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 Post subject: Pads
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:06 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:51 pm
Posts: 792
Hi wonder if i can get some help here on pad making, when i make pads they always sound too synthetic and dark, iv been using absynth and diva but cant seem to get a good pad sound out of them, here is the kinda sound im after any tips would be great thanks

https://soundcloud.com/libertine-berlin ... -libertine

https://soundcloud.com/libertine-berlin ... bertine-00

Best Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Pads
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:00 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 1971
Location: Worcestershire
Y'know somebody else started a discussion which is pad based just below yours too. It's a big area and it would be cool to make a distinction between the sound itself & the chords played that almost always lie within the actual pad. Unless you're adding an atmospheric layer to a track, or deliberately setting out to make a drone sound, 99 times out of 100, pads are usually made up of chords - which are either played/programmed outright, or are made of set intervals by tuning the synths oscillators to different semitones and very often when people want a certain pad sound, a lot of the time they assume the sound is to do with timbre when in fact it's more influenced by chord structure.

There's only 1 track that appeared in your links, the other just provided the Soundcloud page. The sound in the pad that appeared in the track that played sounds to me like a Wavetable synth. ( Massive is a widely popular Wavetable synth ) I don't use it so cannot make comments on it personally but there's a common modulation technique in those type of synths where you can use some form of modulation to apply a 'shift' to the wavetable and it gives that type of 'rolling, warbling' effect.

That's my guess anyway and it's definitely a sound that can be made with that type of synth for sure. I have used Massive in the past and it does sound vaguely familiar, whether or not that was used here is anybodys guess but it's definitely the type of sound that is synonomous with that type of synth. Also, if I recall, some of the basic waveforms in Massive use sounds that are already chords made from various intervals, stacking a few of those together and then actually playing a chord can quickly lead to some harmonically rich timbres and complex chords which are great starting points for pads, so if you are looking for strange/different chord sounds, that's a cool way to experiment. ( As an example, and on a much simpler scale, if you look at some synth patches on analog type polysynths, you find a lot of them called 'fifths' - where 1 oscillator will be tuned up from the other by 7 semitones ( or down by 5 semitones ) So if I press a 'C' note, effectively, I'm getting a 'C' and a 'G' at the same time, then if I hold a chord down, say 'C minor' -'C/Eb/G', I'm actually getting a 'Cm9' chord as I'm getting the notes I played, plus another note 7 semitones above each note within the chord - C/Eb/G/Ab/D. You can see just by this example how quickly rich, harmonic sounds can be built up. )


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 Post subject: Re: Pads
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:14 pm
Posts: 44
Some useful points in there definitely!

When writing pads I usually make a chord out of the notes I have used in my bassline (if I have written this part first). I also use a low-pass filter which has a really nice effect, this can then be automated to bring the pad in and out over different points of the track (like a breakdown for example). For the most part of the track, my pads sit low in the mix and the frequency is set quite low on the low-pass filter. In addition you can play around with some stereo effects such as chorus or an automated pan, this gives it some width and a bit more character. Sometimes it might be desirable to add a bit of distortion aswell (Ableton's Erosion does this really well), then a little bit of reverb and you should be getting somewhere. Another trick is to layer two seperate pad sounds together (maybe pitched down by 5 or 7 semitones), this can then be controlled with a different filter automation to really get a nice movement going.

If you are looking for a VST with inspiring presets then maybe give Arturia's Prophet a try - this has some lush pad sounds. Also, Omnisphere is one of the best out there aswell.

Hope this is helpful!


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