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Cover image for Music Monday β€” What are you listening to? (Synth Heroes Edition 🎹)
Michael Tharrington for The DEV Team

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Music Monday β€” What are you listening to? (Synth Heroes Edition 🎹)

cover image source: Giphy

Last week, I asked y'all to share your favorite guitar heroes, and this week we're turning our attention to another awesome instrument β€” the synthesizer. Oh, the synthesizer... quite possibly the most versatile instrument to ever exist! It can buzz or it can breathe. It can squelch, hiss, & squeal in one moment, then quietly hum the next. You can make it sound as natural as a bird whistling or as otherworldly as an alien spaceship. It's been used to mimic string instruments, percussion, wind, brass, piano... it's also been used to conjure up sounds that were previously impossible. A mainstay in popular music since the 1970s, you can hear some form of synth across pretty much everything we listen to today. So, what synth-heavy songs have been catching your ears? What about the heroes β€” the keyboard players and synthesists behind those soaring synth lines? I wanna know what kinda synth music you're into!

A cartoon of Bob Moog standing in the middle of 3 synthesizers. His arms are crossed and he's looking directly at us like a boss.


How we do

In this weekly series, folks can chime in and drop links to whatever it is they've been listening to recently + browse others' suggestions. You can follow the suggested genre if you'd like, but don't feel confined to it; you're free to suggest whatever you wanna. πŸ™Œ

If you're interested in having other discussions about music, consider following the aptly named #music discussions organization.


Alright fellow synth enthusiasts, this one is for you! Note: you can embed a link to your song using the following syntax {% embed https://... %}. This should work for most common platforms!

Looking forward to listening to y'all's suggestions! 🎢

Top comments (60)

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

One of my synth hero is French 79. Specially Lovin' Feeling and Hometown, but I love 90% of this music 🎧πŸ₯°


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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

You should also try Pyramid.

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Love this one weeep!

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Yes, You should checkout this remix as well:

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Dayuuuum! I like the remix a whole lot. Nice and chill.

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Really love this one ✨πŸ₯°

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

These tunes are freaking dope, Thomas! I'd never hear of French 79 before, but totally digging these tracks. Great suggestion. πŸ™Œ

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Try this one. ☝️

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington • Edited

Haha, sounds like Schwarzenegger alright. I dig it. Makes me feel like a badass. 😎

This kinda reminds me of Irving Force... now, you try this one πŸ‘‡πŸ˜

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

This one is energetic! 🀯πŸ’₯

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

I've got two more:


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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Dude @michaeltharrington that track is awesome. Can we make a playlist from the suggestions from here @thomasbnt ?? On Spotify

Ultimate Syth Coding Jam ⚑️

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt • Edited

We can create a Jam playlist of course! This is my profile

Thomas Bnt on Spotify

Thomas Bnt, a user on Spotify

favicon open.spotify.com
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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Heck yeah, Saurabh, we can indeed!! I'd love to do that. πŸ’š

I'm not primarily a Spotify user, but I dabble and I'd be happy to join y'all on there to make a dope synthy mix like this. I think y'all got me beat 2 > 1 anyway, haha! 😁

Would you mind starting it up? I'm pretty sure you can invite collaborators with a link, but again not a Spotify user, so I couldn't tell ya how it's done.

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Yupp I'm creating one, Spotify is like Apple Music (but better XD).
Just add the songs you like from your YouTube to the playlist.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Will do!! 😁

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Oh cool :D

Yeah I think you can invites us to the playlist @srbhr

 
srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Sure, here's my profile:

Samurize on Spotify

Samurize, a user on Spotify

favicon open.spotify.com
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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Woot! Here I am:

michaelmadcat on Spotify

michaelmadcat, a user on Spotify

favicon open.spotify.com

Most of my listening here is from other folks' suggestions, so if ya look through my profile, it's not exactly representative of my personal tastes, though I'm sure there's stuff in there I like.

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Okay I'm adding you two to the playlist.

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai • Edited

Here you go:

@michaeltharrington and @thomasbnt

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

I've added a few songs, but feel free to search and add and SAVE it.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Sweet! I'm trying to do a focused push on some work before my day is up, but I'll hop in there tomorrow morning. Will be some good tunes to go with my morning coffee. β˜•οΈ

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Sure

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Haha, so about one month later, but I'm just remembering this! Tuning in now. πŸ™Œ

 
thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Ooh yeaah!

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Saved 🌱

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

You can add in songs as well @thomasbnt

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Any chance you might add me too so I can add a few tunes?

