Pads Synth?

Tips and techniques for Minimoog Analog Synthesizers
Subtronik
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Pads Synth?

Post by Subtronik » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 am

Anyone know a great hardware synth for pads to compliment a Voyager?
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latigid on
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Post by latigid on » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:55 am

Andromeda of course! What's your budget? Vintage? VA?

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Prime NL
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Post by Prime NL » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:57 am

Virus TI.... 8)

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analoghaze
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Post by analoghaze » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:45 am

I get better (warmer) pad sounds from my Waldorf Q Plus than I do from my Andromeda A6.
The A6 is a weird sounding monster that has the abilitty to distort quite easily.
The Q+ is angels kissing aliens.
That being said, I would not trade either for any other synthesizer in the world. Both amazing and extremely deep instruments. (Voyager in this category as well)
When I really want the dripping pad sounds, I usually (95% of the time) send my synth (either Q+ or A6) through a hardware reverb unit. (In my case, Kurzweil) I have found the "Gated Lazerverb" to be pretty neat sounding. 8)

One thing is for certian. If you want a synth to have really good pad sounds, you need powerful modulation possibilities.

Good luck on your search.
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'I am... everything is... changed... they're calling... your face... interwoven... who is...' Patient mumbles inaudibly to a tune (sounds like 'Thanks for the memory).

Just Me
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Post by Just Me » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:59 am

My Ensoniq VFX-SD is at it's best as a pad machine. Thick and delicious pads on up to glassy harshness. And it was only 175 from eBay!
"Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Subtronik
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Post by Subtronik » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:59 pm

latigid on wrote:What's your budget? Vintage? VA?
Nothing over $2000. Vintage or VA.
Prime NL wrote:Virus TI
I'm interested in the Virus series. Have you owned any other good pads synth to compare?
analoghaze wrote:I get better (warmer) pad sounds from my Waldorf Q Plus than I do from my Andromeda A6. The Q+ is angels kissing aliens.
From my research the Andy is a little overly complicated for my workflow style. Now the Q sounds a bit more to my liking.
analoghaze wrote:One thing is for certain. If you want a synth to have really good pad sounds, you need powerful modulation possibilities.
Can you elaborate on this more please?
Just Me wrote:My Ensoniq VFX-SD is at it's best as a pad machine. Thick and delicious pads on up to glassy harshness.
I will research it, thanks.
[url=http://www.myspace.com/subtronik]My Music[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/show/]Voyager Photos[/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/subtronik]Voyager Videos[/url]

Just Me
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Post by Just Me » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:17 pm

If I could figure out how to put sounds on the internet, I'd demo it for you.
I've got over 700 pads programmed. (I use about 15 of them. 2 are kinda my signature sounds) Very good machine for those 70's/early 80's TD and Synergy kinds of pads. When your pad doesn't get buried by the minimoog and becomes an integral part of the sound, it's bliss!
"Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Subtronik
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Post by Subtronik » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:26 pm

I listened to some demos and the pads sound a little chilly.

I own a Kurzweil K2000 that does warmer pads than that. I'm really after a more analog warmth.
[url=http://www.myspace.com/subtronik]My Music[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/show/]Voyager Photos[/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/subtronik]Voyager Videos[/url]

alamilla
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Post by alamilla » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:35 pm

my shout is the Dave Smith Instruments Tetra

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ikazlar
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Post by ikazlar » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:53 pm

analoghaze wrote: One thing is for certian. If you want a synth to have really good pad sounds, you need powerful modulation possibilities.
I respectfully disagree. Of course, it always depends on how you define a really good pad sound, but I think to make a really good pad sound you need very good effects (and careful tweaking of those).

For me, the synthesizers that are awesome on pads are:

1. Alesis Andromeda A6
2. Elka Synthex
3. Eminent 310

Of course, most poly-analogs will do (CS-80, OB-X, Matrix 12, Jupiter 8, Prophet VS) as well as some digitals like the JD-800, Virus, Q.
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analoghaze
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Post by analoghaze » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:53 pm

As far as the modulation possibilities.... you need a slow LFO to modulate filter sweeps.
I guess it really depends on how you program synths.
When using PWM (pulse width modulation) you really need to be able to modulate it somehow.

