Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:01 PM   #1
xTwigsy
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Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

Calling all ambient producers!

1. How do you go about creating a track, what goes through your mind as you create?
2. What samples do you use, if any?
3. Any VSTs/ instruments you record?
4. When you first finish a track, are you satisfied with the sound design/ composition?

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Video Related. After listening to music like this, I've realized a few things: I've been trying to make ambient music for a while now and it just doesn't seem to be good enough. I'm not satisfied with the finished product and often will get angry or sad when it doesn't turn out how I wanted. In other words, how do you create something that remains authentic to your ideas and ambitions? How do you transfer your ideas into music accurately, and be satisfied with the finished product? This last question applies to any musician really, not just ambient.

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Old 03-07-2015, 12:16 AM   #2
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Re: Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

Not an ambient producer, but answering anyway. I suppose contrasting my answers with some Ambient producers could be helpful. Yay, I'm helping. I am control group and I am helping.

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Originally Posted by xTwigsy View Post
1. How do you go about creating a track, what goes through your mind as you create?
I make random sounds. Then I slam those sounds together until it resembles a track.

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Originally Posted by xTwigsy View Post
2. What samples do you use, if any?
Any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xTwigsy View Post
3. Any VSTs/ instruments you record?
Sometimes. Rarely. Maybe.

If I like the sound of something I record it and save it somewhere to be used later. I rarely plan tracks like "Okay, and then I'm going to steal a guitar and record a solo here." I am not a live musician, so stopping in the middle of trackwriting process to record new material would kill the workflow.

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4. When you first finish a track, are you satisfied with the sound design/ composition?
If I am not, the track is not finished.

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Originally Posted by xTwigsy View Post
In other words, how do you create something that remains authentic to your ideas and ambitions? How do you transfer your ideas into music accurately, and be satisfied with the finished product?
Sometimes I have ideas that sound like shit in practice. Sometimes I have ideas that I try to implement but end up with something else that sounds good instead. Sometimes things happen, and sometimes those things are shit.

You will get a lot of mumbojumbo answers to this one, since there are as many legitimate answers as there are musicians around. You need to find something that works for you, because something that works for others might not be your forte. All I can say is that one day I realized that things just clicked for me, and it was not a sudden change but rather just a sudden realization. I was just making music, sitting at my computer and listening to what I made, and I just realized that "Well shit, this is what I've wanted to make". After that I figured that I'd just keep doing what I was doing.

I think it might help to think in general terms. Like really general. Rather than describing the sounds you want to get, describe motions and changes. Do you want the track to be swelling, wavy, spacious? Then figure out how to translate that into different elements. What is a wavy beat? Don't know, but keep waviness in mind when you make the beat. Just think about waves and write a beat with that.

Either way, that's my two cents and I am not an ambient producer.

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xTwigsy (04-07-2015)
Old 03-07-2015, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

1. "I hope this sounds good later"
2. My own recordings, predominantly. Real sounds.
3. Only if I plan on resampling it later and making it completely abstract.
4. I will build up and tear down the same song as many times as it takes for me to like it, and then I call it finished.

To answer the final question, I release my expectations before the creative process and it gives me much more freedom. To stay authentic, emulate nobody. It's simple.

The kicker to all of this, however, is that I make outsider ambient. I'm rarely looking to make midrangey, movie-quality pads. I like textures and grit much more (and releasing music on very obscure, indie labels) so my feedback may be of no use whatsoever.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

1. Before starting : " ok i let's see if i can do it" during the process : "omg this sounds like shit"

2. i've never been good working with samples for stuff like melodies etc, i use more spoken word, real life sounds, foley, etc. in the case of ambient music, the most chill possible.

3. i try not mudding up the vibe of the track with too much sounds when i'm doing ambient music ( i don't do it a lot). i think is good to resample/layer stuff like pads and anything thats going on in the "background" of the song then eq and cut the trash out. Rising/falling movement to the elements is also good. is more how you use the sounds rather than the sounds themselves.

4. The first time i finished a track it sounded horrible, but i loved it, it was like a child. probably how parents feel when they see their ugly kid, " this kid is ugly as f*** but is my child ".

Later on i realized what i needed to improve, there's always something to improve, so i still trying to learn as much as i can. i feel like is the best part of it all. now when i finish a track (something that isn't happening much recently), i start to notice what i could have done better. and try to improve that in the next attempt. i'm too self critical, which is bad. i have lots of expectations and desires with my songs, that leads to un-satisfaction most of the time. Like Kvlt said, is better if you free yourself from the expectations. so let the song create itself a bit. don't worry if you don't sound like this or that artist yet. you'll develop your own sound in no time, influences will be there but you'll see how is something unique. but man it all takes time. when i stop to know how my favorite artists work, most of the time they've been doing it for 20 years or more, and even they probably don't feel happy with their results all the time. So i calm down a bit and think "i'll do better next time". is good to finish your songs, even if it doesn't come along the way you want. stick to it til you feel like theres nothing to mess with anymore.
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:42 AM   #5
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Re: Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

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Originally Posted by Kvlt O))) View Post

To answer the final question, I release my expectations before the creative process and it gives me much more freedom. To stay authentic, emulate nobody. It's simple.

Probably the best advice I've ever gotten on this forum, and it seems so simple.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:49 AM   #6
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Re: Ambient Soundspace/ Creational Process

Is it cheating to fart into a tape recorder for that thick bass?

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