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Help needed, modular strings/pads
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Help needed, modular strings/pads
jenamu6
Yoho, I need some help people.

I've been trying to get some decent pad sounds out of my modular, but till now I've had little success.

I always end up with to staccato sounding sounds.

I would like to make some nice evolving textures.

Modules I have:
HertzDonut, MATHS, A143-1, Antiosc, Qmmg
And loads of different other modules, but I think it could be don with te above.

Any tips are more then welcome.
jenamu6
It might have something to do with using AR's in stead of ADSR's?
Robba
That might be it, a sustain or long release might be what you're missing.
MrDys
The key to strings and pads is chorus and reverb.
dkcg
Try slowing down your envelopes way slower than you think you should. I have trouble making drones because my instinct keeps saying, too slow. I started trying to listen to my ears over the mind.
krv
MrDys wrote:
The key to strings and pads is chorus and reverb.


Agree!
+ if you want slow evolving pads put delay and phaser in the loop!
REwire
Not just the sustain and release are missing from your setup but good srings on a Prophet-5 for instance are combos of a PWM square and sawtooth combined. Try some subtle LFO from the mod osc of the HD to the mayhem of the Anti-Osc and combine with a saw from the main osc of the HD. Also try to detuned saws from the HD mixed. There's also tips in the Maths manual on how to make it into a full ADSR using both sides together.

Dan
ndkent
I'd say the big but not impossible problem you are facing is simply that classic pads tend to be polyphonic chords. A lot of classic artists even those associated with modulars didn't necessarily use them for pads. Most but not all used string synths/melotrons in the 70s & polysynths in the 80s and I'm sure some used samples in more recent times for better or worse. That's not say you can't take a bunch of time and multitrack them or if you are skilled in that sort of thing try to set up something poly for live play

Now when you talk of chords one obvious idea that can't hurt but won't quite do it would be to use multiple VCOs tuned to different intervals. Why it's not perfect is that traditionally chords are not parallel, in other words if one oscillator goes up say 4 notes the 2nd one may go up 5. Without that sort of pitch changes the stacked VCOs sound more like a single timbre sound if they move totally in parallel rather than 2 or more voices. But on the up side several VCOs will surely help make evolving sounds. Attenuate some slow LFOs or other envelope generators and send them in small amounts to anything on your VCO that can be modulated and see if you like the way that evolves. A lot of people max out their modulation. That's not going to get you a good pad. It's slow and subtle. An outboard chorus as mentioned is generally a great idea.

On a poly synth when you change notes you usually have enough voices so the voice you release can decay into the start the next note. That's not just not going to happen on a monosynth unless your technique is complicated like multitracking every other note or some kind of automatic voice assignment.
So that is one of those reasons why modulars weren't the go to instruments. You can give your modular a long decay but it's just going to shut off when you play the next note. That might be the staccato you are talking about? With a poly you hopefully have more voices than you are playing so when you release you can get a decay to zero while another voice(s) picks up the next note(s) played.

As mentioned you can reverb or delay mix your final output. You have to adjust it to your playing style and speed. Too long a trail and you get mud and sour overlaps, too little and it doesn't really help.

As for ADSRs rather than ASRs, they can't hurt but won't have a huge impact. I do see you mentioned oscillators arguably more intended for more extreme and chaotic sounds. Some filtering might help.

REwire wrote:
Not just the sstain and rlease are missing from your setup but good srings on a Prophet-5 for instance are combos of a PWM square and sawtooth combined. Try some subtle LFO from the mod osc of the HD to the mayhem of the Anti-Osc and combine with a saw from the main osc of the HD. Also try to detuned saws from the HD mixed. There's also tips in the Maths manual on how to make it into a full ADSR using both sides together.

Dan


Might I point out the Prophet 5 is polyphonic 8_) not many rave that the Pro One or the Mopho being go to synths for their classic pads

Agreed with the combos mentioned and while he needs a sustain a second eg is at least as useful as a full adsr in a pad situation. An adsr becomes essential when you want a short brighter attack to contrast a sustain rather than a softer attack of a typical pad, just in general.
MrTea
iIt's all about a nice slow attack, long decay and long release, on both the VCA and the filter. Tune three or more oscillators at different intervals, add a little modulation to the pitch, filter cutoff ,resonance, pulse width or whatever else you choose. Use envelopes or long LFO's to bring in other elements over time, add a touch of noise and finally season with some nice chorus/phaser/reverb.

Tasty! love
TH
If you don't mind using a sampler or multi-tracking, you can easily get all kinds of pads or chords out of a monophonic synth.

The easilest way is to just tune your oscillators to the chord you want, then sample that, retune to the next chord and sample, etc. If you allow the attacks and releases to overlap it will give you a polyphonic sound.

