More ambient style synth

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
shadowshocker
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:51 am
Location: Newton, NJ

More ambient style synth

Post by shadowshocker » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:53 am

Hey,

I'm looking for a new synth to buy. I'm willing to spend around $500 for it. Currently I have a Korg Poly-800 and an old workstation, both which have mostly gritty sounds to them. I'm looking at getting something with a more cleaner and clearer (perhaps ambient) sound to them. I use a few effects which is what I have been doing so far to get the sounds out of the synths I currently have, to sound less gritty and more what I'm looking for, but I can only do so much to a point where everything starts to sound the same. I'm looking to hopefully get a synth that I can use for more ambient sounds in the back, but I still want to be able to create up-front melodies, but hopefully less gritty ones that I have now? I could get digital or analog, doesn't matter. I prefer using less digital, but as long as it offers what I'm looking for, it will be fine. Also I don't want to use any software.

Thanks

User avatar
MarkM
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:26 pm
Location: Northeast Tennessee

Post by MarkM » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:04 am

A waldorf Q or micro Q would be very good. Also a Korg MS 2000.

User avatar
MicroFi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:40 pm

Post by MicroFi » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:31 am

An Oberheim Matrix6(r) or Matrix1000 would be nice for ambient too.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:41 am

Pretty much anything can do that, it's all in how you program it.

For my part I say check out a D-50.

User avatar
crystalmsc
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2860
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:15 am
Gear: uWaveXT,uQ,Pulse+;Ion;MiniBrt,Karma,Mntrb,Volcas,01R;Venom,NordModular,L2X;Evolver;JP8080,MKS70,JD990,D50,MC909,MC80ex,Microcon2;TG77,RS7k,AN200,AN1x
Band: Crystaline
Location: Synth Garden
Contact:

Post by crystalmsc » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:45 am

+1 for the uQ suggestion, or check out the Blofeld.
Kaossilatron - Voicillator
http://crystaline.bandcamp.com
Station: Ableton Live 10 Suite, Obscurium, Push 2, Ultranova, MS-20m, Wavedrums

clubbedtodeath
No Longer Registered

Post by clubbedtodeath » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:59 am

MicroFi wrote:An Oberheim Matrix6(r) or Matrix1000 would be nice for ambient too.
Really? Have you tried programming a Matrix 1000?

User avatar
OriginalJambo
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:04 am
Gear: Check my sig
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom

Post by OriginalJambo » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:13 am

You can never go wrong with an ESQ-1.

User avatar
insky
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Southern Utah

Post by insky » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:07 am

OriginalJambo wrote:You can never go wrong with an ESQ-1.
For Ambient? You can get some smooth sounds out of it, but it's just too easy (and fun) to get harsh sounds from it. In my opinion the Poly 800 is smoother than the ESQ-1.

I would suggest an early to mid 90's digital synth like the Yamaha TG-77.
Last edited by insky on Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Stuff I own:
X Station
ESQ-1
JX-8P
Poly 800
MaxiKorg 800DV
Elka Rhapsody 610

User avatar
hfinn
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1197
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:21 pm
Gear: http://soundcloud.com/heath-finnie
Location: Boston
Contact:

Post by hfinn » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:09 am

korg wavestation
yamaha dx-7 (on my site i have about 5 ambient songs I did with just a dx7 and a line 6 delay)

User avatar
i_watch_stars
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:49 am
Location: Seattle

Re: More ambient style synth

Post by i_watch_stars » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:41 am

shadowshocker wrote:Hey,

I'm looking for a new synth to buy. I'm willing to spend around $500 for it. Currently I have a Korg Poly-800 and an old workstation, both which have mostly gritty sounds to them. I'm looking at getting something with a more cleaner and clearer (perhaps ambient) sound to them. I use a few effects which is what I have been doing so far to get the sounds out of the synths I currently have, to sound less gritty and more what I'm looking for, but I can only do so much to a point where everything starts to sound the same. I'm looking to hopefully get a synth that I can use for more ambient sounds in the back, but I still want to be able to create up-front melodies, but hopefully less gritty ones that I have now? I could get digital or analog, doesn't matter. I prefer using less digital, but as long as it offers what I'm looking for, it will be fine. Also I don't want to use any software.

