Whats The Ultimate Ambient Synth ?
Old 6th April 2010
  #1
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Whats The Ultimate Ambient Synth ?

I was just wondering, since we seem to have many people who make ambient and other atmospheric genres, I wanted to expand my horizons.

So spam away your suggestions.

Actually one great ambient synth which more like a rompler with very limited rom but still some very good presets was a friend's Korg N1. It was pleasant suprise for sure.
Old 6th April 2010
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If you don't mind digital :

- Korg Wavestation A/D & SR
- Sequential Circuits Prophet VS

IMHO, vector synthesis is amazing when it comes to evolving pads and ambiant stuff
Old 6th April 2010
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Old 6th April 2010
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Matrix1000/6

or if you have more money on the side...

Oberheim Xpander......
Old 6th April 2010
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talking of software synths, first names that come to my mind: Camel Audio Alchemy (if you'd like to use samples), Zebra 2, XILS 3 (if you're more into those great seventies synth sounds, organic, dirty and unpredictable, sequences, etc...).

by the way XILS 3 is on offer lately, have a look at my signature to know more...
Old 6th April 2010
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Shall I tell you about your Andromeda?

For my stuff, K5000, FS1R, MIDIBoxFM, FS1R, OB-12, Nord Modular 1 and 2, Polysix, MicroWave 1, samplers
Old 6th April 2010
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reaktor
Old 6th April 2010
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli View Post
Shall I tell you about your Andromeda?

For my stuff, K5000, FS1R, MIDIBoxFM, FS1R, OB-12, Nord Modular 1 and 2, Polysix, MicroWave 1, samplers
no A@#$%^&*^ please... I am not allowed to speak about it.
Old 6th April 2010
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From experience:

Korg Wavestation A/D
Roland JD-800
Oberheim OB-12
Korg Karma (you can get totally lost in some of those GE's and combi's)

The ultimate as far as Im concerned and what you asked would be a mixture/layering of:

Original Karma/Wavestation A/D/JD-800 or 990

Ambient heaven
Old 6th April 2010
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The ultimate ambient synth?
Spectrasonics Omnisphere, without a doubt.
Old 6th April 2010
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S+S synthesis is one of the keys to good atmospheres IMHO. Any korg rompler with usually have a ton of good pads and sounds built in for it. I really like my Microx for that.. there's also the N5EX which is a good (and small) box of legacy history there. It's got the whole N series sounds in it. Vector is good too, so obviously wavestation. I also really like my XL1 for rough, gritty and digital textures. I don't care for it much in the way of a lead / bass synth, but it can get really deep and pulsey. theres also the morpheus from EMU too.
Old 6th April 2010
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there isn't one ultimate ambient synth, tho i gather you knew that already.. but considering some of the best ones in this genre are quite cheap, you can allow yourself to pickup 2 or even 3 and cover a lot of ground.

usual suspects:

yamaha FS1R
roland JD-990
korg Wavestation AD
waldorf xt
virus ti/ti2


costly but phenomenal, unique sounding:

hartmann neuron
kyma - either capybara or new ones like pacarana/paca


however, i dont think it could be stressed enough that, in ambient music, having a really nice multifx and reverb, capable of vast soundscapes is as important as synths themselves. if not more.

id recommend some of the Eventide boxes like 4000/4500/7000/7500 etc.. imho nothing else comes close for this peticular application. and it doesnt have to be the newest, or most expensive one either. they all have that sound.





EDIT: in the polyanalog world, for ambient never heard anything better than:

Xpander
Prophet5 Rev2
A6

first one for clean glassy planes/atmos, second for uber-organic pulsating analog drones/pads, and last for everything else.
Old 6th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
however, i dont thing it could be stresses enough that, in ambient music, having a really nice multifx and reverb, capable of vast soundscapes is as important as synths themselves. if not more.
Ditto x 100.
Old 6th April 2010
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guess the synth?
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 some-birds-and-a-synth.mp3 (2.35 MB, 610 views)
Old 6th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
guess the synth?
Smooth like a virgin's a@@.





