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How do you find 80s synth patches?

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Duncan Formosa, Dec 14, 2023.

  1. I find synth patches to be a bit of a pain in the ass. I know what sound I'm looking for, but when I open up the synth libraries I'm immediately hit with thousands and thousands of presets that aren't what I'm looking for most of the time. Am I missing something? Is there an easier way to find all this stuff?

    I wanted to try and create the Axel F theme since the new trailer got released and despite me looking through the leads for about an hour I STILL can't find anything close to the original. I really want to try and get into writing some cool 80s stuff but because I'm bombarded with all these choices I end up backing out.

    The synths I have at the moment are FM8 and Diva
    David Healey and Josh Fleming like this.
  2. I kinda figured the synths that were used, it's just trying to find synth patches that match them. I tried googling "jupiter 8 patches for FM8" but kept getting directed to other libraries. Surely it should be easy to find similar sounds with just FM8 and Diva right? I mean how different can all these synth libraries be?!

    And there's so many presets with whacky names too.
  3. I'd be happy with that! Was that a preset or did you create that manually? I've never tried making my own synth sound
  4. Ah, cheers! I might need to start learning how to make synth sounds from scratch. Might end up being faster if I have an idea for a sound to use
  5. You should definitely learn the basics of synths because it's not complicated and very useful (and fun!). You might end up being faster, but you might also find yourself turning those knobs forever and ever...
  6. You can use Synplant 2 to "extract" a synth from an audio file using machine learning. There's also a free version of this workflow called MicroMusic which only works for Vital.
    Duncan Formosa likes this.
  7. Back when synths first came out, we didn't have thousands of patches to choose from - the synths only had a limited number of presets. One upside to this is that, unlike with today's emulators, 95% of the presets were musically useful, and not random noise and bullshit. When I was a kid, cycling through patches was fun and inspiring. Today it's just a miserable slog, and this is why Sylvain is correct that it's best to learn the basics and dial them in yourself. It's not complicated - especially 80's patches. We only used a couple dozen, mostly variants of each other, because we were all using the same handful of synths.
  8. #11 Tom Welsh, Dec 27, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2023
    Learning to program synths can be a fun distraction and a useful skill for when you have a specific sound in your head and you don't want to waste precious minutes searching through endless banks of presets all the while your original idea is disappearing from memory along with the particlar sound you had in mind for it. My synth education began with the Arturia V collection (software emulations) and I still think that's a good place to start as those old instruments have fairly simple and intuitive interfaces unlike modern soft synths which can be intimidating if you're not at least used to the basics. The other important thing is start with a subtractive synth such as the Roland Jupiter or Juno, Mini Moog, Prophet 5 etc. as this type of synthesis is the easiest to get your head around. I wouldn't jump into the edit section of FM8 unless you're just looking to change a few basic parameters due to the steep learning curve involved.

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