FWIW, I'm listening to Feel The Steel right now and getting pumped. πŸ’ͺ

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Hello! I can't add musics, @srbhr put the playlist public, but not cooperative ☹

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai
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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai
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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Ooooh yeah it's wooorks! I will add some musics later πŸ™Œ

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Great

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

I can see you here:
Image description

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Hmmm... where do you see me in there? I only see two folks listed "Samurize" and "Thomas Bnt"

I'm not Spotify pro, but I have contributed to playlists before and "DEV's Synth Mix" is nowhere in my "add to playlist" list. πŸ‘‡

So, can you tell me what I'm doing wrong here?

pic of me trying to add "America Online" by The Midnight to DEV's Synth Mix in Spotify

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Bahhh! @srbhr my bad, I'm in now!

I didn't see all these helpful messages above. Going through my notifications in reverse right now and so just saw all these messages. πŸ˜…

Thanks!!

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Oooh yeaah, welcome to the party! πŸ•ΊπŸΌ

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Ha ha, yes, @michaeltharrington, should we post the Playlist on the newer post as well? (Please do so if your answer is yes, I might be offline then). I want newer Synthwave Jams!

Really nice additions @michaeltharrington and @thomasbnt

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Ayy French 79 is awesome. But did you try Justice?

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt • Edited

Oh I know!

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Try Canon and Canon (Primo).

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Okay Canon is like TRON. Nice, not the top of music, but I love the effects!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Oooo Justice... hadn't heard them in forever. Gotta love it! πŸ•Ί

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

You'll love Jusstttiicccee!!! πŸ’–
Daft Punk and Justice are like sisters. Daft Punk is the famous one, and Justice is the pretty one. ~ A youtube comment

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

One of my synth heroes has to be John Carpenter.

He's been creating scoring his movies since the start and I think is one of the only directors to consistently do so (btw, check out the Soundtrack Edition of Music Monday).

He's a master of minimalism and creating suspense in music... everyone thinks of the Halloween theme song, but since I'm not entirely sure whether that's a synth (kinda think the main bit is a piano line) I'm gonna point another, lesser-known banger... the theme to Assault on Precinct 13.

Also, check out this awesome performance he did of the theme from Escape from New York. He performed this one alongside his son, Cody Carpenter.

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Oh cool, I liked the second one!

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srbhr profile image
Saurabh Rai

Carpenter Brut is super awesome as well.

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dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian • Edited

Here's my ultimate Synthwave Playlist:

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Awesome. Just, awesome 🎧🀩

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dendihandian profile image
Dendi Handian

Glad you liked it. You may like my Electronic Dance playlist here too: dev.to/dendihandian/comment/24jlf

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Ooooo right on, Dendi! Thank you for sharing! πŸ™Œ

Absolutely loving this collection of synthwave tunes... seeing all these neon colors in the different videos you sent makes me happy. 😎

I'm familiar with quite a few of these (I still tune into FM-84 β€” you showed me them previously β€” and The Midnight who I love) but not all of them... I'm gonna go through'em one by one and will let you know if any particular tunes catch my ears.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

I have a number of YouTubers that I follow on the reg to get my synth fix...

First up, Hainbach... this YouTuber creates synth-heavy experimental electronic music. Often, he's walking us through non-traditional gear (frequently not even synths) that he uses to craft his own flavor of ambient and experimental music.

Here's one of his walkthroughs for y'all to get a sense of what he's all about:

And if you just wanna hear an ambient track of his:

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Next up, OoraMusic...

Similar to Hainbach, OoraMusic creates experimental music, most often with drum machines, synthesizers, samplers, and pedals. They also release walkthroughs to share their creative process and opinions on gear. For instance, see the following:

Here's a recent performance they put out that sounds nice and chill:

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Thomas Bnt

That's what I call hardware!

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Adhiraj Kinlekar • Edited

I'm not deeply into Synth music, and I can't precisely identify electronic music genres, but I am familiar with Ulver's work post their black metal days. I've read that it has substantial synth influences, and I love it!

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Michael Tharrington

Oooo nice one, Adhiraj!

I absolutely feel the synths here and like hearing them in this heavy kinda context. Such a creative sonic mix going on here.

Love it! πŸ™Œ

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Gotta mention Lisa Bella Donna here! Totally a synth superhero!!

Check out the videos below and prepare to have your mind blown wide open. 🀯

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2wolvez profile image
Scott