Legend has it that Harold Faltermeyer used three synths to create this entire track: the Roland Jupiter-8, the JX-3P and a Yamaha DX7. Our guess is it’s the Jupiter-8 on lead duties here, with the DX7 chiming in with the bells and vibe sounds later on.
Rather than cheat and recreate the lead sound with a JP-8 emulation, we’re putting the massively versatile Massive to the test.
Listen: Harold Faltermeyer - Axel F
How to get the sound
Call up saw waves on oscillators one and two and detune the second oscillator by 10c. Add a bit of triangle wave on the third oscillator. Set the low-pass filter to 60% and dial in a smidge of resonance to brighten up the sound. Set the envelope ADSR to A=25%, D=60%, S=100%, R=25% and increase the modulation so it’s nice and brassy. Set the amp envelope to A=30%, D=60%, S=50%, R=25%.
If you listen closely to the intro, you can hear some white noise used behind the riff. You could add a bit to the lead line or run a separate track in sync. The rest of the sound is largely down to the Jupiter chorus effect - this can be recreated with any ‘ensemble’ style chorus.
Finally, add some quarter-note delay and filter out the low end and run that through some smooth ’80s reverb, such as a Lexicon, and you’re done.