Greatest synth sound of all time revealed

D.Ramirez: his remix made all the difference.
D.Ramirez: his remix made all the difference.

The bassline from D. Ramirez's remix of Bodyrox's Yeah Yeah has been judged the greatest synth sound of all time by Future Music. It saw off the challenge of the legendary sequenced bassline from Donna Summer's I Feel Love to secure its place at number one in the magazine's top 40 list.

"After months of sweat, tears and quite a bit of shouting, we're proud to announce Future Music's Top 40 Synth Sounds Of All Time - our definitive list of our favourite synth sounds (and how to get them)," says FM Editor Daniel Griffiths.

"We debated long and hard, pulling in the expert opinions of all our writers and contributors and asking readers to chip in at After months of compiling and chin-rubbing, we think we've cracked it."


The choice of Yeah Yeah's bassline as the top synth tone is sure to spark some debate - the song was only released in 2006, so doesn't have the benefit of age to lend it credibility. However, Griffiths believes that it meets the criteria of what a great synth sound should be.

"It's a combination of instant recognition and ingenuity," he says. "You've got to hear the sound and instantly know what record you're listening too. Great sounds grab the ear and make you love a track.

"Plus, you've got to want to slap the maker on the back for doing something totally new."

Other notable artists to make the top 10 include Eurythmics, Harold Faltermeyer, Daft Punk and The Prodigy. You can read the full feature in the December issue of Future Music, on sale 28 November - this also details how each sound was created and how you can recreate it.

The full top 40 is as follows:

40. Utopia - Goldfrapp
39. We Come 1 - Faithless
38. Café Del Mar - Energy 52
37. Ride On Time - Black Box
36. Come To Daddy - Aphex Twin
35. Show Me Love - Robin S
34. Are 'Friends' Electric? - Gary Numan
33. The Final Countdown - Europe
32. Maneater - Nelly Furtado
31. Yeah - Usher
30. Got To Have Your Love - Mantronix
29. The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
28. M.E. - Gary Numan
27. Chime - Orbital
26. Inner City Life - Goldie
25. 1999 - Prince
24. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
23. Cars - Gary Numan
22. Higher State Of Consciousness - Josh Wink
21. Aerodynamic - Daft Punk
20. Love Don't Let Me Go - David Guetta vs The Egg
19. Sandstorm - Darude
18. Jump - Van Halen
17. Sussudio - Phil Collins
16. Express Yourself - Madonna
15. Kernkraft 4000 - Zombie Nation
14. Rockit - Herbie Hancock
13. Windowlicker - Aphex Twin
12. Heartbeats - The Knife
11. Slam - Pendulum
10. Insomnia - Faithless
9. Charly - The Prodigy
8. Witness - Roots Manuva
7. Da Funk - Daft Punk
6. Don't You Want Me? - Human League
5. Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer
4. Faxing Berlin - Deadmau5
3. Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics
2. I Feel Love - Donna Summer
1. Yeah Yeah - Bodyrox (D. Ramirez remix)

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.