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Ambient Soundscaping

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:20 pm
by lowbot
Hello Everyone,

One of the uses for Live that I never hear talked about is the "Ambient Soundscape", ala Steve Roach...

Live amazes me, the possibilities are endless in the terms of playing un-synced sounds routed through effects chains, resampling them, introducing new sounds from a mic or turntable. Whatever your heart's desire (as long as you have the processor strength)... All done LIVE!

I've performed a couple of times with Live on my Tibook 667, once with only a turntable and kaoss pads, another time using Reason (improvising musically, kind of like Harold Budd)...

Using Live in an Eno-like reel-to-reel tape system way can be very rewarding, playing out live. Not only the improvisational possibility, but back at home you have the recorded material to recycle all over again.

I remember first hearing about Live and being amazed. I wanted something like this program for years, and there it was...

Can any of you understand what I'm driving at? :o


Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:51 am
by Guest

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:19 am
by astromass
yes, brings tears to the eyes...
perfect for ambient soundscaping!
+ :lol:

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:47 am
by Guest
yes, the program is wonderful in all aspects, one of the few programs that actually inspires you while you are working with it. Ableton has done an upstanding job.
please continue to do your thing and share what and how you do it with the rest of us, it will help all live users grow.

and don't be put off by the ignorant that frequent this forum, all we need to do is ignore them, and post around them.


Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:22 pm
by logos
guess you're talking about realtime record and playback e.g you want to catch an ambience and give it back in your set.

i didn't work out live with mic recordings yet but if it works the way i am expecting it... wow.

what is the eno reel to reel tape system? can you provide some material?

cheers logos

reel to reel system and Eno

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:52 pm
by lowbot
Hi, thanks for the response...

Brian Eno, the guy from the seventies (who later produced Talking Heads and U2), is who coined the term "Ambient".

On his album "Discreet Music", he used a reel-to-reel tape recorder delay and a moog to introduce music, somewhat indiscriminately, and ongoingly, to produce a long flowing composition. The delay (a 30-second or so delay) reintroduces previously played sounds back into the song. It's very automatic, with instant creative feedback. The album was produced in his kitchen, over tea...

Other ideas he's used; multiple tape players with tape at different lengths. The music, or ambiences, looping at different intervals, continuosly morph together to make an ongoing ambience.

The reason Live is so revolutionary, is that it brings all of those tape recorders and effects together, affordably, and in your face. When I record in Live, I don't need to have everything in sync, each track could be like a different length of tape. I can also record different lengths of tape as those lengths are still playing.

The fun part begins when I connect a device, like a midi fader box, to bleed those tape lengths into the effects returns. I can also control the effects themselves. Thick dampened reverb in my favourite.

Live becomes the "instrument" with which you play. All that's needed is sound sources. Sometimes I just find cheap wav effects on the net, and warp 'em. Reason's extremely handy for making polyrhythms and synth beds. My mind could wander through Live, endlessly...


Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:03 pm
by logos
i own discreet music (from my father) and listen to it right now. he used a 'synthesizer with digital recall system' (...) going throug eq - echo units and huge delay lines . very nice sounds .

cool input. it's the vice versa to how i currently work with live -> deconstructing phrases, cut microseconds of loops with scutphuzz , which is such a handy plugin, and bring them together again in a different context.

it's about 'creating music with little or no intervention from the artist' (eno). some kind of randomness. i like that :I)


Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:19 pm
by RobotOnTheToilet
Hey logos, what's scutphuzz? A VST? who makes it?

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:42 pm
by lowbot
Hey logos, what's scutphuzz? A VST? who makes it?
I'd like to know, too. I can't seem to find it anywhere... The description of it sounds like "scrubby" by DFX. That plugin is one of my favourites...


Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:40 am
by logos
sorry i spelled it wrong .. it's scuzzphut (4)

it's a 'step sequenzed gate'.

Re: Ambient Soundscaping

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2002 8:14 pm
by php
lowbot wrote:Hello Everyone,

One of the uses for Live that I never hear talked about is the "Ambient Soundscape", ala Steve Roach...

Can any of you understand what I'm driving at? :o

I understand completely.
That's exactly what I bought Live for, and it's perfect for this. I'm not really interested in doing beat oriented music. I've been doing this type of ambient space music for years and Live with Reason 2.0 (especially the Malstrom synth) makes it easier to try different textures spontaneously rather than using stacks of hardware and effects. Can't wait for Absynth to be OS X compatible so I can use it with Live and R2 also without having to boot into OS 9 ever again. :wink: