Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

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Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:05 pm

Having worked with a Lexicon 300, an Eventide H3500 and a few other goodies in the early 90s, I can´t help but feel like a noob having to post these questions:

There´s a Ensoniq DP4+, a Korg KP3, a Boss SE70, a TC M-One XL for about 150 Euro each in the local market. I can only afford one :cry: . Now, you know... than what

Currently the DP4+ seems a no brainer. But the KP3 looks spontaneous to use. The SE70 would complement my SE50 well. The M-One has really good reverbs.

There´s also a Vox Delaylab that sounds good but IMO what it does can be done by a DAW...

Anyone experienced with these units for this sort of music?
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby meatballfulton » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:52 pm

KP3 is pretty limited. The available FX are all preset and what you can control with the XY pad is fixed per preset. The big deal is that it can sample, is that useful to you?

The DP4 was well respected when it came out but it is 25 year old technology so not as hifi as more recent units.

The SE70 is also pretty old, never heard one.

I haven't heard the M-One but TC stuff I have heard is very good sounding.

What sort of effects are you looking for? The DP and KP would be good choices if you're after mangling, otherwise I would probably take the TC M-One.
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby madtheory » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:25 pm

Any Kaoss pad is good for ambient, the limitations are counteracted by the intuitiveness. It takes sampling to a new level, I find the original model excellent for making textures. Layer them up, run them back through the KP, it's pretty fast to get good layers. If by "ambient" you mean stuff like more recent Eno and what Jon Hopkins does. They both use them extensively.

The TC M-One is a very good sounding reverb, but that's it really. Not a very adventurous unit.

If you've used the H3500 before, then check out their plugins. The Band Delay is superb for Enoesque things.

I think the SE50 is more characterful than the SE70. Keep that it's a nice box. Not for reverbs. Isn't it the Prodigy's go to for distortion?
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:56 am

The DP4+ is like a baby eventide, that's the one you should buy. The KP3 is fun but you come up against its limitations really quickly, the pallette is not broad at all. As soon as I realised that editing it via sysex wasn't going to happen I got rid of mine. The M-One is a trusty low-mid range live processor, if you want fairly decent but non-creative bread and butter effects it's ok. I bought one when I started doing live sound so I could learn the ins and outs of it as there's one in every club sized live venue (or there was before digital desks took over). It did the job for me for a couple of albums too, until I could save up for an eclipse. Haven't used the SE-70 so can't offer an opinion on it.
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:19 pm

Thanks all for the replies. DP4 already sold. Damn it. Too bad the KP3 is so limited. The main difference between the SE70 and 50 besides the number of algos is the 70 has a dedicated distortion/overdrive circuit while the 50 is all digital. The TC is just there sitting on a shelf among used hi-fi equipment. Seemed like a good bet.

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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:00 pm

I would consider looking at the Zoom MS70cdr as well if I were you, it's a good pedal that works in stereo, handles line level signals and has pretty creative sounding fx. In your budget too.

The best option I think though would be to hold onto your cash until you can afford an eventide space. That thing is ambient in a box and has the most hands-on interface of a reverb out there. Sounds good as you tweak it too.
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby madtheory » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:45 pm

Wow, the Zoom looks pretty cool. Has emulations of lots of other vintage units. And it has an Eventide Space emulation LOL!
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby minime123 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:06 pm

dp4+
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:47 am

That Zoom looks too good to be true. How much of it isn´t just marketing blurb? And how can they get away with it? Mentioning all that gear from the competitors, is that even legal?

Seller told the DP4+ was sold on the first day the ad was posted. So it´s gone. I doubt I´ll ever get one for the same price.

The Eventide Space is of course excelent, but way out of my league. 600+ Euros for ONE piece of gear? My wife would kill me! "Afford" isn´t probably the correct word; rather how much money I´m allowed to spend :D Gotta obey the boss...

Think what I need is just some quality reverb. The TG77 is a beast. The dynamic range is amazing. Been routing it through the Wavestation´s FX and the reverbs while good don´t do it enough justice. I´ll post a demo later. Hoping the TC is still there...
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby baz99 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:59 pm

Look for a Lexicon MPX1, it's perfect for lush wide soundscapes and other ambient type sounds and it's in your price range I paid 140 Euro for mine, but they are commonly available around 160 -170 Euro.

Also the Lexicon MPX550 sounds basically the same as the MPX1 and costs even less (120 Euro) but the programming is more limited, but it has 4 real time knobs on the front that make programming much easier (which is why I use my MPX550 much more than the MPX1).
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:58 pm

Thanks. The new Lexicons are nice. Where can I find them at those prices?
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:09 pm

OK here´s the demo. Nothing special just to illustrate how the reverb makes it sound a bit muddy.

https://soundcloud.com/mooger5/untitled3
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby madtheory » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:03 pm

A few tips to sort out the muddiness. I'm assuming reverb is setup as a send and return?

1. Make sure the reverb return is stereo and panned hard left and right. If it is, try a stereo widening effect on the reverb return.
2. Turn up the pre-delay.
3. Roll off some bottom end in the reverb, or on the return.
4. Instead of reverb, use delays that are timed to sixteenths and quarter notes. Usually one of each is fine but with your rhythmic fretless bass stuff you might need to layer up a few more echoes to smooth out the repeats. SoundToys Echoboy is good for this. Or any delay that lets you run the repeats through a low pass filter.
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby Mooger5 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:29 pm

Thanks for the advice. The TG is going directly into the WS for clarity. Then the output goes into a Soundcraft stereo channel. It could have gone directly to the soundcard, but the result would be near identical. Pre-delay was set to maximum, high EQ set to -2. It´s the reverb itself that doesn´t fit. Same engine as the Korg A3. The delays are good enough, though. I use too much ping-pong delay in all of my tracks, so a quality reverb would be good for a change.
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Re: Which of these FXs for ambient/drone music?

Postby madtheory » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:20 am

I wouldn't be a fan of Korg reverbs myself. Maximum pre-delay? That's odd, it doesn't sound like it. Is there an early reflections option? Turn that off. Or better, use a Plate setting. Maybe a bit of HPF and/ or low mid cut as well?
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