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Tips for atmospheric/psychill sound synthesis


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#21
Phase47

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I have not tried those Korg legacy packs, but have owned the hardware back in the day. I really liked the Wavestation once you got away from the factory presets - lovely sounding pads. I miss that one. I spent last summer slowly starting to get back into hardware - both synths and fx - and one thing I found is that if you take a soft-synth and use a hardware reverb and/or delay on it, it goes a long way toward improving the quality of the voice - regardless of where it comes from. 

 

Having said all that, the best advice ever comes from Sebastian Mullaert (Minilogue): "Use the drum machine you have." It's a fantastic metaphor for using the tools at your disposal to get rolling, learn them inside and out, and see where they can take you.



#22
neil (spatialize)

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Instead of routing stuff out onto a mixer and adding reverb there I use reverb impulses from an eventide hd8000 inside logic's space designer. Hardware sound in software format :-)

#23
Mønsterhed

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Instead of routing stuff out onto a mixer and adding reverb there I use reverb impulses from an eventide hd8000 inside logic's space designer. Hardware sound in software format :-)

If those are free to distribute, would you mind sharing them? Eventide makes the prettiest sounding verbs!



#24
neil (spatialize)

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I would get in touch with matt Ishq for those mikkel.. He recorded the impulses himself and charges only a very small fee for them so I think it's fair to get them off him. :-)

#25
Mønsterhed

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I would get in touch with matt Ishq for those mikkel.. He recorded the impulses himself and charges only a very small fee for them so I think it's fair to get them off him. :-)

 

Definitely! Once I get around to actually writing something again I'll pester him for those impulses. I either seem to never have the time or the creativity these days. Hopefully that won't last forever, though :)


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#26
neil (spatialize)

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like any creative process, when the creative impulse is not there, that is the time to learn new stuff about your craft so that when you're back in the creative zone you're not spending that time working out how to use a new compressor or synth etc...

 

background research.  read your nord manual ;-)

 

I've read the manual of every bit of hardware i ever bought from cover to cover. sometimes before ever turning it on. :-)


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#27
snowdrop

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I either seem to never have the time or the creativity these days.

 

I feel ya.



#28
Iacchus

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Talking of gear, this has just hit the market

 



#29
Geoglyph

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Spatialise has made, I think, a key point - the best pads happen when synth sounds are layered with ambient/non synth sounds. Even if the ambient sounds are very quiet, they add an amount of detail/texture which is virtually impossible to achieve through synthesis and effects alone.

 

Also, Shimmer ftw.



#30
neil (spatialize)

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If you have a synth where you can load in audio into a oscillator slot (omnisphere, absynth, alchemy are good examples for this) then you can more really make it part of the sound.

It's all about motion and making sounds change and morph. Found sounds,abstract audio and Natural sounds often inherently have this.

You can also achieve a similar effect through wavetable synthesis. The oscillators not only move through long complicated waveforms in a user controllable way (imagine 4 of these) but you can also make the audio signal morph dynamically between these oscillators so the sound is constantly shifting or evolving.

Korg wavestation (loved by Ozrics) and waldorf blofeld are a couple of examples.

#31
Matt Freak Flag

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omnisphere 2 would utterly completely and utterly sort you out.  but that's a significant investment.  i have avoided getting this because it;s just soo good...possibly too instantly amazing....and making nice pads is part of the fun for me.

 

Yeah, Omnisphere is amazing but you're right... it can be limiting if you have a preset surfing habit.  Too many sounds, and so many of them are so frigging cool.  Of course... that's also awesome if that's what you want.  When I get stuck preset surfing, I just start bouncing everything I like and then chop it up, stretch it out, resample and mangle it later.  

 

 

I found with omnisphere that the ocsillators arent especially great or warm, but the tool lends itself to building complex patches, and thats why it is good and why the presets are good, but you might find with it that unless you are especially good at making patches, nothing you make on it sounds as good as the presets.   I prefer a synth where even the init patch sounds phat and go from there, adding complexity with an effects chain if need be

 

Have you worked with Omnisphere 2 yet?  They massively improved the synth oscillator options.  Of course, if you just want super fat oscillators, you can use the samples, too... But in Omnisphere 2, you can use synthetic oscillators based on all sorts of analog and digital waveforms (there's a hundred at least), and you can use the synth shape/symmetry/hardsync controls on all of them.  Also, Omnisphere 2 lets you use any of these new synth waveshapes as FM and RM sources, *and* you can control the shape/symmetry/hardsync of the FM modulator...  Also, their Unison function now has drift... 

 

I agree with you that Omnisphere's blank saw wave is not all that inspiring, but Spectrasonics really did well with Omnisphere 2.  I feel like they actually listened to what people wanted, as the mediocre (well, terrible, let's be honest) FM in Omnisphere 1 was totally unsatisfactory and lots of people complained.

 

And yeah... Omnisphere's presets are great, but it's so worth learning how to program your own sounds on it.  It took me a lot longer to learn than say Sylenth, but at this point I wouldn't ever want to be without it.  It's so deep and it does virtually everything well, even psytrance bass or massive supersaw sounds.  

 

But for simple and fat... U-He DIVA is my other go-to right now.  


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If it sounds good, it is good.  


#32
Matt Freak Flag

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Talking of gear, this has just hit the market [Dave Smith/Oberheim OB6)

 

 

Well damn, apparently I missed the memo.  That sounds really good.

 

I think I kind of prefer Prophet filters, though; that sounds really, really Oberheim-ish, and I always thought that Oberheim filters were kind of loose or thin sounding...  But I'm listening again and actually they sound perfect on that pads and more ambient stuff.  

 

My roommate also jut bought a minilogue, so I'll have to see how that sounds.  From demos I'm not sure the sound signature is anything outrageously special, but I mean... it's an affordable analog poly synth.  And it has an oscilloscope on the faceplate.  I'd buy it just so that more synth manufacturers get the message that this is a selling point.  

 

EDIT: I'm watching more demos of the OB6.  Every demo I like it more.  This is getting into "shut-up-and-take-my-money" territory, and I have no business spending that much on a synth.  But... wow.  It sounds amazing.  It doesn't do plucky and plinky the way I like, it seems, but who cares?  It does mellow, squelchy, and lush better than really anything else I can think of on the market right now.  

 

I'll have to find a place to demo one but I am terrified I'll buy it.  

 

Here's another demo...

 


If it sounds good, it is good.  


#33
neil (spatialize)

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Don;t TEMPT me Frodo!!!

 

Although I have heard that analogue synths are better than eating, transport and paying your rent :-D



#34
Iacchus

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One really good hardware workhorse is all you really need.. its diminishing returns after that


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#35
neil (spatialize)

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Agreed. Or two. My only outboard analogue at the moment is the minibrute. I keep thinking I don't like it very much but then I hear back some of the sounds I've made with it and it's quite unique.

I fancy a bass station 2 really.

You can't under estimate the Arturia Prophet V for an authentic hardware sound. Tom green from the orb / another fine day put me onto it years ago. As a Prophet user for many years he really rated the quality of its emulation. It's great, love its sound. Pair it up with a novation sl with my own Prophet V template built in and it comes alive.

#36
Matt Freak Flag

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Although I have heard that analogue synths are better than eating, transport and paying your rent :-D

 

Oh sweet, I'll let my girl know about that.  I'm sure she'll understand.   ^_^


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If it sounds good, it is good.  





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