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80s horror synths
Old 20th October 2010
  #1
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80s horror synths

Hi, Just wondering if anybody could recommend any synths that are geared towards 80s horror soundtracks. I'm looking for something with good presets as i'm not much of a tweaker so just wondering if there's a dedicated synth out there that people are using for this sound.
I'm currently using Analog Factory, FM8, NI Massive, Mo8 and trying out the minimonsta demo.

Cheers.
Old 20th October 2010
  #2
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piccazzo's Avatar
 

A sound example might help , cause i donĀ“t know what sound your talking bout..
Old 20th October 2010
  #3
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terrytee's Avatar
 

80s horror synths

Do a search to see what gear John carpenter used, I know he had a prophet 5 in the mix. Taking in to consideration the Italians were the kings of the horror movies I would look at elka. List some movies to give us a better idea.

Try to find out what Sid roams are using in there set up.

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Old 20th October 2010
  #4
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I'd post this question in the Electronic music forum. There are some guys with insane synth knowledge there who would probably know.
Old 20th October 2010
  #5
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terrytee's Avatar
 

Got to be honest, I did my post from the iphone app & was under the impression it was the electronic forum i was posting in, i was wrong. But if your looking for soft synth presets you would be best off posting some examples of movie scores. I think your gonna find its best to work out how certain sounds are programmed and what combination of waveforms are being used. IME I find factory presets are to often catered towards current trends in music..... So post some links to the Electric forum.
Old 20th October 2010
  #6
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Infamous .45's Avatar
 

Sonic projects OP-X
Old 20th October 2010
  #7
Gear Head
name a few flicks please...
Old 20th October 2010
  #8
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Old 20th October 2010
  #9
Nothing beats the Theremin .
Old 20th October 2010
  #10
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charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shinobi View Post
Hi, Just wondering if anybody could recommend any synths that are geared towards 80s horror soundtracks. I'm looking for something with good presets as i'm not much of a tweaker so just wondering if there's a dedicated synth out there that people are using for this sound.
I'm currently using Analog Factory, FM8, NI Massive, Mo8 and trying out the minimonsta demo.

Cheers.
Alan Howarth who did a lot of the music for Carpenter used a Prophet, and Arp synths as well as Oberheim stuff- he later got into the Synclavier- all of that was pretty much what the music guys were using, so it really isnt so much about the synth but the sorts of sounds and actual score that was written.

Alan Howarth - Producer, Composer, Sound Designer
Old 20th October 2010
  #11
g22
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I remember that Carpenter used the Ensoniq EPS 12bit on the theme song from" Escape From New York", and probably some others. Though I don't think that board came out til the late 80's, maybe early 90's so that could be wrong. But I think many of the early Ensoniq sampler/synths were probably used in a lot of those movies like the Mirage or ESQ. They are pretty cheap today too, yu can get one for $100-$200 on ebay.
Old 20th October 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i604 View Post
Nothing beats the Theremin .
He said 80's, not 50's, lol.
Old 20th October 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g22 View Post
I remember that Carpenter used the Ensoniq EPS 12bit on the theme song from" Escape From New York", and probably some others. Though I don't think that board came out til the late 80's, maybe early 90's so that could be wrong. But I think many of the early Ensoniq sampler/synths were probably used in a lot of those movies like the Mirage or ESQ. They are pretty cheap today too, yu can get one for $100-$200 on ebay.
Mirage was out in '84 before the EPS in '88. Escape from New York was out in '81 even before the Emulator II ('84). I'm pretty sure it was all Oberheims and Prophets as has been stated already. Don't know the timeline for his other movies so much but I think with him it's less the gear and more the composition and arrangement.
Old 20th October 2010
  #14
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those st's carpenter did himself were pretty atrocious imo.
Old 20th October 2010
  #15
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terrytee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
those st's carpenter did himself were pretty atrocious imo.
Carpenters early Scores certainly are not atrocious... as they stand there pretty influential stuff wether you like it or not. The amount of hip-hop artists that have used or been influence by carpenters scores is pretty extensive, credits From Dr Dre, Timbo Biggie songs and many more, and those are only the sample or reworks, Dead Prez?. Even Hans Zimmer referenced Assault on precent 13 as one of his favourite scores of all time. Growing up with a father who's the professor of music at the local univertsiy must have set a good ground for Carpenter.

-----------------------------------------

Here's a thread i stated some time ago regarding Charles Bernsteins Score for the original Nightmare on Elms street ST, A poster managed to list the whole set up for that one .

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...ms-street.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
Here's a gearlist for this horror-score:

Yamaha DX-7 (used a lot for the bell-like melody textures)
Oberheim OB-SX (used for the low pad on the Main Title etc.)
Roland Juno-106
ARP 2600 (mk I - 1971/72 model) - Charles wasn't totally sure whether this synth made it onto the score.
Very small Casio keyboard (used for the electronic violin sound in the Main title etc.)
Roland drum machine (Charles does not remember what model it was)
Acoustic piano

Moreover, Charles used a lot of Boss guitar pedals to process his voice (in falsetto).
This is the eerie vocal effects that can be heard at various places in the score.

