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  • Track Length

    I am sure this has been discussed here before but a quick search didn't reveal much. How do you determine your track length? There is a popular if misguided perception that ambient means long tracks 10 minutes plus. Personally I try to let the track itself guide me. I play till its done so to speak. Till whatever I am trying to say...till the picture I am trying to paint is finished. Sometimes that is 3 minutes, sometimes 15. For myself I learned awhile back that when not composing to specifications to just let my subconscious take over as much as possible.

    How do you determine your track length?
    My Electronic World https://soundcloud.com/shadoe42
    My Acoustic World https://soundcloud.com/cheeksmiller
    My Non Music Art http://shadoe42.deviantart.com/

  • #2
    I think you've answered your own question here. ;)

    My approach is and always has been the same as yours..it's as long as it needs to be, otherwise I feel you run the risk of producing something that comes across as overly produced/staged..that lacks somehow in feeling and impact.

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    • #3
      well I answered the question for ME I am always curious about the methods of others. What THEIR process is. For one I think you can often find good tidbits in being open to alternate ways of creation. For example in the other process thread one mentioned that they load up a track until it is completely to many sounds then pull it back to its not enough then slowly work their way back to the middle. I can see the sense of that process and it is very interesting to me. But it wouldn't work for me as I tend to take a minimalist type approach and build more slowly and when I realize its to much I pull it back immediately. That sort of thing

      Really I am just trying to spark some conversation and get a better feel for those here and let them get a better read on me so to speak.

      And I totally agree with your overproduced comment. That can easily happen. With so many tools available to us now it is easy to do this. At one point I had far FAR to many synths...well still do really but slowly over time I have gone thru and removed those that rarely get used and cut down my "goto" tool set. However I do also see the value in having synths that are really for specific things. I keep a couple around just cause they make weird noises And sometimes I will start going thru those old synths just for those wierd noises heh
      My Electronic World https://soundcloud.com/shadoe42
      My Acoustic World https://soundcloud.com/cheeksmiller
      My Non Music Art http://shadoe42.deviantart.com/

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      • #4
        I usually have a beginning and an end in mind, with a general length.. the middle grows long enough to connect the two. This ranges in the 5-10 minute zone, currently.
        Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
        Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
        Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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        • #5
          Music should go on as long as it has to. No more, no less. Napalm Death said everything they needed to in 1 second with "You Suffer", and Morton Feldman took six or more hours to say what he had to with "Second String Quartet". Is it interesting the whole way through? That's all that matters.

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          • #6
            I think you have to take into account the format you're working in, too. If you're writing a symphony, you need probably 45 minutes to fully develop your themes/motifs and the progress of the piece through each movement. If you're writing a verse/chorus pop song, 3 minutes is usually enough - unless you can write lyrics like Dylan. I agree that it has to engage the listener's interest sufficiently (with all due respect to Eno's definition of Ambient music) for the whole piece, but I also think it's perfectly legitimate to set out to make track of a specific (within reason) length - as long as you can keep it interesting throughout.
            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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            • #7
              I started working on a 3 hour track 2 years ago. Remixing and balancing are a lengthy process :yawn::yawn:, and it's very demanding on memory.
              http://soundcloud.com/tuonela-1
              http://tuonela.bandcamp.com/

              I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes -- Jimi Hendrix

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tuonela View Post
                I started working on a 3 hour track 2 years ago. Remixing and balancing are a lengthy process :yawn::yawn:, and it's very demanding on memory.
                Ay Caramba :eek: Now that's ambitious - I'm pretty sure a track of that length with more than one instrument would kill my poor ol' PC :(
                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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                • #9
                  long tracks (>5 min) are good for ambient feeling but not so easy for mixing (it's too boring to eq'ing and peak seraching in big tracks)
                  http://ovodmusic.com II https://www.facebook.com/ovodmusic

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                  • #10
                    Three hours? Psshh.

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                    • #11
                      I was reading about a performance that's taking place in New York (I think) which requires shifts of players and is planned to last 634 years...
                      http://soundcloud.com/tuonela-1
                      http://tuonela.bandcamp.com/

                      I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes -- Jimi Hendrix

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                      • #12
                        i know it's horrible, but anything over 5 minutes and the duration/reward calculation begins. that is for conscious listening.
                        www.soundcloud.com/phoenstorm

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tuonela View Post
                          I was reading about a performance that's taking place in New York (I think) which requires shifts of players and is planned to last 634 years...
                          Well, there's longplayer -- http://longplayer.org-- which will last around 1000 years. And a version of Cage's "As Slow As Possible" which will take 639 years : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1104863.html

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Toaster View Post
                            Originally posted by Tuonela View Post
                            I was reading about a performance that's taking place in New York (I think) which requires shifts of players and is planned to last 634 years...
                            Well, there's longplayer -- http://longplayer.org-- which will last around 1000 years. And a version of Cage's "As Slow As Possible" which will take 639 years : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1104863.html
                            D'oh! Out by 5 years and the wrong continent. Not bad for my disappearing memory... :s
                            http://soundcloud.com/tuonela-1
                            http://tuonela.bandcamp.com/

                            I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes -- Jimi Hendrix

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                            • #15
                              It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Anybody got any samples?
                              Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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