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The Final Countdown is one of those power-rock tunes that could only have been released in the ’80s and everyone knows its distinctive synth brass riff.
Written by Joey Tempest, the song was conceived as an opening track for gigs (makes sense!) and a magazine interview with Mic Michaeli (Europe’s keyboard player) revealed that the sound was a combination of Roland JX8P and a Yamaha TX816 FM rack synth. And what a huge sound it is.
To make this sound we again turned to the versatile Logic ES2. We used the Unison mode for maximum drama and combined three oscillators with detuning set a few octaves apart for thickness. Osc 1 uses a sawtooth, osc 2 uses a medium width pulse and osc 3 uses a synced square wave. We also employed the low-pass 18dB filter along with some FM modulation (set to half) and a combination of three envelopes to get the brassy attack to the sound.