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Battlegun

Tips for Creating Ambient Songs?

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Hi everyone! I have been interested lately in composing ambient tracks and I was wondering what suggestions or tricks have worked for you when writing these pieces. Recently, I created this ambient song, "Sign of The Coming Judgement", and I've heard that I sound a bit like Jeremy Soule. Enjoy listening!

 

Sign of The Coming Judgement

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The hardest part of creating ambient music is keeping the ego out of it. It's a lot like minimalism, where you give up a certain amount of control in order to fit into a genre. Which is basically not intuitive because it natural for composers to put themselves into their work, more so for minimalism, but to a lesser extent for ambient. At the very least it requires a definate slowing down of ego and compositional intent. So the phrases and gestures are slow as yours are here, probably even slower! Check out Michael Stearns and the films he's contributed to for examples.

I enjoyed the work here. Very nice.

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Well, composition-wise, sounds like you've got it down pretty well. Drones, synth chords, etc. But for me, when I think ambient, I think less "musical" but still resembling music.

The easiest way to create ambient sounds to take any sort of sound source, and run it into a HUGE reverb, no pre-delay, long decay time and no dry signal sent to the master what so ever.

Also, take some audio from a sound source, and stretch it out. You can also reverse sounds. 

Not to hijack your thread, but to demonstrate the tips I'm talking about, I used all of them in one of my old ambient tracks I created for Halloween 😃

 

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14 hours ago, Battlegun said:

Hi everyone! I have been interested lately in composing ambient tracks and I was wondering what suggestions or tricks have worked for you when writing these pieces. Recently, I created this ambient song, "Sign of The Coming Judgement", and I've heard that I sound a bit like Jeremy Soule. Enjoy listening!

 

Sign of The Coming Judgement

 

I'd keep the piano out of it.

It's too sharp for my opinion.

Other than that you did great.

Near the end it really sounded a bit like Skyrim.

I wonder what the next Elder Scrolls soundtrack would be like.

 

About ambients:

I don't really do it that much but when I do I try to play with soft pads and atmosphere effects.

Will take a screenshot in a moment.

Also try to use expanded chords if possible.

I heard that ambients should have at least five voices, in order to feel "full".

 

image.thumb.png.4b86d6f0adf1dcd5bb709eda06b60f1c.png

You can see that I didn't use 5 voices here.

There are some expanded chords of course but I wanted the track to feel empty

(except for the background soft drums that keep some of the tension in the back of the player's mind).

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20 hours ago, Battlegun said:

Hi everyone! I have been interested lately in composing ambient tracks and I was wondering what suggestions or tricks have worked for you when writing these pieces. Recently, I created this ambient song, "Sign of The Coming Judgement", and I've heard that I sound a bit like Jeremy Soule. Enjoy listening!

 

Sign of The Coming Judgement

 

Nice music! I loved it!

I add this tip to "technical" tips : Ambient music describes environment, so I think you should use "inner feelings" to create it. For example, I'm not a sad or highly depressed person, but I prefer to make music when I feel depressed/melancholic. So my music can reflex that (you can hear my music by searching my profile).

And as a technical tip, if you play guitar, use every reverb effect you have, just kidding (worst joke ever), But Playing with FX can help you get your desired tone. One of my most favorites is "Shimmer reverb". It's basically a reverb (Room/Plate/Hall) with "Pitch-shifted" feedback. So, you can have great harmonies!

Regards.

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