Its surely a great sounding synth. Maybe the high price is not so unreasonable afterall.
Old 6th April 2010
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Oli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
guess the synth?
303?
Old 6th April 2010
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Oli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
From experience:
...
Oberheim OB-12
...
Oh, someone else uses the OB-12? You do mean the Viscount one, right? Most people seem to hate her. I rather like it for live ambient tweaking. One has to really watch the internal levels though; it can clip rather easily.
Old 6th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli View Post
Oh, someone else uses the OB-12? You do mean the Viscount one, right? Most people seem to hate her. I rather like it for live ambient tweaking. One has to really watch the internal levels though; it can clip rather easily.
Yeah, the Oberheim/Viscount 'joint venture' as it says in small writing under the pitch and mod wheels

I have loved this synth, and played it out, a board that is probably the most user friendly ever produced. And of course once you have gotten past the dreadful presets (the ones that people base there opinions on <roll eyes>) you realise what a original/fresh sounding little bugger it is.

Unfortunatley, as much as I hate to do it, its up for sale. I've got too many VAs and need the cash for something special. Although I may pick one up again, when I'm in the position to.
Old 6th April 2010
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anything with a sine wave oscillator and slow envelopes.

hard to go wrong with a nord modular. i use it all the time in my productions. on the software side: Alchemy.
Old 6th April 2010
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Some of my favorites are (and I do have most of these but not all)
S/S
Omnisphere,
Alchemy
absynth

Digital
JD800/990
Korg wavestation
Kurzweil
Virus (I do like the sound of this when it isn't being used as a VA or a trance machine)
Waldorf

Analog
MOTM
vermona perfourmer
Oberheim

FX
Eventides

Haven't tried metasynth or pacarana but I would imagine they would cover a lot of ground

but again so much of this is obviously how its used. I really like Jonsi and Alex's recent work on Riceboy sleeps and there are no synths just found sounds degraded and pushed through a lot of effects. I love it. And then I love the old 70's synth stuff from Klaus Schulze tangerine dream etc. no digital synthesis back then.
Old 6th April 2010
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im selling my copy of alchemy if anyone is interested.. + all three banks. 200$. pm if interested.
Old 6th April 2010
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What's that modular that Robert Rich tours with ? It looks pretty modern.
Old 6th April 2010
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If you like deep programming, any Kurzweil box that uses VAST.

Any sampler (which might include a Kurzweil as noted above, depends on which model).

A really nice reverb.

Some good programming chops.
Old 6th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firby View Post
What's that modular that Robert Rich tours with ? It looks pretty modern.
Synthesis Technology MOTM. Which is the modular I've decided to primarily go with although I have some Oakley and will add some Modcan. Its very big and rich sounding.
Old 6th April 2010
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Oli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I've got too many VAs and need the cash for something special.
Hmm, same here actually. I've got 5 VAs. Need different stuff.

By the way, I'm in need of a couple of button caps for my OB-12; I don't suppose you might have any leads on that?

Also, a while back I was organising to prepare some replacement displays for several OB-12 owners. I got sent away for work for rather a long time, and have just got back home. I'm going to start up the offer again. If you want to replace your display, let me know. Mine was in terrible shape, as are many, I think. My new one is pretty decent. If you can handle a soldering iron, I can send you instructions I prepared, and you can do the whole thing yourself. I was going to charge $AU50 + costs for my service.

Cheers,

Oli
Old 6th April 2010
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Korg PS-3100
/lfp (just bought one)
Old 6th April 2010
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So, been meaning to ask, are you a Syzygy fan? Any idea what synths they used?

btw, I love Syzygy's stuff.
Old 6th April 2010
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Ensoniq ESQ-1 (not sure if its the "ultimate", but still great). Great for pads and textures, and it can sound very analog or very digital. 3 LFOs and 4 Envelopes can make for a lot of motion in a single patch.

Yamaha DX-7 (or Nord G2) for long evolving otherworldly FM timbres.
Old 6th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli View Post
So, been meaning to ask, are you a Syzygy fan? Any idea what synths they used?

btw, I love Syzygy's stuff.
No actually its totally unrelated but I've had that question before.
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