What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

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astroidmist
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What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:36 am

I'm looking for freeware only. My cashflow is nil. But I'd like to find some good new evolving pads, preferably something that has some variety but is not too abstract and yet not boring either.

What is out there that you know is good for pads that's freeware?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:56 am

Almost anything from hgf-synthesizer.de

I happen to like Alionoctis

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by griffin avid » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:08 am

Damn! Beat me to it
http://www.hgf-synthesizer.de/
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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:38 am

Thanks, I'm familiar with those. Any other ideas?

I guess there is no escaping the HG Fortune romplers. I like the ones by them I've tried so far (LaserBlade and all the STS-synths) but I'm hoping for a bit more control and less chaotic sounding. In particular I need greater control over the pitches of the sound components. A lot of the patches are basically abstract chords and I prefer to play chords manually--which requires simpler individual pitches per tone.

I tried Serenity too, but that sounded too plain and I'm not looking for strings or choir sounds. That's not abstract enough. But the STS-synths are a bit too abstract at times.

I'm in the process of downloading a whole bunch of HG Fortune stuff right now. Hopefully something in there will be the right thing for me.

They do sound amazing, but I don't want the synth to do all of work for me. I'd like to have some hand in actually composing the drone or ambient chords.

But thanks again. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
Last edited by astroidmist on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by griffin avid » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:56 am

Ever been to KVR and check the search?
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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:13 am

Almost every VSTi synth claims to be able to do pads too, but not all of them do pads so well. There's just too much to choose from. But I guess I'll give it a try again. (KVR search, that is).

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by griffin avid » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:28 am

To be honest, you might have to define what's a good pad to you.
there are:
A) Pads that sounds like a soft lead
b) Pads that have evolving tones, which you could do with simple layering, modulation and a focus on volume and after-touch. Wait on that second layer and play it a few bars in..
c) "KORG" Pads where crickets, swooshes, helicopters and running water will slowly fade in if you hold the keys down long enough. (Just Kidding)
d) Simple sounds with TONS of effects like delay and phasing.

Layer some stuff together dude. The problem with a lot of free stuff is the reliance on a narrow range of frequencies and the sound gets harsh once you add several instances. I still like sample-based stuff. I also like patches (as stated) that evolve (organically?) over time. That speaks of envelopes.

So I suggest you find two patches that sound good together and work them as a team.
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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:34 am

@griffin avid,

Thanks dude but each of those categories is what I'm looking for; variety. The HG Fortune stuff tends to be the type c "KORG" stuff you mentioned, only on crack and in a horror space flick. Also, as mentioned before some of the other stuff is either atonal or multitonal which destroys the user's capability to use the pads to play chords.

I think this is actually an area where hardware historically has sounded better.

I would be layering stuff together but I was hoping that I wouldn't have to do all that myself. The type of pads that I've heard that I like of any of the types are not the kind of thing I'm familiar with when it comes to synthesis. Maybe I need to mess with fader automation in my DAW. That much I can do.

Oh well. I actually miss my Alesis ROMpler these days. It had bland sounds except for the pads.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:37 am

I forgot to mention that I did try a KVR Audio search. It's no good for this. The categories that you can search for have very little to do with different instrument patches. it's mostly based upon function: VST effect or VST instrument, and which type of synthesis, host requirements, 32 or 64 bit, etc.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by griffin avid » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:54 am

only on crack and in a horror space flick.
OMG dude, that is Heelarious.

Okay so it's time for some long shots...
Jeremy Evers Atlantis http://jeremyevers.com/atlantis/
Atlantis is a unique synthesizer VSTi. It has nearly unlimited possibilities for creating new and exciting sounds! It is also a powerful effects module that can be used to process other audio.

Behringer Free Synths (Field, I believe, does pads)
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Support/U-C ... loads.aspx

Krakli FREE synths (To add in as layers and textures)
http://krakli.com/krakli-free-synths/

Nova Flash Synths
http://www.numerisson.com/novaflash/fr.html

Obviously, Spectrasonics Atmosphere/Omnisphere is probably the king of Pad$.

I say you go with a generic 'nice' tone and do layer it with something quirky for movement.
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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:20 am

I do alot of those type of pads in hardware as well, but that is partly because the hardware I use for it is the synth i have owned the longest. The pads in the HG fortune stuff are typical 'show it off' pads and not necessarily the best ones for use in a project.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by elmosexwhistle » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:23 am

http://evm.110mb.com/free.htm

EVM Ultrasonique is my go to for pads, you can make them evolve and move with it's 16 step sequencer that can control filter or one osc's pitch (when synched you can appreciate it'll make cool sounds) :)

Multiple waveforms including saw, square, triangle, choir ahh, multisaw, etc, brilliant.

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:25 am

All the TAL stuff is great, the sound is really good especially the 101 and Juno 60 emulations. :)

http://kunz.corrupt.ch/

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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by stephen » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:30 pm

Ambience reverb, TAL reverb, retrodelay for, er, delay. And try the Kjaerhus classics (their website is down, but the plugins should be available elsewhere).

Krakli Cygnus is worth a look, maybe Oatmeal too. Also SQ8L.

Or these:
http://www.majken.se/

The trick is to layer different patches or instruments and put them through some suitable effects.
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Re: What is the best FREEWARE for Pads?

Post by astroidmist » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:28 am

I actually specifically want to avoid using reverb for pads. i feel that a good pad should sound good on it's own without reverb. I really don't like the sound of reverb; it makes everything sound like it's locked inside of a huge factory. I like my reverbs sounding close and full, not cold and distant. But I'll check out the other stuff. Thanks guys. Some of those I have already and they didnt blow my mind, but I'll consider them anyhow.

@Ashe, I definately agree with what you said about some stuff being good for a one-note-show but not necessarily the best for use in a composition.

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