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    I've been trying to make at least one ambient tune. It's been extremely tricky for me. I usually can start out a song very atmospheric but they all turn into something extremely fast or technical. Most of the time it turns into pure chaos. See, I don't want that though. I want to be able to keep a steady pace and very...ambient. Is there any recommendations to solve this dilemma? Is there a certain, I don't want to use this word, but is there a guideline I could follow to start myself off?

  • #2
    don't limit yourself, do whatever you like to experiment, there are no guidelines in music, only if you make them yourself :-) - just keep going and you'll get something that finally falls into place. i know it's cliche but the more you play around with it, the better it'll turn out I think. Don't doubt yourself either before your creation is finished, you never know what you will come up with man. Cheers, Drew!

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    • #3
      On the other hand, sometimes it's helpful to start off with a specific goal and have the discipline to get there.
      So, here are a few pointers in no particular order:
      make sure your DAW's tempo is turned way down - if I'm going for a really floaty piece I'll turn it down to 60BPM at most
      obviously, don't have a click/metronome running - again, for floaty ambient, beats to the bar are unimportant - in fact it sounds better if you let lines drift over bar divisions
      for similar reasons, don't use any percussive instrumentation in the early stages of building your piece - if at all
      for at least the first three instruments, use nice slow attacks and slow releases - this way the sounds fade in and out, and it's impossible to 'rush' this kind if sound
      set up at least one lush, long delay + reverb insert before you start playing and send a little from each of your first three instruments to it
      try to 'play the spaces' - in other words, leave empty space between phrases, allowing the delay/reverb to play unaccompanied here and there

      Hope this helps
      My new album is available now, here: https://thoughtexperiment.bandcamp.c.../supersymmetry
      Check out my (hopelessly out-of-date) SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/thought_experiment

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      • #4
        I can relate to this.

        Maybe a stupid suggestion, but... maybe just take what you've done and really slow down the bpm (a lot!) and see what you have? And maybe use that as a starting point for further tweaks if necessary?

        I know it can be very tricky to switch hats especially if you've been producing in different genres.

        The other thing is... you said that they start very atmospheric. So you can try muting some of the tracks that you added in later stages. Maybe only bring some things in very sparingly.

        It's definitely a different mindset. mikusan had some excellent suggestions. But it IS a mindset as well. The slowdown has to begin in your head and in your gut. You have to think s l o w and relaxed.

        The other thing is that in another thread here someone was talking about the journey that you're sending your listener on. When I've shared some of my stuff with friends in the past, one person referred to it as "sleepy time music". She meant that in a good way. If your music is putting someone in certain state you may or may not (probably not) want to introduce any elements that might upset the atmosphere that you've created.
        My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sequent7

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ayaosa View Post
          I've been trying to make at least one ambient tune. It's been extremely tricky for me. I usually can start out a song very atmospheric but they all turn into something extremely fast or technical. Most of the time it turns into pure chaos. See, I don't want that though. I want to be able to keep a steady pace and very...ambient. Is there any recommendations to solve this dilemma? Is there a certain, I don't want to use this word, but is there a guideline I could follow to start myself off?
          OK here's what you do...go outside and get a brick. A real heavy one! Walk back inside, fire up your DAW, dial in a pad sound and put the brick on the k$%#@^&%$!$%!$........

          Just kidding!!!!!!! :lol:

          No seriously dude, I was once in the same boat as you...and in a lot ways I still am! The difference was you are CRAZY talented and your music is bananas, which are both good things. Listen to some music on SoundCloud you are trying to emulate and then start composing. Resist the urge to add percussion. LAYER. Add effects. Stop when you think you are going too far and listen to it. The piece will start to fill out and before you know it, no chaos is required.

          Personally, I struggle all the time between writing "pure" ambient music or more rhythmic ambient pieces I've become known for. To tell you the truth it's not so much a struggle as it is acceptance of the music and who you are...there's no need to change that, you can only change the way you create! Alter your process and you will break free of your usual routine.

          My 2 cents. Keep us posted on your progress!!!!!!

          Cheers!
          -S1gns
          Synphaera Records
          Space | Time | Matter

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