What's the best way to get pads going?

I’m a new user, only really been used to generic sequencer type daws, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how best to get my pads to run smoothly. I produce jungle, but I’m not asking for jungle specific techniques. I’m not even sure if I’m posting in the right place.

Regardless, my problem is I have a VST I really like but it’s very CPU heavy, and I want to use it for pads but I don’t really know what settings are best for the plugin grabber when it comes to a long piece of audio like a pad, and also, if I already have a pad sample, I don’t really know how best to go about using the certain modulation features in Renoise to get it to run smoothly and there aren’t really many youtube tutorials on this. I’m lining things up at the 0crossing but it’s still clipping and I’ve fiddled around with AHDSR to try and make it sound smoother but, no joy. I really really like Renoise for just about everything else, but the only thing I can think to do is go into another daw, create the pad samples for the track and just place that track in Renoise for the whole duration, which I think kinda defeats the purpose. I usually like to figure things out myself but I’m really struggling so I thought it won’t hurt to ask.

Yeah, the plugin grabber can be confusing at first. You really just need to experiment with it, but here’s some stuff that might help—

There is a checkbox in the plugin grabber window to Auto-loop. That will corss-fade at the loop point so you shouldn’t hear any clicking. You can also do this manually in the waveform editor (ctrl+F to crossfade highlighted section).

Most pad sounds will have to be pretty long to sound good, since they contain a lot of movement. I think you can set the duration up to 10 seconds, but 3-4 seconds might be enough for a simple Juno-style pad.

Renoise’s sample modulation is pretty powerful. I usually disable volume and filter envelopes in the plugin, then recreate them in he Renoise sampler. The AHDSR great for the volume, but for the filter you might have better luck with the Envelope.

Also, when you’ve experimenting you can set the note range to just one note, and the sampling format to mono to speed up rendering.


What type of VST are you using? VST2 or VST3? If you’d use VST3 the plugin would only be active if in fact a note is currently playing, so that there’s as less as possible CPU usage. This way you can save CPU and even CPU heavy plugins like Omnisphere work smoothly. Btw, when it comes to pads, Omnisphere is the best so far imho. Anyway, in case of smooth running pads it’s best running a VST instead of sampling if you ask me. Of course you could also try to deal with the plugin grabber…

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I would echo what @highway_rehab said above if you’re set on the sound that you’ve got with the vst you’re using. The plugin grabber can be a little confusing at first, but it does the task well when the settings are right for the type of sound you’re grabbing. Definitely check the auto-loop samples (crossfade) box. I’ve made some lovely seamless pads from vsts through the plugin grabber.

You could also check out the New Tool (2.8-3.1): Padsynth for generating pad samples that are seamless. There’s a learning curve, but this synth tool can make some great sounds with a little tinkering.

pads are also a good use case for single-cycle native synthesis, and these days I’ll usually just make my own from waves in the instrument editor.

If you’re a jungle producer, definitely check out @GroovinG’s videos if you haven’t already. lots of great renoise content oriented primarily around jungle/dnb. He even has a recent video on 90s style jungle pad techniques, even though this particular one is not totally renoise-centric…


You don’t need to grab every note. Especially not for pads. In fact, it’s often preferable to grab larger intervals. maybe 1 or 2 samples per octaves. I strongly recommend pitching the samples down, not up. Unfortunately you can’t do this from the plugin grabber. But it’s worth the effort.

After you’ve grabbed your samples, LFOs are you friend. Use them liberally to breath life and movement into your pads.


thanks for everyone’s responses (even though i’m not responding to every single person) and i appreciate the insight everyone’s shared into workflows. the vst i was using is the cherry audio gx-80, but i think i figured the best way to do it is to put the pads in to a column the way i want it to be set up and render to sample from there, rather than using the plugin grabber/rendering just one note of the pad and then screwing around with other parameters like crossfading etc. what’s this big drama in the other thread?


I think this is what you’re going for but just in case:

The old school sampler approach is very viable, indeed. Especially for jungle. This where you record the chord qualities you want. So major, minor, inversions, with and without a 7th, etc. Different instruments for each chord. And just one sample stretched over the keyboard.

I find it best to not to rely on the original synth’s volume envelope. I rather let Renoise’ sampler deal with that. But for the filter it can give really spiffy results to have those baked into the sample.

Anyway, happy pad making!

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Yes, render to sample in terms of tracks is another option. It’s limited, but if it works for you, just do it.

Oh, that’s just another typical online conversation. :wink: