Diva Phenom

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I’m a child of the 80s. Born in 1975 (don’t go counting my rings now!), my best childhood years were firmly set in the time of Knight Rider, Goonies, Madonna and dayglow socks.

And those of us who are of such an age can be genuinely quite boring about how we grew up in the best decade there ever was – mostly thanks to believing (through rose-tinted Wayfarers) that our formative years were almost certainly co-directed by Stephen Spielberg and John Hughes, produced by Glen A. Larson and scored by Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer. Even if we were British.

So, something like Stranger Things coming along only serves to confirm such wistful nonsense.

And much though the story of smalltown kids embarking on an epic adventure is what initally attracts; it’s the beautiful, haunting synth score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of S U R V I V E that lasts long after the show has ended.

Being the synth nut that I am, I loved the soundtrack. What I loved most about it was that it was small scale; the antithesis (antsynthesis?) of something like Blade Runner. The cues were intimate, warm, dripping with nostalgia, but evocative of the time, rather than a modern remembrance or interpretation of the time. There was a real honesty to them. Nothing flashy, just authenticity. Many of the tracks feature very few sounds and elements – some are even reduced to just one synth sound, playing a plaintive melody; or just a couple of arps, weaving around each other.

It’s bloody great.

Naturally, I was inspired to make some sounds in the Stranger Things vein. After a short deliberation I settled upon u-he’s Diva being the synth of choice for the project. It does a very good job of capturing the spirit of analogue hardware synths, plus I felt enough people who would be interested in such a soundset would own it.

After several listens through of both volumes of the Stranger Things soundtrack, I set about making a soundset. A few weeks later, I had two soundsets: Diva Phenom Vol 1 and Diva Phenom Vol 2.

You could say I was inspired!

I’ve split the 300 sounds I created into two sets of 150, with the sounds evenly spread across both. Neither volume focuses on any one thing in particular, I’ve just split the sounds down the middle. And if you want them both straight away, there is a Diva Phenom Bundle available for a limited period.

Hope you enjoy them and the fog of nostalgia they bring on. But be careful, there could be something sinister lurking in that fog…


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