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Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

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Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby rggillespie » Sat May 29, 2021 12:05 pm

Hi, I’m a guitar player but learning keyboards/synths to flesh out my recordings and I got a Korg monologue as my first synth. I like it but it doesn’t seem to be able to get some of the sounds I’m after. My freeware synths have a section called pads, and that what I’m really after. Kind of ambient background sounds, is it that the monologue isn’t designed to make those diffused sounds or maybe I’m just not using it correctly? I’ve had a look online at some demos and the one that seems to best get the sounds I’m after is called omnisphere. That seems to be a software synth but I’m hoping it can triggered from my Korg? Any tips and pointers much appreciated
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat May 29, 2021 12:38 pm

As long as the Korg has MIDI or USB out, you can definitely play soft synths with it!

If your interface doesn’t have MIDI in, you’ll need a MIDI to USB adapter, they are fairly inexpensive.
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby BJG145 » Sat May 29, 2021 2:17 pm

...yes, you can use USB by the looks of it, though you might want to pick up something with more than two octaves at some point. Omnisphere is very popular and undoubtedly has a great selection of pad sounds; arguably the best. (Absynth and Serum also spring to mind.)
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby MOF » Sat May 29, 2021 2:36 pm

If you’re using Logic don’t ignore Alchemy*, another suggestion would be Synthmaster 2.9.

* I repeatedly told a mate to try this free plugin that Apple bought (formerly Camel Audio) and only recently did he say he’d got around to using it and how good it is.
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby rggillespie » Sat May 29, 2021 9:03 pm

Thanks for the tips, one of the free plugins I have is that camel audio alchemy one and I like the pads on there. So by the sound of things I’d better off looking at software synths rather than hardware options for pads?
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:22 am

rggillespie wrote:Thanks for the tips, one of the free plugins I have is that camel audio alchemy one and I like the pads on there. So by the sound of things I’d better off looking at software synths rather than hardware options for pads?

Alchemy is (quite rightly) widely regarded as one of the better soft-synths available. Before Apple acquired Camel Audio, Alchemy was available on PC and Mac and it wasn't cheap to license either!

Omnisphere is right up there, and another softsynth that is very good at pads (IMHO) is Pigments from Arturia, but to be honest these days there are so many decent softsynths available that you're spoiled for choice.

I make use of softsynths now and again but my personal preference is for hardware as I like to play without needing to boot up a computer. Most of the latest offerings from most of the big name vendors will do a great selection of pads but you'll have to crank the wallet open a lot wider than you do with softsynths.

If budget is a concern, and pad sounds are what you're after, then softsynths are probably the most practical way to go these days.

As you have Alchemy, I'd recommend you don't just evaluate a synth by the presets either. If you spend some time learning to create your own patches you'll find it (and most any synth) can do an great deal more than you might think!
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Re: Best synth for a beginner interested in pads?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:45 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:...I'd recommend you don't just evaluate a synth by the presets either. If you spend some time learning to create your own patches you'll find it (and most any synth) can do an great deal more than you might think!

Our lad has a middle of the range Yamaha PSR all in one keyboard that we bought second-hand. He can create amazing out of this world sounds from just a basic piano patch by playing around with all the editable parameters.
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