Looking for a Pad/String synth

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Mr Shave
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Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Mr Shave » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:47 pm

Hey everyone... So I'm starting to realize that my studio is really missing an easy instrument for pads and strings... Or maybe thats just one of the areas i need improvement with my productions i dont know. Anyway, i'm looking for a good synth (soft or hard, but preferably hard) that excels at pad sounds and strings (obviously polyphonic too), that is easy to use. I've tried getting good layered pads with the voyager and little phatty, but I usually end up with something so massive its un-useable, or mud and not very pleasing to the ear.

I've been eyeballing the Prophet 08 and the Nord Lead/wave, but wanted to see if there were any other solutions out there. The sonic timbre of the evolver is just kinda too out there for me...

I have a Voyager, Little Phatty, a ton of MFs, and Native Instruments soft synths.. Although ever since i started on the hardware thing, i havent been patient enough to sit there with a mouse and tweak a soft synth, so maybe i need a hardware one..

Anyone have any recomendations for a synth, and/or some good resources on how to program good pads and strings?

Thanks

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thealien666
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by thealien666 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:12 pm

I know it might sound sacrilegious, but I use a good'ol Korg DW8000 (not a full analog synth but an hybrid with analog filters, VCA, and everything else being digital). Its got 8 voice polyphony, creamy analog filters, a "gulp" digital stereo delay (12 bits). Pads and strings are about the best sounds you can get out of this, and it's very inexpensive but sounds like a million bucks for those.

You can hear it in action (strings) in this rough demo. The sound of the strings has no outside effects on it, except the internal stereo delay set up as a simili-reverb.

http://soundcloud.com/thealien666/chit-chat-2/s-wh5rs
Last edited by thealien666 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
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Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

EMwhite
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by EMwhite » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:04 pm

DW's are legendary.

But you should have a look at Oberheim Matrix 6 or if space is tight, the Matrix 1000.


Very affordable and no shortage of warm strings and pads.
'76 Minimoog, Taurus 3, Oberheim FVS + Son of 2-voice; Sequential ProOne; Juno 106; Moog Model 15; Kurzweil 250; Hammond M3; and a handful of Fender Basses Flickr!

Just Me
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Just Me » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:10 pm

Nord modular G1. Ensoniq ESQ1
"Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

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thealien666
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by thealien666 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:15 pm

Just Me wrote:Nord modular G1. Ensoniq ESQ1
I don't necessarily agree with the ESQ-1. I have one (actually an SQ80 the deluxe version) and even though its got Curtis filters, it's not as clean as other synths because of its 8 bits only and rather noisy waveforms. The sound quality of a DW8000 is superior when compared side-by-side. Although when mixed with other instruments, it might not make a big difference after all.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

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Voltor07
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Voltor07 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:24 pm

While we're suggesting digital synths, I've always been partial to the sound of a Kurzweil. Even the older ones sound great. They have a nice action as well. :)
Sub 37 #000068, Minitaur, CP-251, MF-102&103, EHX #1 Echo, EHX Space Drums/Crash Pads, QSC GX-3, Miracle Pianos, Walking Stick ribbon controller, Synthutron.com, Lowrey Teenie Genie.

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thealien666
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by thealien666 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:07 am

Of course the Alesis Andromeda, with its 16 pure analog voices, won't have any polyphony problems with really long envelope release times on pads... if you can get your hands on one. And if you can afford it.
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI OB6
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

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Voltor07
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Voltor07 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:25 am

thealien666 wrote:Of course the Alesis Andromeda, with its 16 pure analog voices, won't have any polyphony problems with really long envelope release times on pads... if you can get your hands on one. And if you can afford it.
That's a lot of IF's...since the A6 was discontinued, prices have nearly doubled! I kid you not, I saw one on e-Bay a while back sell for $5600! :shock:
Sub 37 #000068, Minitaur, CP-251, MF-102&103, EHX #1 Echo, EHX Space Drums/Crash Pads, QSC GX-3, Miracle Pianos, Walking Stick ribbon controller, Synthutron.com, Lowrey Teenie Genie.

Mr Shave
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Mr Shave » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:38 am

Yeah, i think the A6 is gonna be out of the question... Ideally my price range will be less than 2k... Cheaper if possible.

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Voltor07
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Voltor07 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:45 am

Mr Shave wrote:Yeah, i think the A6 is gonna be out of the question... Ideally my price range will be less than 2k... Cheaper if possible.
Yamaha, Casio, used Korg/Nord...
Sub 37 #000068, Minitaur, CP-251, MF-102&103, EHX #1 Echo, EHX Space Drums/Crash Pads, QSC GX-3, Miracle Pianos, Walking Stick ribbon controller, Synthutron.com, Lowrey Teenie Genie.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:29 am

Nord and Prophet 08 are indeed good candidates to me.
Kurzwel, for having payed some for years, can soud great. BUT they are a pita to program: far from your knobby synths.

I find the Nord Lead and Little Phatty to go very well together sounwise.


But don't tell Mr Rabalder ;)

Mr Shave
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Mr Shave » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:48 pm

How would you compare the Nord Lead to the Nord Wave? I would idealy like to avoid tons of menu diving, and I like making my own sounds, so knobby synths, or at least easy to program synths, are what im looking for.

Thanks

HB3
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by HB3 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:35 pm

Nord Lead 3!

Sir Nose
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by Sir Nose » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:27 pm

I know you are considering some more expensive options.
But if you are mainly interested in pads and strings an option to consider: Alpha Juno and a BCF2000 (faders over knobs for the envelopes in the alpha junos). The Alpha Juno 2 has more keys and velocity.

$200 to $500 for both and you're good to go.

If you are not looking to move it around a late 70s early 80s paraphonic stringer would be my choice. Though it would obviously be better for strings and have less depth for complex pads.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Looking for a Pad/String synth

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:09 pm

The Nord Wave has more possibilities in terms of "sample synthesis", if I dare, while the Lead are more about pure substractive plus a bit of FM/RM. Oh... the Nord Lead 3 is much more powerful than the 2X, with another character (I've read so, at least).
The Nord Wave has onboard effects, but is less powerful when it comes to multitimbrality.

You should read their manuals: the Clavia website propose them.

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