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What makes synthwave music?

What is Synthwave Music?

Synthwave music, also known as retrowave or outrun, is a genre that emerged in the late 2000s. It is heavily influenced by the sounds of the 1980s, particularly the electronic music of that era. Synthwave artists aim to recreate the nostalgic and futuristic atmosphere of the 80s through their music.

How is Synthwave Music Created?

Synthwave music is created using a combination of analog synthesizers, drum machines, and digital audio workstations. Artists use vintage synthesizers like the Roland Juno-106, Yamaha DX7, and Korg MS-20 to produce the iconic sounds of the genre. They also incorporate drum machines like the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 to create the driving beats that define synthwave.

What are the Key Elements of Synthwave Music?

Synthwave music is characterized by several key elements:

  • 80s-inspired melodies: Synthwave melodies often feature catchy hooks and arpeggios reminiscent of the 80s pop music.
  • Powerful synth sounds: The use of rich, warm, and powerful synth sounds is a hallmark of synthwave music. These sounds create a sense of nostalgia and evoke the futuristic vibes of the 80s.
  • Driving beats: Synthwave music typically features energetic and pulsating drum beats that keep the momentum going throughout the song.
  • Reverb and delay effects: These effects are heavily used in synthwave to create a sense of space and depth, adding to the atmospheric quality of the music.

Why is Synthwave Music Popular?

Synthwave music has gained a significant following in recent years due to its unique blend of nostalgia and futuristic elements. It appeals to both fans of 80s music who appreciate the throwback sound and younger listeners who are drawn to the genre's retro-futuristic aesthetic.

Additionally, synthwave music has found a niche in various forms of media, including movies, video games, and TV shows. Its atmospheric and evocative nature makes it a perfect fit for creating mood and setting the tone in these visual mediums.


Synthwave music captures the essence of the 80s and combines it with a futuristic twist. Its nostalgic melodies, powerful synth sounds, driving beats, and atmospheric effects create a unique listening experience. Whether you're a fan of the 80s or simply enjoy the retro-futuristic vibes, synthwave music is sure to transport you to another time and place.