Advice for basic rich pads

If you are new here check this forum first, your question may have been answered.
hexdex
KVRer
22 posts since 13 May, 2009 from A field, somewhere in the east of England

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:28 am

OK, so I'm finding myself doing more and more meditation, soundscape, relaxation stuff and I'm struggling to find the right base sound.

I have Omnisphere 2 and I know it has pretty much all the potential in it to give me what I want, I'm no sound designer and really don't have the time to go beyond the basics. I find a lot of the stock pads in there are just not quite right. They are often just too busy. All I want are the basic mellow analogue pads such as this for example: https://youtu.be/Kkl67_xgWro

As I say, I really don't have time to design myself, or in truth the know-how. I've looked into various 3rd party packs like the Unfinished, and even started to look for other plugins, but again they all seem too rich and busy. The only one that stands out so far to me is Lunaris.

SO any advice at all would be most helpful.

Thanks :tu:

JerGoertz
KVRAF
2507 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:52 am

Subtle movement is your friend. E.g., slow and relatively shallow LFO's controlling things like osc detune and filter cutoff. Also, judicious use of effects like delay, chorus, and reverb. If you can modulate the delay's delay time, that can also be useful.
A well-behaved signature.

kvotchin
KVRist
222 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:39 am

It’s actually not that hard to make decent pads. There would be, I suspect, a number of Youtube tutorials covering it. Lots of people find that one of the best ways to learn.

And, if you are basically new to synthesis, maybe try this: https://learningsynths.ableton.com/

Also, with many synths, when you’ve loaded a patch, you can see all the settings, and learn a fair bit that way too.

Anyway, if you can still pick up Falcon for a reasonable price, I recommend it for, well, a bunch of things, but it is certainly capable of producing excellent pads. And there’s a decent range of soundware for it, including atmospheric pads.

Kontakt might also be worth considering, though it tends to be even less cheap. Tons of soundware, on the other hand.

Butwug
KVRist
326 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:35 am

To get analogue pads, youre going to need analogue. But to get the sound from that video on a vst, it shouldnt be too hard with a bit of patience and fiddling around on just about any vst. Put slow LFO’s on anything you can assign it to such as detune/pulse width/envelopes/etc... Slow attack/decay, long sustain/release on VCA. Put some LFO’s synced with BPM, others unsynced. Drench everything with reverb and delays. Probably a shimmer reverb will do you well. Gentle eq to roll off high end to get the “analogue” sound. You can probably even record yourself singing “ooooohhhhhaaaahhhhh” and pitch it up and drench it in reverb as well lol. As other poster said, it’s about movement and LFO’s will give that to you.

hexdex
KVRer
22 posts since 13 May, 2009 from A field, somewhere in the east of England

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:02 pm

Thanks guys, I much appreciate your advice. I guess it would seem I have to learn basic synthesis then. I was kinda hoping someone would jump in and say hey, you just need to grasp this Omnisphere pack, or this plugin it has all you need ready to go. I know just grabbing off the shelf sounds is kinda frowned upon and I wished I had more time to devote to sound design. But it's obvious I have a heck of a lot to learn before I'm even close.

As well as Omnisphere I own Komplete 11 Ultimate so Absynth is there in my arsenal, but I don't really like that.

So unless anyone pops up as my shining knight and says hey, this has all the presets you need, go out and buy it.....it's back to school for me, get my climbing gear out and set off on another steep learning curve!

chk071
KVRAF
22211 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:06 pm

nvmd

himalaya
KVRAF
5105 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:30 pm

The pads in the video are layered with so many effects that it is immaterial whether they are 'analogue' or 'digital' in their sources. The effects just smear the original tone so much and mask whatever 'analogue' quality you are looking for.

You seem to want to get results instantly, even looking for suitable sound sets. if you are willing to spend just a little bit of time, you can get some very big, lush, evocative pads without any knowledge of synthesis. To do this, you need to turn to effect plugins. By using certain effects in a creative way - without any deeper knowledge at all - you can transform even a bland sample into a big wash of sound.

Here is an example, which I made a long time ago for one specific user here on KVR. This example shows how a boring, dry string sample from a General Midi module is transformed into a cosmic pad, one that is far removed from the original source sound. Notice the cowbell in the dry example. It is also transformed by the same chain of effects into these shimmering 'bells' in the second example:

http://www.electric-himalaya.com/stuff/ ... owBell.mp3

So, I'd highly recommend that you look at how effects can help you out. It takes a few moments to load a bunch of effects, and experiment with positioning them in the fx chain to find a suitable sound. Be creative and don't be afraid of doing something 'unconventional', like putting a phaser after the reverb (make sure it is a huge reverb, with a long decay time). In the above example, the phaser is affecting the reverb, and it adds this deeper sound. Try pitch shifters too. In my example I have a pitch shifter with one octave transposed down, this gives the 'depth' to the original, rather thin sample. Try to end you effect chain with another reverb and delay (even of you have used some earlier in the chain).
If the resultant sound is too 'heavy' or dense, use some EQ to cut lower frequencies.

