A few weeks ago I wanted to make some 80’s style horror synth stingers. I’m sure you know what I taking about.
So I looked up what John Carpenter and Alan Holsworth used in the late 70s. Long story short, their main two synths were the Prophet 10 and the ARP Odyssey.
Yeah, I can’t afford one of those so I decided to go the software route. I’m using Abelton Live but any DAW (digital audio workstation) should do.
Once you have a DAW for recording, you’ll need a VST -software that emulates a synth. I couldn’t find anything for the Prophet 10 but I did find the Prophet 5 and thats close enough. I went with Prophanity made by Chris Roberson which is free.
If you’ve never programmed a synth, I’d highly recommend reading How to Program a Synthesizer by TweakHeadz Lab. It covers the basics and is pretty universal no matter what kind of hardware or software you’re using. So lets skip all the boring stuff. Here’s my patch (click to hear how it sounds):
Works for me but I’m sure you’ll want to tweak it for your own needs. Try playing around with the frequencies of the oscillators, the noise level in the mixer section, the filter resonance and envelope amount, to make different sounds. Raise the decay if you’d like the sweep to ring out longer.
So hopefully this will help some filmmakers (or even game designers) get started with stingers. I might write some more soundtrack articles in the future. In the meantime you should definitely check out these sites:
And a VST specifically made for Horror soundtracks: Gargoyle 2 by Krakli