How to Create an 80s Style Electronic Music Track

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


How to Create an 80s Style Electronic Music Track – Learn how to create an 80s style electronic music track with this step-by-step guide. Find out what equipment you need and how to create the perfect sound.


Are you a fan of the 1980s electronic music scene? If you are, you may be interested in learning how you can create your own 80s style electronic music track. While it may seem daunting, it is actually not as difficult as you may think. With the right tools and a little bit of creativity, you can create an amazing track that will transport listeners back to the 1980s.

To get started, you will need to gather some basic equipment. You will need a computer with a audio production program, some synthesizers, and a drum machine. Once you have your equipment, you will be ready to start creating your own 80s style electronic music track.

The first step is to choose the tempos that you want to use for your track. For an authentic 80s sound, it is recommended that you use tempos between 110 and 140 beats per minute. Once you have chosen your tempos, you can start creating the instrumentals for your track.

Next, you will need to create the drum beat for your track. This can be done with a drum machine or by programming the drums into your audio production software. For an authentic 80s sound, it is recommended that you use a 4/4 time signature and simple drum patterns. Once you have created the drumbeat, you can add in other instrumentals such as keyboards, guitars, and bass lines.

Finally, it is time to add in the vocals for your track. If you are not a singer yourself, there are many places where you can find 1980s style vocal samples online. Once you have found some vocal samples that you like, simply import them into your audio production software and add them to your track.

By following these steps, you can easily create an amazing 80s style electronic music track that will transport listeners back in time. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

What You’ll Need

To create an 80s style electronic music track, you will need a few things:
-A computer with a DAW (digital audio workstation) and VST plugins (virtual instruments/synthesizers).
-An understanding of basic music theory.
-Patience and practice.

With these things, you will be well on your way to creating an 80s style electronic music track that will make your friends and family nostalgic for the good old days.

The Basics of Synthesis

If you’re interested in creating electronic music in the style of the 1980s, there are a few basic things you’ll need to know about synthesis. Synthesis is the process of creating sounds using oscillators, filters, and envelope generators. By manipulating these elements, you can create any number of classic 80s sounds, from the synthetic bass of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” to the arpeggiated synth line in New Order’s “Blue Monday.”

To get started with synthesis, you’ll need a few basic pieces of equipment. First, you’ll need an oscillator, which is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive waveform. Oscillators are responsible for generating the majority of the sounds you’ll hear in an electronic track. Next, you’ll need a filter, which is an element that can be used to manipulate the timbre of a sound. Filters can be used to create everything from subtle variations in tone to complete sonic transformations. Finally, you’ll need an envelope generator, which is used to control the amplitude (loudness) of a sound over time.

With these three elements in place, you’re ready to start synthesizing some classic 80s sounds. Read on for more details on how to get started!

Drum Programming

To program an 80s style drum track, you’ll need to use a drum machine or drum sequencer. Many modern music production software programs have drum machines and/or drum sequencers built in, so you may not need to purchase anything special.

Start by creating a basic 4/4 beat with a kick on beats 1 and 3, and a snare on beats 2 and 4. You can add hi-hats, cymbals, and other percussion sounds as well. Once you have your basic beat established, start adding in some fills and variations.

Programming an 80s style electronic music track is all about creating a solid foundation with a simple but solid beat, and then adding in variation and interest with fill patterns and other elements. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create amazing sounding tracks that will transport your listeners back to the 1980s!

Arranging Your Track

When you have all of your sounds selected, it’s time to start arranging them into a song. For an 80’s style track, you’ll want to start with a simple drum beat. At the most basic level, an 80’s drum beat will consist of a kick drum on the first and third beat, and a snare on the second and fourth beat. You can add in hi-hats on the off-beats for extra flair.

Once you have your basic drum beat down, you can start adding in other elements. A typical 80’s electronic track will have a simple bassline that plays throughout the song. To create a bassline, start by picking a root note. This is the note that your bassline will revolve around. From there, add in some additional notes that create a melody. For an 80’s style bassline, you’ll want to keep it relatively simple.

Next, you can add in some chord progressions. Chord progressions are simply sequences of chords that are played in a particular order. For an 80’s style track, you’ll want to use chord progressions that are based around major or minor chords. A common chord progression in an 80’s electronic track is known as the “I-V-vi-IV” progression. This progression starts on the first chord of the major scale (I), moves to the fifth chord (V), then to the sixth chord (vi), and finally back to the fourth chord (IV).

Once you have your chords sorted out, you can start adding in lead melodies and other embellishments. Lead melodies are typically played by synthesizers or other electronic instruments. To create a lead melody, start by picking a scale that you want to use. From there, add in notes from that scale to create a catchy melody. For an 80’s style lead melody, you’ll want to use either pentatonic or major scales.

Finally, don’t forget about the all-important 808 kick drum! The 808 kick is what gives many electronic tracks their signature sound. To create an 808 kick, simply take a sine wave and pitch it down two octaves. from there, add some resonance and/or distortion to taste.

Mixing and Mastering

Now that you have all of your tracks recorded, it’s time to mix and master them. This is where you will bring all of the tracks together and make them sound great as a cohesive whole.

There are a few things to keep in mind when mixing:
-Each track should be balanced with the others. You don’t want any one track to be too loud or too soft.
-The overall mix should be pleasing to the ear. Avoid using too much of any one effect or sound.
-Make sure the transitions between tracks are smooth. You don’t want any abrupt changes in volume or tone.

Mastering is the final step in the process. This is where you will make sure the levels are balanced and the overall sound is consistent. Mastering can be done with software or by sending your tracks to a professional mastering engineer.


This guide should give you everything you need to get started creating an 80s style electronic music track. Remember to have fun and experiment with different sounds and samples to create your own unique track.

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