Login / Register
 
Ambient/Granular/Textural Synths (soft or hardware)
New Reply
Subscribe
medearis
Thread Starter
#1
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #1
Gear addict
 
medearis's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 484

Thread Starter
medearis is offline
Ambient/Granular/Textural Synths (soft or hardware)

Word!

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT SOFTWARE VS HARDWARE. I WILL USE ANYTHING I FEEL SOUNDS GOOD. Moving on!

I'm curious what synths/plugs some of y'all use for those fun ambient/pad sounds. I have stuff that I use, but for some reason, I'm actually curious enough to ask here on GearSlutz (which usually seems like a no-no for obvious reasons )

I have Logic Pro 9, so I'm already familiar with the options I have in my DAW. I've been using my Proteus 2000, Volca Keys and a friend's OP-1 to create some ambient textures. It works well! No doubt. Creating these have been a blast and it is what lead me to ask this question....

I'm missing a granular synthesizer. I do NOT have an iPad or else I would have already picked up Bordlerlands (the synth, not the game!). Are there any plug-ins that operate sort of like Borderlands? If not, that's cool. If you use a granular plug-in, I'd love to read what you think/feel about it.

Anyway, what stuff do YOU guys use to make your ambient/granular/textural/pad sounds? Like I said, I've been using the Proteus 2000, Volca Keys and an OP-1 in various ways. Always end up being sampled into my MPC though, or recorded into LP9 and altered that way.


TLDR: - What hardware/software synthesizer do you use to create your ambient sounds with (and maybe why)?


Peace!
__________________

#2
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
charlieclouser's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 669

charlieclouser is offline
In order of flexibility, speed, and desirability of results:

Camel Audio's Alchemy - great synth engine, imports user samples and can wreak havoc on them in many interesting time-stretchy ways, good effects, very flexible.

Spectrasonics' Omnisphere - fantastic synth engine, sounds great, the best LFOs, great effects, huge sample ROMs - but no user sample import.

Kontakt - the big daddy of software samplers has some great time stretching algorithms under the hood. Not the most flexible in that regard but with the wide variety of filters, modulation sources, and effects you can really get some great sonic textures.

Reaktor - the wormhole of dronescapes. So many user-created ensembles that can turn just about any source sample into a wall of texture. Unrivalled flexibility, but it has the potential to be a huge time-suck.

Absynth - another wormhole of synthesis. Not the most straightforward user interface, but a wide variety of stretchy textures can be coaxed out if it easily. Possibility of massive time-suckage is high.

Ableton Live - I create big dronescapes right in the timeline by dropping samples into the Arrange window, time stretching by huge amounts, and messing with the various stretch mode settings. When you do this you aren't playing from the keyboard, so that's a bit of a different approach, but the sonic results are unique and interesting. I started doing this before some of the other instruments were available and I still use this technique as I love the results. Tons of great effects as well.

Roland V-Synth - I have all three (V-Synth, V-Synth XT, and V-Synth GT), and the possibilities for real-time control from the x/y pad and d-beam are fantastic. The sound is shiny and ice-cold, and the synthesis and effects options are first-rate. Not cheap, and not exactly as quick to use as some of the software tools listed above, but… man, what great machines they are.
Quote
9
#3
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #3
Gear nut
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 130

zerix01 is offline
Blofeld and Analog Four. Check out this guy, awesome feel to it.

Quote
1
#4
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: A big island - i am an Island
Posts: 3,197

dogma is online now
A4 at this point. I'm getting the keys - it's a modern classic for sure.
__________________
You're entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts
#5
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
jbuonacc's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,141

jbuonacc is offline
__________________
your gear list does not impress me.
Quote
1
#6
28th December 2013
Old 28th December 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
teceem's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Belgium

teceem is offline
#7
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
greenlights's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Space
Posts: 969

greenlights is offline
Access Virus TI2, it actually has Granular Synthesis. I also feel it's great for what you describe. Ambient, Textures, and Granular all in one. Software, I would say Omnisphere is a good choice.
#8
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
teceem's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Belgium

teceem is offline
#9
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #9
Gear maniac
 
Rayek's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 207

Rayek is offline
FM is wonderful for adding sharp textures. Drones and ambient are geat ways to explore the "warm vs. cold" dichotomy... A good analog poly should give the warmth, provided it has a good filter (which most of them do), and some kind of FM for the sharp hissy bits.

I own a TX81Z and have been making shimmery, evolving, complex pads with it. But if you're using a DAW, I've used FM8 to similar effect. This is a drone track I used FM8 for most of the searing/shimmery top bits:
https://soundcloud.com/j-j-see/contact

I'll also second the Blofeld, although I don't own one. Wavetable synthesis can be good at the sharpness.

FM boxes are extremely cheap these days, so picking one up shouldn't be difficult, and I recommend them for ambient.
__________________
Korg M1R EX, Yamaha TX81Z, Korg DW-8000, Super Bass Station, Yamaha RS7000 Speak and Spell, Speak and Math, Euro modular, some other stuff
#10
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
clusterchord's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,353

clusterchord is offline
none of these are granular per se, but here's what i like in evolving/textural/ambient arena:

in software: Zebra2. need to try Alchemy somewhere..

in digital or hybrid hardware: Waldorf XT, Yamaha FS1R, Microwave, PPG, D50/550
in analog hardware: Xpander, Andromeda, and am getting impressed by A4 demos more n more. wish the keys version weren't so expensive..


of course all this needs solid multifx/reverb unit,, or several, to place it in ambient space.
__________________
.




