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Composition for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Chapter 12. Writing for Pads

Pads are synthesizer patches that, as their name suggests, are primarily suitable for use on long sustained tones and passages. They can be used either in addition to or in place of legato strings to add warmth, atmosphere, and background ambience to your tracks. The principal value of pads over strings is one of color: Pad sounds can be dark, earthy, light, airy, fluid, ethereal, and so on. Often used at the very background of a track, they can be used as an adjunct to reverb, as a means of setting up a sense of space, atmosphere, and color within the track. Pad sounds are also a very effective way of introducing a track. “Twisted” by Ultra Nate provides a fine example of this type of pad use.

Using Pads

Often with ...

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