MATRIXSYNTH: Old-School Synth-Pop Tutorial/workflow Videos by Espen Kraft

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Old-School Synth-Pop Tutorial/workflow Videos by Espen Kraft


Espen Kraft
Published on Mar 27, 2017

Note: this completes the current run of Espen Kraft posts on the site. If you are coming in on the main site you can just scroll down for previous posts in order. If you are coming in directly to this post, click here for all Espen Kraft posts in reverse order. There have been a couple of updates, so be sure you haven't missed anything. These are some great synth videos with that classic 80s feel.

http://www.espenkraft.com
https://soundcloud.com/espenkraft
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1dMWi...

Playlist:
1. Old-school synth-pop tutorial/workflow - Retrowave/synthwave - Free patches Roland JX-8P download
2. Italo Disco - Old-school synth-pop tutorial/workflow - Free patches DX7
3. The Golden Boy - Old-school synth-pop Synthwave tutorial/workflow breakdown & multi track
4. 80s MIDI synthesizer setup explained - tutorial/workflow 2017

Details for each:


1. Old-school synth-pop tutorial/workflow - Retrowave/synthwave - Free patches Roland JX-8P download

Download 16 free patches for the Roland JX-8P or the excellent VST emulator PG-8X. These patches are in the sysex format and can be transfered to your own JX-8P with a MIDI-transfer program. like Sendex by Bome.
https://www.bome.com/products/sendsx
The PG-8X can be downloaded from this site:
https://sites.google.com/site/mlvst0/...

The patches can be downloaded here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxalle2kv91...

Episode 1 of my new series where I construct, program and perform a song totally dawless and with only 80s synths, samplers, drum machines and modules. I do this because I love working like this and secondly to show how it was done back in the day, especially for live work. Each episode ends with me performing the song, recorded in one take. Could be sour notes, playing errors and more, but it's the raw performance. No autotune or post editing.
I go over each synth I use, whu I use it and the different parts will be broken down to show you what I think each part contributes to the song. I also program the drum machines to show how these old machines work.
In this episode I constuct a song I've called "Mr.DJ" and in the following episodes I will rebuild some of the somgs from my latest album "Those Days". Check out that album on Spotify or Bandcamp here:

https://espenkraft.bandcamp.com/album...

Thank you for watching!

My tracks pay homage to all synth.pop acts of the 80'ies like Howard Jones, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Thompson Twins, Tears for Fears, Ultravox, OMD, Euryhmics, Duran Duran, Giorgio Moroder, Jean Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, A-ha and many more.

A use mostly old gear on my tracks and among them Roland Juno 6, Alpha Juno 2, D550 and JX-8P. Korg DW-8000. Roland TR-626 drum machine. Yamaha DX7 and TX802 and drum machine RX11. I use the Novation Mininova as a vocoder on all my tracks. Effects are usually handled by Strymon and TC electronics. Sampling is done on my E-MU ESI-4000 and I mostly use that for drums."

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2. Italo Disco - Old-school synth-pop tutorial/workflow - Free patches DX7

"Episode 2 in my series where I construct, and perform a track totally dawless and with only 80s synths, samplers, drum machines and modules.
In this episode I take alook at Italo Disco, a avery popular genre in the 80'ies and its sound has some key signature sounds and structures that I go through here.
Each episode ends with me performing the song, recorded in one take. Could be sour notes, playing errors and more, but it's the raw performance. No autotune or post editing.
The track in episode 2 is called "Greyhound".
I go over each synth I use, why I use it and the different parts will be broken down to show you what I think each part contributes to the song. I also program the drum machines or sequencers to show how these old machines work.

