What is your favorite pad synth?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2240
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Jupiter-6, Juno-60, Grandmother, DX7 (x2), QX1, Arp Odyssey MKII, EX-8000, S2400, Rhodes Stage MK1
Location: Anaheim, CA

What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Alex E » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:45 am

Post, explain, etc.

Personally, mine is the Juno 60 if only because I grew up with early Enya recordings.

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

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:54 pm

V-Synth. VA + Sampler + heaps of effects = awesome pads.

User avatar
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 820
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:36 pm
Gear: Synths 'n' stuff.
Band: Klangzeit
Location: UK

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Psy_Free » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:08 pm

V-Synth XT. Simply awesome for pads and much more beyond. So many modulation possibilites & some great effects. Plus you get a D-50 thrown in. (Don't use the Vocal Designer much though).

Close 2nd = JD-800. Up to 4 tones combined with very different setups = great evolving, shapeshifting pads.
"Any noise is good. For what is a different matter"
Bandcamp 1
Bandcamp 2

Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:24 pm
Real name: Gilles
Gear: Roland Fantom X7 with Ultimate Keys expansion, Yamaha TX802, Roland JP-8080, Tascam DP-24SD.
Location: SE England

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by gcoudert » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Roland JV1080. And I should never have sold my Korg Wavestation. DX7 sampled then layered in the sampler isn't bad either.

Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:55 pm
Location: Portland, ME

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by tomorrowstops » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:20 pm

Haven't found my 'favorite' yet, but I really liked what my Juno 6 could do pad wise. Shouldn't have let that one go!

Currently, I'm working with a Prophet 5. Its great for just about everything, but so far not 'the one' pad-wise. (But I'm still experimenting!)

I also recently bought a D-50/PG-1000 (*chuckles*). Lord knows when I'll get a chance to understand it, but for its type of 'that' sound it seems like it could slay.

I suspect that - A: since the Juno 6 was my first, the Roland sound is what I really like, and B: a Jupiter 8 is in my future ;)

User avatar
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2611
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Location: kentucky hills

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by rhino » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:33 pm

Roland JX-10, Ensoniq TS.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

User avatar
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 750
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:29 am
Gear: dk'tronics speech synthesizer :P
Location: Greece

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Yekuku » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:42 pm

The D50, JD800/990 & Wavestation are my picks, especially when programming complex soundscapes.
It is all about sharing...

User avatar
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:10 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:14 pm

Prophet 600 for thick and woozy analog
V-Synth and PolyEvolver for versatility, thinner pads that sit well in a dense mix, and spaced-out/whacked-out/evolving pads

User avatar
Big Gnome
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:14 am
Gear: E-mu Proteus 2500
Ensoniq ESQ-1
Ensoniq VFX
SCI Prelude
Waldorf Blofeld
Band: The Nondescript
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Big Gnome » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:42 pm

Depends what I'm after, but overall I have to stick up for my VFX - it can sound colossal, but it generally doesn't overwhelm a mix either. Given the ability to layer up to 6 voices with either samples or wavetables, 3 looping envelopes, an LFO, noise modulation, and 2 filters each, plus a still-excellent effects section, you can get some incredible sounds out of it.

Now if only those filters had resonance...
"Sure that's fine in practice, but what about in theory?"
Some of my c**p

User avatar
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:34 pm

you know which one :lol:

Why: sound shaping 'till you drop, evolving envelopes 'till you drop.. but also detailed and vast 'ordinary' pads.. classic and contemporary.
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:27 am

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by adhmzaiusz » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:01 am

My personal faves are the Virus for textures and the Chroma Polaris for evolving twisting soundscapes

Rick N Boogie
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:45 pm
Real name: Alan
Gear: MEK/Blofeld/Phatty/JP08/DrumBrute/ER1
Basses/synth fx galore
Band: no.one.won
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Rick N Boogie » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:13 am

Since I just recently added a Virus KB to my arsenal, I'd have to say it's "the one" for me. Nothing else I own will even do a decent pad. I do love that morphing motion craziness it does. And I haven't even gotten too deep into the edit menu's yet.
Bassist, synth junkie

Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Ashe37 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:10 am

I'd have to say the Ensoniq VFX.. (or SD-1, which is what i have currently on my stand. *almost* the same thing.)

User avatar
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by Solderman » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:29 am

JP8 may have been the smoothest, but kind of basic. Strings were great, though.

More interesting has been the Virus b through a Boss CE-300 rack chorus, modified for line-level input. An example:
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:41 pm
Gear: SEM | SH-2 | Prophet 5 | MKS-70 | Microwave XTk | Kronos || AD 202 | El Capistan | DP/4 | Eclipse | Rumour | PCM90
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: What is your favorite pad synth?

Post by CfNorENa » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:22 am

For digital, I like the Waldorf Blofeld. Mixing wavetables and VA oscillators, all those envelopes, the huge modulation matrix -- it's just an outstanding set of tools for complex, evolving, never-heard-by-human-ears-before digital pads.

On the analog side, I'll go with the Roland MKS-70. Soft, mellow, warm. Fills up space in the mix perfectly, and somehow makes everything around it sound better and -- for lack of a better word -- "professional."

Runner-up on digital pads: pretty much any Korg ROMpler.

Runner-up on analog pads: Korg Polysix -- hypnotic.

As for the Juno 60, which has mentioned a few times, I never liked it as a pad synth. Tremendous bass, outstanding arps, phenomenal brass stabs. Great look, great sound, great machine. But for pads? Never worked for me in that area...

Post Reply