The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Good Analog Synth for Pads?
Old 31st March 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Good Analog Synth for Pads?

What is a good analog synth that is around, say, the pricepoint of a Prophet 08 module (which looks to be around $1350 new) which is well suited for pads and strings? Prophet 08 seems to be a good choice there but was wondering if there were items at that price point that I'm missing (The new OB8 is out of my price-range, arguably so is the Prophet 08 :P).

The last synth I bought (as opposed to DIY projects like the MidiBox stuff) was a Virus Classic. I like it, and plan on fixing it up (it has a skittish Edit button) but it has a very very digital sound, as does the TI2. One of the things I never quite liked about it is that its pads were just ok sounding so I want to try and fill that gap.

I've also wanted to own an analog synth so kinda want to tick that checkbox. The Korg minilogue looks neat and sounds cool in demos, but certainly harsher than the silky smoothness of the Prophet.

I'm sort of in the digital-controlled analog camp so I don't think i'm ready for modular (and can't afford that anyway). So any thoughts given the above?
Old 31st March 2016
  #2
digital ears love analog
 
Rogue Ai's Avatar
If you love to use pads with long release times the Minilogue would not be very good as it only has 4 voices. It would voice steal so bad.

Last edited by Rogue Ai; 31st March 2016 at 09:41 PM..
Old 31st March 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
CfNorENa's Avatar
At that pricepoint -- if you're willing to go vintage -- I'd recommend either something from the Roland JX series (JX-8P, JX-10, MKS-70) or perhaps a Sequential Circuits Prophet 600. JX synths are on the smooth, glassy, soft, and mellow side; the P600 will be more aggressive and has more sizzle (classic "American" sound). One nice feature of the JX-10 and MKS-70 is that in "whole" mode you get 12 voices of polyphony. Nice for long and complex pads.

Two other possibilities are the Mutable Instruments Ambika, esp. with SMR-4 filters (but this is hybrid, with digital oscillators) and the new Futuresonus Parva. But the jury is still out on that one...
Old 31st March 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
At that pricepoint -- if you're willing to go vintage -- I'd recommend either something from the Roland JX series (JX-8P, JX-10, MKS-70) or perhaps a Sequential Circuits Prophet 600. JX synths are on the smooth, glassy, soft, and mellow side; the P600 will be more aggressive and has more sizzle (classic "American" sound). One nice feature of the JX-10 and MKS-70 is that in "whole" mode you get 12 voices of polyphony. Nice for long and complex pads.

Two other possibilities are the Mutable Instruments Ambika, esp. with SMR-4 filters (but this is hybrid, with digital oscillators) and the new Futuresonus Parva. But the jury is still out on that one...
I agree. I'd buy a Roland Alpha Juno before I got a Minilogue.

https://soundcloud.com/reddread-1/ro...juno-demotrack
Old 31st March 2016
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Ooooh the JX-10/MKS-70 sounds rather lovely! Definitely a similar sound I was going for (and similar to the Prophet '08 in its sort of 80s appeal I suppose). The Alpha Juno (MKS-50?) also was nice, if maybe a bit less warm? Looks like the used stuff is in varying degrees of availability. I'd be ok going vintage potential, but if I opt to buy a keyboard version, is there any concerns there?

The Ambika...doesn't sound as warm as the others, perhaps unsurprisingly since it's using digital oscillators in the videos I've found but man...I kick myself for having never built/bought it or at least a Shruthi since Mutable Instruments went full modular. I recall there are places that still sell the boards at least (for cheaper than I can have them fabbed anyway). A shame they stopped going down this path as I thought the approach was really neat.
Old 31st March 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 
CfNorENa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
Ooooh the JX-10/MKS-70 sounds rather lovely! Definitely a similar sound I was going for (and similar to the Prophet '08 in its sort of 80s appeal I suppose).
Yeah, they sound very nice. The JX-10/MKS-70 is kind of polarizing around here, but for those of us who like it, it's just the thing for pads and strings. It's bi-timbral, too, so you can do some fantastic layered sounds. And those 12 voices in whole mode are quite a luxury.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
I'd be ok going vintage potential, but if I opt to buy a keyboard version, is there any concerns there?
Yes. The JX keyboards are equipped with aftertouch -- another very nice feature -- but that's often the first (but only) thing to go. So if you went the keyboard route, you'd want to check that. Also, the JX-10 is a 76-note beast. The feel is outstanding (you know, the whole "they just don't make 'em like they used to anymore" thing), but it is VERY big. So if space is a concern, the MKS-70 is a much better bet (and then you don't have to worry about the aftertouch problem).

