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Synth for Space Ambient
Old 14th July 2020
  #121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
I was literally listening to Derelicts when I saw your post. I'm on a CBL binge lately. Great interview.
I can't believe I haven't come across this interview before.

It's very interesting the vibes I felt from this album and to see which synths they used on each track listed in the vinyl centrefold below. It almost convinces me of the case for a Prophet 12, almost.
Attached Thumbnails
Synth for Space Ambient-derelicts1.jpg   Synth for Space Ambient-derelicts2.jpg  
Old 14th July 2020
  #122
Blofeld + Andromeda by Kilon:


Blofeld by Kilon:
Old 14th July 2020
  #123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
I actually tried a Blofeld earlier in this thread but it wasn't my cup of tea.
To me it looks like you just tried Blofeld factory presets which are - just factory presets, and judging a synth only by that was rather unfortunate thing to do.

The interview with Carbon Based Lifeforms sounds like it is intended for their music fans, rather than for music producers. Because way over 50% of their sound is a reverb tail, yet they spent a total of 0 minutes and 0 seconds talking about it in this interview. Then naive people come and watch these interviews and think if they get a synth XYZ they will sound like Carbon Based Lifeforms. Well, that just doesn't work.
Old 14th July 2020
  #124
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As starter a Deepmind12 is a good choice since it's price/performance is very nice. The synth itself is relatively simple and if you want to dive deeper you can get lost in the effects section. The synth leans very heavily on the effects as well and the TC electronics reverb is top notch.

In general I would say it's more about being creative with what you have instead of what you use. You can make space ambient with an old DX7 and a reverb unit. Brian Eno got famous for that.
Old 14th July 2020
  #125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
To me it looks like you just tried Blofeld factory presets which are - just factory presets, and judging a synth only by that was rather unfortunate thing to do.

The interview with Carbon Based Lifeforms sounds like it is intended for their music fans, rather than for music producers. Because way over 50% of their sound is a reverb tail, yet they spent a total of 0 minutes and 0 seconds talking about it in this interview. Then naive people come and watch these interviews and think if they get a synth XYZ they will sound like Carbon Based Lifeforms. Well, that just doesn't work.
The Blofeld I received was actually damaged, which is a part of why it was returned. I do feel it sounds quite cold, judging not only by the presets but all of the videos I've watched, including aftermarket patches.

Admittedly the Blofeld was an impulse buy, hyped up by a few I listened to who said it's perfect for space ambient. I'm sure it is great with vast potential under the hood, as a newbie I just feel I would do better with a more hands on approach and prefer a warmer sound.

Apart from a few, the factory presets in the DeepMind 12 are imo actually worse than the Blofeld, yet I feel to give the DeepMind another chance. I may have only spent a day with the Blofeld but just didn't connect with it; the moment I started playing the DeepMind 12 I was in awe smiling ear to ear.
Old 14th July 2020
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
as a newbie...
...you will get way far away with a Lexicon PCM-80 plus any synth, than the best synth without a proper reverb tail.
Old 14th July 2020
  #127
Gear Head
 

I can't imagine making an ambient music without Waldorfian modifiers.
For this reason, the Blofeld is present in each of my ambient tracks.

Don Solaris, and others are right
What you need first is the reverb tail that fades to silence without degradation.
A such reverb unit doesn’t come cheap, but is a must!

Last edited by moodbrute; 14th July 2020 at 02:21 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 14th July 2020
  #128
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Jake's Avatar
 

You can get space ambient tones from just about any synth and just about any reverb effect. Here's a nice ambient track with a cheap K1m and an EHX Cathedral pedal. I'm not recommending a K1m necessarily but just making the point that your selection of synth for space ambient matters far less than you think it does.

Old 14th July 2020
  #129
Lives for gear
Hi @ Ethereality ,

you are still not looking for the Hydrasynth. I advised you.

best regards
Old 14th July 2020
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake View Post
You can get space ambient tones from just about any synth and just about any reverb effect. Here's a nice ambient track with a cheap K1m and an EHX Cathedral pedal. I'm not recommending a K1m necessarily but just making the point that your selection of synth for space ambient matters far less than you think it does.

I get it, I know I could record a fart and reverb would make it sound like space ambient.

I guess the thread/request for advice is a combination of being new to synthesis and the kind of music I'd like to make, so looking for a synth which is good to learn on, teaches the basics through hands on action and gives good visual feedback, along with perhaps being somewhat suited to ambient music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Behrmoog View Post
Hi @ Ethereality ,

you are still not looking for the Hydrasynth. I advised you.

best regards
I've watched a few videos and found it sounded great yet quite digital. I'll have another listen tonight, it's at the limit of my current budget but can see it's something which will keep me busy for a long time given it's capability. Thanks for re-recommending.
Old 14th July 2020
  #131
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Jake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
I get it, I know I could record a fart and reverb would make it sound like space ambient.

