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 Post subject: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:41 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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Location: beneath mouse mountain
gjm wrote:
Making Ambient music, Tips, Methods, workflow etc would make an interesting thread (I think). I am pretty well locked into structure dominant compositions, ie building everything around scale tone chord sequences. I am also comfortable with hearing just the basic instruments (ie guitars, piano, drums) with small adjustments to tone. Pretty traditional stuff really. I can only think of Ambient in terms of a relationship with something visual. Composing to imagery makes it easier to think about. Getting an insight into how others compose as well as hearing their work in context might be good.


I am not sure what counts as ambient any more (some of my friends would call anything below 135 bpm ambient)... but this would be an interesting discussion. I don't call what I make ambient (more downtempo electronica) but I am aware there is a lot of unknowns for me in making a track that doesn't start with the standard kick/snare/hats/bass combo. It would be interested in hearing what people do...

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:28 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:51 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Hampshire Uk
Well to start things off

I like to make ambient music,the subject is vast as there is many forms,for example, industrial,minimalist etc

and everyone has their own approach,the key is to make the music,interesting and forever changing,kind of painting but with sound,to evoke an atmosphere,or mood :D

I like the dark ambient stuff,getting ideas form horror films and other sources

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:34 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:50 pm
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Location: MacAbleton Towers, sunny Manchester.
david.barker wrote:

I like the dark ambient stuff,getting ideas form horror films and other sources


Image

I was gonna recommend this thread to you actually Dave. How's the choonz coming on anyway? Gonna post some links here?

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:56 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:51 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Hampshire Uk
Ha,ha thanks bud :D

I got a few tracks on my Soundcloud page,some made with Live,some made with Live and Reason together :D

And currently working on some new material.I got a storyboard full of ideas,its a slow process.

But also getting to grips with the new Live 9 stuff,and soon,I will be using Reason 7 with Live too,eventually ( that's going to be awesome)

Also working on a special project for Halloween 2013 ,as well,lol

Trying to get as much,practice and experimental time in as possible,(when I got rest days and holidays,from my shift work) :D


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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:59 am
Posts: 88
david.barker wrote:
...the key is to make the music,interesting and forever changing,kind of painting but with sound,to evoke an atmosphere,or mood...


I like to include a generative element or two as well.

I love the sound of Reaktors' Metaphysical Function, I sometimes leave that running while I putter around the house. More interesting than Music For Airports.. :lol:

Edit: OT a little, but PaulStretch can make "ambient" music out of most anything..

http://hypermammut.sourceforge.net/paulstretch/

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:51 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Hampshire Uk
AustinThumper wrote:
david.barker wrote:
...the key is to make the music,interesting and forever changing,kind of painting but with sound,to evoke an atmosphere,or mood...


I like to include a generative element or two as well.

I love the sound of Reaktors' Metaphysical Function, I sometimes leave that running while I putter around the house. More interesting than Music For Airports.. :lol:

Edit: OT a little, but PaulStretch can make "ambient" music out of most anything..

http://hypermammut.sourceforge.net/paulstretch/


Yep heard of his work, Austin

I'm also a big fan of Jean Michel Jarre. Two of his albums Oxygene as an example, and Waiting for Cousteau,as another example of atmospheric work

With me,I try and avoid making the kind of music,found in for shopping centers,lifts and airports, too ha,ha

But try to have something,that's interesting and can hold the listeners attention.As an example a sudden cut off the main sound except for a few drips,heavy fx affected breathing,footsteps etc :D

But sure, anything can be used for ambient work,the genre as we agree is huge :D


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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 2671
Location: beneath mouse mountain
AustinThumper wrote:
[
I like to include a generative element or two as well.

I love the sound of Reaktors' Metaphysical Function, I sometimes leave that running while I putter around the house. More interesting than Music For Airports.. :lol:



http://hypermammut.sourceforge.net/paulstretch/


I am interesting in learning more about this. I used to like audiomulch for its generative capabilities, and I'm interested in Live devices / plugins that have this dimension...

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:51 am
Posts: 60
I love "ambient" music that meets Brian Eno's original definition: "Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting." That is, it's something I can put on that sets a mood, but never intrudes or distracts. Anything from Eno's "Ambient 1" and "Ambient 4", the title track of Jarre's "Waiting for Cousteau", DAC Crowell's "Umi No Kami Ni Kansha" from "The Sea and the Sky".

When I've tried making such music, I've found achieving this balance of interest and ignorability to be very difficult. It always ends up distracting by either being too active to ignore or too static to sit down and listen to. So I'm quite interested in the creative and composition process that others have found useful.

"PaulStretch" was mentioned as being able to make just about anything sound "ambient". A plugin that I've found useful in a similar way is Michael Norris' "Spectral DroneMaker". It's a Mac-only AU (sorry Windows people :-( ) that does real-time spectral processing and is extremely tweakable. Brian Trifon demonstrates it at

http://nextstepaudio.com/pads/trifonic- ... ronemaker/

The plugin itself is available at

http://www.michaelnorris.info/software/ ... ctral.html

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:37 pm
Posts: 319
Back in the day it was called "visionary music"... ie. STeve Roach , Robert Rich, Stephen hill Hearts of SPace.. etc.


anyways, here is a link with a discussion on making Ambient like Robert Rich


http://robertrich.com/gear-talk/


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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:51 am
Posts: 1710
Location: portland oregon
AustinThumper wrote:
I love the sound of Reaktors' Metaphysical Function, I sometimes leave that running while I putter around the house. More interesting than Music For Airports.. :lol:

:lol: HEY!!! I LOVE MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS!!!
you know....i just purchased REAKTOR a little while back, i never even messed with METAPHYSICAL FUNCTION until this post. can you point me in the direction of a tutorial to be able to use it, instead of just let it do it's thing. i GOOGLED...i wasn't having any luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:23 pm
Posts: 15
My one BIG tip on making ambient music:

put a ping pong delay on everything that matters! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:59 am
Posts: 88
Well after my snarky music for airports comment, I promptly put it on.. Very relaxing.

Re metaphysical, I can't recommend anything other than just adjust the million parameters and noting how the sound changes.. I think mapping the m4l Lfo to some of those params might worth a laugh or two.

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:14 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 3657
Off to a good start :D

ObtuseMoose wrote:
I love "ambient" music that meets Brian Eno's original definition: "Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting." That is, it's something I can put on that sets a mood, but never intrudes or distracts...

When I've tried making such music, I've found achieving this balance of interest and ignorability to be very difficult. It always ends up distracting by either being too active to ignore or too static to sit down and listen to. So I'm quite interested in the creative and composition process that others have found useful.


Thank you... very helpful insight. I tried to make something Ambient this weekend, but according to your definition as outlined above, I may have failed. If you have 3 mins then have a listen, I would appreciate some feed back. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS4yz4bTx5I

Basically I set out with no direction in mind, I just started with a preset and 'asked' what I thought should follow. Kind of a follow your nose thing. I did lean heavily on a scale tone chord structure, I-IV-iv. I was not able to break out of that box once I got going.

Ping Pong definitely did it for me :P . It added to the feeling and place I had in mind. The video imagery was just throw away stuff I had on my hard drive, but it was what came to mind as I fleshed out the music. Actually, the place WHERE I took the video came to mind so I used it.

Hope you had a good weekend. G.

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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:07 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:29 am
Posts: 281
i definitely think a healthy amount of restraint goes a long way in ambient music


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 Post subject: Re: Making Ambient Music (tips, methods, workflow, etc)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:30 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:58 pm
Posts: 97
Mute the drums.


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