PS: if you go for the JX-10 or MKS-70, you'll definitely want the programmer, too. It's the PG-800. Expensive (sometimes costing more than the synth!), but worth it. But there are alternatives (e.g. the BCR2000)...
Old 31st March 2016
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Awesome! That gives me a lot of avenues to explore, thanks everyone!
Old 17th April 2016
  #8
Here for the gear
 
muco007's Avatar
Old 17th April 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
I like the Elektron Analog Four for pads.
Old 17th April 2016
  #10
digital ears love analog
 
Rogue Ai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
I like the Elektron Analog Four for pads.
Still only 4 voices... but I use a lot of long release pads...
Old 17th April 2016
  #11
Lives for gear
 
muziksculp's Avatar
 

Hi m00dawg,

I would recommend the Prophet 08, it can produce great sounding Pads. You will most likely need to add some reverb to your taste, since it doesn't have an on-board Reverb, or effects. The Prophet 6, is more expensive, and can also produce great pads, but.. I like the Prophet 08 better for pads, plus, you get two more voices than the Prophet 6.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Old 17th April 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
The Roland JX-8P/JX-10P/SuperJX are all totally rubbish!.

Do not waste your money on one. If you see one for sale, message the seller and tell them they are smoking the pipe and it should be no more than $200, including the crappy controller thingamyjig that comes with them *






* Disclaimer, I need a JX-8P in my life, for the pads. Or two, maybe three.
Old 17th April 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
Listen, you either want the Roland pad sound (I and many others do), or you don't (like this thread shows).

Find the demos you like, then buy that one. Jexus does the JX-8P more favours than anyone. I haven't heard decent pads out of anything else modern, except maybe the AN-1X, that fit my Roland-pads-worldview.

Blame hardcore uproar for a generation of Brits loving that silky smooth Roland sound - ignore anything after 26 seconds in!

Old 17th April 2016
  #14
With these $$, I'd get a couple pad monsters. JD-800 & Alpha Juno 2, great Roland pads, strings, atmos at less than 1300$.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
I'm sort of in the digital-controlled analog camp so I don't think i'm ready for modular (and can't afford that anyway). So any thoughts given the above?
There you have it. analog-controlled digital and digital-controlled analog
Old 17th April 2016
  #15
Lives for gear
 
BassX's Avatar
if you want pads, get a ROMPler like a Wavestation or VA
Old 17th April 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
 
soundebler's Avatar
All synths above + decent eq to cut
Old 17th April 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 
marino's Avatar
JX-10/MKS70 (same instrument) are definitely the pad kings. And with 12 voices, you can layer to your heart's content. I'd recommend upgrading to the newer OS, which allows much better MIDI communication. So you can program them from a computer, no need for the hardware programmer.

I would not recommend the Matrix 6/6r/1000, nor the Prophet '08. Any of the other vintage Oberheims, or the Prophet 6, or the OB6, yes - but you would end up out of budget.

I would also consider two digital synths: the Roland V-Synth and the Korg Wavestation. You should find a Wavestation for very little money; layered with an analog synths, it creates some of the best pads on earth.

Last edited by marino; 17th April 2016 at 11:16 PM..
Old 17th April 2016
  #18
VST
Lives for gear
 
VST's Avatar
For pads you need massive polyphony imo. I say use plugins or hardware with at least 8 voices. A Streichfett comes to mind
Old 17th April 2016
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Looping Loddar's Avatar
 

Maybe Korg DW8000 fits to your taste, or a Juno 106 (which has great melancholic pwm pads). There are Samplers with analog filter (like Korg DSS-1 or Casio FZ-1 or Hohner HS1) which sound very rich and good for pads if you use the right waveforms/samples. Oh, and i do like the pads of a Waldorf Microwave I very much!!

To tell you the truth, even without any analog filter, for example a Roland JV 1080 or a Yamaha AN1X, or even a Plugiator, you can get great pads.
Old 17th April 2016
  #20
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai View Post
Still only 4 voices... but I use a lot of long release pads...
I don't find the voice limitation getting in the way, as the 8 sub OSCs are versatile enough with the 5ths tuning.
Old 17th April 2016
  #21
Gear Addict
+1 on juno 106, or alphas. For the money they are complete bargains vs p6/ob6/obx/ob8/p5/cs80/jupiter 6/4/8 etcetera.
Having listened to your music, which is excellent- congrats, then a 106 should fit in there v nicely and offer a dollop of vintage in there. Without breaking the bank. The 106 is a total hoot to play and not expensive to repair and sits its fat arse in a mix very well. I love my 106 like no other.
Old 17th April 2016
  #22
Lives for gear
 
synthRodriguez's Avatar
Love my Roland MKS-70 in this role, sorry.

Soothes the savage beast every time.
Old 17th April 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
if you want pads, get a ROMPler like a Wavestation or VA
He's specifically asking for something to counter a Virus A. Though, I agree that a ROMpler can be a good part of a complete pad breakfast. Most sound pretty digital though, which is not what the OP wants.

