How to Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre

Are you a fan of Jean-Michel Jarre? Ever wondered how you can play and create that classic sound on your computer? Well, now you can, for free! You will need a beginners knowledge of MIDI and a MIDI keyboard.


  1. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 1
    Search Google for the following: Chainer VST, Superwave P8, String Synth and String Theory VST. If you are just using a rubbishy built-in soundcard, also find ASIO4ALL. These are all freeware. Chainer is a demo with only the save preset function disabled.
  2. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 2
    Create a folder on your hard drive called Plugins and copy the Superwave P8, String Synth and String Theory files to it.
  3. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 3
    Install ASIO4ALL if needed.
  4. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 4
    Install and open Chainer. Connect your MIDI keyboard. Click on the System and Settings menu.
  5. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 5
    Select your ASIO Driver or ASIO4ALL where it says ASIO Driver (drop down menu). Choose a sample rate (96000 if you can manage otherwise 44000 will have to do). Choose your MIDI in (usually the first available option). Click on the button that says ASIO Panel. If ASIO4ALL is installed you must do the following: set the ASIO buffer size to 512 samples and offset to 2ms. If pops and clicks appear when audio plays, this size will need to be increased until it is at a playable and pop free level.
  6. Image titled Sound Like Jean Michel Jarre Step 6
    Go back to the main Chainer screen. You will see a row of boxes with drop down arrows. Click on one of them: navigate to the instruments menu and there you will find the three synths you have just installed.
    • For Oxygene 4: Select system then settings and change tempo to 70. Then back in the main screen load up the following instruments under each other: String Theory, String Theory, Superwave P8 then String Theory again.
      • Where it says presets on the right hand side select the first String Theory as Percussive (number 5), the second as Bassline (number 30), Superwave P8 as Oxygene Part IV and the last String Theory as Dirty Little Line (number 35).
      • Learn to play Oxygene 4 with the route note of the chords in your left hand and the main tune with your right. You should find it produces a cool sound!
    • For Equinoxe 5: Load up the instruments in the same order as last time. Change the tempo to 79 and choose the presets as (in this order): Percussive, ARP Geeseaplenty GSE, Bright Strings and Little Machines 2.
    • For Rendezvous 4: Same instruments again. Tempo back to 70. Use the following presets: Groove plink, Again...with feeling, Rendezvous 4 and percussive.


  • To change the volume of various instrument parts, select the number 1 next to it and turn the volume control on the main synth control panel up or down until it sounds right.
  • The String Synth isn't actually used in the above pieces but if you load it and play around, you will realise it produces some Jarre like phase pads.


  • You must have some basic keyboard skills in order to perfect the Jean Michel Jarre sound. And of course a MIDI keyboard and suitable PC

Things You'll Need

  • A PC
  • MIDI keyboard
  • Chainer, Superwave P8 and String Theory synths (search Google)
  • Some keyboard knowledge

Article Info

Categories: Music Techniques