The score was recorded on a TEAC 1/2" 8-Track.



cheers,
Micke
I wouldn't just look at carpenter for horror scores using synths and would take in to consideration european work also. Ennio Morricone, Goblins, Fabio Frizzi........ the list could go on and on. But at the end of the day it fair to say these guys used what ever they could lay there hands on at the time, Moog Arp, Seqential Elka.

Again, to the OP, am gonna say that i think if your not gonna make your own patches, it really not that hard once you understand the basics, or at least tweak you may be had pushed to find exactly what your looking for.
Old 21st October 2010
  #16
Gear Head
for the late 80's, early 90's vibe i'd go for 'korg legacy digital', if you're after softsynths... you can get the m1/wavestation combo fairly cheap and it's got tons of easily tweakable presets...
the late 70's, early 80's stuff would definitely require some analog hardware classics, that's an entirely different way to go and will empty anybody's pockets in no time...
Old 21st October 2010
  #17
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ive gotten some pretty 70's-80's texas chainsaw massacre-esque sounding synth sounds with just a simple monophonic sine wave generator synth i think i was using a motif with those patches (i dont remember what their called, but its 2 cards you can buy to expand your motifs and one of them you can make your own simple synth sounds with.

i would also try ni reaktor maybe.
Old 21st October 2010
  #18
g22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkbirge View Post
Mirage was out in '84 before the EPS in '88. Escape from New York was out in '81 even before the Emulator II ('84). I'm pretty sure it was all Oberheims and Prophets as has been stated already. Don't know the timeline for his other movies so much but I think with him it's less the gear and more the composition and arrangement.
yeah your right, then it wasn't "Escape". I read this a while ago so forgot what it said, but this is what I was referring to from vintagesynth.com:

"The EPS has been used by Cirrus, Wu-tang producer RZA and filmaker/composer John Carpenter".

Ensoniq EPS | Vintage Synth Explorer

So it must've been in some of his late 80's early 90's films.

I think Carpenter is a great scorer. I love that intro music to "Escape.." Its a unique 5 bar loop, and it works perfect.
Old 21st October 2010
  #19
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aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
Regarding Carpenter - Horror Synths

My understanding is The Prophet 5 (along with a real acoustic piano) were the main main synth/sound sources on HALLOWEEN, although some of the principle people involved have been in dispute on this issue. Carpenter worked with engineer, Alan Howarth.
This is their kit list (instruments only, not recording equipment) from the HALLOWEEN pictures, THE FOG and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK to the best of my recollection (I stand to be corrected)
FROM NEW YORK: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 Arp QuadraArp Avatar (2) Arp Sequencer Roland CSQ-600 Sequencer Sequential Circuits 700 Programmer Roland SVC-350 Vocoder Linn LM-1 Drum Computer Fender Jazz Bass Fender Stratocaster
With little doubt I would say The Prophet 5 was one of the most recognizable synths in horror movies of the era. It was the main sound of THE HITCHER and CREEPSHOW soundtracks. Furthur, It can also be clearly heard in CAT PEOPLE alongside a Jupiter 8. (The Jupiter 8 being a strong tool for creating the sound(s) found in many of those movies. The other dominant synth was the Yamaha CS80, which comprised the bulk of the PHANTASM score. The CS80 and Prophet 10 were used by Rick Wakeman, for THE BURNING. Hans Zimmer also used the CS80 for many of his scores during this time.
In the following years, the New England Digital Synclavier found a prominent voice in many films (including many horror films) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS and the VIDEODROME soundtracks were completely realized on one. The Synclavier was also dominant in WAR GAMES & BLUE THUNDER, accompanied by a Prophet. Dan Wyman did the synth-programming on Carpenter's previous soundtracks Assault On Precinct 13; (1976) Halloween; (1978) and The Fog (1979). The synthesis for all three scores were made on Wyman's built-out Moog Modular IIIP, comprising 5 boxes/cabinets (incl. the 960 double sequencer cabinet. Although he did have a Minimoog, an Arp/Solina string ensemble as well as Oberheim 4-voice in his studio (Sound Arts). he did not use either of them on Carpenter's scores.
Considering the above information, I would look at the options offered by Arturia for recreating the sounds it seems you are after. The MOOG modular; ARP 2600; and Jupiter and of course the Prophet 5 models being the best out of their models to consider for your purposes.
Best Regards, -Lex
Old 21st October 2010
  #20
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terrytee's Avatar
 

^^^^^^
Some good info right there thumbsup
Old 21st October 2010
  #21
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godphaser's Avatar
 

How can someone say Carpenter OSTs suck?
Old 21st October 2010
  #22
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I am getting more and more into the hardware synths because all these tones come from knob tweaking. And while I have spent a lot of time tweaking soft synths, it can be an extremely boring process because there are SO many synths out there that you can buy or are simply free downloads.

