Which synthesizer is most suitable for ambient music?

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chk071
KVRAF
33355 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:02 am

I think the OP should be pretty much set by now. :)

Oh wait, lemme find my list...

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tehlord
KVRAF
8132 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:41 am

LFO8 wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:31 am Love it. Cheers. One of my regrets to not start piano at an early age.
Nothing at all stopping you now tbh. My current keyboard skills probably sit at grade 3-5, so nothing spectacular at all. If you put a bit of practice in every day, that's achievable in a relatively short space of time.

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LFO8
KVRian
856 posts since 21 Jul, 2012

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:24 am

True. I'm ok doing my scales on the keyboard. Som basic triads also, but not enough muscle memory to naturally let a whole piece flow. What's your take on apps like FlowKey? Or best to have a teacher sit with you?

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wagtunes
KVRAF
21013 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:08 am

An interesting read for anybody who really wants to dive into ambient music. Tons of sub genres. Honestly, IMO, defining ambient music, today, is meaningless, as it has expanded to the point where almost anything goes. I'm sure a number of my pieces could be considered a sub genre of traditional ambient, though I never personally looked at them that way.

Here are a few.

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/libra

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/sagittarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/aquarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/pisces

These are all from my CD The Zodiac Crimes. Now we could argue all day about whether or not these are "classic" ambient pieces (they are not, trust me) but they certainly have many elements of the genre and are difficult in their own right to pigeon hole them anywhere. But a lot of my music is like that.

You'd be hard pressed to guess what synths/instruments I was using for these pieces. You might be surprised to discover that many of them aren't associated with traditional ambient. And that's kind of the point. Asking what synth is good for ambient is kind of like asking what kind of food is good for staying healthy. It would be easier to list the foods that AREN'T healthy.

martinjuenke
KVRAF
6090 posts since 28 Dec, 2015 from Hanover, Germany

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:16 am

wagtunes wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:08 am An interesting read for anybody who really wants to dive into ambient music. Tons of sub genres. Honestly, IMO, defining ambient music, today, is meaningless, as it has expanded to the point where almost anything goes. I'm sure a number of my pieces could be considered a sub genre of traditional ambient, though I never personally looked at them that way.

Here are a few.

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/libra

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/sagittarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/aquarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/pisces

These are all from my CD The Zodiac Crimes. Now we could argue all day about whether or not these are "classic" ambient pieces (they are not, trust me) but they certainly have many elements of the genre and are difficult in their own right to pigeon hole them anywhere. But a lot of my music is like that.

You'd be hard pressed to guess what synths/instruments I was using for these pieces. You might be surprised to discover that many of them aren't associated with traditional ambient. And that's kind of the point. Asking what synth is good for ambient is kind of like asking what kind of food is good for staying healthy. It would be easier to list the foods that AREN'T healthy.
Your Soundcloud avatar looks far better than the KVR one!

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wagtunes
KVRAF
21013 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:50 am

martinjuenke wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:16 am
wagtunes wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:08 am An interesting read for anybody who really wants to dive into ambient music. Tons of sub genres. Honestly, IMO, defining ambient music, today, is meaningless, as it has expanded to the point where almost anything goes. I'm sure a number of my pieces could be considered a sub genre of traditional ambient, though I never personally looked at them that way.

Here are a few.

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/libra

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/sagittarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/aquarius

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim/pisces

These are all from my CD The Zodiac Crimes. Now we could argue all day about whether or not these are "classic" ambient pieces (they are not, trust me) but they certainly have many elements of the genre and are difficult in their own right to pigeon hole them anywhere. But a lot of my music is like that.

You'd be hard pressed to guess what synths/instruments I was using for these pieces. You might be surprised to discover that many of them aren't associated with traditional ambient. And that's kind of the point. Asking what synth is good for ambient is kind of like asking what kind of food is good for staying healthy. It would be easier to list the foods that AREN'T healthy.
Your Soundcloud avatar looks far better than the KVR one!
Someone made that one for me as a joke so I kept it to show I have a sense of humor.

susquash
KVRist
34 posts since 3 Dec, 2022

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 1:53 pm

Not really a synthesizer, but you should take a look as native instruments playbox.
You can create some amazing ambient tones from it.

trusampler
KVRAF
1631 posts since 2 Jul, 2007

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:24 pm

It’s not the synth. It’s how you evoke the emotion of sound in general. Start learning more about effects, shimmers and delays. Pitch shifting and transpose are your friends
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ghettosynth
KVRAF
14092 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:49 pm

You need rocks. Well, really you only need rocks, and a good mic. No, make that any mic.

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astralprojection
Banned
365 posts since 30 Jun, 2019

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:51 pm

wagtunes wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:50 am Someone made that one for me as a joke so I kept it to show I have a sense of humor.
Yeah you're a funny ol guy

SantaClaus
KVRer
29 posts since 29 Sep, 2021

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:59 pm

You'd be surprised how little synths are used in today's ambient music.
It's often things like field recordings, noise generators, some VSTs like Cycles, Landforms or orchestral stuff, lots of granular and tape saturation, and then freeze your tracks plus EchoBoy on it.

People talk about reverb in ambient, but there is way less than what people imagine. It's just they're stuck 40 years ago where ambient meant pad + reverb and delay. Andrew Tasselmyer is the perfect example of how today's ambient/soundscape music can sound like.

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astralprojection
Banned
365 posts since 30 Jun, 2019

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:10 pm

Damn that is indeed surprising

ghettosynth
KVRAF
14092 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:15 pm

SantaClaus wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:59 pm You'd be surprised how little synths are used in today's ambient music.
It's often things like field recordings, noise generators, some VSTs like Cycles, Landforms or orchestral stuff, lots of granular and tape saturation, and then freeze your tracks plus EchoBoy on it.

People talk about reverb in ambient, but there is way less than what people imagine. It's just they're stuck 40 years ago where ambient meant pad + reverb and delay. Andrew Tasselmyer is the perfect example of how today's ambient/soundscape music can sound like.
Exactly. I know that it sounds like I was joking about the rock, but not really.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
22832 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:31 pm

SantaClaus wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:59 pm You'd be surprised how little synths are used in today's ambient music.
It's often things like field recordings, noise generators, some VSTs like Cycles, Landforms or orchestral stuff, lots of granular and tape saturation, and then freeze your tracks plus EchoBoy on it.

People talk about reverb in ambient, but there is way less than what people imagine. It's just they're stuck 40 years ago where ambient meant pad + reverb and delay. Andrew Tasselmyer is the perfect example of how today's ambient/soundscape music can sound like.
I use field recordings, synths to make various inharmonic tones and noises, not so big on granular myself. I use my voice, manipulated recordings of some acoustic instruments. I don't use a ton of reverb and only on some sounds and not others.

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Boy Wonder
KVRian
526 posts since 30 Jan, 2021

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:47 pm

As an ambient musician, it's nice to see this thread is still running. I would've thought that the first page would've been the last.

Two months ago, I was soooooooooooo f**king frustrated with my noisy upstairs neighbour that I actually sat down and composed a piece that would bring calm my nerves. It worked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Oboe_Payw
If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit.

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