Roland W-30 Sampler Workstation
(Liam's favourite because it's raw quality)
The W-30 was the first music workstation from Roland, and it was sample-based, with both ROM and user samples available for sound creation. It basically contained the engine of the S-550 sampler combined with a superb Roland's MRC sequencer and a keyboard. The W-30 is compatible with the sound library of Roland's S50, S330 & S550 dedicated samplers, which is now in the public domain.
Synthesizer and sampler
Roland W-30 used to be Liam's master keyboard at the live shows until 2008. This picture is from 2005 and you can also spot some W-30 disks on the lower table. At that time Liam used to have two of them in his live setup.
The early days
"Everything's triggered from the W-30s. My set up at the moment is two W-30s and a spare one for the road, disks, and disks of sounds for the samplers. It's for stuff played between the tracks, you know, the links: one of the W-30's really good features is the 'loop-back' facility where the sound can go forward and loop back on itself. I dunno why but Akai have never done that. It's such a useful feature for getting smooth string sounds. "
"On some tracks, the loops are played live. Instead of sequencing them I've got two or four bars of the track all on different keys and I actually play them in. It's really primitive, but it's also cool because you can swap it around and mess it about. Of course you have to be precise with what you play, but I always have a safety drum roll either side of the key so if my finger slips off the key, which happens all the time, I can just roll it in and start it again. It's really spontaneous. It works and it's exciting."
Liam playing live with 2x Roland W-30. Picture is from 1991 as you can see from those white/green costumes.
Charly, Everybody in the Place, Wind it Up, What Evil Lurks and used for sequencing right up to Firestarter. Liam used to sequence his albums with this machine but The Fat Of The Land sequencing was the first release made entirely with the Cubase.
This lovely piece of equipment was the main keyboard at the live shows between 1990-2008. He had stored lots of cool drums and breaks to this machine and he used this baby to trigger them. Basically this was the most used piece of equipment of Prodigy live shows. Liam actually bought the last remaining spare keys from Roland Japan because he used to break them every 2nd show.