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"Sounds like the 80's" - Does it really?
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

"Sounds like the 80's" - Does it really?

I've been spending a lot of time watching demos and reading reviews of hardware synths lately. Can't help but notice that the comments for these pieces always contain some variation on "The 80's are back".

Where does this notion come from? I was born in 1984 and can barely remember 1990, but if you go back and actually listen to the real mainstream 1980's, it sounds like Lionel Richie. In other words, it sounds cheesy and awful.

There aren't many examples of 80's tracks with analog synthesizer sounds as the star player. The exceptions are underground artists and cult filmmaker soundtracks such as John Carpenter's. This stuff is great, but is in no way representative of the 80's.

And then of course there is Blade Runner. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say "sounds like the 80's". But really, BR was released in 1982 - which means that much of the pre-production was closer to the late 70s. And the Yamaha CS-80 was released in 1976. If anything, "sounds like the 70's" would be a more apt description.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I don’t know how to respond to this post.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I mean, Depeche Mode, RAH Band, Soft Cell, John Foxx, Duran Duran, Genesis...took me 5 seconds to think of...

I’ll have another 20 or so big 80’s synth artists in another 10 seconds.

Early Madonna even, crap loads of analog synth all over her early stuff.

Thomas Dolby??? He was pretty big and played the JP8. Although he played a DX5 with Bowie at Live Aid.

This is the first time I have ever heard someone say the 80’s weren’t synth heavy.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
GARY NUMAN? VOX HUMANA?

I might be losing my mind.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

I guess you had to be there ... lol
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
2 people used synths in the 80’s.

John Carpenter
Vangelis

Everybody else sounded like Lionel Richie.

Seriously though, how good are those brass licks in the Middle of 8 of “All night long?”
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I mean, Depeche Mode, RAH Band, Soft Cell, John Foxx, Duran Duran, Genesis...took me 5 seconds to think of...

I’ll have another 20 or so big 80’s synth artists in another 10 seconds.

Early Madonna even, crap loads of analog synth all over her early stuff.

Thomas Dolby??? He was pretty big and played the JP8. Although he played a DX5 with Bowie at Live Aid.

This is the first time I have ever heard someone say the 80’s weren’t synth heavy.
Those bands you mentioned seem more sampling or DX7-based than analog subtractive. Of course synthesizers were all over the 80's, but that raw analog subtractive sound was more the 70's to my ears.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
You're clearly forgetting something.

Old 6 days ago
  #9
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Obvious troll is obvious.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Those artists may have used sampling later on but many of their classic songs are very Analogue.

Yeah in the 70’s it was mainly about layering monophonic lines...polysynths are really more of an 80’s sound, despite one or two coming out early in the 70’s.

Look at 70’s Tangerine Dream (live at Coventry Cathedral era) vs their 80’s stuff.

By 1978/9 you had 3 big hitters, CS80, Prophet 5, Jupiter 4...yet I’d wager most of the biggest hits featuring those synths happened in the 80’s.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Obvious troll is obvious.
Hi dude.

I was going to message you, I’m working on a very special Yamaha EX5/7 soundbank utilising all of the FDSP tricks and wondered if you still own one, if so I can send you the bank when I’m done.
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Obvious troll is obvious.
I'm not trolling, just interested in people's thoughts. There seems to be a unique phenomenon of people gathering nostalgia for a past that didn't really exist the way they think it did.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Hi dude.

I was going to message you, I’m working on a very special Yamaha EX5/7 soundbank utilising all of the FDSP tricks and wondered if you still own one, if so I can send you the bank when I’m done.
Thank you very much and h3ck yeah, still have the EX5R and don't plan to sell it anytime soon. (It's actually one of the few synths that I've bought new when it came out because I was so impressed - and as you know it still is impressive today!)
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
With your logic, every record that had Tele’s and Strat’s on then during the 80’s are actually tracks great inspired by the early 50’s.
Old 6 days ago
  #15
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Thank you very much and h3ck yeah, still have the EX5R and don't plan to sell it anytime soon. (It's actually one of the few synths that I've bought new when it came out because I was so impressed - and as you know it still is impressive today!)
Great. I’ll send you a file as soon as I’m done.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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breakmixer's Avatar
 

80's popular hit electro funk/related:

Paul Hardcastle
Harold Faltemeyer
Herbie Hancock
Shannon
Freeez
Timex Social Club
Nu Shooz
Loose Ends
BB&Q Band
Colonel Abrams
D-Train
Etc etc

Then there's all the Hi-Nrg disco that was drum machine and synth orientated. Tons of that stuff...

That's apart from the New Wave & Synth Pop. How about New Order, ABC, Tears For Fears, Howard Jones blah blah?

