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Ambient / Downtempo Discussion of music similar to Brian Eno, Sigur Rós, FSOL, The Orb, Biosphere.

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Old 11-06-2011, 08:36 AM   #21
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

i'd say forget about the source of the sound. fx are more important, filters, delays, reverbs.

take a look at valhalla vsts. the delay and reverb are top plugs.


saying that, my tools of choice are reason's thor/subtractor and it's sampler (mainly guitar samples i layered). ableton's operator and sampler - again loading samples i record from a guitar.

reason's synths aren't brilliant but i feel more comfortable using them because of what the reason package offers. ie i don't like stacked windows in cubase etc.

fm synthesis is fairly important as the timbre produced is richer and more complex than standard sine/triangle/square/sawtooth/noise vsts. minimal ambient drone music relies heavily on such tones, as the sonic structure is the main focus.

i always find the "ambient" presets on vsts rely far too heavily on filter sweeps...boring imo.

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Old 12-08-2011, 09:45 PM   #22
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Originally Posted by graphite412 View Post
I would also really recommend getting a microphone and an interface for recording sounds. I use a netbook because it is portable and I can go into the forest to record sounds. I use a heavy amount of recorded sounds in my tracks along with synthesis. For a daw I use Reaper and Renoise. They complement each other very well. I would recommend Reaper if you are just starting out because it is so cheap and so awesome. Getting Reaper would get you up and running in no time. Then start looking for free plugins on KVR and other stand alone apps for sound design. A lot of time you can find cool apps that were written for college doctorates and then are given away for free. I use paulstretch a lot and it's awesome. Also check out spear.
I was thinking about one of those Zoom handheld recorders for recording my own sounds outside. What do you think of those...?
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:37 PM   #23
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Reaktor.

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Old 14-08-2011, 06:03 AM   #24
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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I was thinking about one of those Zoom handheld recorders for recording my own sounds outside. What do you think of those...?
Can't comment on the Zoom ones but I have a DR09 (the old one) and it is fine I use it a lot. It's hanging out of the window as I type recording yet another dawn chorus. You might be able to pick one up quite cheap as Tascam have just released a new updated version.
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Old 14-08-2011, 09:22 AM   #25
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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I was thinking about one of those Zoom handheld recorders for recording my own sounds outside. What do you think of those...?

I've got a Zoom H1 and it seems to do pretty well for me. If cost is an issue for you, the H1's probably the way to go. I would, however, suggest getting the available accessory pack for it, specifically for the windscreen and USB adapter cord. The cord keeps you from having to take out the micro-SD card whenever you want to offload your recordings, and the windscreen, well, duh, it's a windscreen.

That being said, the windscreen won't filter out all wind, and sometimes even a soft gust will come through, but it does make a difference. There's also an on-board low cut filter that you can switch on to help with wind, rumble, etc. But depending on what you're going to do with the sounds you record, it may not matter, especially if they're going to be either layered with a bunch of other things or heavily effected/processed.

I haven't been able to use mine to the extent that I want to yet, but I did manage to get some great recordings of a rain shower a few weeks back, which proved to be just the thing I needed on a recent track. Which made me happy and justified my purchase.

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Old 15-08-2011, 10:19 AM   #26
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Vember Surge and Toxic Biohazard can both get you some really nice synthetic textures to start with and they don't cost so much compared to others. You really don't have to drench everything in delays and reverbs if you don't want to. Start with good source material and go from there.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:59 AM   #27
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

> Get Synth
> Absolutely drown in it reverb
> ?????
> Ambience

edit// For reference (and shameless promotion of my music), check out the track linked in my sig. Contains a lovely field recording of a forest which really (imo) improves the quality of the track.

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Old 15-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #28
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Originally Posted by frasbear View Post
> Get Synth
> Absolutely drown in it reverb
> ?????
> Ambience

edit// For reference (and shameless promotion of my music), check out the track linked in my sig. Contains a lovely field recording of a forest which really (imo) improves the quality of the track.

If you plan on mixing beats over your music then drowning in reverb is a bad Idea. Unless you want the milky wishy washy stuff.

Its all about a heavily compressed reverb with a low release.

If you want release on your synth and your drums are simple and accommodating or there is no percussion then do it in the synth itself, much more controlled of a sound that will clean up your mix a bit.

