Recreating Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” with Arturia’s CZ V

There’s no song more emblematic of the 80s than Salt-N-Pepa’s classic “Push It,” and no synth more emblematic of cheesy 80s lead sounds than the CZ series.

Casio’s answer to Yamaha’s DX7, the CZ-101 delivered digitally synthesized sounds to the masses at a more accessible price point through the magic of phase distortion synthesis. In this video, we’ll learn how to use Arturia’s CZ V to recreate the synth string and the bass sounds from “Push It:”

The bass has a peculiar deep yet hollow sound, which is emulated in this patch by using square wave carriers on lines 1 and 2, then modulating with different waves at a similar DCW value. Line 1 adds presence and bite, while line 2 rounds out the lower end of the patch. A short and small reverb and relatively aggressive chorus effect combine to give the patch its 80s feel.

The string patch is a little simpler by comparison: by using the CZ’s ‘Line 1+1’ setting, it was easy to get to a starting point that felt close to the original sound. A little bit of detuning and a slight pluck on the DCW and amp envelopes help emulate a synth string attack. Finally, the short and small reverb technique from the bass patch makes another appearance here – since this effect is reminiscent of an 80s gated snare sound, it goes a long way towards making the patch more authentic.

Download the project file below and try V Collection 7 to play with the recreation yourself. If you have any other recreations you’d like to see, let us know in the comments below.

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May 29, 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.