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Feel guilty when making ambient music?
Old 12th July 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Feel guilty when making ambient music?

I feel so dirty when I make big, spacey ambient music. I can usually crank out a relatively complex pad sound and let that play out for a 1:30 and call that a track. I really like this minimalist approach to ambient soundscapes, but I feel so guilty. It justs seems too simple to me. I feel like a phony. Anyone else feel this way? Advice?
Old 12th July 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Bonkks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That is normal. you should feel guilty, because ambient and drones are worthless drivel.
Old 12th July 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonkks ➑️
That is normal. you should feel guilty, because ambient and drones are worthless drivel.


Perfect reply.

On topic, I don't do this type of music. I intend to with my next round of gear purchases at the end of the year. But I won't do anything that's so simple anyone else can do it. Even with ambient you can imbue countless layers of complexity and nuance. THAT'S where the art comes in imo. You want the listener, especial those who can actively hear music to go "wow" how did he pull that off, or say "damn that is really cool".

If you can't do that with your ambient or drones you are doing it wrong imo.
Old 12th July 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Never mind that.

Just keep making music, and make it as complex or as "simple" as it wants to be. Never accept second best for the tune when you know it just needs more work to get where it needs to be.
Old 12th July 2013
  #5
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silent5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As readers of this forum, aren't we all supposed to feel like guilty cheaters because we employ electronic instruments and computers and therefore aren't real musicians?

Last edited by silent5; 12th July 2013 at 04:02 AM.. Reason: , comma, splice,
Old 12th July 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
"I feel so dirty when I make big, spacey ambient music."

Started laughing right there

Ambientguiltosis, it's a thing


But if you don't feel dirty when you're making music you're not doing it right. I feel filthy pretty much everyday.
Old 12th July 2013
  #7
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anigbrowl's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
About an hour ago I recorded 5 minutes of ambient noodling and I feel fine about it. It's not like my cat can sue for performance royalties, even though he played all the notes.

Edit: after listening to it again I ended reprocessing the file ITB for a good hour and uploaded it, but I did give him credit in the title.

Old 12th July 2013
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Bonkks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's cool as long as there is some sort of legitimate musical idea. I personally can't stand just noise that doesn't go anywhere.
Old 12th July 2013
  #9
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Westlaker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If droolmaster0 comes into this thread he's going to have a f-cking field day.
Old 12th July 2013
  #10
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bil_g's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years


Old 12th July 2013
  #11
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gremlin moon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I am a big proponent of short-form ambient -- phrases, loops, drones, soundscapes and soundesigns that are usually less than 2 minutes.

At its lowest, ambient can abuse the listener's trust by evolving too slowly and at the end not delivering. In the modern age it is not fair to force a listener to sit through a 25 minute filter sweep to decide if this is for them. It also brings sound design and composition forward -- much like viewing a sculpture or painting. Ambient should not equal boring -- ever. Then, if trust is built up, longform pieces naturally enter the equation.

For me an example is Steve Roach/Robert Rich's Soma album or FSOL's Lifeforms. Those are interlocked shortform pieces that create a relationship of trust with the listener that allow the listener to feel much more comfortable investing time with those artists' more abstract and subtle works.
Old 12th July 2013
  #12
Gear Head
 
m127e's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Well, there is "ambient", and then there is ambient.
Old 12th July 2013
  #13
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natefrogg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
just sit on e minor for days with the lfo set as low as it can go, love that chord hold function so i can go grab a coffee
Old 12th July 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
why feel guilty, at least you made the pad and didn't just download a pack of pad loops or something.

i personally only feel guilty when using loops out of sample packs, i don't even really feel guilty grabbing a loop off a record but tend to chop that shit up.
Old 12th July 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Just add a bit of the OTO magick
Old 12th July 2013
  #16
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natefrogg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
nice one chaosium, yes man that is the idea
Old 12th July 2013
  #17
Registered User
 
🎧 5 years
ΒΏ...guilty...?
ΒΏΒΏ..."dirty"...??

Heck - NO!

Paul
Old 12th July 2013
  #18
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choond's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Its really called` new age' music- you know, the stuff hippies and wiccans listen to, with wild intense eyes, as they try to convince you of the existance of magical unicorns and fairies in little hats.

