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DDRKirby(ISQ)

Recreate this Shimmery Pad

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Yeah, another one of these threads.

It's at the very beginning of this song:

I'm using FL, I love 3xOsc if at all possible. I have all the usual free VST suspects: Synth1, Crystal, Superwave, etc. I also have Sylenth1, and Alchemy Player + Planet Earth soundbank. Even if you just point me to a preset or patch, that's fine. Don't need to know the exact details from scratch.

Sounds like two things going on, a really shimmery thing and then some more mellow pads underneath. The closest thing I know that sounds like the shimmer is some sort of auto-filter or something...I bet if I dug around I could find some preset that comes sort of close but not really. I'm assuming it's some kind of clever filter modulation? The mellow pad I'm assuming I could get if I just had some generic triangle/saws or strings and took out the highs and use appropriate volume envelope. Or just use a preset.

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Well, I have an idea of the technical approach to this. I don't know if your synths can arrange modules serially, but this is what I was doing:

Start with a detuned saw wave (try 10+ voices) on an oscillator. Adjust envelope for attack and release as necessary. Put in an FM oscillator in serial, and do maybe 80% volume on the FM osc. If you have a stereo width knob, make it completely wide. After both of those, add a low pass filter in serial and adjust the cutoff. I'd say around 78% of the way between 20Hz and 20kHz, so about 14~16kHz is where you should stop it. Add some stereo ping pong delay and some reverb with some tweaks. That's the pad layer.

The top layer sounds like a bell-like sound with a reverse effect mixed in at about 50~70%, lots of delay with a very unique characteristic (as in, specific to particular plugins, possibly), and (of course) reverb. I think NastyDLA MKII can do a pretty accurate delay for this ("modulated panorama" preset). Not sure on the top layer synthesis. I don't think it's actually a bell though, and I think the major component of it is the plugin used for the effects. It's probably a plucky sound with some complex harmonic variation on the sine wave (you might actually need to draw your own wavetable, or just find one that is close in tone. Alternatively I think you could layer sine waves of different wavelengths, but that's too much work), using slightly slower attack than a normal pluck (maybe 5%), with its dry mix lowered to de-emphasize the attack, and the wet mix at around 90%.

Example

Edited by timaeus222

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i wouldnt be surprised if those bell sounds were a reversed loop, run through some kind of delay/reverb combination. sometimes when i want to create complex sounding "pads" i'll record a loop with bell-like sounds (or any sound with quick attack) then either reverse them or use delay/reverb (or both) to smooth out the sound.

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There's undoubtedly two layers in there. The bottom layer is pretty much any warm pad. I don't think you need any help with that.

The top layer sounds like a higher harmonic FM synth. A quick, blind guess puts it at the 5th or 7th harmonic, or something like that. It could be multiple modulators too, making the sound more complex. That's aside from all the other effects that turn it into a pad sound rather than something more of a bell.

So you probably need a synth capable of fm synthesis, if not a dedicated fm synth (like Native Instruments' FM8). Some synths have an fm effect that modulates the filter cutoff frequency, but that's not what you want here.

I have a section on fm synthesis in my remixing guide (see my sig), but I don't remember how in-depth it is. Still, it might be helpful in wrapping your head around fm synthesis if you're not already familiar with it.

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The pad part is not difficult - as for the shimmery part, there's this chimey bit at the end of Radiohead's Motion Picture Soundtrack which was sampled in Four Tet's Rounds album in a more shimmery form (the album itself is full of chimes you could use) which, with a bit of mangling, could be useful. There's also this sound at the beginning of Jean Michel Jarre's Chronologie which might serve this purpose.

Another thing you could do is take the same pad, pitch it up wildly, and apply some sort of modulation to it - either amplitude or filter, not quite sure which.

edit: you could also sample this particular song and be done with it?

Edited by poblequadrat

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