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"Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Nayrb - 08-31-2018

Hi everybody,

I'm in need of some practical advice. I've attached a link to a little ambient interlude idea I had. It's nothing but a quick idea yet, but I'm shooting for a sort of ambient interlude that is more atmosphere than song, and what I have represented here is essentially an exercise in the "sparseness" that I'm going for.

The idea is that there is a sort of intentionally fake "cosmic sea" or "wind" noise that eats up most of the space, and then some percussion. The sea/wind is Synth1 run through Valhalla Vintage Verb and is supposed to be the most "vast" sounding part, while the taiko and ewe / toke metals are just my attempt to add some color and depth (what I would like to try is a clunky, atonal windchime, but I don't have any samples of one yet). They are running into Valhalla Room with a rather short, "roomy" setting that I think might be a bit too wide sounding for what I'm going for. My thought is that these elements need to be drier than the synth, otherwise they don't give the impression of being out in some open space, though leaving them totally dry doesn't really do it for me, either.

So this is a bit outside the usual VO conversation, but I'm looking for thoughts and tips on the same core stuff--panning, reverb, etc. Thoughts on how to make it an interesting ambient track are encouraged, too. This is basically just me screwing around right now.

I noticed it's a bit quiet (which explains why the waveform isn't showing up, maybe?) so you might have to crank it (sorry).


https://instaud.io/2CAt


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - sinaptica - 08-31-2018

Hi,

I like it, some thoughts...

I would try to make the stereo image of the noise waves wider,  enclosing the percussion space. Could be a good idea to use a m/s compressor to compress the middle and leave the sides untouched.
I would use several layers of different filtered noise (automating each filter to add interest and variation), experiment with different send levels of each layer to the reverb (without early reflections, 0 predelay)
Try making the percussion much more wet (as in 70~100% wet), but with a reverb that is composed 100% of early reflections, then send the output of this reverb to the other one which is only tail, to taste.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Nayrb - 09-01-2018

(08-31-2018, 08:42 PM)sinaptica Wrote: Hi,

I like it, some thoughts...

I would try to make the stereo image of the noise waves wider,  enclosing the percussion space. Could be a good idea to use a m/s compressor to compress the middle and leave the sides untouched.
I would use several layers of different filtered noise (automating each filter to add interest and variation), experiment with different send levels of each layer to the reverb (without early reflections, 0 predelay)
Try making the percussion much more wet (as in 70~100% wet), but with a reverb that is composed 100% of early reflections, then send the output of this reverb to the other one which is only tail, to taste.

Thanks for the feedback. These are precisely the sort of things I didn't even think to try, so I will have a crack at it first thing in the AM. I was already working on multiple layers of the noise but hadn't quite perfected the handling of the patch I made and it was getting to sound rather cluttered rather than spacious. Maybe the comp and stereo imaging will help with that.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - sinaptica - 09-01-2018

(09-01-2018, 02:41 AM)Nayrb Wrote: Thanks for the feedback. These are precisely the sort of things I didn't even think to try, so I will have a crack at it first thing in the AM. I was already working on multiple layers of the noise but hadn't quite perfected the handling of the patch I made and it was getting to sound rather cluttered rather than spacious. Maybe the comp and stereo imaging will help with that.

Playing with noise is tricky.
When making ambient the reverb is vital, but things can go muddy fast.
EQ'ing the reverb input is a good idea sometimes.

Delays are cleaner, sometimes forgotten, and can be used to make things sound huge. Tape delays are a great thing to play with.
Try delays in parallel to the reverb, delays before a reverb or even after it, limitless possibilities.

This thing is amazing for ambient (and free!): https://valhalladsp.com/shop/delay/valhalla-freq-echo/
Valhalla Shimmer is a beast out of this world, but not free.

Here is an ambient masterpiece (IMHO).
A lecture on how to use reverb and make sparseness interesting ...





Notice the creative use of the dry/wet mix (0:36 and 0:50) and the constant manipulation of the stereo image.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Nayrb - 09-01-2018

I have the Freq-Echo, actually. I will have to mess with it in this context. Delay is a good idea. I think there is delay on the pad (there usually is for me) but I'll have to see about maybe adding post. I have the demo of Shimmer, though already owning two Valhalla reverbs I might not jump to buying yet another before I've had a chance to try out the possibilities I already have access to.

That's a cool track, and definitely as you say, an exercise in "sparseness." We'll see what I can come up with. Sadly my day was filled up before I could even get to the computer, so it'll have to be tomorrow.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - sinaptica - 09-01-2018

Damn, I meant ubermod, not shimmer...


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Nayrb - 09-01-2018

(09-01-2018, 04:49 PM)sinaptica Wrote: Damn, I meant ubermod, not shimmer...

No worries! I think I have enough effects to work with at the moment anyway, but all this will go into notes for later reference.

I might avoid M/S Comp for the present and just see what I can do with multiple instances of the synth and panning. So far I think there is too much going on in the patch I made to really be helped by any such processing and it's just resulting in a general gutting of the sound, though I do detect a hint of increased stereo separation.

I wonder, too, if some more EQ on the samples might give it more of an "enveloped" sound, as you say. Again, I tread carefully there, though I will experiment with a more ER-centric approach.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - The Darris - 09-05-2019

Hey Nayrb,

Great piece and I think the suggestions already mentioned are good advice for ya. I wanted to chime in and just see if you are familiar with the works of John Luther Adams (not the minimalist John Adams). He's written a lot of orchestral music designed to reflection certain atmospheres and landscapes. Become Ocean is one of his most famous works which won the Pulitzer in 2014. He's been a huge influence of mine and I think you'd find some really cool elements to inspire you, especially if you want to create textural pieces like this. Anyway, check him out and thanks for sharing your work here!

Best,

Chris


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Nayrb - 09-06-2019

(09-05-2019, 06:02 PM)The Darris Wrote: Hey Nayrb,

Great piece and I think the suggestions already mentioned are good advice for ya. I wanted to chime in and just see if you are familiar with the works of John Luther Adams (not the minimalist John Adams). He's written a lot of orchestral music designed to reflection certain atmospheres and landscapes. Become Ocean is one of his most famous works which won the Pulitzer in 2014. He's been a huge influence of mine and I think you'd find some really cool elements to inspire you, especially if you want to create textural pieces like this. Anyway, check him out and thanks for sharing your work here!

Best,

Chris

Thanks! I have indeed listened to Become Ocean though not recently. It was great as I recall. I'll have to check it out again.

I haven't spent much time with this track since the time of posting; but, I have been using windy synth patches in pure synth experiments, trying to learn a bit about "Berlin School" style music. Just assinging the panning to the LFO is already adding a bit of life to some of my patches.


RE: "Ambient" and "Environment" Tracks - Terry93D - 09-06-2019

(09-06-2019, 01:55 AM)Nayrb Wrote:
(09-05-2019, 06:02 PM)The Darris Wrote: ~snip

Thanks! I have indeed listened to Become Ocean though not recently. It was great as I recall. I'll have to check it out again.

I love Become Ocean. Such a beautiful, gorgeous piece of music.