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  • What makes a beard "ambient"?

    This has been knocking around in my head for a while.. what makes a beard "ambient"? Is it the size, the location, or just the attitude?

    I have no input here as I am clean-shaven and thus, beyond non-ambient. :o
    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

  • #2
    The bigger beard you have the bigger reverb it produces. So yes, size matters.
    Attitude is also important - for example do not use sound-dampening beard cosmetics.

    About location: facial beard is standard, but other body hair locations should be acceptable
    for more avantgarde ambient musicians.
    SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
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    • #3
      I guess my chest beard might qualify sine I tend to compose mostly dark/soundscape stuff. I still want to buy a clip-on beard, though, for when I need "that ambient tone"...
      Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
      Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
      Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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      • #4
        As an advocate of Ambient Beard, let me add my 2 cents:

        In the past I may have come off as sounding as if without a beard, you cannot produce decent ambient. I wish to clarify this is not the case.

        With making any genre of music, you do what you can with what you have, where you are. Not all of us have a rack Eventide H3000's or things like that. By the same token, not all of us have (or are able to, or wish to) grow a beard. A beard is merely one of many tools an artist can use (or choose not to use) to develop their craft.

        The primary benefit to using beards in ambient are both substantive and cosmetic.

        On the cosmetic front, choice of beards expresses subtle information about an artist's point of view or stylistic approach. Take S1gns, for example. His soul-patch communicates to me a clean, centered, and modern approach with minimal distractions. Others may choose longer, less kempt styles--expressing a freedom and willingness to go into longer, less organized areas. Letting a potential listener glimpse a bit of your aesthetic is useful, allowing them at a glance to see where you may take them on your sonic journey.

        On the practical side, the Ambient Beard provides a great tool for allowing the artist to work without fear of reverbs and drones coalescing around the neck and jawline. This can make mixes muddy and unfocused. I have posted this in another thread, but am restating it here for the convenience those researching Ambient Beard Betterment Acoustics, or ABBA. Quoted from "ABBA: Better Ambient Through Beards, A scientific Study, 1993"

        "Drones and reverb--even echo to a certain degree--can build up around the face, jawline, and ears during a session. After a couple of hours, the buildup can create phasing problems and influence mixes. Beards help diffuse this effect. There is a danger, however; drones and reverb can become lodged in the facial hair and become part of the beard itself. Frequent squeezing out of the beard or combing will prevent this."

        I posted in the 'what do you look like thread' a picture of an ambient artist who is a victim of what some call "Dronebeard". Here I will post this picture of a recent research project I was involved with in measuring the build up and effects of ABBA:


        This is an extreme case, and not typical--but it illustrates how bad the problem can be. The artist had held a single note routed into 3 delays and 4 reverbs for over 7 hours. The buildup was spectacular, eventually covering his entire body and synth.

        To summarize and answer the OP question; almost any beard can be ambient. In the end it's not the beard, but the use of the beard that makes it ambient.

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        • #5
          article-2697596-1FBAE3B800000578-571_634x847.jpg
          https://soundcloud.com/jespis

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Under the Net View Post
            [ATTACH=CONFIG]978[/ATTACH]
            Very avant-garde!!
            Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
            Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
            Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Under the Net View Post
              [ATTACH=CONFIG]978[/ATTACH]
              You are going to trigger off my 'ambient beard envy' condition again Synthetic Aurality!!! Whilst I am also clean shaven, for obvious reasons, although I have tampered with this occasionally ;) I have very firm ideas about what makes an ambient beard:

              1) it must be subtly and delicately shaped with sine wave curves throughout.
              2) It must match head hair colour unless bald.
              3) Not too long & not too short, just like the best 6 minute ambient tracks out there!
              4) it must be an understated facial feature that just 'fits' without being overstated.
              5) When its gone people will question what is different about you without realising its the beard that has disappeared-that's the secret of it's subtlety.
              6) It can be decorated well, as above, again in an understated way, as and when suits e.g Christmas/Easter/birthdays.

              :biggrin:
              It's all an illusion.

              https://soundcloud.com/skyhighdiamonds

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sky High Diamonds View Post
                Originally posted by Under the Net View Post
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]978[/ATTACH]
                You are going to trigger off my 'ambient beard envy' condition again Synthetic Aurality!!! Whilst I am also clean shaven, for obvious reasons, although I have tampered with this occasionally ;) I have very firm ideas about what makes an ambient beard:

                1) it must be subtly and delicately shaped with sine wave curves throughout.
                2) It must match head hair colour unless bald.
                3) Not too long & not too short, just like the best 6 minute ambient tracks out there!
                4) it must be an understated facial feature that just 'fits' without being overstated.
                5) When its gone people will question what is different about you without realising its the beard that has disappeared-that's the secret of it's subtlety.
                6) It can be decorated well, as above, again in an understated way, as and when suits e.g Christmas/Easter/birthdays.

                :biggrin:
                Hmmm. those are definitely reasonable expectations! I will have to say, #5 is going to be difficult to pull off... :eek:
                Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                • #9
                  Ideally, the whole thing ought to be difficult to pull off:lol:
                  Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                    Ideally, the whole thing ought to be difficult to pull off:lol:
                    If it's a strap-on ambient beard, it should release at first tug, otherwise your face might end up needing EQ... :eek:
                    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Synthetic Aurality View Post
                      Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                      Ideally, the whole thing ought to be difficult to pull off:lol:
                      If it's a strap-on ambient beard, it should release at first tug, otherwise your face might end up needing EQ... :eek:
                      If it's not strap-on, and gets pulled off, your face might need the ER...
                      Last edited by windspace; 02-20-2015, 09:05 PM. Reason: fixed typo...

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                      • #12
                        Velcro.
                        It's all an illusion.

                        https://soundcloud.com/skyhighdiamonds

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                        • #13
                          I prefer the 'minimalist' approach first offered by the founder of ambient, Brian Eno. I like to keep the beard small so that it may be noticed when focused upon, or ignored as a part of the 'background' of the face....
                          https://metapop.com/sonic-bodhi
                          https://www.youtube.com/user/SonicBodhi1
                          https://sonicbodhi.bandcamp.com/
                          https://hearthis.at/sonic-bodhi-iw/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sonic Bodhi View Post
                            I prefer the 'minimalist' approach first offered by the founder of ambient, Brian Eno. I like to keep the beard small so that it may be noticed when focused upon, or ignored as a part of the 'background' of the face....
                            That's it. My point exactly. Summed up very concisely indeed. No multi layered weirdy beardy facial growths spiralling out of control.


                            Succinct.
                            It's all an illusion.

                            https://soundcloud.com/skyhighdiamonds

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                            • #15
                              I wish I was allowed to grow one!
                              https://amphigorymusic.bandcamp.com/

                              https://soundcloud.com/amphigorymusic

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