nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

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nightsof25
KVRer
19 posts since 22 Sep, 2019

Post Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:58 am

https://soundcloud.com/nightsof25/wintersnow-ambient

My first try with ambient music. I'd love to get some feedback, mostly on the arrangement. Mixing is still obviously an issue but for this I kind of just want to know how the music holds up.

Thanks!

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17615 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:30 am

Okay, as you said, the mix has some issues. Actually, lots of them. This needs some serious EQ. But musically, it's really hard to evaluate ambient music. One person's "Hey this is great ambient" is another person's "Hey, can you put something in there besides a pad and some percussion?"

I honestly don't know how I feel about this because the mix really needs work so it distracts from the music. But there are some musical elements that I really like. So work on fixing the mix and then we can clearly hear the rest and take it from there. Musically, I don't really think there's a lot to do. I think you're greater work will be on the mix.

nightsof25
KVRer
19 posts since 22 Sep, 2019

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:56 am

wagtunes wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:30 am
Okay, as you said, the mix has some issues. Actually, lots of them. This needs some serious EQ. But musically, it's really hard to evaluate ambient music. One person's "Hey this is great ambient" is another person's "Hey, can you put something in there besides a pad and some percussion?"

I honestly don't know how I feel about this because the mix really needs work so it distracts from the music. But there are some musical elements that I really like. So work on fixing the mix and then we can clearly hear the rest and take it from there. Musically, I don't really think there's a lot to do. I think you're greater work will be on the mix.
I appreciate the honest feedback. If the mix is the major problem, then I guess that's what I should focus on in the future. Thanks!

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15241 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:48 am

nightsof25 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:58 am
https://soundcloud.com/nightsof25/wintersnow-ambient

My first try with ambient music. I'd love to get some feedback, mostly on the arrangement. Mixing is still obviously an issue but for this I kind of just want to know how the music holds up.

Thanks!
A really pretty piece, man! Not really seeing too many mix problems. The veiled pianos/keys and pads are perfectly suited to the theme of a a veiled, snow-covered landscape. Nice use of different spaces, for contrast, though I'd probably give the percussion line a bit more top-end to cut through a bit more to amplify that contrast a bit more.

Great job :tu:

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biodiode
KVRian
574 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from UK

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:13 am

The muffled sound works well for capturing a scene, possible a little too much reverb high end but that's probably a taste thing more than anything actually wrong. I wouldn't worry too much about calling this ambient, half my tracks I call ambient but others see it as synthwave or electronica. Ambient has such a wide range of styles and this one fits in nicely.
Check out more of my work at https://www.adrianearnshaw.com where you will find tips, tricks on the blog and more of my compositions.

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15241 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:31 am

biodiode wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:13 am
The muffled sound works well for capturing a scene, possible a little too much reverb high end but that's probably a taste thing more than anything actually wrong. I wouldn't worry too much about calling this ambient, half my tracks I call ambient but others see it as synthwave or electronica. Ambient has such a wide range of styles and this one fits in nicely.
This is always a hotly contested topic, but in my opinion most of what people post as ambient is Electronica or New-Age, just with ambient elements thrown in.

For clarity's sake, I think it's a good idea to defer to the guy who coined the term:

Eno describes ambience as “an atmosphere, a tint...designed to induce calm and space to think”. He also points to its non-intrusive qualities in declaring that “it must be ignorable as it is interesting”, or in other words, be able to be used for background or foreground listening depending on the listeners needs.

nightsof25
KVRer
19 posts since 22 Sep, 2019

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:42 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:31 am
biodiode wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:13 am
The muffled sound works well for capturing a scene, possible a little too much reverb high end but that's probably a taste thing more than anything actually wrong. I wouldn't worry too much about calling this ambient, half my tracks I call ambient but others see it as synthwave or electronica. Ambient has such a wide range of styles and this one fits in nicely.
This is always a hotly contested topic, but in my opinion most of what people post as ambient is Electronica or New-Age, just with ambient elements thrown in.

