As I mentioned on the previous page, synths can be used to create background ambiances and atmospheres. This is a very effective way to create a more interesting and full background texture, which works very well under minimalistic melodies and piano parts. One way to use atmospheres is to create a drone, as we discussed in the harmony chapter. Here's an example where I’ve taken a simple piano part and added a background atmosphere to make it a bit more lush and interesting. Next, check out the video below where I'll show more examples and further explain step by step how I create this kind of atmospheres and pads.

Example (before and after):

If you want to check it out, here are the raw piano file, the piano + atmosphers, and the atmospheres isolated.

Piano Only:

Piano + Atmospheres

Atmospheres Only

When it comes to creating atmospheres and pads, I have several personal favorites among VST's, apart from creating sounds myself. Here are some of my recommendations:

Audio Imperia:
Photosynthesis Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3

One of my all time favorites. Photosynthesis Vol 1 is what I used in the example for this lecture. Fantastic libraries to create synths and pads/atmospheres for your tracks, highly recommended. Also priced only $35 each, you can't find anything better for that price.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere:

Also one of my all time favorites. Fantastic synth for pads and atmospheric elements. A bit pricy at 479 dollars, but worth every penny in my opinion. Can be used for ethnic stuff, atmospheres, lead synths, basses, keyboards and much more.