So you get all these synths and start preset scrolling. And then you load up another and do it again and again sometimes instead of just working with one.

If someone gave you a Prophet V (nice person) and that was all you had. I about guarantee after a weeks time you would have made a lot of cool sounds with that thing.

So what I am getting at, is that you could buy a real synth like a Micron for $300 bucks and force yourself to learn how it works by playing with knobs and manipluating the sounds on the machine.

Only reason I say this is because the OP is saying that he has FM8 and Massive. Well honestly, that is more then you will probably need for a long time right there. The only problem is that you are in the trap of just scrolling presets instead of learning what all the knobs can do to the sounds. You can make stuff sound creepy sometimes by just stacking a few oscialltors and detuning them properly.
Old 21st October 2010
  #23
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ncoak's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
How can someone say Carpenter OSTs suck?

easy. see above.

sure they are 'groundbreaking' and 'influential' due to sampling but sitting down to listen to them is murder. same with goblin, tangerine dream, etc.

there are plenty of soundtracks out there one can consider decent albums on their own, but these ain't them (imo).

give me some lalo schifrin, morricone as opposed to 30 minutes of mildly interesting synth textures.

yes i said it.
Old 21st October 2010
  #24
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charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
easy. see above.

sure they are 'groundbreaking' and 'influential' due to sampling but sitting down to listen to them is murder. same with goblin, tangerine dream, etc.

there are plenty of soundtracks out there one can consider decent albums on their own, but these ain't them (imo).

give me some lalo schifrin, morricone as opposed to 30 minutes of mildly interesting synth textures.

yes i said it.
to each his own.

but it should be said, an overwhelming majority of those horror films were done very cheaply, so to compare Morricone to those composers is a logical non-starter.
Old 21st October 2010
  #25
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EMS Synthi
Old 21st October 2010
  #26
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Darkspeed's Avatar
 

I watched the first Nightmare on Elm St. again recently after many years. Those are the synth sounds NOT to use....

Last edited by Darkspeed; 21st October 2010 at 11:05 PM.. Reason: grammar
Old 21st October 2010
  #27
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terrytee's Avatar
 

80s horror synths

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak


sure they are 'groundbreaking' and 'influential' due to sampling but sitting down to listen to them is murder. same with goblin, tangerine dream, etc.

there are plenty of soundtracks out there one can consider decent albums on their own, but these ain't them (imo).

give me some lalo schifrin, morricone as opposed to 30 minutes of mildly interesting synth textures.

yes i said it.
Sorry but None of those ost are groundbreaking due to sampling, they were influential & groundbreaking prior to sampling or any use in hip-hop. Considering that schifrin & morricone will be some of the main inspiration for carpenter makes me wonder if your just trying to argue for the sake of it. I bet my life both schifrin & morricone would be disagreeing with you right now. Plus those two would be commissioned to do a ost and generally have a lot of time & orchestra at there disposal. On top of this morricone is one of the few people in music history that could claim to have invented a genre of music all by himself, no body made music that sounded morricone before he came about. Just for the record goblin are not just a synth band there a hugely influential prog rock band, minimal synth use if any, and the album for Dario Argento's Deep Red sold big numbers, so plenty of people most have found it easy to listen to it.

I respect your point of view regarding taste, no can tell another person what they do or don't like & It's true to say that music in horror or thriller has to be done with a certain mood, suspense & terror. If that's not your thing, well it's just not your thing.


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Old 22nd October 2010
  #28
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The Escape From New York soundtrack is always in my playlist as is The Thing. I love those soundtracks. Also, maybe not horror per-se but definitely disturbing is the Clockwork Orange with undoubtedly one of the absolute best synth soundtracks ever created.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncoak View Post
easy. see above.

sure they are 'groundbreaking' and 'influential' due to sampling but sitting down to listen to them is murder. same with goblin, tangerine dream, etc.

there are plenty of soundtracks out there one can consider decent albums on their own, but these ain't them (imo).

give me some lalo schifrin, morricone as opposed to 30 minutes of mildly interesting synth textures.

yes i said it.
Old 22nd October 2010
  #29
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Edward Shnapper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkspeed View Post
I watched the first Nightmare on Elm St. again recently after many years. Those are the synth sounds NOT to use....
I think u r far off the mark. Lo quality or 'Lo-Fi' has always had its place... Listen to 90's hiphop.. its very raw.. the sound quality perfectly imitates what they are talking about. You wouldn't use that same quality if you are going to sing some gay love son tho. Look at hiphop today.. it all sounds manaufactured and plastic which perfectly suits what they are talking about.. clubs/money/bitches etc.

My point is, different qualities are used in order to suit the surroundings.. Terrible sounds perfectly suit a terrible scene...... it ends up fitting perfecty and being genius
Old 24th October 2010
  #30
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Darkspeed's Avatar
 

Fine lines...

I hear you, but seriously watch that film (Elm St. original) and tell me you'd be caught dead using those synth sounds. Cheesy to say the least. Nothing scary sounding per se......
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