Here's an idea. Have a look at the Kingkorg. It's VA, but much closer to analog than any Virus. It's cheap, has an OK interface, good sound, a decent variety of both analog and digital waveforms and effects. I'd still try for an 08, but for half the price the Kingkorg is a great synth. If you have an iPad, the Patch Morpher app makes it an amazing ambient pad machine and eliminates the tiresome menu diving part of patch programming.
Old 17th April 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 
shadowfac's Avatar
 

OP: your original intuition is correct. The Prophet-08 is better than anything else that has been mentioned here. Junos have only 1 oscillator per voice. They make nice pads but it's like the same pad all the time because you can't really make many tonal changes with 1 oscillator, 2 envelopes and 1 LFO. JX3P/8P are better but not by far. Prophet-08 has 3 envelopes and four LFOs so you can program quite a lot of movement in your patches. The envelopes can be quite long, and they have a delay parameter so you can even combine two of them for an even longer or more complex envelope. LFOs can go into the audio range, producing interesting timbral changes. Plus you get four step sequencers that you can also use to animate your pads. Finally, the P08 is bi-timbral; you can layer two different sounds (reducing polyphony to 4 voices) and have some very fat 4-oscillator pads.
Old 17th April 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
 
marino's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
Probably just a typo, but for the record, you must mean the JX-10 and the MKS-70. The MKS-80 rev. 5 uses the same filter as the JX-10 (IR-3R05), but with VCOs, so definitely a different instrument (and sound)...
MKS70 of course, just typing too quickly.
Fixed - thanks.
Old 17th April 2016
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
The Roland JX-8P/JX-10P/SuperJX are all totally rubbish!.

Do not waste your money on one. If you see one for sale, message the seller and tell them they are smoking the pipe and it should be no more than $200, including the crappy controller thingamyjig that comes with them *






* Disclaimer, I need a JX-8P in my life, for the pads. Or two, maybe three.

Try this free plugin first.
Use some vintagefying effects on it to get that last 1% of difference to 100% match.
Old 18th April 2016
  #27
Korg Wavestation

Though not analog, the Korg Wavestation is one of my favorites for pads because of the way they sit in the mix. They are not expensive at all, maybe look at the SR model.
Old 18th April 2016
  #28
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Haha wow geez this thread exploded Thanks again everyone for the advice! Lots of opinions here for sure and it'll take me some time to go through them. I'm trying to compare the mentioned synths to the '08 since I've been gravitating to that lately.

For modern synths, I like the '08 sound generally and that it has a modern feel with an analog sound. I do wish it had an HPF and audio inputs for external filtering. The 06 is out of reach for just wanting an HPF. In regards to the Analog Four, I had been pondering a Tetra as a lower cost option for entry. It just has a bare-bones interface, and I think I'd want something more substantial - I already have 3 synths that have a very simple interface. I wouldn't mind it so much but it's been hard to get consistent setups with those between having to use VSTs (like CTRLR and such) and running into Ableton Live's confusing lack of proper NRPN support. Also the fact that DSI no longer produces it made me ponder why.

On the vintage side, I like the sound of them all, though I can spot the differences. Though I like the MKS-70, from the demos I heard, I can kinda see what it's a bit polarizing though I liked the sound. I think I'd have to pair it with the programmer though so I have some physical controls. The 6R also kinda had me concerned about the potential difficulty to modify sounds more directly. I think the 106 is probably where I should land for the balance of MIDI control and ease of producing sounds, although I do find that it can sound a bit thin (though I dig the chorus).

On the virtual-analog/VST side - the KingKorg actually does sound pretty dern good but yeah, if I bought another virtual analog, I'd feel like I'd still have to go buy an analog synth just to say I did it :P Silly reason I know, I guess, but it does seem like the real analog synths have a bit more character? That said, I could satiate that perhaps by just getting a Korg Minilogue.

Sort of an aside, but I do wish more of these synths had analog in. I have SSM2044 chips and boards and have been wanting to build a MidiBox-based filter box of sorts. I may also just tack it onto my MidiBox SID. I've actually wanted to build a rackmount MBSID for a while now but the cost to do so (given the boards and front panel) ended up just pushing me to buy a synth and live with the bare interface of my SammichSID. The frontpanel cost is also why I haven't finished my filter box :P

If it wasn't obvious, this thread is chock full of information but it's almost a bit daunting haha.
Old 18th April 2016
  #29
Gear Guru
Although digital, the Streichfett has cured my desire for an expensive analog poly for strings and pads - for now at least.
Old 18th April 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Try this free plugin first.
Use some vintagefying effects on it to get that last 1% of difference to 100% match.
I use PG-8X in every track - I love it, he's just updated it as well Facebook clicky
Loading mentioned products ...
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get instant access to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump