The Best Synths of 80s is a blog about the synthesizers used in the music of the 80s. It includes information on programming, history, and sounds of many great electronic instruments. The goal is to help producers re-create the sounds of their favorite 80s records and get inspiration for new songs.
The site is maintained by me (Tim Webb), a producer and author who has written several books on the subject of synthesis.
I started the blog in 2005 as a way to share my knowledge with other musicians who were interested in learning more about the technology behind their favorite records.
The blog covers every aspect of producing music from sound design to synthesis techniques and production tips. I also write articles about specific synthesizers like Korg Polysix or Oberheim OB-Xa that are not covered elsewhere online or in print.
There is also an extensive archive of interviews with some famous musicians such as Giorgio Moroder or Rick Wakeman who have used many different synths throughout their careers.”””
synth_80s_essay = “””The Best Synths of 80s is a blog about the synthesizers used in the music of the 80s. It includes information on programming, history, and sounds of many great electronic instruments. The
This website is a collection of some of the best synthesizers that were used in the music of the 80s. It’s a tribute to the great artists and producers who created such an amazing era of music. All pictures, images and logos are property of their respective owners.
The 80s was a great decade for music. Many new styles were born and many old ones re-invented. Synthesizers played a big role in this revolution. A lot of new types were created, many more affordable than their predecessors, allowing them to be much more widespread. Sure there were still only a handful of studios around the world that could afford the latest models, but that didn’t stop musicians from using what they had access to and making great music with it.
This site is dedicated not only to the well known synths like the Yamaha DX7 or ARP Odyssey, but also to small home synths that you may have never heard about or can’t even remember anymore.
If you would like to contribute information about your favorite synth please contact us and we’ll add it as soon as possible.
I started this blog as a way to share my passion for the synthesizers that were used in the music of the 80s. I’ll do my best to make sure you hear about all of the latest products, albums and news related to these classic synths.
I’m not sure what got me into analog synths. Maybe it was the sense of nostalgia or maybe it’s just the sound. I think it’s because there is something about analog synths that feels so real. You can really feel their raw power.
I am writing this blog post because I have seen so many people asking about the synthesizers used in 80s music that I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about them.
This is not a definitive list, but more of a general guide on some of the most popular synths used around this time.
One thing to remember is that back in the 80s, sampling was just being invented and there was no such thing as ROMplers or virtual instruments. Everything had to be played live by a human!
The other thing to remember is that there were no such things as multitimbral keyboards. This meant that if you wanted to play or record more than one sound at a time, you needed multiple keyboards and synthesizers.
The synths below are listed in no particular order, but the ones at the top are probably the most popular ones used by most producers during the 80s. However, there are many other synthesizers that were also used by some artists and producers which can be found further down this page.
The 80s were a great decade for synthesizers, but the 90s were a pretty good decade as well. I personally own a Roland JV-1080, which is a digital synth that can emulate many vintage 80s sounds. My son owns a Yamaha AN1x, which is an analog modeling synth that sounds really close to analog.
If you have any questions about these synths and their history, please ask. I would love to hear from you. If you have information about any other synths used in the 80s or if you want to share your experiences with these synths or other synths of that era, you are welcome to do so too.
Welcome to Electronic 80s. I hope you enjoy the site and find it useful. If so, please tell your friends about it.
The site is devoted to the synthesizers used on album tracks from the eighties, rather than remixes or extended versions. As such it is probably of most interest to those who want to recreate the original sound of these records as opposed to fans of remixes or collectors of extended versions, but I think there’s something here for everyone. All the keyboards featured are still widely available, so if you want to make music that sounds like Depeche Mode or Erasure or New Order, this is the place to start.
I am always looking for suggestions for additions and improvements, so please feel free to email me with your thoughts (see bottom of this page).
The synth that put Yamaha on the map. The DX7 was a digital synth, and was the first commercially successful one. The sounds it produced were unlike analog synthesis; they were more like samples of real instruments. And its sounds were very lifelike.
The DX7 is most famous for its electric piano and bell-like percussion sounds, but it also had some interesting basses, guitars and pads. It even could make you think it had analog synthesizer sounds (or at least, what we thought analog synthesizers sounded like in the 80s).
Yamaha made a number of other synths that used FM synthesis; this was the technology behind the DX7’s sound. The DX9 and DX11 are smaller versions of the DX7; all use the same basic technology. Yamaha also made an FM module called the TX81Z.