Followed in the late 80's by the RNB stuff like Janet Jackson etc, also in 1985 House music hit the UK, you could even say Mel & Kim was House, but more like Steve Silk Hurley, Farley Jack master Funk and other Chicago/Detroit stuff that crossed over. Eventually UK and European acts too doing house and techno, Black Box - Ride On Time, 808 State etc.

Absolutely tons of electronic music in the 80's. It was when it really blew up and became popular, mostly influenced by Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan etc from the 70's.
Old 6 days ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I mean, Depeche Mode, RAH Band, Soft Cell, John Foxx, Duran Duran, Genesis...took me 5 seconds to think of...

I’ll have another 20 or so big 80’s synth artists in another 10 seconds.

Early Madonna even, crap loads of analog synth all over her early stuff.

Thomas Dolby??? He was pretty big and played the JP8. Although he played a DX5 with Bowie at Live Aid.

This is the first time I have ever heard someone say the 80’s weren’t synth heavy.
The Cars.....cyndi lauper, dead or alive,human league , heaven 17, kajagoogoo,
Old 6 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
There seems to be a unique phenomenon of people gathering nostalgia for a past that didn't really exist the way they think it did.
1. It is not a problem.

2. 100% of the 80s is still available in digital form, so there is no "think" and no one needs to build a time machine to experience that music.
Sure tapes and radio sounded different than CDs and mp3s, but now we have the tech to accurately emulate both and then even improve, making 2020 music sound more 80s than real 80s.
Old 6 days ago
  #19
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breakmixer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
Those bands you mentioned seem more sampling or DX7-based than analog subtractive. Of course synthesizers were all over the 80's, but that raw analog subtractive sound was more the 70's to my ears.
You didn't specify analog in your OP, they could of been reviewing the D-05 or Reface DX and said "The 80's are back".
Old 6 days ago
  #20
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Mr Knoch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
... In other words, it sounds cheesy and awful...
You sound cheesy and awful (sorry, just kidding). This sounds like the '80's for many of us who were there and into synths (and all those other bands mentioned above).

Old 6 days ago
  #21
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicncars View Post
The Cars.....cyndi lauper, dead or alive,human league , heaven 17, kajagoogoo,
Kajaf**kinggoogoo!
Old 6 days ago
  #22
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
There seems to be a unique phenomenon of people gathering nostalgia for a past that didn't really exist the way they think it did.
That's different from what you said in your op - had you started with this, it'd be a different discussion.
Old 6 days ago
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I don’t know how to respond to this post.
Boy I sure do. And it's taking almost everything I have to refrain...
Old 6 days ago
  #24
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breakmixer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
I'm not trolling, just interested in people's thoughts. There seems to be a unique phenomenon of people gathering nostalgia for a past that didn't really exist the way they think it did.
The club music from the 80's was mainly drum machines(digital & analog) and synthesizer based from boogie to disco/Hi NRG to hip hop to freestyle to house and techno.
Old 6 days ago
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

do you guys remember when prince used a vacuum cleaner and an old spoon in all his hits not a synth
Old 6 days ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

and when Duran Duran used an old shirt gently strummed by the wings of a small angel to do the arpeggio on a certain song

I would like to thank the last messiah for reminding us about this, after all

he is the last messiah
Old 6 days ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastmessiah View Post
I've been spending a lot of time watching demos and reading reviews of hardware synths lately. Can't help but notice that the comments for these pieces always contain some variation on "The 80's are back".

Where does this notion come from? I was born in 1984 and can barely remember 1990, but if you go back and actually listen to the real mainstream 1980's, it sounds like Lionel Richie. In other words, it sounds cheesy and awful.

There aren't many examples of 80's tracks with analog synthesizer sounds as the star player. The exceptions are underground artists and cult filmmaker soundtracks such as John Carpenter's. This stuff is great, but is in no way representative of the 80's.

And then of course there is Blade Runner. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say "sounds like the 80's". But really, BR was released in 1982 - which means that much of the pre-production was closer to the late 70s. And the Yamaha CS-80 was released in 1976. If anything, "sounds like the 70's" would be a more apt description.
Sorry to say, but you need to revisit the 80’s....sorry that you’ve led such a sheltered life.
Old 6 days ago
  #28
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

And there was so many sub-genres in the 80's that were synth-laden. Take Goth music for example? I could whip up some goth throwing some typical 80's goth synth over it and proclaim "the sound of the 80's!"
Old 6 days ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
do you guys remember when prince used a vacuum cleaner and an old spoon in all his hits not a synth
And Michael Jackson, too.
Old 6 days ago
  #30
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You want to know what sounds like the 80s? There were many periods, subcultures and styles. Here's an exemplar of one mainstream style of the very mid-80s:
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