You can also sample the individual notes and then create the chords within the sampler, this would let you use all your oscillators on one note for a bigger sound.
theabsent
After reading the question I got sudden urge to patch some pads eek!

Got one rolling on nicely:

MFB OSC-02 -> Doepfer A-105 SSM --> Malekko Assmaster -> Metasonix R-52.
Very slow movement from ADSR (positive to VCA, A-105 freq and inverted to reso) and a touch of random to R-53 sweep in.
Some drums from MFB-522 and manual gate via Injection Halfling.
jenamu6
Thanks guys..........

@ndkent that makes a lot of sense....

I'll try some more.........and then buy myself and old polysynth ):
tonnu
i think there's quite a lot of 1 note pads / strings as well
but my modular is definitely not conducive to that

first, you need proper shape envelopes. i have the doepfer quad adsr but the shape of the envelope is just bad for slow attack sounds. not sure if its lin or exp but it seems that even slow attack, it just goes from very quiet to very loud suddenly, without the smooth attack.

second, you need appropriate osc's that sounds warm and you can detune and add PWM to give that feeling. in this regard, i think the AFG / m15 are great.

third you need the filters. i think this is what the euro is lackluster. the qmmg is definitely TOO AGGRESSIVE for an old school pad. in my 9U, i have the borg, the polivoks, and the qmmg, and i find that all are too aggressive for nice pads.

maybe try the z2040, or the stg post-lawsuit filter. that should give you warm and smooth pads, but i don't have those, so other forumites can chime in on this.

so in theory it's quiet easy, long attack + release, detuned osc's with PWM, and smooth filters.

in practice, it can be harder, esp. for a modular system (as opposed to hardwired monosynth) as you have to pick the modules carefully. but on the flip side that's the charm!
drewtoothpaste
The good thing about using a polyphonic synth for strings/pads is that they're generally a lot cheaper than a modular setup - old rolands in particular. I've used the juno 106, juno 60, jx8p, rs-09, all are great for polyphonic pads and are the price of 2 or 3 modules.
haven
The pads you can hear in this track I am working on are all a mono synth. Sound source is Cwejman S1Mk2 ring mod and dual filter patch through Eventide Eclipse. Good FX are essential to a great pad IMO.

I usually use poly synths for pads, but one voice can do it too for some pads. This one came out of me playing with bell sounds on the S1mk2, been loving this thing for high pitched sounds, so clean and clear!


Edit: I originally posted just the pads, but felt it sounds better in context. Also, There are a lot of sites pulling demo files off of muffwiggler and then hosting them, I am not comfortable with providing loop fodder from my tracks.
Morley
haven wrote:
The pads you can hear in this track I am working on are all a mono synth. Sound source is Cwejman S1Mk2 ring mod and dual filter patch through Eventide Eclipse. Good FX are essential to a great pad IMO.

I usually use poly synths for pads, but one voice can do it too for some pads. This one came out of me playing with bell sounds on the S1mk2, been loving this thing for high pitched sounds, so clean and clear!


Edit: I originally posted just the pads, but felt it sounds better in context. Also, There are a lot of sites pulling demo files off of muffwiggler and then hosting them, I am not comfortable with providing loop fodder from my tracks.


very cool!
Kakihara
I believe that pads are "pads" because they are polyphonic... the beating between different notes of the chord or note system you're using will make its texture... I did achieve some polyphonic pads sounds buy recording each notes at a time. However some subtle modulation, as stated above, could help too in giving you that dense and wide effect!

Rockin' Banana!
jenamu6
haven wrote:
The pads you can hear in this track I am working on are all a mono synth. Sound source is Cwejman S1Mk2 ring mod and dual filter patch through Eventide Eclipse. Good FX are essential to a great pad IMO..


Very nice....
haven
Morley wrote:
haven wrote:
The pads you can hear in this track I am working on are all a mono synth. Sound source is Cwejman S1Mk2 ring mod and dual filter patch through Eventide Eclipse. Good FX are essential to a great pad IMO.

I usually use poly synths for pads, but one voice can do it too for some pads. This one came out of me playing with bell sounds on the S1mk2, been loving this thing for high pitched sounds, so clean and clear!


Edit: I originally posted just the pads, but felt it sounds better in context. Also, There are a lot of sites pulling demo files off of muffwiggler and then hosting them, I am not comfortable with providing loop fodder from my tracks.


very cool!


Thanks! I really like your album Ghosts so that means a lot to me.

that whole track at this point is S1mk2 except the constant drone which is the STG Wave Folder being fed audio only to the amount input. Its my getting to know the S1mk2 song
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