Synth/ambient for beginner

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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GreatWhiteEagle
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:43 pm

Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by GreatWhiteEagle » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:16 pm

So I’m a complete beginner, I’ve made a few things in live so far, but I’m struggling making sounds I want to hear. I’m interested in making music in the ambient-ish realm, with inspiration coming from Loscil, The Sight Below, Tim Hecker, M83 album Digital Shades Vol 1, etc. Here’s another example from yt of a sound I’d like to create in ableton as a starting point: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g14c8VU9h28. Would emulating the novation peak even be possible?

I realize this may be a very complicated question, but I’m not even getting close so I thought I’d throw it out there and see what folks have to say. Thanks in advance!

[art]
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by [art] » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:55 am

wow nice video

its hard to say what's going on there without knowing the full story...

i dunno if it helps to say something dumb like 'tame the signal'... but in some ways its very true. think about a completely open oscillator, just pure tone. it's harsh and raw, but when you start to apply filtering, open envelopes, delay or reverb, LFO's on amplitude levels and varied octaves of the same sound, you could wind up in pretty similar territory...

love r beny's videos... great stuff

GreatWhiteEagle
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by GreatWhiteEagle » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:28 pm

Is there a good resource for a beginner to start digging into this that you would recommend? I know this is into the hardware world, but I’ve got ableton and no budget to start getting into pricey hardware. Thanks!

[art]
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by [art] » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:33 pm

Ableton is as good a place as any, maybe the best lol

All i can say is get comfortable with the in-built synthesizers and samplers and effects in ableton

play and have fun and try not to think too much about it

do you understand synthesis?

if not, maybe try searching for beginner synthesis or learning synthesis tutorials.

theres so much on youtube

One if the best thing i was ever taught was using volume to compose. volume is everything

fades, loudness, sharp attacks

its a long journey but you’ll get there, enjoy the ride :)

yur2die4
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by yur2die4 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:05 pm

There are many approaches to ambient and not really even any rules. To an extreme degree, you can even interpret mainstream music as 'ambient' if you're for instance tuning it out as the tinny speakers reverberate through a department store while Christmas shopping and hearing the bleeps and blips of cash registers while people shuffle through clothing hangers.

It often helps when you're able to do very little and have something manifest itself on its own. And for the more relaxed, traditional type it helps to keep things slowed down, slowed down to the point that each interval of tone yields its own unique personality.

A way to get maybe a little inspiration perhaps is to try the arpeggiator and scale effect presets in Live at a very slow tempo. The arpeggiator might do best not as a preset but more manipulated on your own. You can set it to 'hold' and it'll just keep on going indefinitely. You can set the rate to 1 bar (length close to 100) and try out various combinations of key inputs or of different settings (they have up, down, chord, random, etc). That will give you a controlled chaos, and if you try out various presets of the 'Scale' plug in you can find some very unique and mystical patterns. No guarantee this would give you any results. You can completely avoid doing any of what I've suggested if you see fit.

As for sounds to use. For starters, many instruments have attack and release parameters. High release can lead to crossing over of tones as one fades in and another fades out. Depending on the interval this can become consonant or dissonant or somewhere inbetween.

Lastly. Start collecting interesting sounds. Record them or whatever. From anywhere and everywhere. Pay attention. Some days you might slip one of this into a piece either directly or indirectly. Other days you might use Live's generative features to randomize intermittent intervals of a variety of sounds from all over your own personal world to periodically pop in to say hi.

I guess the main thing is to just start. And if you get stuck on a particular quality that you can't quite nail down, show someone what you're doing and how you want it to sound different and they might be able to offer advice on how to nudge it in your preferred direction.

tintala
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by tintala » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:07 pm

First and foremost you need to learn ADSR / sound design, this is the first place to start , then youll know how to so start to design the sound you are looking for. Try tutorials on you tube for sound design, you will need a little knowledge of how oscillators work and lfos. Effects processors.. you tube is your friend.

Frawnz
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by Frawnz » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:10 am

The new Wavetable synth in Live 10 Suite is a great path to this sort of thing.

Check out the beginning of this 5+ hour long youtube vid...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T1ce7ehfRI&t=1801s

pencilrocket
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by pencilrocket » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:05 am

The sound of hardware synths' warm ambient is relying on filtering process. For the instance, Oberheim has good filter which makes its well-known gorgeous pad and fat lead.
Image

doghouse
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Re: Synth/ambient for beginner

Post by doghouse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:39 pm

Creative use of effects is crucial to ambient music. The actual instrument used or even it's sound before being processed is secondary.

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