Recreating a-ha’s “Take On Me” with Arturia’s Pigments

There are plenty of iconic synth sounds in a-ha’s classic line-art-music-video-banger “Take On Me.”

A few days back, we walked through how to recreate Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” and Toto’s “Africa” with Arturia’s Pigments. Today, we’re back to show you how to create the earworm lead pluck sound in “Take On Me.”

Once again, we’re using the analog engine with a saw wave and two square waves to create a rich, bright harmonic texture to shape. Additionally, the movement of the filter cutoff is also doing the real work in this patch. Pigments really shines when creating sounds like these, as the multiple workflows for applying modulation allow the user to design timbrally interesting patches very quickly. Some chorus and reverb applied at the end help glue everything together and make this patch a convincing recreation of a-ha’s FM pluck sound.

Interested in giving Pigments a try? Rent-to-Own the powerful synth on Splice for $9.99/mo.

March 14, 2019

Max Rewak Max Rewak is a record producer, audio engineer, and music writer, based in New York and currently working in Sounds content at Splice.