WTB: Qu-Bit Nebulae • ALM S.G.B. • Tip Top Studio Bus • QuNexus
FS: Waldorf Q blue kbd v32 • Maxon Vactrol Phaser • ADAM P22A monitors • Kenton Pro2000 mkII
#11
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
CfNorENa's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,620

CfNorENa is offline
These days, my "go-to" chain for this sort of thing is Waldorf Microwave XTk into Strymon El Capistan (with healthy doses of wow and flutter) into Ensoniq DP/4 (long/spacey reverb). A simple chord progression with this arrangement is almost a finished track. Ambient heaven.

The Kronos is also packed with ambient and "textural" sounds that would take a lifetime to explore. Very serviceable FX, too. And KARMA can take it over the top (if you get it right: it can also ruin a perfectly lovely patch).
#12
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
_seph's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 872

_seph is offline
I've just started messing around with Sound Guru's The Mangle, great granular instrument so far.

Iris from iZotope is another recent addition and it's definitely worth a look.

Aalto from Madrona Labs is a favorite, a semi-modular Buchla-inspired soft synth that is outstanding. his upcoming physical modeling/granular instrument, Kaivo, is something I'm very excited about.

UI Software's Metasynth is an old friend that I've been using on and off since '99

I'm also a fan of Camel Audio's Alchemy, incredible potential/power

and actually, Reason is pretty great also. the Malström and Thor instruments are both exceptional for this sort of thing, while the rest is very useful also. I'm also very curious about the new rack extension, Parsec.

but when it comes to software, the Ableton Live 9 Suite is hard to beat. not only does its environment lend itself to this, but its instruments are exceptional and with the addition of Push it has just gotten better.

on the hardware side, Roland's V-Synth is my number one go-to. easily one of the greatest synths ever conceived and the VC1 D-50 card makes for a great addition.

beyond that, some other favorites are: Technics WSA-1 and Korg Wavestation A/D (which make a great pair). I'm also quite fond of Korg's Prophecy and Z1, very unique synths, and DSI's Evolver line are nice as well.

and I'm not using them any longer but nearly anything that Ensoniq and Kawai have made tend to work great as "ambient" synths.. unfortunately one only has so much space and time.
#13
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
peter_martin's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Somewhere in Texas
Posts: 883

peter_martin is offline
Lots of great recomendations listed above.

I'll add these:
SOUNDMAGIC SPECTRAL

AU and Mac only but got quite a bit of a workout in years past.
medearis
Thread Starter
#14
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #14
Gear addict
 
medearis's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 484

Thread Starter
medearis is offline
Bad ass suggestions, y'all! I greatly appreciate it. To be honest, I'm really happy this thread didn't end up some sort of strange flame thread. To that... cheers!

I will be checking into all of the above synthesizers. Again, thanks a ton for the help.
#15
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #15
Gear nut
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 118

J0n35y is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by _seph View Post
I've just started messing around with Sound Guru's The Mangle, great granular instrument so far.
Damn you! Hadn't heard of this one and now you "forced" me to buy it once I checked it out. £20 and a bit of a bargain. Really enjoying it so far.
#16
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Praxisaxis's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,790

Praxisaxis is offline
LOL no further comments necessary after Charlie Clouser.


I second Reaktor (can do sooooo much with this - need years just learning it). Alchemy is less learning curve and very good.

Many digital synths can be told to do stuff which ventures into this territory. Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine can be pushed beyond regular operation to get all granular on your ass.
__________________
-------------------------
A tune of mine (there's also a video for this one)
https://soundcloud.com/praxisaxis/piano-grains-free-dl-also-see
#17
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 629

Accent is online now
Should you get an ipad (and it might be worth picking one up just for these apps), Grain Science and Samplr are my favorite for this.
#18
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: A big island - i am an Island
Posts: 3,197

dogma is online now
Op said he would have got boarderlands if he had an iPad.
I'd agree with iris - it's fantastic.
Alchemy is uber powerful - ugly but functional ui
Abletons sampler is fantastic at this stuff.
I wouldn't bother with hardware as this is exactly where plugins excel and where if analog would be stupid expensive
medearis
Thread Starter
#19
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #19
Gear addict
 
medearis's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 484

Thread Starter
medearis is offline
@Dogma - I fully agree with you and I clearly stated that I don't care at all about hard VS software. I'm glad that I'm not limited in that way.

Again y'all, thanks for the suggestions!
#20
29th December 2013
Old 29th December 2013
  #20
Gear maniac
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 212

mwvm is offline
I'm quite liking samplr for the iPad. It can do things other samplers can't.

Not an advertised granular app but certain features of playback and automation can produce really inspiring stuff. And obviously very hands on and easy to use.

