Ambient music.... what am i doing wrong?

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meneedit
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Ambient music.... what am i doing wrong?

Post by meneedit » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:24 am

GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

Nearly everytime I try to make ambient music it ends up sounding like stars of the lid. I can't seem to make the chords/synths sound smooth.

What else can I do to the attack of a chord to make it fade in better so that it doesn't just sound like a slow volume fade?

thanks guys 8)

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:32 am

Longer attack on the filter envelope?
virb.com/ookpikk

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Post by meneedit » Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:25 am

its something that I can try, thanks 8)

I cant explain what the synths end up sounding like but they just dont sound ambient-ish; they're sort of 'in your face'.

One solution is to give them a heavy reverb then make them 100% wet, but i shouldnt have to do that because thats just an easy way out.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:24 am

meneedit wrote:One solution is to give them a heavy reverb then make them 100% wet, but i shouldnt have to do that because thats just an easy way out.
Actually, that's just a good way to do it. Things don't have to be hard you know.

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Post by hageir » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:58 am

also, turn the filter down a lot, add an LFO on the filter cutoff (slow, not deep), with a long "pre-delay", so the sound is filtered first, then slowly starts to "LFO-filter-open" itself..

make sense? :P
and yes, reverb will help a ton..
something like thosee korg/roland ambient reverbs/delays they made.. the white ones ;)
you'll find 'em rv8000 or something similar
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Post by meneedit » Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:45 am

yeah that does make sense. and yeah, I know reverb helps but as for making it really wet, the reason I dont want to just apply this to everything is because I like to figure things out when I make music instead of blindly doing things.

I suppose I shouldn't though because I used to just tweak knobs when I first starting making music and I was coming up with better effects back then.

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Post by bigbadbarns » Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:02 pm

yeah, as was mentioned, reverb's your friend. I don't really make much ambient music (at all really, though I've dicked around with a few ideas, and I guess i like having ambient background textures in stuff), but when I do, reverb, slow attack on the filter envelopes, long delays, chorus, etc.

Putting several choruses on a patch, each with different depths, is an idea. S&H lfo on the filter never goes astray. I know what you mean my things being too 'in your face'- i find it really hard to stop a patch from sounding like that when i build it from scratch.

I often find that when I'm dicking around on my an200 trying to make nice pads, doing it in unison mode (which seems counterintuitive when you're trying to make something MORE subtle) with a slow amp attack, and a slower filter envelope attack with a very low filter cutoff and a long delay w/ lots of feedback seems to turn out nice. I think that going unison mode makes it LESS in your face because it spreads the sound out more. it fattens the sound, but can make it warmer and softer at the same time. Speaking of which, detuning 3 oscillators- a whole octave each.

I'm kind of speaking s**t here, going half from memory and half from what seems right. but yeah, thats my 2 cents.

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Post by hfinn » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:41 am

Things I do are:

REVERB
Low Cut off
Slower filter envelope
VERY subtle LFO on pitch

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:46 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Actually, that's just a good way to do it. Things don't have to be hard you know.
No no, let him try.

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Post by meneedit » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:46 am

clubbedtodeath wrote: No no, let him try.
Another one against me? that'd be right.

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:01 pm

Get a sense of humour, chump!

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Post by tom Cadillac » Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:05 am

Heh - sounding like 'stars of the lid' is a good thing. ! As long as you don't do that cold Eno ambient stuff.

The reverbs on the alesis Ineko are nice - the sapce one just dissolves everything into eiry space dust.

And small sounds low in the mix. Things that are barely audible are often very evocative.

PS - didn't mean to criticize your taste in music. What is good ambient music is very debatable.

And all in all this is a very interesting topic you've started. from what I remember Eno first 'heard' ambient music when he was bedridden in hospital and listening to the chance juxstaposition of two sound sources. forgotten what they were. I think good ambient music also has a surprise element of 'found music'. Maybe that's why I like stars of the lid. I only ever play 'tired sounds of...' - But why did they put the dog in? It works though.

And then of couorse ambient muisc walks a nasty tightrope over the pit of new age easy listening.
"On the following day , the sorcery undespairingly continued: I changed my series, chose other sequences, cut other lengths, spliced different progressions, and hoped afresh for a miracle in sound." (Stockhausen)

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Post by thestreets » Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 am

Lots of Reverb and lots of delay to make a nice wall of sound. h**l, I use Absynth and as soon as you open a preset you've got ambience right there.

If i have to do it 'manually' i do slow attack and alot of sustain plus the forementioned Delay + Reverb.

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Post by Happyman » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:57 am

clamshoe wrote:Pretty right Tom. The story is found on the liner note from Enos 'Discreet Music". He was confined to bed, after an accident, and his friend Judy Nylon brought him a record of 18th century harp music. After she left, and with considerable difficulty he put the record on and found that the sound was too low and that one channel had failed completely. The record played on almost inaudibly as he hadn't the energy to fix things. This presented for Eno a new way of listening to music ' as part of the envioronment. Hence the term ambient. "Music that mingles with the sound of knives and forks at dinner".
Wasn't it also the sound of rain from the window merging with the harp music?

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Post by MarkM » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Use an expression pedal and modulate the volume slowly in with it. Like everyone else, I agree that lots of delay and reverb will get you going.

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