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Your Guide to the Ultimate Retro Summer Sound + a Freebie

Dive into the vibrant world of vaporwave! In this article, we’ll guide you on creating captivating retrowave and chillwave music using the powerful software instrument Vapor Keys. Discover some great tracks to inspire your next masterpiece. Plus, stick around until the end for an exciting FREE offer for Vapor Keys!

The Born of Digital Retro

The retrowave style is returning with the recent 80s and 90s music surge. With the emergence of atmospheric 80s synth in film and videogame scoring, vaporwave has made its way onto movie soundtracks such as Drive or games like Mirror’s Edge with fresh new momentum, adding retro flavor to modern genres. But what is this phenomenon? Why are people suddenly so interested in it? Vaporwave is morphing into a new form of popular music that we will hear for years.

One of the most famous vaporwave track: Private Caller from Saint Pepsi

Ok, so what is vaporwave anyway? Vaporwave is an electronic music subgenre that combines 1980s-inspired synth sounds with modern techniques to create a surreal listening experience. The genre has roots in late 1990s internet culture and early web 2.0 experimentation. Artists began appropriating corporate logos or retro pixels from old computer games as album art on their blogs or MySpace pages. Musically it has been noted for its disco-esque, relaxed, or “chill-wave” rhythmic structure: the sounds have been likened to 1980s synthpop, smooth jazz, R&B, lounge music, and video game sounds. Also, vapor artists often sample from these genres and use other 1990s cultural influences such as Japanese culture or cyberpunk themes.

The Rise of Synth-Based Nostalgia

The term “vaporwave” was coined by James Ferraro and originally referred not just to music but an entire subculture involving synth-based nostalgia for 1980s popular culture. Some argue that the first vaporwave songs were originally posted to online platforms such as Tumblr and Reddit back in 2010. One of these original tracks, “Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol 1” by Electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never (OPN), is widely considered to be the very first-ever vaporwave album.

Crafting Vaporwave: The Art of Sampling

Vaporwave is typically created by sampling and manipulating synthpop, synthwave, or other synth-heavy music from the 80s to 90s. These songs are typically characterized by their ethereal melodies, retro-futuristic sounds, heavy use of sampling (often obscure), loops with long delays or reverb effects, and heavily processed vocals (typically male), often making it difficult to understand what lyrics are being said. It primarily operates with ambient textures reminiscent of the droning synthesizers used in horror films such as John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” instrumentation consisting of synth pads, often in mallets, bells, pianos, or guitar simulations.

Vaporwave’s soft and atmospheric tones make it a perfect soundtrack for film scores that want to portray nostalgia. It is also less harsh than other styles, like synthwave, making it the great music choice to create an understated mood in modern films or video games.

Guide to Vaporwave Sound Design

There are many ways to manipulate your sound and add some retro mood for your following music composition. Whether you want authentic sounds or something more modern, follow these steps:

vaporwave synthesizers and samplers used for music production
Vaporwave synthesizers and samplers used for music production
  1. Create a retro-futusistic sound palette, like japanese mallet or plucked sounds played on an early samplers or FM synths. Use classic gears like Yamaha DX7, Fairlight CMI, Korg M1 or Prophet 5 – or
  2. Resample (8-bit or 16-bit) analog synth and drum sounds from classic synths like Casio CZ-101, Korg Polysix, Roland Juno 106, or literally any analog synth from the 80s or 90s
  3. Play back your samples and themes on extremely slow speed (like drums, pop vocals, synths, or sampled track parts
  4. Comspose soft-sounding pads and synth themes
  5. Create a nostalgic, ambient atmosphere with a large reverbs and delays
  6. Resample your themes or use tape simulation plugins – like VHS or audio cassette emulation plugins
  7. Heavy comrpess your sounds with a lot of artificial recording noise

Create Your Own Tunes with Vapor Keys Plus!

Got inspired? Ready to make some nice shiny-glitchy ambient tunes? Are you looking for quality sounds to make your next track? Suppose you are interested in getting into the world of vaporware production. In that case, we recommend checking out our Vapor Keys Plus – our genuinely unique instrument (with 3 Exclusive DLCs) that give you a production-ready set of authentic tools!

Vapor Keys Plus is a great-sounding vintage FM Electric Piano sample library collection and an inspiring collection of dreamlike, lush keyboard instruments for any DAW.

With Vapor Keys, you can bring a few of the best sampled Yamaha DX7 electric pianos to your next track. You’ll find classics like the original EPIANO, or the famous Los Angeles Rhodes patches and fresh new gems from our sound designers in this library with over 1GBs of superior samples for use at will!

Special Offer: Get Vapor Keys for Free!

We’re excited to share some great news: you can get the core version of Vapor Keys (worth $49) for free! How? Karanyi Sounds has partnered with Loopcloud this summer to offer the Vapor Keys core product completely free to both new and existing Loopcloud subscribers. This limited-time offer is available from June 17th. Don’t miss this opportunity—visit the Loopcloud website for more details and start enhancing your music production today!

Vapor Keys is designed to bring the iconic sounds of the 90s into your modern productions. Featuring over 40 factory presets, you can create sweet, lush melodies or dark, moody soundscapes. These presets are categorized into keys and pads, making it easy to find the perfect sound for your next music project. Each instrument is sampled from authentic analog gear, ensuring top-notch quality for your tracks.

Seize this opportunity to experience Vapor Keys for free and discover the authentic and nostalgic sounds that can enhance your music. Visit the Loopcloud website now and unlock the iconic sounds of the 90s!