Sound Design - How To Achieve This Pekka Pohjola Pad-Ish Sound?


What effects or other sound design tips might help me make pads like the one in the first half of the attached sample? (from: DJ Shadow - Midnight in a Perfect World)

I don’t even really know what adjectives to use to describe it; hollow? round? full? smooth?

It sounds like there might be a couple of things stacked, like maybe a rhodes and some other more sustain-y thing.

I’d love to create layers like this from scratch, so any hints appreciated.


2132 midnight.mp3

edit - man I love learning about the origin of samples. You’re my hero.

sounds to me like a rhodes-ish chord playing with a phaser or notch filter, and maybe a lowpass filter to give it some warmth on top.

According to the sleeve notes on my vinyl copy the songs has Rhodes and bass played by Pohjola (and a guitar too, obviously). I don’t think there’s a bass on top of the Rhodes in the beginning half though, but that it rather refers to the solo at the end (at least I think that’s bass…). The rhodes is obviously put through some heave phaser or wah effect, possibly even both.

Funny, I just found this by DJ Shadow a couple of days ago using that sample, it`s a nice loop, + good to hear the original:

With regards to the instrument, yes sounds like an electric piano with filter/ phaser etc.

If you want a VST I`d try the now donationware/ nag ware MR Ray on this pack:


(the pack is abandoned bnut worth a look)

edit: see that harold linked to this version aswell in the OP.

Same pad sound

To my ears it sounds very much like a univibe or rotovibe but given the period when the original track was recorded I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an actual leslie rotary speaker: