Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsMusic & Music Players · 1 decade ago

80's music instruments?

What type of synthesizers and drum machines were used in 80's music?Also how to recreate those effects?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Many synthesizers, drum machines, and newly developed effects were used to create 80s music, and it would take a small book to list them all with their more notable applications. But here are a few of the more widely used synthesizers:

    Sequential Circuits: Prophet 5. This synth really started a revolution both technologically and musically. It's sounds can be heard on countless New Wave, R&B, New Age, and Jazz recordings of the 80s.

    Moog: Minimoog. Developed in the early 70s as a portable alternative to the Moog Modular synthesizers, the Minimoog found its way into many 80s recordings. Madonna's debut album used it on bass, as did may others. Jazz Fusion group Shakatak used on often on light airy leads on songs such as Secret Garden.

    ARP: Odyssey. Similar to the Minimoog in concept, it was favored by British music producers (likely do to availability.) As much New Wave music was produced in London, it was used on many New Wave recordings.

    Roland: Jupiter 8. Roland's answer to the Prophet 5 - and more so. Very punchy brass, lush strings, and powerful bass made this a versatile all arounder favored by Duran Duran, Howard Jones, and many others.

    Oberheim: OB-X, OB-Xa. Used by Lyle Mays of Pat Methany. Also Eddie Van Halen used it on the hit Jump.

    Yamaha: DX-7. The DX-7 was so popular that it lead to the demise of Moog, ARP, Oberheim, and Sequential Circuits. Until the DX7's arrival, all synthesizers utilized analog oscillators for sound generation. The DX-7 used a technology called FM synthesis. Further, all operations were done numerically and converted to sound using digital to analog converters. The sound was clean, bright, and unlike anything heard before. It started appearing on recordings in early '83 and is most notable on Phil Collins, Toto, Miami Sound Machine, and others.

    Roland: D-50. Enya's Watermark album featured this synth throughout. The D-50 used a combination of sampled sounds and analog decay making it unique and truer in replicating real instruments.

    Korg: M-1. The M-1 was the first sample based synth and actually plays back recorded audio from real instruments. All current synthesizers made by Yamaha, Roland, and Korg utilize updated variations of this technology.

    Also were the synthesizer / computer hybrids: The New England Digital Synclavier and the Fairlight. Although different, both the Synclavier and the Fairlight played back samples of recorded instruments. The Pet Shop Boys West End Girls used the Fairlight for most of its sounds. These synthesizers were complicated to use and often were owned by engineers that leased them to studios complete with a trained operator.

    Your second question on recreating these sounds: Many famous synthesizer sounds (patches in music parlance) are referenced on the menus of modern synthesizers such as the Yamaha Motif, Korg Triton, and Roland Fantom. For instance, a patch named Lucky likely refers to Keith Emerson's synth sound on Lucky Man. WestEnd refers to the soft symphonic sound heard on the Pet Shop Boys' West End Girls.

    Note: 80s videos are actually a poor source of identifying synthesizers used on recordings. Bands often used studio owned equipment and substituted whatever they could lay their hands on for video shoots (and not necessarily even a keyboard.)

  • 4 years ago

    80s Music Instruments

  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Korg was the big name in synth machines back then.

    Every time you saw one it was a Korg.

    Sony made drum machines, but I'm really not too sure other than that.

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  • 5 years ago

    Korg is the best

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