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Synth sounds with CTX 800


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im using a CTX800 for a poor mans synth and wondering if anyone has recommendations for what sounds to use for synth songs like Lucky Man, Sweet Dreams.

i figured out something decent for JUMP.....it’s really too bad there is only 2 layers and you can’t adjust volume for each sound (yes I know I’ve outgrown the rig for me needs, but I still like it enough to pair with a stage piano)

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  • 6 months later...

I do kinda have my own set of tone combination.

Can't promise you to emulate synths on famous songs like the ones you mentioned, but nevertheless I'm happy to share some of my favorites that kinda sound like 80s synth pop / new wave stuff.


U1: 350 Poly Saw 

U2: 184 Mellow Strings

L: 145 Synth Bass


U1: 252 Brass Saw Pad 2

U2: 183 Stereo Strings


U1: 169 Synth brass 3

U2: 272 X Synth lead 1 or 275 X Synth lead 4 / 276 X Synth lead 5 (all these sound great combined with 169)

L: 171 Synth Bass 5 


U1: 331 80s SySynth2

U2: 188 Slow String or 185 Mellow Stings 2


Hope you get a change to try them and post some of your own.

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I just bought the CTX-800 mostly for budget constraints.

Clearly an entry level keyboard, mostly meant to have fun with but nothing serious.

I'm dealing with a few frustrations due to limited capabilities for recording and layering.

But the limitations also force me to explore different layers to achieve richer synth sounds.


I'm curious to hear why you are a big fan of the CT-X models in any case.

Assuming you mean the higher-end CT-X5000.




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Lucky Man was a moog synth not sure which one, might have been the Mini-moog-the trick on that (I have a few synths with this one in partiicular but no mini-moog)-is using some portamento for gliding between notes-not much, but just enough to give it that "swoopy" kind of sound. And it is a monophonic sound-it was that moog filter and resonance that gave it that great "hollow" lead sound. And of course the tail-end effect-probably one of Keith's modular patch-cord effects, or it could have been the Moog.

And reverb, alot of reverb.....


Alot of these older analog sounds used resonance to get a variation on the basic saw, square and sine wave sounds. That is why so many synth players can't cover these sounds-if you don't have a good resonant filter with real-time controls, it is very difficult to get some of these sounds. But listen to the theme to the "Rockford Files"-the first use of a Mini-moog for a TV theme. Not as much resonance as Lucky Man-a much more straightforward unprocessed Mini-moog monophonic lead.



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  • 1 month later...

Hey folks, 

OMG Sorry for not replying. I forgot I had posted here and thanks for all your responses!!

@Molchat: Ive been digging around for a list of sounds using presets and no one anywhere has anything so I am so grateful for your list.  I know this little toy wont produce what some of those grand synths are capable of and I understand that. Just something that sounds close enough. Im not interested in adding my equipment to my setup so using SynthOne or a DAW is out of the question

Here's the presets I use for songs we do. (I had mentioned 80s synth pop cuz our band leader asked me to look for those so I can be included!)

Margaritaville: 449/435

Mad World: 303/286 + 278

Summer of 69/This is how it feels etc: 321/286
Synth: 321


I find that synths alone are not loud enough even on max volume to be heard over the rest of instruments (bass, e guitar, drums etc) Guess its just a lot of trial and error!

I still love this little toy rig for what it can do and I wouldnt think of getting rid of it. Its great when paired with a stage/digital piano. It works well esp for a beginner and its portable that Ive brought it to park jams. But I find it very very hard to play a piano style with it after playing on weighted keys.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm posting my presets for famous songs.


-1 means one octave down


Van Halen - Jump (1984):


U1: 346, -1

U2: 352, -1


Reverb: 19

Touch: 1 (off, since Eddie Van Halen's keyboard didn't have touch-response)

Chorus: 5


* One octave down allows you to do the original bassline.



Van Halens - Dreams (1986):


U1: 330, -1

U2: 005, -1

Reverb: 17


* One octave down allows you to do the original bassline.



The Midnight - Los Angeles (2014):


U1: 351

L: 179, -1

Split part: 54

Reverb: 17


* The left part is a synth-bass, so you can play the bassline. Anyway, you can also replace it with a nice synth-pad, such as 330. This one is also nice to play the beginning loop (notes: A E, A D, A C#)



Capital Cities - Safe And Sound (2011):


U1: 221

U2: 331

Split part: 65

Reverb: 16


* I use this nice 80's synth-brass, but you can try a native, acoustic trumpet to be more authentical.



Daft Punk (for Tron: Legacy soundtrack) - The Grid (2010):


U1: 303

U2: 331

Reverb: 15

Edited by Fábio Pavan
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