I guess the thread/request for advice is a combination of being new to synthesis and the kind of music I'd like to make, so looking for a synth which is good to learn on, teaches the basics through hands on action and gives good visual feedback, along with perhaps being somewhat suited to ambient music.



I've watched a few videos and found it sounded great yet quite digital. I'll have another listen tonight, it's at the limit of my current budget but can see it's something which will keep me busy for a long time given it's capability. Thanks for re-recommending.
My bad, I should have read the thread more carefully! For someone new to synthesis, I do recommend a subtractive synth. I don't have any experience with it, but on paper the DeepMind 12 does seem to fit the bill and has nice built in effects. My main recommendation is that you stick with whatever synth you get next and really dig into learning the programming as you can get a lot out of almost any synth once you get past the usually weak presets.

For my money, I'd look at getting a used 'virtual analog' synth like the Access Virus b or c, which you should be able to get for less than the Behringer. It's not true analog, but is a very good digital model, and the filters in particular are quite good. The Virus also has a selection of digital waveforms in its oscillators and combined with the extensive modulation routing you can get some cool digital sounds that would probably be impossible with a true analog synth like the DeepMind. I still own and use my original Virus B and it's stil a viable synth.

Between your BigSky and Timeline you should be in good shape for creating ambient synth tracks. It's a very different delay model, but Strymon's Volante is also fantastic for ambient sounds. There are some YouTube videos out there showing what the Volante can do with synths.

Good luck on your journey!
Old 14th July 2020
  #132
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moodbrute View Post
What you need first is the reverb tail that fades to silence without degradation.
Hmm ?
What kind of degradation do you mean ?
If you mean running out of bit depth, then if the digital reverb is calculating at 32 or 64 bit, that requirement should be very easy even for a freebie VST reverb.
Old 14th July 2020
  #133
Gear Addict
Old 14th July 2020
  #134
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I don’t think it can be overstated, the importance of the patch creation/modification workflow. If this is unpleasant, uninspiring, or for any other reason not working for you, it really doesn’t matter how “great” (or even “acceptable”) the synth apparently is.
Old 14th July 2020
  #135
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
...you will get way far away with a Lexicon PCM-80 plus any synth, than the best synth without a proper reverb tail.
As the Lexicon could be hard to come by, are there available alternatives (including any software emulators or replacements)?
Old 14th July 2020
  #137
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
...

I've watched a few videos and found it sounded great yet quite digital. I'll have another listen tonight, it's at the limit of my current budget but can see it's something which will keep me busy for a long time given it's capability. Thanks for re-recommending.
I can again second the Hydrasynth recommendation. The spacey, onboard Cloud reverb is beautiful - and ideal for this genre - fading out with smooth, blissful tails. The wet/dry mix knob lets you push sounds way back and deep into an arrangement/mix to contrast those more upfront sounds. This produces very 3-dimensional soundscapes.

All the onboard envelopes and LFO's and brilliantly designed UI for setting up all manner of modulations make this a sound designers dream synth, facilitating slowly evolving frequencies, tones, textures and timbres that are at the core of cool ambient music, imo.

It can sound VERY WARM & ANALOG and hangs with some killer analog synth in my rig, from Moog, Sequential, Oberheim to Korg, Baloran, etc. Think intelligently implemented (all-digital) CS-80 and you get some idea of the HS's sonic scope (i.e. a Vangelis masterpiece synth).

I also have several outboard reverb units, including a Bricasti M7, Lexicon PCM 92/81/80/70, Eventide H3K & Orville. But, since getting the HS, I decided to make a whole lot of recordings using only the HS's effects, which I find to be quite good, and the recorded results have been truly inspiring, for me. IOW, it's very capable of making complete scores, soundscapes and finished tracks all on its own!
Old 15th July 2020
  #138
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
I can again second the Hydrasynth recommendation. The spacey, onboard Cloud reverb is beautiful - and ideal for this genre - fading out with smooth, blissful tails. The wet/dry mix knob lets you push sounds way back and deep into an arrangement/mix to contrast those more upfront sounds. This produces very 3-dimensional soundscapes.
Damn you guys just sent me down a GAS rabbit hole! Is the keyboard version worth holding out for? Would I miss the polyAT keys that much?
Old 15th July 2020
  #139
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkdvb View Post
Damn you guys just sent me down a GAS rabbit hole! Is the keyboard version worth holding out for? Would I miss the polyAT keys that much?
Yes, I really think the PAT-equipped keyboard is worth holding out for. I'm not going to say it's a game changer, but it's really, really, really nice to have this kind of PAT modulation expressivity... plus that ribbon.

