original Taurus though! I got lucky and found a unit in a local shop here a couple months ago, for far below the current going rate on ebay. I'm never gonna gig with it though, it stays in my home studio where it can live out its twilight years in peace without fear of being abused or stolen. ;)
  7. anechoic


    Oct 31, 2005
    Shirley, MA
    If anyone here is looking to getting into bass/synth pedals for cheap, and are handy with a soldering iron, head on over to ebay. There's a guy named Howard Cano who sells a number of reasonably priced MIDI interface boards, as well as a Taurus-like synth board called the Saurus. His ebay store is Cano Electronics.

    You can get a set of old organ pedals pretty cheap from ebay as well, though you're likely to pay more than the actual sale price for shipping. However, since most folks here will probably be playing standing up, I'd strongly recommend simply using a bank of 13 heavy duty push arranged like a 1 octave keyboard. I think one of the listings shows an example. He also sells some nice switches that would be great for such an application, although Radio Shack does carry a cheaper plastic switch that will work fine as long as you're not too rough on it. I tried the organ pedal setup and found it was just too big and awkward (hard to get to the sharps/flats, and the spacing was a little narrow for my boots). With the pushbutton switches, I could mount the whole thing on the same pedalboard as my effects, making everythting easier to both play and haul around.
  8. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    So here's the Roland you guys are talking about.


    So could I set each of the pedals to make some synth sound, like a big swell, or just any type of sound (ie car crashing, gunshots, etc etc)?
  9. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I think if the synth or sampler you're hooking them up to will do it, it should work. For example, in a sampler, assigning the gunshot sample to the F# note, and using the F# pedal on the Roland to trigger it. Or if you have a synth that has a chord memory function, you can assign a chord in a similar way and use the pedal to trigger it. This is pretty much what Rush does nowadays. All the little audio special effects, synth pads/chords (when they're busy playing guitar and bass) and whatnot you hear in their live show are triggered this way (either Alex or Geddy on their MIDI pedals, or Neil Peart hitting a drum MIDI trigger.)
  10. I use a PK5 with a Novation Super bass station. Great result from the analog novation. Fully adjustable. I can get all the Genesis like sound of bass and so much more.

  11. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    So how does the Novation Super Bass Station work? Does it have a bunch of sounds and you program it to your PK-5?
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Petary, I really recommend you do some reading up on midi, it's general uses, limits and whatnot. There's a LOT you can do, and the basics are simple, but can get very complicated. It does have it's limits though.

    After owning a Hammond organ, the first logical step was for met to get another Hammond pedalboard, which I converted into a midi controller, which I use to control my DX-7 for now. Soon to be a Novation Bass Station.
  13. The PK-5 is a midi controller. I Edit or use the patch built in the Novation sound bank. I must say that i never use the built in patch, they sound to much (dance, hip hop, house) to my taste. But there is so much parameters to tweak on each sound that it's impossible to not get what youre looking for with some work.
  14. Another three-piece band using a "Taurus" were The Police; Sting didn't play a lot of bass stuff with it though (except the intro to "Don't Stand So Close To Me" maybe), but more like Rush in "Spirit Of Radio". And U2's Adam Clayton doubles his bass lines in the songs "With Or Without You" and "Exit" with a "Taurus" pedal.
  15. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Billy Sheehan used one live with Mr Big.

    I don't remember which song, but I do recall it was the one time all night he looked like he was having to really concentrate.