This is a real quick tip I'd like to share, that may seem really simple to some, but it gives great results for creating huge, spacious pads. Hope you like it.
Step by Step
There are tons of slow evolving pads in the Reason Factory Sound Bank (RFSB). To make them sound big and spacious I have a little FX "recipe" that I use over and over:
Synth --> Unison --> Stereo Widener --> Reverb
Be sure to use the Reverb preset 'ALL Treetops' from the RFSB for a nice big reverb. The reverb will set the pad farther back in the track and the stereo imager will get the pad out of the way of your lead sound. We want both of these for our pad.
You may notice that I put all this in a combinator for ease of use and I programmed the rotary knobs to control the unison, stereo and reverb amounts.
I really like the Malstrom pads, and you can find some wonderful ones in the free ReFill -"eXode Massive Synthesis Refill". Download it, it's an awesome Refill.
Here is what this pad sounds like on its own with no effects.
Nice to be sure, but kind of up front and in your face. Lets add our combinator to it.
1. Open the Mix Channel above the device by clicking the disclosure triangle to the left of it.
2. Click the 'Show Programmer' button.
3. Load our Pad Fx combinator into the 'Insert FX' slot.
Mix channel insert fx
I like doing it this way because our combi knobs will appear in the mix channel.
What does it sound like now?
Absolutely gorgeous! Try this setup with any pad like sound. You'll be surprised how just a few effects can turn a sound from ho-hum to amazing.
Here is the completed combinator insert. Have fun in pad-land! Do you have any recipes for pads?