Turn A Vocal Sample Into A Synth Pad Instrument

Turn A Vocal Sample Into A Synth Pad Instrument

How to Turn a Simple Vocal Sample into a Lush, Ambient Synth Pad

Today we are going to take a simple vocal sample and turn it into a lush, ambient synthesizer pad in Ableton Live 11.

In this video Bryan will show you a basic sound design technique which will allow you to use a vocal sample and turn it into a synth pad sound. Almost any kind of sample material can be turned into an instrument. Watch the tutorial, play around with this, and have fun. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Summary from video

1. Drag Sample Into Sampler

To start you are going to drag your vocal sample into your sampler. In this case we are using Ableton’s simpler, but you can do this in any DAW.

2. Adjust Sampler Settings

Next, you want to adjust the sampler settings to your liking. In this case, we took the gain down just a touch, switched the mode to texture, turned warp on, and adjusted the attack and release just a bit. We also added a chord progression in here.

3. Add EQ With Low Cut

To follow this up, we are going to add an eq with a low cut and tame any high frequencies sticking out. We used fab filter Pro-Q3, but you can use any eq you want. We are going to low cut it and take a little bit of that high frequency information away.

4. Add Analog Filter

Next, we added an analog filter for character. We used to Moag filter and took the drive down to give it a more analog feel. To do this you can turn the cutoff down to around 3k and take the resonance down.

5. Add Eventide Crystals

Adding Eventide Crystals creates a really fun, granular character. Turn the mix knob down to almost zero. We only want a touch of the crystals. 

6. Add Some Chorus

It’s starting to sound really nice now! Next we’re going to add some chorus for that vintage Juno kind of vibe. You’re going to want to slow the rate down and bring the output down a just a touch.

7. Add Tape Echo

To add even more analog character, we’re going to add some tape echo. We used the Rolland Space Echo from our UAD plug-ins to get that tape echo kind of sound and make it sound a little more analog. We set it to mode number 7, kept the repeat rate pretty low, but turned up the intensity.

8. Add Tape Plug-In

We’re going to add one more UAD tape plug-in for some extra analog character and tape warble. You can use any plug-ins that you would like to use. For example, a stock tape plug-in. We’re going to throw a little analog tape on here, turn the crosstalk off, and get just a little bit of this tape flutter going.

9. Send Synth Pad To Reverb

Send your vocal synth pad to a reverb send with a HUGE reverb on it for ambience. We used UAD Lexicon 224 set on a really crazy reverb to get this effect.

Viola! Now you have an amazing ambient synth pad out of a simple vocal sample. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! 

Watch the video in this post to see the entire process in detail.

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With clients ranging from U2 to Blink-182, Akon to T-Pain, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz ,Signature Sound has had a role in over 150 million in album sales. The mix engineers at Signature Sound Mixing & Mastering make this heritage available to you, anywhere in the world through our tutorials.