Software For Ambient Music?
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
Crystalline
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Software For Ambient Music?

Hello There =) Iīm new to music making. I have decided that the main type of music that i want to start making is Ambient. It is just so beautiful and enchanting...


I want to know what is the best software with a decent learning curve of course.. for ambient music making.


This swedish Ambient Electronic Music Composer, wich i just love. Has done the score for The game Mirrorīs Edge, and on his web page solarfields . com in his "studio" section he has alot of stuff.


Of course i canīt obviously purchase all of the things he has, but i would like to know wich main music software he uses. i see alot of names, but i dont know wich ones are music production programs.


Please go easy on me ^^ haha if anyone could help id be extremely thankful!

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I am very new to ambient music production as well. I purchased Reason 5 back in January and I love it. This is the only software I've used so I can't tell you if it's any better or worse than other available labels. What I can tell you is that most people on here use Ableton and Reason, there are a few others but those seem to be most popular. I've also been told by many people that you need to keep one important factor in mind: Whatever software you decide to buy, stick with it and learn it inside and out...buying several different programs is not going to instantly make you a better producer.

Ableton and/or Reason will definitely provide you with the tools necessary to produce ambient music, but you've got to make a promise to yourself to learn as much as possible about those tools before throwing in the towel. I don't want to overwhelm you with a bunch of other usless information so I'll leave it at that.

You will most likely need to invest in a midi controller with a keyboard. I bought a small Oxygen controller and it works for me now, but I'm starting to wish I had a full size keyboard. There are thousands of midi controllers so good luck with that research.

I hope this helps.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

This is really good initial advice. I love making ambient music, dont use Reason much but i know that i should!

The only thing i'd add is location recording. I cant stress enough how much it adds to the atmospheric quality of music, which is what ambient is all about.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Stickypuppets is right. Any program can make ambient music, honestly. I use FL Studio (gotta represent), but I've also made ambient just using Audacity. Try a few daws out (they all have demo periods) and pick the one that you like, and go with it. Read articles, follow tuts, experiment, and play.

Once you have an idea of how you work and what your software does, then consider hardware. The hardware should make it easier to work with your software, and you'll figure it out.

Good luck!

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Old 05-11-2011, 03:59 AM   #5
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

gleetchlab is awesome if you ever heard about it, the older version is free and i made few performance using it, made completely with max/msp, you can get some pretty treaking in there, and it's possible to rewire it to ableton i think...


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Old 05-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I use ableton to make ambient music. I really like the workflow in it. I suppose its up to you what you want to use, but I can't recommend ableton enough. Its just perfect to me.

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Old 05-11-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Originally Posted by Djreject View Post
gleetchlab is awesome if you ever heard about it, the older version is free and i made few performance using it, made completely with max/msp, you can get some pretty treaking in there, and it's possible to rewire it to ableton i think...


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Oh man I am going to have to download this when I get home from work.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:14 AM   #8
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Looking at his studio list, it looks as though he uses a lot of hardware.The software he does list is major stuff, like East West and Spectrasonics.

I use Spectrasonics and there stuff is awesome, East West I don't know much about other than it is very expensive and requires a lot of free disc space. He also mentions Native Instruments which, if starting up an investment in Komplete 7 would give you a vast array of software to play with.

DAW wise it looks like he uses either Cubase or Nuendo (he just says Steinberg) again I would highly recommend as I use Cubase 5 and having tried most others keep coming back to it but this is just personal preference, make use of the free trials and test out other DAW's till you find one that suites your workflow.

Hope this helps a little.

Simon

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Old 05-18-2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I use ableton and also camel audios alchemy for most of my ambient creations.
The alchemy player is free and can show you how powerful alchemy can be :

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I also use h.g fortunes synths ( some brilliant pieces of software and quite cheap as well)

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Also psychic modulations stuff is fantastic :

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And dsk has some great free synths that are great for creating ambient music :

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I would also have a look at wusik station as well.


I am also thinking of getting dimension pro (you can get dimension LE for Ģ5 on the cakewalk site).

