I had a very interesting interview with MUSICnGEAR.
“Getting into Synthwave: Gear, Techniques and Practical Advice from Established Artists.”
Producer/Composer (featured in Stranger Things 3)
Musicngear: What gear you would recommend for a synthwave setup?
Nowadays VSTs have reached a phenomenally high level of emulation, and are very easy to carry around for live shows which is why I use them as much as possible. Obviously the dear old analog synthesizers have their charm – I own a Yamaha DX7 which I use whilst looking for inspiration – I must say that “physical contact” with an 80’s instrument is always very pleasant and nostalgic.
Having said that, among my favorite and most used VSTs I can mention are u-he Zebra2, Dexed, OP-X PRO II, Minimonsta, FM8 and the wonderful Arturia V Collection. I have used them all since my very first albums, and alternate between them. In my latest productions (“Weekend” LP and “Out Now” EP) the presence of the FM synthesis is very strong (Dexed most of all)
For drums I prefer to use single shots to be placed at my convenience. Since many have asked me, in my track “Italian Gigolo” (which was included in the first episode of Stranger Things 3 when Billy flirts in the pool with Mrs. Wheeler) I did not use VSTs for guitar and bass but I played my humble but beloved Yamaha 420D electric guitar and a basic Ibanez 4-string bass.
Any practical advice for performing a synthwave production live?
As I said earlier, I prefer virtual instruments because of their practicality. For this reason I suggest everyone, especially those who are doing their first live performances (perhaps with a limited budget for any flights and baggage) to minimize the equipment and the risks. As you play live more and more you can try to make the performances more spectacular and choreographic, but in my opinion without exaggeration. Ours is not a virtuous genre like prog rock, metal, jazz … (I expect harsh comments) but a style of music that makes you dance, have fun and bring us back with a little sweet nostalgia in the past.
Any other useful tips for new synthwave artists?
If I can give some advice based on my experience in the Synthwave genre, I suggest first of all not to be too critical with your music and try to release as many songs as possible to get noticed. It is also necessary to create a nice brand image, a nice logo, good communication on your socials and try to promote yourself on webzines, podcasts and compilations.
Full article here: https://www.musicngear.com