Also great way to make HUGE reverb work well in a mix is by sidechain gating (with about a negative 7 decible effect level) to a muted noise wave on your drum rack this way you can turn it on or off when you want, Example when your snare and kick turn on turn it pff the gate ruducing the reverb level by 7 decibal, any drums on turn it off when an instrument trying to blead through is on turn it off, this works for ambient backround noise too like oceans noise and things that sound good with reverb but make mix sound like milk. And by turning it on only when there is space in the mix it will also make your reverb sound larger and let you get away with turning it up more.

No drum using people probably don't care about this.

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Old 11-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #29
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I use Ableton Live and Mixcraft 5, and i am a fan of Mirror´s Edge too, and also a fan of solar fields.
Ive made a mirrors edge inspired track with only the use of ableton. Check it out!

And this is made with mixcraft:
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Old 17-09-2011, 12:17 AM   #30
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I'll chime in for Absynth too - I've yet to hear any other program that seems to market itself purely for dark ambient tones like it. When I want to do something ambient, its usually the first program I bring up.

If you're really creative though, you can turn just about anything into an ambient instrument. Record something then load it up in your DAW and play some notes about C2-C3. A timestretch or glitch VST would also help out there but all it really requires is creativity.

Omnisphere will also do the job impeccably but holy Lord you better have a good computer and a good set of cash to work with it. It's a HUGE program and not one I'd recommend to anyone between intermediate-advanced.
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Old 20-11-2011, 09:28 AM   #31
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I have found great results using simpler. I sample my percussive elements. a
At times I will play a beat on a fan or place a microphone in a stock pot and tap out rhythms while recording back into ableton. I try my best to avoid using synths and like to have total control of the sound. As other user have posted, field recordings are where its at. This track is 5 minutes of of my microphone hanging out of my bedroom window and about five minutes of shortwave radio recordings. Overall I to believe that ableton has everything you need to produce what your mind can create hope this was helpful


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Old 22-11-2011, 07:35 PM   #32
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

here's a cool method I use: Take a heavy metal song and slow it down really slow and it makes some really neat ambients.

EDIT: if you slow it down 800% to be exact. I used to have a program that did it too, I wish I could remember...
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Old 22-11-2011, 09:43 PM   #33
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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EDIT: if you slow it down 800% to be exact. I used to have a program that did it too, I wish I could remember...
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Old 23-11-2011, 03:24 AM   #34
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

All the software, suitable of all kinds of electronic music, is suitable for ambient as well For pads (the main sound ty[e in ambient, yes?) I would recommend: Atlantis - for digital and glitchy sounds Omnisphere and Rapture (with Muz3um bank - really great thing!) - for fat analogue-like sounds
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Old 23-11-2011, 04:27 AM   #35
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

yes yes
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Old 30-11-2011, 01:59 AM   #36
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I'm really up for making ambient music too. This thread has given me alot of ideas as I've been stuck using FL studio recently trying to get the ins and outs of that but I'm still learning. Thanks for all these tips everyone who's posted. Anyone use Reason have any opinions or advice on that? Very new to it....
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:05 AM   #37
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I do dark ambient. I just make a cool song using only free Crystal and only those sounds which I made. I use other free VST's all over the internet. Those can make any ambient sound there is. There is no need to buy Absynth or anything. In fact, you will be overwhelmed if you have 1000 sounds. You need to start with just a few sounds so you don't spend years auditioning sounds. Just limit yourself to 50 or so sounds at first.

But all you do need to buy is . . . Ableton. I was never able to do anything where people said "that's awesome" until I started with Ableton. It is just so easy.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:58 AM   #38
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

also, record stuff and tweak it, for ambient, add delay and reverb, those are the basics... anything else is up to you
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Old 16-03-2012, 01:36 AM   #39
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

like a lot of people have suggested, simply stretching audio can lead to some really unexpected ambient results
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Old 17-03-2012, 10:59 AM   #40
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

There is a software Audacity which allows you the abilitiy to record and edit sounds and supports files in various formats. There are tons of effects you can work with including changing the pitch, removing static, adjusting volumes and so much more. Anyone can use this , If someone having experience of using it then post here.

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