Since the Yamaha DX7 is one of the most prominent synths on the track you can download a bank of 32 free patches for the DX7 (including the one I use in the epsiode) or the excellent VST emulator Dexed. These patches are in the sysex format and can be transfered to your own DX7 with a MIDI-transfer program. like Sendex by Bome, or use the Dexed emulator to transfer between your computer and the DX7.

https://www.bome.com/products/sendsx

Dexed can be downloaded through this site:
https://asb2m10.github.io/dexed/

The patches are not mine originally, but comes from various sources on the net. I've just assembled these to work for my type of sound and music. The patches can be downloaded here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B81...

Or here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pkcncknw5pj..."

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3. The Golden Boy - Old-school synth-pop Synthwave tutorial/workflow breakdown & multi track

"To listen to the finalized released version of this track go to:
https://soundcloud.com/espenkraft/the...
https://espenkraft.bandcamp.com/track...
https://open.spotify.com/album/5rRhro...

00:00 - Intro
00:38 - DAW Breakdown
03:47 - Drums
11:57 - Synths
17:47 - Mixing and gain-staging
20:31 - Live Parts Old-school
24:02 - Live Performance The Golden Boy

Episode 3 of my tutorial/workflow series where I construct, program and perform a song totally dawless and with only 80s synths, samplers, drum machines and modules. I do this because I love working like this and secondly to show how it was done back in the day (my day), especially in a live setting.

Upon requests I've put together a little insight into how I fitted the pieces for the final released version of "The Golden Boy" in the DAW as well this time.
This segment comes right after the intro. If that's of no interest, just skip through to the FUN parts as each episode also ends with me performing the song, recorded in one take the old-school way with all hardware synths and samplers from the 80s. This also means it can be sour notes, playing errors and more, but it's the raw performance.

I go over each synth I use, why I use it and the different parts will be broken down to show you what I think each part contributes to the song. I also program the drum machines to show how these old machines work.

The final live performance of the song is done totally live with me playing some of the parts, but the Roland MC50 sequencer has been pre-programmed to play some parts of course.
In total there's 8 midi channels going at once, all daisy-chained with MIDI cables.

The free VST plugins used in this track (except for Cubase stock plugins):
http://www.anwida.com/product.asp?pid=7
http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/
http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/

VST Effects Valhalla Vintage Reverb and The Glue seen in this tutorial is the DEMO-versions with limitations and in the finalized released version these plugins are not in use.

Listen to more of my music on: http://www.espenkraft.com"

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4. 80s MIDI synthesizer setup explained - tutorial/workflow 2017

"Episode 5 of my tutorial/workflow series where I show how my old school synth setup works and try to share some tips and tricks with only 80s synths, samplers, drum machines and modules.
I do this because I love working like this and secondly to show how it was done back in the day (my day), especially in a live setting.

In todays' episode I show how everything in my studio is wired up. I focus mainly on the MIDI wiring to show how I get everything to speak to the Roland MC50 sequencer. The MC50 has two MIDI out ports. The first I use to hook up the drum machines and samplers holding the drums. I also hook up a Doepfer MSY2 MIDI-Sync box to this so that I can drive thr arpeggiator of the Roland Juno 6 in sync with the tempo of the sequencer. The Roland Juno 6 does not have MIDI so this is the only way I can sync up the arpeggiator. I could have used one of the outputs of a drum machine too. Fed the Rim shot into the clock input of the Juno would also have worked. I like this approach better as it has more flexibility.

The 8 ADAT channels off the Yamaha 01v that goes to the Audient goes through an optical TOSlink cable. Otherwise the Audient is "only" a two input soundcard. WIth the optical ADAT-connection it is a 10-input soundcard!

And yeah, I know, There was a couple more ways we could play a synth from another synth back in the day before MIDI. You had (and still have) CV in/out, but that was mainly before the appearance of MIDI and so it wasn't an option once MIDI came. Roland had DCB, a MIDI-like connection to hook up some Roland synths to other Roland synths, but with MIDI that disappeared.

When I perform live I use the same setup, but I scale it down. I don't take out all the synths. I usually bring one mixer, 5-6 synths and one sampler in addition to the MC50."

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