Korg poly 61

help me pick modules for this 80’s synth pop sound!

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If you are going for the 80’s sound, you will surely want to use a chorus, i find that the surge chorus goes really well for that with some tweaking ! The other day with an FM-OP and a Surge Chorus i managed to get something that sounds like a Juno, It could work well for this type of sounds :smile:


Very cool Olival… i’ll play with that one now.

So the FM-OP, Surge Chorus…

What are things are totally synth pop-ish? What about Eastside and Paddington? are those 80’s seeming to you?

Another thing that is very common is Synthwave and 80’s music are Linn drum samples with lots of reverb (especially on the snare) :slight_smile: I’m not at all on expert on this genre haha but i really enjoy listening to it, and these are some recurrring elements.

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I’d say yes on Eastside, and no on Paddington myself.

Eastside is a loving tribute to 80’s subtractive synthesis :slight_smile:

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the poly 61 has no chorus

Here I come Eastside!

the filter of the poly 61 is a small variation of the classic korg ms, based on a LM13600

there is no FM at all in P61

just some detuning between dco1 and 2

there is unison (6 voices together)

I think classic waveform SAW and SQU will do it


Yes ! synthwave relies heavily in analog synths, so classic waveforms are a must :blush:

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Interesting… I liked how the FM was sounding too but that is indeed a different type of 80’s synth pop sound or as Espen Kraft says ‘Early 80’s Italo-Disco Tracks’…

This is still a cool question though, I think the master of the synth pop revival seems to be a band called Magdalena Bay, I’ve included a link here. Its a pop duo and the guy Matthew Lewin seems to be a true 80’s synth master.

Not sure what he has in this photo. Keyboard


Yes , Fm is not really the way to go, I used the FM-OP once, because a sine wave can sounds quite like a filtered saw in my opinion, but the classic waveforms are the way to go :slight_smile: Anyway goodluck on this journey towards the 80’s ! It’s such a cool period for music , since i’m very very young, i love (re)discovering tracks from era ^^

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actually, I have to disagree with you here. quite a few of the sounds that have become quintessential “80’s sounds” have been from fm synthesis - typically either from the dx7 or the tx81z. here’s a good example of “latelybass” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZR_EBwWpGA


I guess it really depends on the artists and year, it’s true modern synthwave almost only has analog synths, but yeah i’m sure we can find hundred of songs from this era that have some dx7 in it.

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I’m quite old and even though I did grow up listening to that (I was 13 in 1983) I never realized how good it was until very recently due to my vcv rack and now modular quest.

So FM and regular Analog it is! Been dealing a lot with sine waves lately at work too - I wonder if things are aligning? hmm…

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not just dx7, but tons of ensoniq esq-1 (and esq-m). you can definitely hear it in music from the time. afraid I don’t listen much to modern synthwave, but am also “old” so synth pop is still a bit of my jam.

for the record, Gary Numan is still touring :slight_smile:


Gary Newman was a Moog man I think? at least at first. Kinda like the early Sparks stuff - now that gets a little crazy but they had some charm. And they still tour, the keyboard player Ron Mael is a legend and still gets wild at 70+ yrs old. Its good to know… now, how many simultaneous FM oscillators and other goodies can I run on vcv with my i7 overclocked? hmm…

Related question, is there a way to get actual polyphony using an external midi source? I hook up a bunch of oscillators but its still only a one key at a time thing. That’s the goal for tonight, Lynn Drum, Novation Launch Key, VCV rack and a zillion oscillators.

Before VCV went polyphonic and that became an issue I always liked to mess about with Nysthi microOperator (part of his 1 hp range) for FM stuff. This video features a patch with 24 of them. This one has 8.


Yes yes :wink: just enable polyphony in the VCV Midi - CV right click menu . You can play your favorite polyphonic oscillators with your Midi controller :blush:

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the video with 24 has me memorized!! And that background, where are the shrooms! ??? ! Looks like it was added later I’m guessing? Where is Mushroom man (Omri) when you need him :slight_smile:

Thanks Olival

The old saying “you can lead a horse to water”… that’s me I should have known to right click.

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