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 Padshop by Steinberg is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin and a VST 3 Plugin.
Product Padshop
Developer Steinberg
Price (MSRP)
€49.99 (included with Cubase 6.5+)
Type / Tags Synth (Granular)
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Operating System Availability
Download Released
- Released
- Released
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionSoft-eLicenser

Padshop is a unique monophonic/polyphonic granular synthesizer for Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7 and runs as a plug-in within any VST 3 host application.

Drawing its strength from the state-of-the-art granular synthesis engine, Padshop delivers two individual tiers in granular textures that are mixed and processed with a dozen high-quality filters, modulation and delay effects. Each layer consists of two LFOs that offer a choice of six wave shapes, two ADSR envelopes that can be applied to various sound parameters and one oscillator for generating up to eight grain streams with innovative parameters, therefore boasting a flexibility absolutely new to granular synthesis. The featured Step Modulator triggers the oscillators, filters, amplification and panning, creating rhythmical modulations which synchronize either to the tempo of the host application or can be adjusted manually. With the ten-stage Modulation Matrix, users can assign modulation sources to vary the targets' values for each layer, also supporting modulation assignments from Note Expression, Steinberg's way of editing controller data, first introduced in Cubase 6.

The user interface of Padshop provides undeviating accessibility to all its controls and content, with more than 400 presets plus the SoftGrain Wave ROM comprising hundreds of samples to customize presets and feed to the two available grain-layer oscillators.

Features at a glance:

  • Advanced granular synthesis engine with 2 independent layers, each with individual oscillator, edit and FX sections.
  • Up to 8 grain streams per oscillator for impressively rich and spacious structures.
  • Intuitive user interface for effective usability and direct accessibility.
  • More than 400 presets dedicated to atmospheric pads and evolving textures.
  • SoftGrain Wave ROM with hundreds of sounds for custom presets and individual tweaks.
  • 10-stage Modulation Matrix with Note Expression support for unlimited flexibility.
  • 12 different high-quality filter types for each layer.
  • Step Modulator for rhythmic triggering of oscillators, filters, amp and pan.
  • 2 LFOs and ADSR for filters and amp envelopes.
  • Mono and Poly Mode with Legato and Glide.
  • FX Section with high-class modulation and delay effects.
  • VST 3 compatible host application support.
Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By musicdoc
January 18, 2013

I know this plugs been out for awhile, but these days I'm not jumping at every chance to try a new synth with so much out there and already in my collection.
On upgrading Cubase this came with the bundle, so I got a chance to try it. It fills a niche that I thing needed to be filled.

For those of you that have experience playing a complex pad sound on like a big name keyboard like Korg or Roland, of lot that big, organic, moving 3d-ish sound is often times a little hard to find in many plugs for me. Something like omnisphere can certainly do it, but waiting for like 10 seconds for some of those sounds to load is an inspiration killer for me. Stuff by Rob Papen and Native certainly comes close, but playing this plugin just reminded me of those classic big name keyboard pads. And It seemed like there was very little filler. Like every other sound I see a possible use somewhere. Probably the Yamaha sound team at work here.

One less reason to fire up the hardware sound modules now.

Anyways, job well done.

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Reviewed By Clifton
March 11, 2012

Beautiful sounds and strange mosaic textures this one is by far beyond anything I've ever heard before ever since with other software synths utilizing granular properties like omnisphere, absynth 5, alchemy etc,.. The granular synth engine of padshop may be different and different sounding from the others since it has it's own personality but I certainly feel this belongs somewhere on the top 10 list of today's best software synths. When it comes to manipulating sampled sounds into something rather strange and unusual even with the right effects and LFO's built inside this little machine the possibilities are endless. Padshop on the other hand is very intuitive, easy to program and thanks to Steinberg for the time effort they put in with padshop.

Pros. Best new granular synth, wide range of factory patches to choose from as well as single patches, very easy and intuitive to program your patches out from scratch once you know the basics, and amazingly low priced of what it does.

Cons. What you see is what you get, cannot sample your own sounds to be manipulated, it only works with DAW's that only supports VST3 but may need updating in some areas for padshop to work properly.

Overall. This is a must have and especially for the sound engineering artists working on movies and sound tracks. Not only that, but this is also suited for any music you have in mind but this will sure take you out on a sound journey into the unknown. Again the possibilities are endless with padshop.

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Discussion: Active
10 August 2012 at 1:03pm


9 September 2012 at 12:42am

30 day no restriction demo from today..email from Steinberg


26 January 2013 at 3:37pm

For those using Padshop in Cubase, you can select some audio in Cubase, even a small selection from a larger clip, and drag it right into Padshop and grain shift away. The integration in Cubase is nothing short of fantastic.

24 April 2013 at 9:27pm

Downloded both Padshop and Dark 30 day demo, could not figure out how to load presets. Tried everything I could to make them work no luck. Deleted both vsts. Any help, would like to try again.

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Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

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