Since the late 70’s, the synth world has seen an explosion of new technology, from the advent of digital synths like the Yamaha DX7, to the dominance of Digital Recording, and Software Synthesis. Despite this, the past decade has proven that musicians, producers, and sound designers have never lost their love of the classic, warm, and warbly sounds of vintage synthesizers. These early synths embody the sound of futuristic nostalgia, which has easily made them a go-to choice for Sci-Fi and Horror films for decades. From Stranger Things to Blade Runner, Suspiria, Mandy, and the latest addition to the Halloween franchise, the classic synths of the 70’s and 80’s have been the go-to tools used for eerie textures, melancholy memories, and a foreboding sense of dread.
While the sound of these instruments command a dedicated cult following, the hardware itself poses some serious issues for the modern workflow. For starters, let’s look at cost and availability: a Yamaha CS-80 in playable condition will cost you almost $20,000, if you can even find one. If you do, make sure you bring a friend to help lift the ~220lb behemoth, and leave room in your budget for regular repairs and maintenance.
Thankfully, modern software modeling has managed to bring these same sounds to your mix without the need to eat up your budget or studio space! The Arturia V Collection 6 is a comprehensive library of the most beloved keyboards and synthesizers in the history of recorded music. Classic Analog Synthesizers like the Minimoog, ARP2600, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, CS-80 are modeled to sonic perfection, while the early wave of digital synths like the Fairlight CMI, Synclavier, and DX7 bring their unmistakable charm to the mix. Add on a host of Electric and Acoustic Pianos, Organs, and the Solina String Machine, and you’ve got an arsenal of keyboard-based inspiration that spans generations.
To put the V Collection 6 through its paces, I embraced the Halloween spirit and recreated some of the horror pioneer John Carpenter’s classic soundtracks, utilizing only the Arturia V Collection 6 to recreate the bone-chilling themes of Halloween and The Fog.
Check them out below, then read on to gain insight to which tools were used where:
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