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Making ambient

My approach to creating ambient music involves the following resources:

  • Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 5
  • preparing the guitar


Check out my post on prepared guitar for an explanation.


Prepared guitar


Guitar Rig 5 and prepared guitar describes my basic rig. I also use…

  • MAX to create either guitar effects, or separate instruments altogether
  • Audiomulch for creating separate instruments


…and two iPad apps:

  • Samplr
  • Curtis


Orchestral soundscapes

This provides me with tremendous resources for creating non-conventional guitar sounds. I combine these sounds with the Boss Loopstation to make soundscapes of orchestral complexity.

I set this up by placing one instrumental section on one of three phrases. “Phrases” are what the Loopstation calls the place where you can record and overdub sounds. You can see them on the lower right of the device.




I’m thinking conceptually here. I don’t use conventional orchestral instruments (although lately I’ve been thinking about it). I create 4 -6 unique sounds for each phrase using the above resources. Then I arrange and overdub them.

Each sound can be either a prepared guitar sound processed through Guitar Rig or MAX, or sounds created in Audiomulch, Samplr, or Curtis. Then I can fade sections in and out as desired while playing a live part against them.

There’s a lot of detail to talk about. In future posts I’ll describe the materials I’ve mentioned here in some detail.





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