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drums in ambient music

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  • #46
    Most of the time, I prefer ambient music to be beatless. I don't think there's anything wrong with using percussion in ambient music, but so often, I hear artists try to mix the two, and it doesn't mesh well (the artists who I think mesh both successful have been Wolfgang Voigt's GAS project, Steve Roach, Robert Rich, and a few of Aphex Twin's tracks). I think the trick to utilizing it well is to make sure that it either blends with the atmosphere, or helps to propel the piece without becoming the focal point.

    For example, I just made a piece that uses a kick and snare, but they're heavily filtered and processed with reverb to blend into the mix. I rarely ever use beats because I prefer droning abstract soundscapes, but in this case, the beats helped to propel the piece forward and create interest for the listener. So overall, I'm not against percussion/drums in ambient music, so long as it doesn't distract from the atmosphere and meshes well with the overall vibe.
    http://insomniousnoise.bandcamp.com
    http://www.soundcloud.com/insomnious-noise
    http://www.facebook.com/insomniousnoise

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    • #47
      Well said, InsomniousNoise! I tend to feel that ride cymbals, and bell-trees, and other types of light percussion that don't normally draw the focus of attention to themselves seem to work better in ambient compositions- bass drums and snares tend to be louder overall (unless heavily processed, as you said) unless you're using brushes. You can also use djembes and other types of bongos lightly to good effect, depending on where and when you place them. Percussion in ambient can be very effective when done properly!
      "All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us" - Gandalf, Lord Of The Rings

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      • #48
        Ambient challenge: create a piece purely with percussive sounds; it's maybe how it's paced out rather than certain timbres.
        Yello - The Eye
        https://youtu.be/XAWFWYjx38Q

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        • #49
          Originally posted by mux View Post
          it's maybe how it's paced out rather than certain timbres.
          Good point
          https://soundcloud.com/synkrotron

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          • #50
            Originally posted by synkrotron View Post

            Good point
            like with singular drum sounds, through a quadraverb..vast reverb
            Yello - The Eye
            https://youtu.be/XAWFWYjx38Q

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            • #51
              Originally posted by mux View Post

              like with singular drum sounds, through a quadraverb..vast reverb
              This is my take on ambient with drums... The "drums" don't "kick" in until two thirds in:-

              https://soundcloud.com/synkrotron

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              • #52
                Cool visuals! i need to listen on headphones to hear it properly.

                I just had a thought: Boris Blank (Yello) - he's a master of ambient drummage!
                Yello - The Eye
                https://youtu.be/XAWFWYjx38Q

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by ambientsketchbook View Post
                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]1294[/ATTACH]
                  :lol: To quote the great Blake Schwarzenbach: "I was passing out while you were passing out The Rules."
                  LOLz
                  Yello - The Eye
                  https://youtu.be/XAWFWYjx38Q

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by synkrotron View Post
                    This is my take on ambient with drums... The "drums" don't "kick" in until two thirds in:-
                    No problem with drums like this! They are definitely "ambient drums".
                    Soundcloud - Youtube - Petroglyph Music - Bandcamp

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by synkrotron View Post

                      This is my take on ambient with drums... The "drums" don't "kick" in until two thirds in:-

                      The drum sound(s) work well. With low cutoff or pass filter. The well known quote of Marcel Duchamp: "art is the gap"; it's about the spaces between the elements as much as anything else imho.
                      Yello - The Eye
                      https://youtu.be/XAWFWYjx38Q

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