I'm a fan of granite too. They gave you full functionality of their vst without a save option. The save isn't needed IMO, just a convenience.
__________________
http://soundcloud.com/mwvm

DOWNLOAD MY NEW ALBUM

Look - i use red fonts and everything to draw attention to my music on a forum.

>>>>HERE<<<<l
#21
30th December 2013
Old 30th December 2013
  #21
Gear maniac
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 212

mwvm is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
for granular, see:

'Granite' by New Sonic Arts

New Sonic Arts

'The Mangle' by Sound Guru

Sound Guru :: The Mangle - Granular Synthesizer Plugin

I just been playing with mangle. Where it probably differs from other vsts of this type is that you can get some nicer less random grain position playback across a sample to mix with a granular sound that to me is generally more of a random(ish) thing.
#22
30th December 2013
Old 30th December 2013
  #22
Gear addict
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 453

poserp is offline
__________________
New soundware from PoserP in the SynthAPP Store! -- http://pc3nerd.blogspot.com/p/the-sy...s-kitchen.html

My YouTube channel -- http://www.youtube.com/user/poserp -- Kurzweil PC3 overviews, synthesis tutorials, soundware demos, etc. EMU XL-7 videos coming soon.
#23
30th December 2013
Old 30th December 2013
  #23
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 313

intuitionnyc is offline
If you use Ableton, don't underestimate Simpler. It can be very powerful for ambient granular pads which sound phenomenal. Your options are a little more limited (such as moving the grains around) but you can still get some great stuff. See below and be sure to watch the whole video. It seems rudimentary at first but he gets some real nice sounds towards the end:

Ableton Live Tutorial - Sampling & Creating Synths From Field Recordings - YouTube
#24
31st December 2013
Old 31st December 2013
  #24
Gear maniac
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 212

mwvm is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by poserp View Post
Kurzweil PC3. Because it can do this (aliasing noise into "PITCHER" effect):

http://www.soundcloud.com/poserp/kkrazy

or this (FM plus filters between operators plus aliasing noise into waveguide):

http://www.soundcloud.com/poserp/thess

or this (looping ROM sounds into waveguide):

http://www.soundcloud.com/poserp/3E

or this (not sure what to call the synthesis going on here):

http://www.soundcloud.com/poserp/semiosc


Aliasing noise is a highly underutilized source for pad sounds IMO.
sounds good. growling at some points. goes to show my ignorance with stuff keyboards - i had it down as a rom based real instrument keyboard...
#25
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
  #25
Gear interested
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 21

OldNick is offline
Nobody mentioned "Granulator II" a free Max4Live device for Ableton (I think you need Live 9 with Max4Live for it), the real fun starts when you start piling them up in an "instrument rack" I think that alone provides the most functionality of what I used Omnisphere for. Still having fun with it but it seems a bit CPU hungry while using that method.
I feel tempted by "Mangle" is it CPU hungry when all 8 slots are filled? any expiriences to worry about?
#26
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 670

jarlywarly is online now
Ioplong Slifty, if you can find a copy.
#27
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Croatia
Posts: 3,392

EvilDragon is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieclouser View Post
In order of flexibility, speed, and desirability of results:

Camel Audio's Alchemy - great synth engine, imports user samples and can wreak havoc on them in many interesting time-stretchy ways, good effects, very flexible.

Spectrasonics' Omnisphere - fantastic synth engine, sounds great, the best LFOs, great effects, huge sample ROMs - but no user sample import.

Kontakt - the big daddy of software samplers has some great time stretching algorithms under the hood. Not the most flexible in that regard but with the wide variety of filters, modulation sources, and effects you can really get some great sonic textures.

Reaktor - the wormhole of dronescapes. So many user-created ensembles that can turn just about any source sample into a wall of texture. Unrivalled flexibility, but it has the potential to be a huge time-suck.

Absynth - another wormhole of synthesis. Not the most straightforward user interface, but a wide variety of stretchy textures can be coaxed out if it easily. Possibility of massive time-suckage is high.

Ableton Live - I create big dronescapes right in the timeline by dropping samples into the Arrange window, time stretching by huge amounts, and messing with the various stretch mode settings. When you do this you aren't playing from the keyboard, so that's a bit of a different approach, but the sonic results are unique and interesting. I started doing this before some of the other instruments were available and I still use this technique as I love the results. Tons of great effects as well.

Roland V-Synth - I have all three (V-Synth, V-Synth XT, and V-Synth GT), and the possibilities for real-time control from the x/y pad and d-beam are fantastic. The sound is shiny and ice-cold, and the synthesis and effects options are first-rate. Not cheap, and not exactly as quick to use as some of the software tools listed above, but… man, what great machines they are.
Well that pretty much ends the thread, haha.
#28
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
  #28
Gear nut
 
Joined: May 2012
Location: Hong Kong / London

Beni Shoga is offline
Paulstretch
#29
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
  #29
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 323

deepc0re is online now
An example I did of what you can do with a sample in simpler (ableton) and playing around with push.

medearis
Thread Starter
#30
5th January 2014
Old 5th January 2014
  #30
Gear addict
 
medearis's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 484

Thread Starter
medearis is offline
All of these examples sound so, so nice. :D
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.