Think of using pitch shift FX, chorus, reverb, phaser, reverb, delay....a big chain like that.

This is all very simple stuff, that will give you great new sounds with ease.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

himalaya
KVRAF
5105 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:33 pm

I can also highly recommend Lunaris By Luftrum. This set has all the pads you need.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

User avatar
el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
14966 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:43 pm

hexdex wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:28 am
I have Omnisphere 2 and I know it has pretty much all the potential in it to give me what I want, I'm no sound designer and really don't have the time to go beyond the basics. I find a lot of the stock pads in there are just not quite right. They are often just too busy. All I want are the basic mellow analogue pads.
You absolutely have everything you need with Omnisphere 2. I still use version 1, which is also more than capable of what you're after.

One of the tricks I've always found useful, both with Omnisphere and Alchemy, is to mute some of the sources. Often these busier pads will have a much simpler pad/soundsource forming the foundation. And if you get rid of any other layers that are pulling too much focus, you have access to that simple pad/source.

vitocorleone123
KVRist
339 posts since 30 Jun, 2014 from Pacific NW

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:56 pm

himalaya wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:33 pm
I can also highly recommend Lunaris By Luftrum. This set has all the pads you need.
Omnisphere has all the pads he needs. It's used for motion picture and television soundtracks. He doesn't need to buy more. Or, if he's going to, he can go to Triple Spiral, Luftrum, The Unfinished, etc. and buy presets for Omni.

I'm no Omni expert. But you'll want to listen to every preset and give it a rating (ideally). Then build some multis and add in LFOs as was stated earlier.

Ben H
KVRAF
2108 posts since 28 Jul, 2003

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:02 pm

If the preset in Omnisphere is too busy, then try drying it out. Turn some layers OFF... turn effects and ARPs off too. :shrug:

Often sound designers design their sounds to "wow" people, when sometimes all you want is something simple.

I know you said you don't want to learn synthesis, and that's fine... but at least try getting the basics of whatever synth you choose down pat... that way you will be able to turn a preset into something you want. Just try experimenting.
My main tools: Kontakt, Omnisphere, Samplemodeling + Audio Modeling. Akai VIP = godsend. Tari's libraries also rock.

hexdex
KVRer
22 posts since 13 May, 2009 from A field, somewhere in the east of England

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:28 am

Thank you all for giving me your time and considered responses. It really is appreciated. You do make sense and echo to a degree what I've done so far. In truth I have spent some time in Omnisphere muting channels and experimenting with some effects, and a little reverse engineering but not to the degree you articulately mentioned @himalaya. That example you gave is fantastic and speaks volumes :tu:

You all make perfect sense. Although I have been tempted with Lunaris, I'm sure I have all I need given perhaps a little time to experiment. So if I'm happy with basic ADSR and effects usage, perhaps I should have more faith in myself to experiment more.

Ok, maybe not back to school, just a day release for a couple of weeks should do.

Thanks everyone. Perhaps I'll come back and show you some of my work inspired by you all :love:

Butwug
KVRist
326 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:21 pm

hexdex wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:28 am
In truth I have spent some time in Omnisphere muting channels and experimenting with some effects, and a little reverse engineering...

You all make perfect sense. Although I have been tempted with Lunaris, I'm sure I have all I need given perhaps a little time to experiment. So if I'm happy with basic ADSR and effects usage, perhaps I should have more faith in myself to experiment more.
I bought ZebraHZ/Dark Zebra by Uhe to get a grasp of what Hanz Zimmer and Howard were doing to make all those fantastic patches for some of the movies such as Batman and Bladerunner. Reverse engineering/getting ideas works pretty well on any synth. Back when I first started, it taught me things like “oh THATS what ADSR does” and basic knowledge. Itll take years to get as good as the pros. If you turn off effects off, many patches will sound nothing like the original. A lot of people hunt synths, but I think effects is a bigger rabbit hole. As other poster said, learn a few basic things and thatll let you change patches to your liking.

SparkySpark
KVRAF
1681 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Re: Advice for basic rich pads

Post Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:22 am

In case the OP still monitors this thread:

1. As been said, Omni would of course do the trick. Just wanted to say that Steinberg's PadShop Pro has just been given away to anyone buying stuff from Nektar. Therefore, it should be possible to get very cheap licenses of PadShop Pro here at KVR. ...but before someone starts to flame me :D as I said, Omni would certainly be all you need.

2. As several people have mentioned, FX can be the way to go for you (depending on how you want the pads to sound). Note that Eventide has GREAT reverbs, harmonizers etc for this sort of thing. I got myself SP2016 and Blackhole on a sale and they work wonders (Blackhole for never-lasting reverbs, SP2016 for reverbs sitting better in a normal mix). Valhalla Shimmer also comes to mind. And of course, Eventide has all these other gems, like vocoders/harmonizers as mentioned above (think Laurie Anderson).

...and do let us hear your results! :tu:
Making music is a nine-to-five job:
From 9 PM to 5 AM.
Go MuLab!

Return to “Getting Started (AKA What is the best...?)”