I've for a very long time been captivated by a quite memorable orchestral hit sound, which most often can be found in old House/Techno songs, probably prevalent in the early-to-mid-90s.

The hit sound I'm referring to can be heard in the fourth song on this EP, starting at 4:59, and it demarcates the jam throughout.

Is it perhaps a classic vintage synth sound? How would one attempt to recreate it?

3 Answers 3


What you are looking for is an orchestral hit / orchestral pad.

Very popular throughout the 80's

Those sounds were mostly created using the Fairlight CMI.

I think you can find a sample library or something.

I really don't know how someone should go on about creating one. But those who used them , used the Fairlight(mostly).

  • Thanks for laying my wondering to rest :) +1 for great video.
    – P A N
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 20:00
  • Hey no problem :)
    – frcake
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 20:06
  • Great piece of history, really enjoyed learning this, thanks @frcake Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:24
  • @SimonBosley , hey man , glad you enjoyed it! Pleasure's mine :)
    – frcake
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:26

If you want to find and use this sound, you could look for an old Roland General MIDI sound module.

I used an SC-55 and later a JV-1080 and found nice derivates of this sound, called Orchestra Hit on both of them.

I think, I hear the sampled versions from Roland and other manufactures more often in the 90s dance music than its old sources from fairlight.


Also on the Korg M1, Ala Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Rhythm Nation era

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