the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and drones)

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.

best synthesizer/rompler for pads?

roland d50 / d550
1
2%
korg wavestation
4
8%
korg wavestation ex / AD
3
6%
roland MKS70 / super JX10
6
13%
roland jd800 / jd990
9
19%
roland jv1080
1
2%
yamaha tg500
0
No votes
oberheim matrix1000
1
2%
wardolf microwave
8
17%
roland juno 106
0
No votes
something else (because I'd be here forever listing them all)
15
31%
 
Total votes: 48

phineus_ii
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the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and drones)

Post by phineus_ii » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:29 pm

Has to be one with MIDI though.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by phineus_ii » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:32 pm

I ask because I want to save up for one basically. I have the yamaha tg500 but it's not doing much for me. and that's with some of my own patches too!

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by ellaguru » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:37 pm

I own the matrix1000, the juno106 and the jv1080
While the first 2 are instant drone/ambient a la boards of canada (just an example), I find the jv more vesatile but you have to work it a bit

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:44 pm

When I think of ambient pads, I think of simple sounds processed with lots of reverb and delay. So any synth except a TB303 would work, including the TG500 which has reverb and delay onboard.

So what about the TG500 sounds you have created is lacking?
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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by phineus_ii » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:26 pm

meatballfulton wrote:When I think of ambient pads, I think of simple sounds processed with lots of reverb and delay. So any synth except a TB303 would work, including the TG500 which has reverb and delay onboard.

So what about the TG500 sounds you have created is lacking?
I guess the trick is layering which is something I haven't had much luck with lately. I only have that 1 synth so it's difficult. I do also have however, as you mentioned it some reverb, and I mean good reverb I've just spent an arm and a leg last year on a lexicon pcm80, (probably the most expensive thing I've ever had to buy in my life :| )

at around 6 mins

stuff like this.... that album was probably made ITB but there must be ways of achieving this on hardware. I don't know what the tg500 is lacking, maybe just a good user :lol: I might get the jv1080 as they're surprisingly cheap!

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by phineus_ii » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:29 pm

It's quite difficult to hear the potential of the jv1080 when 90% of the videos on youtube are those awful slap bass and sax presets! I'm sure you can freak it out to make something abstract though.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:09 pm

The Jd800 wins, at least from the ones that I've used here. I suppose the D50 would be second in line, since it's essentially the same synth engine.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by garranimal » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:03 pm

Are we talking romplers or analog here? I'm just going to mind what is on the list.

I don't have a JD800. Voted for JX-10 as I flipped one w/ the upgraded bios, and sounds most similar to the warm strings and smooth pads as the JX-8P I have now. I've had the wavestation and D-50 but sold them. Matrix 1000/Matrix-6 does so many things well I wouldn't say pads are its niche although it does them well. Oberheim has other things that would best anything on this list.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by phineus_ii » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:49 pm

garranimal wrote:Are we talking romplers or analog here?
both really

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by visceralvoids » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:19 pm

Of the synths you listed, JD-800/JD-990 is my first choice. Excellent for pads, drones, ambient. 990 is better because of the more advanced synth engine. I had JD-800 some years ago and now have a 990.

D-50/D-550 is also great, I can always hear some definite crystalline magic in it's sound. However it will take some effort to make that thing sound the way others on Youtube (for example) have done, getting away from the canned sounds. I always wanted to own one but am more than happy with my JD-990.

Wavestation is excellent as well (I have the VST version by Korg.) I don't think many use it to its full potential. It's another synth that takes some effort to learn to program to get unbelievable results out of. Some of the factory presets offer a glimpse into that. Others sound like old Nickeloden shows (!) and SNES games (OK maybe that's not too bad :) )

If you added a few newer synths to the mix you can get a Virus C desktop for almost the same price of a D-550/JD-990 nowadays. I always enjoy using my Virus for this kind of stuff and totally "get lost" in the sounds. Another top notch ambient drone synth.
meatballfulton wrote:When I think of ambient pads, I think of simple sounds processed with lots of reverb and delay.
+1. It's a must have for ambience or trippy synth textures. All the best D-50/550 demos on YouTube heavily use some kind of good outboard fx processor.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:53 am

K5000 smokes everything on that list. Can't beat having over 1000 envelope generators for making nice pads.

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by zmd » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:57 am

My go to is the alesis ion
Long envelopes, slow lfo and lots of filter choices

Add your own fx tho, mostly boring aside from the phaser
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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:09 am

Okay... here's the thing:

The term "pad" originally meant "sound that filled space." If there was space in the mix, you filled it with a nice chord.

The term "pad" didn't really pop up until we had synths that could fill a space with something interesting and unobtrusive.

The M1 pretty much INVENTED the pad because it was capable of creating sounds that were rich and variable and pretty and unobtrusive. It should be on this list.

Also: stop using pads. Pads are for when you have run out of ideas and you need a quick solution for emptiness. Fill your mix up with sounds that mean something other than "I don't know what to do to fill this space."
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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by Percivale » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:11 am

Must it be analogue or something? I thought Blofeld did well for pad voices. Maybe Blofeld (circa 2007) not old enough?

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Re: the best old hardware PAD machine? (ambient pads and dro

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:49 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Okay... here's the thing:

The term "pad" originally meant "sound that filled space." If there was space in the mix, you filled it with a nice chord.

The term "pad" didn't really pop up until we had synths that could fill a space with something interesting and unobtrusive.

The M1 pretty much INVENTED the pad because it was capable of creating sounds that were rich and variable and pretty and unobtrusive. It should be on this list.

Also: stop using pads. Pads are for when you have run out of ideas and you need a quick solution for emptiness. Fill your mix up with sounds that mean something other than "I don't know what to do to fill this space."
Ambient music wasn't invented with the M1 though, although making it got a lot easier at that point.

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