How To Vintage Your Synth

Everybody knows that vintage synths are cool, sound great and have that mojo that makes them valuable.

But what if you can’t wait 50 years for your synth to get vintage?

This video, via RhythmicRobot, reveals the secrets of how to ‘vintage’ your synth.ย 

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Being a synth god isn’t just about knowing how to play. It’s not even mainly about that.

What it’s really about is getting vintage

90% of Keith Emerson’s “sound” was simply the result of oxidised jack sockets.

You can achieve the same results as your synth heroes using our simple, easy-to-follow techniques, winning friends and standing out from the crowd in the process.

68 thoughts on “How To Vintage Your Synth

  1. Brilliant!!!! I just finished my Elektron A4. And wow it’s got that vintage sound now. I did not use beer I used bong water. Things also is a smoke machine now too. Fantastic.

  2. I’ve always loathed the word ‘vintage’ and how it is so often misused…this video sums it all up perfectly, LOL!

  3. Why is it i can watch videos of people being murdered and feel nothing, but this made me chain smoke and get anxiety? why couldnt they destroy like, a microkorg or something theres too many of… oh why…. why god…

    1. There were and still are too many DX7s. It’s either the #1 or #2 biggest selling synth. And it was pure late 80’s FM cheese. Simply awful. Impossible to program. Used on some really shameful tracks that have not aged well. Ugly design, fatigue-inducing tones, no controls, terrible presets, and a million of them gathering dust. Basically the opposite of what we consider a good synth.

      Old does not equal great. Hell, it’s not even all that old yet anyway.

      Most of the people posting in shock are too young to remember these things in their natural habitat. Trust me – mercy killing.

        1. “Presets” says it all? I agree!

          99% of people never went beyond the presets due to the daunting and unrewarding FM synthesis. That’s the legacy of this synth. Plastic EPs, plinky basses, and a UI only a math wizard could love.

          1. Actually, FM isn’t particularly difficult to program, IF the user interface is well-designed (which it sure WASN’T on the DX7!). Software versions, like the FM8 which comes with NI Komplete, are another story – quite user-friendly, and fairly easy to tweak.

      1. I got a Dx7iid, if someone really bough that, they must have to learn to program it like a new environment, once u done w it? now it sound amazing. i don’t have cartridge w factory memory so all have to create my own sound. it only got 1 fader to edit, but when u get familiar w the button, u can access to any parameter in 2-3 click of button, i thing even octatrack some parameter have to click more before start to tweak any knob.

  4. Granted this a joke (albeit not a terribly funny one), but I guess I’ll play the pedant point out that strictly speaking a DX7ii is already a vintage synth.

  5. I tried this on my new Moog 55 but it accidentally turned out “retro” instead of “vintage”. Whoops! Hope I haven’t voided my warranty…

    1. How about that Corvette in the Star Trek movie? I swear I hate J. J. Abrams, and not just for Nero. The only relief is that it was all CGI.

  6. I couldn’t make it past where he pulled out the keys.

    I think last year’s Moog Synthesizer Genome Project set the bar too high for April 1st gags.

  7. This is not funny AT ALL! That’s only a waste of an instrument which, ever if not working, could’ve been used to aesthetically restore a working but battered one.

    Wasting a good condition DX-7 II in this way just to do a silly video it’s outrageously stupid and pointless.

    Very very bad April fool!

    1. I understand where you are coming from, but the synth was probably knackered to begin with.

      Yamaha sold so many DX7s that they’re barely worth repairing, unless it’s a fix you can do yourself. It’s not uncommon to see them going for $150-$250 on Craiglist. If you see one going for much more, it had better be mint!

    2. Yamaha made over 200,000 DX7s. Even if 90% of them have been thrown away by now that stills leaves more than all the Minimoog-Ds and Prophet-5s ever made combined. This guy took an unloved hunk of plastic and turned it into a movie star that has entertained thousands of people. That’s not stupid or pointless. He probably doubled its value.

  8. Am i the only one who missed the shiity joke? Youre a grown arse man, get a grip and stop destroying synths with your crappy humor

  9. I mean, not even Reason’s DX7 rack extension can manage to create these kinds of vintage sounds. And that’s not even talking about those special vintage lighting effects.

