I am new to Ableton but an old hand at Cubase. In Cubase there were a lot of great sounding lush synth string sounds out of the box similar to what you get in 1990s dance tracks..

The thing is I can't see how to get those sounds out of Ableton?

If its a matter of creating a sound from scratch using one of the synthesizer instruments (Operator, Tension, Impulse..etc) I am wondering which is the best one to use for that sound and what is general approach or settings that will get a good synth string sound?

Any help much appreciated :)


2 Answers 2


Try out Analogue VST Instrument from ableton! It has a very rich and random (analogue) sawtooth! A good start for strings is to layer some Analogue VST and Detune them! (CMD-G to put a VST into a Group Folder, then CMD-D to create copys of the VST within that Folder.) Exciter and reverb (very important Test different rooms) will help to get some life into the sound. Play with filter(lowpass 12dB) and amp-envelope (get in some decay and release)

Good luck!

  • OK thanks..I think Ive been spoilt with presets up to now..havent had to roll my own sounds..i'll give it a try..
    – Rowan
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 22:06
  • You definitely should give it a try. It so rewarding if you create a neat sound on your own. Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 0:08
  • Yeah I managed to get what I was after..I followed this tutorial but dialled down the frequency and took out the LFO filter (I wanted a smooth rather than varying sound) youtube.com/watch?v=v4JkfWuPCfg
    – Rowan
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 0:19
  • Great that I could inspire you! Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 12:34

Many ways to go (that's why it's called "creative").

But in general (very generally) "lush string" implies either a rich synthetic multiple sawtooth oscillator "string" or a real string recording that has been modified (particularly filtered and possibly multiplied) in e.g. a sampler.

I would search through the "pads" sections of the preset banks of whatever synthesizer (or sampler as well) you're using and see if there's something reminiscent (likely you'll find some sort of "string pad" there). Then modify that or read out the parameters and do your own version.

Check Operator first.

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