Best ambient synth when on a budget?

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danialad
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Post by danialad » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:42 am

thanks for listening! i appreciate it very much!
as for your questions:

not sure which song you're referring to about the "bass sound", but i can say it's probably just the Ion. any field recorded sounds are relatively obvious to pick out, and for those four songs up all i've used it the Ion. actually, the only thing that hasn't been the ion are any brass/horn sounds which i made from the only "software synth" i use (Miroslav Philharmonik) ... which has amazing hords and strings.

basically. everything comes from the ion, into the mixer (alesis 6fx), mixed with effects in/out of the zoom rfx, out the computer... then recorded with Cakewalk Sonar 4... usually adding effects from Guitar Rig 2. sometimes i reverse some parts here and there. either way. lots of layers and subtle field recordings, which i either take from the internet or have recorded myself using a small RCA digital recorder.

i really dont think there is much to it. i just like making these kind of sounds. i dont have much direction nor any training or anything of that sort. i just do what i want... my own way. (ie... i still use cakewalk while everyone else flips out about how awesome live6 is? *shrug*). either way... the ion has been the greatest addition to my ambient creation over the past year i decided to sell my other synths to get some different gear.
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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xenomorph313
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Post by xenomorph313 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:12 am

The bass part I'm referring to is in you "lost east devouring children song"
Whatever it is, it comes in at the beginning, then at 1:30 it goes away and just leaves the choir/string type pad playing by itself.

Sounds like a whhooooooop kind of noise....yes, that's what it sounds like! Filtered noise (not sure what color; white, pink, etc.)

Anyway, good stuff. I need to look into an effects unit as well. How much is the Zoom rfx?

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danialad
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Post by danialad » Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:57 am

oh oh. i think you're just hearing the sound of a truck backing up maybe. i believe there's something like that in there. i got my zoom rfx-1000 for 40 $US. but on ebay... i think they got for around that same price range. there's the zoom rfx 2200 for... maybe 2-3x the price. they're decent .. but there's plenty of multi-fx units that can do the same thing as the rfx-1000.
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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xenomorph313
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effects:
| PS-2 | | Smashup |
Location: Michigan

Post by xenomorph313 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:59 am

i got my zoom rfx-1000 for 40 $US
:shock:
Is this a typo?

In "lost east devouring children" are the sounds coming from the ion processed with internal effects within the Ion before they are run into the rfx-1000, or is the spatial quality all coming from the zoom?

thanks

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Tchammosaur
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Post by Tchammosaur » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 pm

aeon wrote:Forget getting a synth. For ambient, you need some effects processing, and in particular, reverb.

My recommendation? Lexicon LXP-15 II. It's from the late 80s, and can be had used for as little as ~$200. (That's what I paid on eBay.) Lush sound, and arguably better than later MPX-series boxes.

For ~2x the price, look into a Kurzweil Rumour. This is a relatively modern unit, and delivers some stunning reverb.


cheers,
Ian
Does your Lexicon LXP-15 vII have a medium frequency hiss? I just got one off Ebay, and I'm returning it for this awful hiss. Maybe it's 60 Hz, in which case it might be normal to a certain extent, but it's just too loud to use.

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danialad
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Post by danialad » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:15 pm

xenomorph313 wrote: In "lost east devouring children" are the sounds coming from the ion processed with internal effects within the Ion before they are run into the rfx-1000, or is the spatial quality all coming from the zoom?
actually... i'm not even sure anymore. i'm relatively sure there was a lot of effects coming from everywhere. the spatial quality though... must have come from the reverb of the rfx-1000 along with some panning and layering of multiple tracks in cakewalk. but! not to confuse you, there is a layer of horn/trumpet sound in there that's not from the Ion, but rather from the only VSTI i use (Miroslav Philharmonic).

either way, the RFX-1000 is a relatively cheap unit... i wouldn't say it's amazing. but along with it there are plenty of nice and cheap FX units out there. i plan on getting a few more just for the fun of it.

ALSO... I havn't really utilized it yet, but there is a nifty program to make ANYTHING sound ambient. well. sort of. it's just a time-stretching utility that doesn't distort the quality of the sound at all. it's pretty amazing when you take a 30second long clip and make it 30minutes long!! look up "paul's extreme sound stretch" and you'll find it. small free program that can be nifty or at least entertaining for sure! :D
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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aeon
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Post by aeon » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:54 pm

Tchammosaur wrote:Does your Lexicon LXP-15 vII have a medium frequency hiss? I just got one off Ebay, and I'm returning it for this awful hiss. Maybe it's 60 Hz, in which case it might be normal to a certain extent, but it's just too loud to use.
If it is 60Hz, it is hum, and that is a function of your setup and wiring, not the unit. Hiss is higher frequency.

My Lexicon LXP-15II has neither.


cheers,
Ian

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Post by sacredcow » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:58 pm

Look into Kawais. They can be had for mad cheap and are definitely worth it if you can program.
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xenomorph313
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Post by xenomorph313 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:16 am

Actually, heh, my first synth was a Kawai K4. Unfortunately, I have a pop addiction and I screwed the entire board by accidently spilling a soda can's worth of pop inside the board.

Had to sell it to a pawn shop because of the degenerated condition... :cry:

Funny thing was I had it looked at the repairman said "The acid in the pop will act as a conducter, but since it still plays, if its not broke dont fix it."

I think it would have one day just died on me eventually anyway..

I can always get another one, and I sure as heck know my way around the k4 (had it for 10 years).

Should be easily replaceable at their current price range

..and Yes, some of the best ambient sounds I've heard of come from that trusty unit. In particular, by using the filter with the synth choir, putting cutoff at around 30 and adding a slow tuning effect via LFO with three slightly detuned operators of the choir waveform, all within the same patch.

Glad to see this thread is alive and kicking, and thanks all!!
For Trade: |Ensoniq ESQ-1|Yamaha CS1-x|Alesis Micron|

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Post by mathparty » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:42 pm

my favorite ambient synth is the novation ks4.

i've seen them go for as low as $300-350 on ebay.

you can't beat that IMO. my old band was an ambient/shoegaze group, and we did two records with nothing but layers upon layers of KS4 goodness.

:)
Moog Voyager Electric Blue, DSI Polyevolver, Virus TI Polar, Novation KS4

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clusterchord
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Post by clusterchord » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:27 am

for ambient, if i had no hw synths id probably pick Access Snow first or second. i think Virus textures, tho limited in analog emul , work great for ambient/vast soundscapes. esp now with additon of granular and wavetable synthesis. not to be underestimaed that u can use its reverb/fx engine per part now. even on older virii i always felt that their reverb algorithm choice worked nice for ambient thing. add to this selection of onboard filtered delays, phasers, saturators etc..

also to complement it perfectly id get Blofeld and run it thru one of the following: Lex MPX-1, Rumour, Wedge or DP4.. and call it a day. um ok a EHX memoryman deluxe so u can play with feedback n detune to oblivion tweakin delay time.. rest can be done ITB with FX, mangled audio etc..

Wedge is perfect for the money ($70ish). i have it in andromeda and keep thinkin i want another one, standalone to use on waldorfs or somtin.

ps reading thru above posts, i can say ditto on using speed down on recorded atmos n found sounds.. great tehinique. esp paired with filtering and a great reverb unit.
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