Posted 27th January 2023

How to create synthwave tracks

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Electronic music’s synthwave subgenre first appeared in the early 2000s. It has a retro-futuristic look that is influenced by 1980s pop culture, music, and technology. The pop, new wave, and movie soundtrack sounds of the 1980s have a significant influence on the style. Synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments are frequently used in synthwave music, which also frequently incorporates elements of funk, disco, and rock music.

Retro 1980s

Many artists and producers use visual motifs from the 1980s, including neon lights and retro-futuristic graphics, giving the genre a nostalgic or retro feel. Synthwave has grown in prominence recently and has been incorporated in the soundtracks for films and video games. It also has a large following of supporters who enjoy the sound and nostalgia it evokes.

Retro-futuristic vibe

Synthwave drums are a crucial element in creating the retro-futuristic sound that defines the genre. These drums often feature a distinct, electronic sound reminiscent of the 80s and are characterized by their punchy, synthetic beats with plenty of reverb.

Synthwave one shots

One way to achieve this sound is through the use of synthwave one shots, which are individual drum samples that can be triggered and arranged to create a drum pattern. These one shots can be found in various sample packs and can be used in a variety of digital audio workstations (DAWs) to create your own drum beats. Try Macdrum’s Electronica series.

80s samples

Another option for achieving that classic 80s drum sound is to use 80s drum samples. These samples are often taken from vintage drum machines and can provide a authentic, nostalgic feel to your drum tracks. Some popular examples of synth drums from the 80s include the Roland TR-808 and the Linn LM-1.

Synthwave beats

When it comes to crafting a drum beat in the synthwave style, it’s important to remember the key elements that define the genre. A strong, driving kick drum and snare are essential, while the use of cymbals and hi-hats can add a sense of movement and energy to the beat. Experimenting with different rhythms and tempo can also help to create a unique, signature sound.


In conclusion, synthwave drums are a vital component of the genre, and by utilizing synthwave one shots, 80s drum samples, and understanding the key elements that define the style, you can create retro-futuristic beats that will transport your listener back in time to the 80s.