RetroSound is the German-based musician and vintage synthesizer geek, Marko Ettlich. He is a publisher of a popular vintage synthesizer channel on YouTube and an author for different music magazines.

I♥SYNTHS: What kind of music do you listen to?

RetroSound: I am a child of the 80s and I love the music from Depeche Mode, The Human League, Talk Talk, Propaganda, The Fixx and other bands from this time. But, I also like electronic music with guitars like the french band, Phoenix.

I♥SYNTHS: Who is your favorite synthesizer player and what is your favorite synthesizer company?

RetroSound: Vangelis has a big influence of my musical work since I know what synthesizers were used. I heard the futuristic tunes in the late 70s and I was completely blown away. I have a lot of vintage Roland synthesizers so, those are probably my favorite.

I♥SYNTHS: What is your favorite synthesizer that you can’t live without?

RetroSound: My absolute favorite synthesizer ever is the Oberheim OB-X (not the later OB-Xa). The raw sound and the power is pure sex. It’s really the best!

I♥SYNTHS: Do you use any computer-based soft synthesizers and how would you compare them to the real thing?

RetroSound: I use only hardware stuff. Software synths are not part of my world.

I♥SYNTHS: When did you start collecting synthesizers and do you normally buy them on eBay or from other musicians/collectors?

RetroSound: I started collecting in the mid 90s. Some synths are from eBay or local markets and some are from other musicians.

I♥SYNTHS: You’re videos are fantastic and you seem to have a large following. What made you decide to start this project?

RetroSound: Thank you! I started the vintage synthesizer demo project back in January 2007. Good demo videos were very rare at the beginning of YouTube and I wanted to share the fantastic sound possibilities of the older hardware in a time full of software synths.

I♥SYNTHS: What do you think is your rarest synthesizer?

RetroSound: The PPG wave 2.2 with the Waveterm A . Only 500 were made by Wolfgang Palm

I♥SYNTHS: What are your thoughts on new synthesizers that have come out recently? Are there any you have your eye on or do you prefer to stick with the vintage stuff?

RetroSound: I miss a lot on new synths. I’ve compared new MOOGs with the old ones but, the sound is not the same. I miss the raw, dirty sounds and the colours. Most of today’s synth sounds are very clean and boring to me after a few days.

I♥SYNTHS: Would you like to share a new song or video with us today?

RetroSound: Check out some of my newer songs on my SoundCloud page: Retro Sound on Soundcloud

RetroSound Official Homepage

RetroSound on YouTube

RetroSound on Facebook

RetroSound Blog

RetroSound New Album Trailer

It get’s crazy at 1:40

Inspired by 80’s synth pop, disco, new wave music and a love for analog synths, musician/producer Shawn Ward created FM Attack and released the debut album “Dreamatic” in 2009 on Tonite Records. The album was received with critical acclaim, leading to remixes for artists including Pnau, Edwin Van Cleef, Super Mal, Sally Shapiro, Tesla Boy, Visitor, Trans-X and Richard Marx. Fm Attack recently signed a worldwide publishing deal with Chrysalis Music and released a new album “Deja Vu”

I♥SYNTHS: Tell us a little about your music project. Does the name of your project come from fm synthesis?

FM Attack: I came up with the name because I wanted to do a synthpop project that had a nostalgic sound, but with a futuristic vision. I wanted something with an underground electronic feel that could crossover onto fm radio.

I♥SYNTHS: What synthesizers do you currently own?

FM Attack: Too many! I’m running out of room. My favorites are the Minimoog, Roland D-550, Arp Solina, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5 and I’m really digging this DIY Sid Synth, I picked up that has two C64 synth chips in it.

I♥SYNTHS: How do you go about recording your hardware equipment and what’s your go-to synthesizer when writing music?

FM Attack: I track and sequence all of the synths, vocals and guitar through my Toft mixing board to give them an extra warm sound. Sometimes, I also run them through a great EQ (API 5500) and or put them through a light setting on the Distressor compressors.

I♥SYNTHS: If you were stuck on an island with one synth from your collection, what would you bring?

FM Attack: That’s a tough question. I think I would probably go with the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

I♥SYNTHS: What’s your dream synthesizer?

FM Attack: I’ve always wanted a Yamaha CS80

I♥SYNTHS: Any other goodies you want to share with us?

FM Attack: Yes! My mini Galaxian video game system.

I♥SYNTHS: Any new songs or albums to show off the FM Attack sound?

FM Attack: I just released a new LP called “Deja Vu”. It’s inspired by 80s movie soundtracks, italo disco and new wave music. I’ve always wanted to do an album of original songs, not using samples.

I♥SYNTHS: Thanks again for the interview and sweet collection!

You can hear more of FM Attack‘s new album and his other releases below…

Deja Vu LP
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BUY CDs, Cassettes, 12″ Vinyl

Astrowave EP
BUY ON iTunes

Dreamatic LP
BUY ON iTunes




Photo Credit: Diego Garcia