Pad finding and creation

Dear Mike/Anyone.

I’m doing your Udemy course on music production, but need some advice on finding the sounds I’d love to have to use. I’m using a PC with a wonderful notation program, Quick Score Elite Level 2. OK, the world’s not heard of it but it’s a pure notation package, I just put in notes with the mouse. I only use MIDI sounds/instruments, I’m disabled so can’t play anything. One stave, one sound.

I’d love to have background pads like you hear in the first second of the main track HERE… Medicine Woman - Medwyn Goodall ( BULLSTAR ) - YouTube

or any of those HERE… (Yakuro Blue the Colour of Dreams) but I’ve got zero idea where to get them from/how to create them. I’ve GOT VST synths with loads of sounds ON but they all sound like Star Wars spaceships and rayguns. I’ve no idea where you’d use them, but background pads they are NOT. I’ve tried watching sound creation vids. on YouTube but I end up feeling very, very stooopid because the sounds I get bear no resemblance to those they get even though I follow their instructions carefully. So two questions.

Do you know anything cheap that’s got those kind of background pads on it (even if they SOUND a bit cheap, if you can tell me what to save up for at least I’ll have those to use while I’m saving!) And here’s the BEEG and very ignorant question.

If all VST synths (and I suppose real-world ones but I’ve never owned a real one!) work the same way - LFOs, wave forms, gates, ADSR - why are there so many of them? Is it just like different brands of cars, all cars get you from A to B but some look fancier than others? Or if you want background sounds to put flutes etc. on (you must’ve heard those Native American fusion tracks that are pads, percussion and a flute warbling on top! IF you’re German - by your accent, sorry if I’m wrong - you’ll know Edward Simoni - Pan Traume etc) - is there any way to get those kinda pad sounds out of VST synths that don’t cost hundreds? (While Udemy have slashed all their prices, if you’ve got a sound design course on there that goes into pads, or know anyone who has, I’d love to do it.)

Another YouTube lot is Yellow Brick Cinema. I’m also hoping your Udemy course hits layering at some point, I am SOOO bad at that…!!

Tried sending this via your Contact Me page but it kept telling me there was an error and it couldn’t send it. Wonder if your IN-box is full!

Yours hopefully


Hello and welcome to the composer community Chris! :slight_smile:
Yes, pads are a huge part of many styles of music, especially cinematic music composition that I personally focus on.

First of all, I am a huge fan of Spectrasonics Omnisphere for cinematic sounds, including pads. It is, and have been, my number one sound library and sound design tool ever since I got version 1 in 2009.

Regarding syntesizers, there are several forms of synthesis, and the “tone, character and sound” is different between different ones. But you are correct in that they all pretty much share the fundamentals. This is why I again recommend getting one great synth and learn it well, as opposed to getting too many. However, there are people that get 10s of guitars, and I would argue that different synthesizers have more tonal variation than different models of guitars.

Now regarding sound design for pads (including layering), I actually have an upcoming YouTube video on this exact topic, so stay tuned for that.

Yes, I gave up emails and social media PMs and all the inboxes pretty much a long time ago. And instead I direct all people with questions into this forum so that we all can share, learn and interact together as a community. :slight_smile:

So please, do feel free to ask more questions in this community, and interact with your fellow composers and producers. We have topics and sections for every aspect that matter for our journey in music.

PS. I am Swedish btw, but I can see why the accent can be mistaken for German.