Then again, without modulation, what is synthesis??
Music can Name the Unnamable and Communicate the Unknowable.

'I am... everything is... changed... they're calling... your face... interwoven... who is...' Patient mumbles inaudibly to a tune (sounds like 'Thanks for the memory).

The Analog Organist

Post by The Analog Organist » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:44 pm

I would suggest the DSI Prophet '08. It's not a highly sophisticated or elaborate synthesizer, but it offers the basics in a reasonably priced compact eight-voice two-oscillator instrument with a five-octave keyboard. The sound is warm and the modulation capabilities from the four LFO's are fabulous (very smooth pulse width modulation). In addition, the company - DSI - is excellent to deal with - very helpful, and responds immediately to emails.

Subtronik
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Post by Subtronik » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:53 pm

I played around with a Poly Evolver and thought it sounded thin.

Do you know the differences between the Poly Evolver and Prophet '08?
[url=http://www.myspace.com/subtronik]My Music[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/show/]Voyager Photos[/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/subtronik]Voyager Videos[/url]

The Analog Organist

Post by The Analog Organist » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:02 pm

The Poly Evolver Keyboard is a hybrid synthesizer - part digital and part analog. It seems to excel at sound effects and complex lead sounds. I've heard quite beautiful tones come from it, but they were more of the digital type. Some musicians think it provides the best of two worlds. The Prophet '08 is entirely analog, although its oscillators are digitally controlled. Some people complain that this is a compromise, but I disagree. I have the P08 and a Voyager Old School, and can say there is no comparison between the stability of their respective oscillators. Over several hours of use, I'll have to retune the Moog quite a few times; not so, the P08. After a quick warm-up of twenty or thirty minutes, it stays almost perfectly tuned to my Hammond XK-3C organ. That's the most famous synth headache happily resolved.

I debated long and hard between buying an Andromeda A6 and a SECOND Prophet '08, and I finally went for the Prophet. I'd read of so many problems with the Andromeda that the thought of handing over $3,000 for a possible dud persuaded me to play it safe. I can't stand things that don't work properly - just a hang up of mine.

I know the A6 is an absolute masterpiece - probaly the most sophisticated analog synthesizer available today (short of a modular), but I still have no regrets about my decision. The Prophet, although a relatively simple instrument, is a gem. I'm really pleased with its ability to produce the traditional string, brass, and flute type sounds, but also its richer and more original pads. For me, the two favorite features are the stack mode and the four LFO's. The former allows you two play two simultaneous sounds with four-voice polyphony. Simple enough, but it's essential to the thicker heavier type sounds. The four LFO's make one of my favorite pads possible - a combination of vibrato, pulse width modulation, stereo panning, and a subtle filter sweep with a moderate amount of resonance - all at different rates. It creates a very rich choir-type effect, and, with a generous amount of reverb, sounds absolutely ethereal. Now where can you find all this for $2000?

The Prophet '08 also has a unison mode which allows for monophonic sounds to have the powers of the P08 piled on to one note.

If you want a deep synthesizer (and you don't mind gambling to the price of $3,000!), try the Andromeda. But if you want the basics with classic analog warmth, the Prophet '08 may be the synth for you. The original model (with encoders) can have a problem with digit-jumping, but the newer potentiometer edition (PE) has resolved this. For an extra $300, the company also offers a beautiful hard case.

I hope I don't sound like a DSI rep, but I'm simply thrilled with this instrument, not to mention DSI help. No regrets about number two!
Last edited by The Analog Organist on Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

Subtronik
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Post by Subtronik » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:21 pm

The Analog Organist wrote:I hope I don't sound like a DSI rep
Not at all, I really appreciate you taking the time.

I've only heard good things about the Prophet '08 and have wanted one since it's release. I think you've narrowed it down for me nicely, thanks.
[url=http://www.myspace.com/subtronik]My Music[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/show/]Voyager Photos[/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/subtronik]Voyager Videos[/url]

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