For clarity's sake, I think it's a good idea to defer to the guy who coined the term:

Eno describes ambience as “an atmosphere, a tint...designed to induce calm and space to think”. He also points to its non-intrusive qualities in declaring that “it must be ignorable as it is interesting”, or in other words, be able to be used for background or foreground listening depending on the listeners needs.
Very vague description. The last part describes pretty much any music that's quiet enough. Now that we're on that point, what is the difference between downtempo and ambient? I frequently see those tags as being separate when browsing music but I don't really get the difference.

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15241 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: nightsof25 - wintersnow [ambient]

Post Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:37 am

nightsof25 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:42 am
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:31 am
biodiode wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:13 am
The muffled sound works well for capturing a scene, possible a little too much reverb high end but that's probably a taste thing more than anything actually wrong. I wouldn't worry too much about calling this ambient, half my tracks I call ambient but others see it as synthwave or electronica. Ambient has such a wide range of styles and this one fits in nicely.
This is always a hotly contested topic, but in my opinion most of what people post as ambient is Electronica or New-Age, just with ambient elements thrown in.

For clarity's sake, I think it's a good idea to defer to the guy who coined the term:

Eno describes ambience as “an atmosphere, a tint...designed to induce calm and space to think”. He also points to its non-intrusive qualities in declaring that “it must be ignorable as it is interesting”, or in other words, be able to be used for background or foreground listening depending on the listeners needs.
Very vague description. The last part describes pretty much any music that's quiet enough. Now that we're on that point, what is the difference between downtempo and ambient? I frequently see those tags as being separate when browsing music but I don't really get the difference.
It really has nothing to do with volume, although if it were to be played way too loud it would be really intrusive.

Focus on the "ignorable" part. He's really instilling the idea that nothing should pull focus, and that there should really be nothing to grab onto. This is contrary to what most composers/musicians/producers are trying to do i.e Their intention is to create some form of hook; be it a melody that you won't be able to get out of your head, or a beat that has you unconsciously tapping your feet.

Encouraging people towards a relaxed state when using the general trappings of 'popular' music is fraught with difficulties. Add any kind of beat and you run into the problem of encouraging people to move, rather than relax. And the beat gives it a rigid framework and repetition (Suddenly we're on a grid/timeline). Also there's the issue of beats dating music, which can be another annoyance, and not relaxing in the slightest.

There is a duality when he talks of the music also being interesting. From a distance i.e as background music in an airport, there is an awareness of what it is, and hopefully an interest in the sounds and the moods. Despite it being almost shapeless, there is some granularity if you concentrate on it; Kinda like wallpaper that has random delicate ribbing. From a distance it's just pleasant looking wallpaper, but up-close you can enjoy the small amount of detail in it's relief/terrain.

A good way of experiencing Ambient is via Eno's iOS apps (One is called Bloom, and I forget the others). It's really engaging to set off random motions without having any real influence on their flow or destination.

And also by listening to his music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNwYtllyt3Q
nightsof25 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:42 am
What is the difference between downtempo and ambient?
One is Ambient, and the other is not :wink:

One major clue is in the naming of the genre: Downtempo actually has a tempo :shrug: And even if there aren't what most people would call 'beats', there is going to be some kind of pulse that keeps time, and provides the framework for everything to sit inside. And no matter how chilled your step, you can still dance to Downtempo. Not so much with Ambient music.

A lot of music gets passed off as Ambient, that is probably better off being regarded as 'New Age'. And bad New Age music has ruined many a relaxation session :scared:

Anyway, this is just my interpretation, laced with the opinions of others' that are far more experienced with the genre than I am. I actually find it very difficult to write Ambient music, as it involves really letting go of so many conventions. After creating such beautiful wide open/formless spaces (If I even get as far as that), it doesn't take long for me to try and fill it with some kind of harmony or melody.

I'm sure I will try again :tu:

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