A few months ago, I was asked to work as a producer/sound-designer on a low-budget indie record. The artist intended to recreate a certain late ’70s/early ’80s vibe (think new wave meets electropop). My job was to capture the ‘sonic essence’ of that era. I thought it would be interesting to share with our readers the thought process and the tools I picked for this job. Let’s find out…
Doing My Homework: A Sonic Catalog
Before recording any notes, I decided that I would build a sort of ‘sonic catalog’. The first question I asked myself was: what were the quintessential instruments/sounds of that era? Being a fan of that kind of music, it wasn’t hard for me to come up with a list – even though I decided to do further research on albums/musicians I wasn’t so familiar with, to extend the palette.
This allowed me to have a better overview of the sounds I wanted to explore during the recording of the album and create a sort of mind-frame that would prove highly valuable later on. Remember, defining your tools and your boundaries before recording is a key step of any creative process.
In this case, I split my list in two: synthesizer/keyboard sounds and drum machine/sampled drums. I didn’t need to work on guitar and bass sounds since the band’s members had already done their homework.
I shall now go through the items I picked, and briefly discuss each one. I’ll start with synths and VSTs, please follow me on this journey clicking on the page numbers below…
DISCLOSURE: Our posts may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.