This is why you feel guilty.
Old 12th July 2013
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Music is music. Whether it's Bach on a piano or 303 or blues on a guitar.

I make music which happens to be ambient drone because I like the genre and have from an early age.

Call the cops. My total inability as a musician has nothing to do with it.
Old 12th July 2013
  #20
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spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There is ambient, and there is ambient, yes.

There is boring bland ambient, and then there is ambient that is very complex in it's nuances, where the action happens at microscopic levels instead of macroscopic, a bit like a painting that explores all the possible nuances of a single color instead of using the whole rainbow palette in a superficial way.

Some of the best works are of Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Harold Budd, early Klaus Schulze, Thom Brennan, some of the more experimental works of David Sylvian, even some Max Richter neo-classical compositions could qualify as ambient, etc..
Old 12th July 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
no shame
noodling with the juno6 over the mc 303 keeping my sanity pretending im blade runner
Old 12th July 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
To be honest I feel like I'm cheating when I write a 16 bar bassline and a generic beat, which is why I don't do it.

Creating proper ambience with a lot of depth and texture and some musicality is a lot harder then writing 'a catchy riff'

It depends what you my ambience, if you just mean a couple of pads, yes thats shit, if you mean a different dimension that's good.

Here's a link to something I made last week, features a lot of textures and ambience and subtle tonality.

https://gearspace.com/board/9196355-post80.html

Skip to about 2:50. There's about 10 different 'instrument' layers in that section, some real instruments, some VST, some HW.
Old 12th July 2013
  #23
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by supercool482 ➑️
relatively complex pad sound
...
this minimalist approach
No, that's a lazy approach. You set up the right conditions, and then don't do anything anymore (or do as little as possible) Of course, you can put all the effort in setting up the right conditions (like building an aleatoric patch on a modular) so "lazy" is perhaps the wrong word.

You don't get points for effort in music.
Old 12th July 2013
  #24
Deleted d3a268b
Guest
that's why there is a difference between 'songwriting' and the ability to place a weight on a keyboard and hit record.

The former removes all guilt.
Old 12th July 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Anyway, bottom line is that some others like it and you do it.
Old 12th July 2013
  #26
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
The genre is not relevant - If an artist feels guilty about what he's presenting to the listener, they shouldn't offer it to one in the first place. Whether or not you succeed in fooling the listener, you know you didn't invest the time that you should have to make it as good as it could have been. If you're happy with the work, by all means present it to others, but it doesn't sound like you are.
Old 12th July 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
tehlord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I feel guilty with this one.

The project is embarrassingly sparse yet people seem to adore it.

Don't get me wrong, I do dig it but I feel like it's simplicity should be revealed.

Old 12th July 2013 | Show parent
  #28
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spaceman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
" The notes you don't play are as important as the notes you play " or something like that... Miles Davis

If you feel guilty, just play all the notes on your keyboard and you'll be safe...
Old 12th July 2013 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin moon ➑️
I am a big proponent of short-form ambient -- phrases, loops, drones, soundscapes and soundesigns that are usually less than 2 minutes.

At its lowest, ambient can abuse the listener's trust by evolving too slowly and at the end not delivering. In the modern age it is not fair to force a listener to sit through a 25 minute filter sweep to decide if this is for them. It also brings sound design and composition forward -- much like viewing a sculpture or painting. Ambient should not equal boring -- ever. Then, if trust is built up, longform pieces naturally enter the equation.

For me an example is Steve Roach/Robert Rich's Soma album or FSOL's Lifeforms. Those are interlocked shortform pieces that create a relationship of trust with the listener that allow the listener to feel much more comfortable investing time with those artists' more abstract and subtle works.
This is a great thread.

I agree about the 25 minute filter sweeps
He may feel guilty while I feel jealous that he got away with a 25 minute filter sweep.
Old 12th July 2013
  #30
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
why guilty? do the music you enjoy, that's all. nothing wrong with filter sweeps nice and long, good drones, or just interesting field recordings.
i don't see guilty dub... upps, i mean brostep producers who just push and mangle a poor robot in their cellar.
if it's because of business, take the money and run.
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