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I would also check these two free synths out :

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Old 05-18-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Originally Posted by Crystalline View Post
Of course i canīt obviously purchase all of the things he has, but i would like to know wich main music software he uses. i see alot of names, but i dont know wich ones are music production programs.
Native Instruments has some good products for ambient (eg Absynth, FM8). Spetrasonics Omnisphere is fantastic for ambient as well. EWQL mostly makes orchestral libraries and wouldn't be my first choice for ambient. Camel Audio makes Alchemy which is idea for ambient. Arturia makes a lot of clone VSTs -- that also wouldn't be my first choice personally.

Solar Fields also lists a "hybrid" (software that runs on custom DSP cards) under FX, UAD cards, and curiously lists Kyma -- a pretty hardcore DSP development environment -- under hardware as well (perhaps he has one of the stand-alone boxes).

Truth is, though, you can make ambient with anything. If you want a commercial software library, either Omnisphere or Alchemy would be fantastic starting points... a large amount of interesting presets but also a lot of power under the hood when you are wanting to dive in. (I personally use Omnisphere.) There's also a lot of interesting free VSTs out there if you aren't quite willing to pay for something yet.

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Old 05-18-2011, 03:35 PM   #12
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Here is a little something called 'Temper' that I recomend if you wanna save some cash on your DAW.

It's a bit like Reaper with the never ending, unrestricted, trial period for your own private use but unlike Reaper it is a very in depth midi environment. It also has a vst version so you can use it as a plugin if you crave more midi control than your DAW provides.

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Old 05-19-2011, 02:54 AM   #13
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Lots of field recording, blended trough live + reaktor, awesome for those background sounds

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:23 AM   #14
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

The best quality stuff for ambient music that I've heard so far has been Native Instruments' VSTs like Absynth and FM8, but I'm sure there's better stuff out there.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Vanguard is good as well.

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Old 05-19-2011, 05:05 PM   #16
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

lol it starts to look like a ''name as much software as you can'' thread

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Old 05-20-2011, 01:22 AM   #17
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Native Instruments Absynth is definitely pro for making ambient. Also, I don't have it myself, but Spectrasonics Omnisphere is fantastic for ambient. Our very own Claymore/Aaron Goodwyn uses it, and he's an ambient mastermind.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #18
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

I would also really recommend getting a microphone and an interface for recording sounds. I use a netbook because it is portable and I can go into the forest to record sounds. I use a heavy amount of recorded sounds in my tracks along with synthesis. For a daw I use Reaper and Renoise. They complement each other very well. I would recommend Reaper if you are just starting out because it is so cheap and so awesome. Getting Reaper would get you up and running in no time. Then start looking for free plugins on KVR and other stand alone apps for sound design. A lot of time you can find cool apps that were written for college doctorates and then are given away for free. I use paulstretch a lot and it's awesome. Also check out spear.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #19
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

Crystal is a great free synth for ambient, google it you will not regret downloading it, also you will need a good reverb modual, if you have the money, Go for Lexicon, if not I am sure there are some good free ones out there. I use and love absynth, if you are willing to pay agian, a better route is to go hardware synth but this is more money and sounds much better, (there are a few advantages to programming software synths though) also get some kind of recording device, I use my Iphone and it sounds fine to me after I ad reverb and EQing, also A DAW will help Ableton to me is the most interfacing and ultimatly has the most advantages. altough if you get reason It is both a DAW and has all the synths that you will need for ambient and sounds better with less production knowledge, However Ableton in the end is better because it has more features and can be set up more complexly, I don't know who the swedish person is but he probably uses hardware synths which are expensive. Reason is made by swedish people and fuction is basically an emulator of the types of hardware that a producer like him would have. It even looks and sets up like them.

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Old 06-10-2011, 12:22 PM   #20
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Re: Software For Ambient Music?

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Crystal is a great free synth for ambient
Never heard of this one surprisingly (I have a multitude of soft synths). I was looking into going into full on synths, but every time I think of doing it I find that there is so much I can still do with the soft synths, and there are a load of fantastic free ones surfacing too.

Will do a search for this on and see what it's like.

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