Thanks
What do you mean by "ambient sounds in the back"?

Well whatever it means, you just need to get a real synth with more than 1 osc per voice (sorry Poly 800). Any synth with 2 or 3 oscs per voice, PWM, and/or a decent unison mode can do ambient. Also you'll need reverb and delay (see the ambient thread in Music Production or just listen to ambient music and use common sense). Apart from that, its just all in the programming of course.

I would personally recommend a sample based synthesizer for ambient as well, for a variety of reasons. D-50, JD-800, etc.

Since when has the Matrix 1000 and MS-2000 been considered the "go to" ambient synths for under 500$?
JP-8080, Virus B, TG-77, JD-990, D-550, XV-5080, CS1x, Matrix 1000, SE-1, SuperNova II Pro Rack, MKS-50, EMX-1, TX-802, Nord Rack 2X, Korg RADIAS

shadowshocker
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:51 am
Location: Newton, NJ

Post by shadowshocker » Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:09 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. I haven't had time to research each one yet, but I will.
What do you mean by "ambient sounds in the back"?
I don't necessarily want to create ambient music, but the best I can describe the sounds I'm trying to get are those more mellow, "rounded" sounds that is used in some ambient music. The more the synth can handle other sounds as well, the better.


I also have another question about reverb. Currently I have been using a Line 6 Verbzilla, but I'm also looking at getting something else. I know this is a synth forum, but I'm sure many of you use some effects too. I have been looking at getting the EH Holiest Grail. I'm actually trying to get a sound that is "off in the distance" but not necessarily reverb. I don't want it to sound like it's in a confined space, but more like it's off in the distance if that makes sense. Not really tape delay either.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I appreciate them a lot and I'll begin researching all of them too.

User avatar
killedaway
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:22 am
Gear: Electribes x 6
Revolution
Monomachine MKII
microKORG
CS01
& more!
Band: killedaway/allyourblood
Location: California, US

Post by killedaway » Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:12 am

Alesis Ion for me...

this thing does "cool" and "smooth" all day long, does a fine job at pads and strings, and is all over that sparkly, glassy sound that, for me, completely embodies a lot of ambient. it also sports the smoothest filter sweeps i've ever heard on a VA. when i think outer space and alien landscapes, or even near-organic sounds, the Ion is the first machine that comes to mind.
1.5.9.13
1.5.9.13

User avatar
braincandy
Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Posts: 940
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:35 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Post by braincandy » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:04 am

I think of romplers and digitals combined with effects when I think of an "ambient" machine. For less than $500:

Roland JD-990: check out Don Solaris' ambient demos on Sealed's Deep Synthesis site:
http://homepage.mac.com/synth_seal/html/ds_jd990.html

Kurzweil K2000
Roland XP-50

You may be able to find a Kawai K5000s for around that price. Same with the Yamaha FS1r, although it's a nightmare to program from the front panel. Getting "rounded" tones hasn't been difficult with the AN1x or Nova, either, and they're both in the $300 range.

*All of the synths I've mentioned have onboard effects, which may come in handy for ambient stuff.
Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster | Squier CV Duo-Sonic | e6400 Ultra | Blofeld | a bunch of effects

User avatar
MicroFi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:40 pm

Post by MicroFi » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:45 am

clubbedtodeath wrote:
MicroFi wrote:An Oberheim Matrix6(r) or Matrix1000 would be nice for ambient too.
Really? Have you tried programming a Matrix 1000?
There are software editors for the Matrix's.
This one for example

User avatar
Altitude
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1220
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:25 pm
Location: Michigan

Post by Altitude » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:06 pm

MicroFi wrote:
clubbedtodeath wrote:
MicroFi wrote:An Oberheim Matrix6(r) or Matrix1000 would be nice for ambient too.
Really? Have you tried programming a Matrix 1000?
There are software editors for the Matrix's.
This one for example
Have you tried one? Or owned a m1000 for that matter? Programming is a Nightmare on those

Post Reply