  10. Horrible video. Stupid vision of the things. Non ecologic approach.
    Many musician have no money to buy synth. And i’m very disappointed when i look
    a video where for something reason a man broke a super synth like dx 7.
    I’m not agrree with these policies of synthopia. I don’t like the consumism as a way of life.

  11. Brilliant and incredibly boneheaded. Just finished the work with my Waldorf Wave and PPG 2.3 Waveterm, who were both in a ugly perfect condition.

  12. “This tutorial video was brought to you by San Miguel beer. Nothing ruins circuit boards like a bottle of cold foamy San Miguel. Ask your local electrician for more details.”
    I’ve done some vintaging myself with my MIDI keyboard-controller. Resting my coffee cup on it, letting the dust set on it. I have two dust bunnies already. I call one of them Jiminy because he’s small and cute like Jiminy Cricket.

  13. I’m old, and was there when the DX7 came out. All
    the sheep wanted one, selling all their analogue gear
    to get one in many cases that I heard, and crashing
    the market in the process. That was the time to buy,
    Jupiter 8 for 300 quid, new tb303s for a hundred,
    university modulars in skips. Sadly I missed my chance,
    was travelling instead, but we should be grateful to the
    Yamaha, it brought normally expensive gear into the
    hands of many creative people, who would otherwise
    not have had the chance. Its’ creation was a momentous
    moment in electronic music history. and the machine
    deserves more respect than this.

  14. Since the thing starts to burn at the end, the final scene should have been an outdoor shot of his garage going up in flames.

  15. The DX7 is just horrific to program in every way. The UI is terrible, the physical interface is terrible and the FM concepts are not easy to learn from using the keyboard.

    That said, the DX7 was way ahead of all the other keyboards of the day in playability as a KEYBOARD.

    When everybody else was doing monosynths with non-velocity sensitive keyboards, or 5 or 6 voice polysynths, the DX7 had 16-voice polyphony, velocity sensitivity, aftertouch, breath-controller support and support for 4 foot controllers. And it was built like a tank.

    To top that off, the DX7 patches really respond to your playing, so the sounds don’t just get louder when you play harder, they do things like becoming more harmonically complex. There’s a reason people loved the DX7 – for keyboard players, it completely blew away the other synths of the day in terms of playability.

    Roland and Korg have released some interesting keyboard with really interesting synth engines in the last couple of years – but none of them can hold a candle to 30-year old DX7s, in terms of playability and build quality.

  16. O.k. Maybe I am just dense, but I don’t get it !

    By damaging the perfectly well preserved synthesizer, it somehow adds
    ” Coolness ” to it ? Does the synth somehow ‘ Sound ‘ any different ? Better ?
    I bought my Korg Wavestation EX for $400.00, but I don’t use it that much as I also have
    the Wavestation VSTi….so all I gotta do now is damage the hell out of my EX and I can now
    sell it for $4,000.00 ? because it’s somehow more vintage than it was in pristine condition ?

    I have a 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara, it has rear damage due to being rear ended…should I
    not get that fixed so that the value of the vehicle will now be $50,000.00 ? It’s damaged after all
    and so it’s ‘ Vintage ‘

    This video is completely idiotic at best.

  17. Cool ! I’ll do that with my prophet 08 and my minimoog voyager. Don’t look enough vintage for me.
    Thanks Rythmicrobot.

  18. Can’t say I care for intentionally destroying or damaging any musical instrument. If this is the same Rhythmic Robot that made a career out of shamelessly copying Hollow Sun’s Kontakt instruments, I now feel twice as sorry for him.

  19. Is not a proper vintageing without cigaret burnmarks on keys and old heavy smokers smell from inside of the synth – you have to learn a lot from Fender relic costum shop masters to become a pro!

  20. OMG I could barely watch this. Was this supposed to be a comedy sketch? Oh holy hell he just poured beer on it *faints*. I want vintage sound not looks, this was just plain torture to watch!

  21. THIS IS NOT FREAKIN’ FUNNY!!! If you happen to be on the spectrum and your main interest are synthesizers, this is not a good thing to watch. I also have no eyesight, but it still hurts like hell to hear a synth being destroyed that way, no matter what synth. So, dear Synthtopia moderators, please don’t share bs like that in the future.

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