I laughed at the HS video just posted in the HS thread, where the (Mix Dr) dude said he never got into AT on synths, at all, and he's been playing since 14 y/o, but the HS's PAT KB sonics have INSTANTLY changed that! And, I totally get it!
Old 15th July 2020
  #140
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I just remembered that the Peak/Summit editor literally has a direct link to the NASA audio library to use as wavetable fodder. If that ain’t space, what it?
Old 15th July 2020
  #141
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bftucker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkdvb View Post
Damn you guys just sent me down a GAS rabbit hole! Is the keyboard version worth holding out for? Would I miss the polyAT keys that much?



We have too many choices. Novation Peak and ASM Hydrasynth!
Old 15th July 2020
  #142
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adydub's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruntbiscuits View Post
As the Lexicon could be hard to come by, are there available alternatives (including any software emulators or replacements)?
I’ve got a pair of Lexicon PCM80s and have tried a lot of plugins and other HW and never quite found the same vibe. There’s something about the delay and reverb working together in that box that sounds unique.

In hardware, I do really like my OTO Bam, the ambient algorithm sounds great for this sort of thing. The Strymon BigSky is often mentioned but I have one and find there’s something a bit unsatisfying, it sounds good at first but rapidly gets tiring on the ear. The Behringer x series mixers supposedly have good Lexicon emulations, never heard anyone do the very wet ambient thing though with them though. I do have a Behringer Rev2496 which sounds surprisingly good for big clean reverbs.

In software land, Valhalla Vintage verb is worth a look. The Exponential Audio R4 has become my go to plug in for something close to the Lexicon sound, it is developed by a guy who used to work for Lexicon, so there’s some shared DNA there. There’s a cleaner, more modern vibe than the PCM80 though. The 2C Audio reverbs are all extremely good too, as are many others, but none quite have that same feel.
Old 15th July 2020
  #143
These days I rarely see an ambient musician without a PCM-80 and one of the bigger Eventides, be it 7600 or an Orville. It is definitely that sound we hear on many ambient recordings.

In the past I too drifted ashore looking "the ambient sound" until one day I've heard Lexicon reverb tail in person and realized: "Aha! So this is how they do it.". And it was kinda no longer interesting after that point. I stopped listening to most of this modern-ambient because it became a bit tiresome listening to the same 15 sec PCM-80 tail on every single piece of music which streams over the ambient radio station aka "Lexicon PCM radio" as i call it. Eventually i drifted into other more exotic reverbs over time, like the Ursa Major but then these are topics of their own...
Old 15th July 2020
  #144
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polybonk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
These days I rarely see an ambient musician without a PCM-80 and one of the bigger Eventides, be it 7600 or an Orville. It is definitely that sound we hear on many ambient recordings.

In the past I too drifted ashore looking "the ambient sound" until one day I've heard Lexicon reverb tail in person and realized: "Aha! So this is how they do it.". And it was kinda no longer interesting after that point. I stopped listening to most of this modern-ambient because it became a bit tiresome listening to the same 15 sec PCM-80 tail on every single piece of music which streams over the ambient radio station aka "Lexicon PCM radio" as i call it. Eventually i drifted into other more exotic reverbs over time, like the Ursa Major but then these are topics of their own...
I hardly have written any spacey long ambient with my Lexicon PCM 81.
When I do its all short vignettes.

I found it makes very somber and sad sounding harmonic trails. Never used an 80.
Are they rather different?

Here are 2 examples of what I am talking about.
PCM 81 = introspection and melancholy to me.
Attached Files

Track01 - Lex PCM81.mp3 (3.39 MB, 544 views)

Track17 - Lex PCM81.mp3 (4.19 MB, 530 views)

Old 15th July 2020
  #145
Lives for gear
 

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced the Hydrasynth is a great option here.

If I were ever to buy a digital hardware synth, that might be it.
Old 15th July 2020
  #146
Quote:
Originally Posted by pimket View Post
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced the Hydrasynth is a great option here.

If I were ever to buy a digital hardware synth, that might be it.
I'm still new to synthesis but watched a few videos of the Hydrasynth last night and this thing does seem incredible, both sonically and value wise. It'd probably take me years to get anywhere near fully realising it's potential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I just remembered that the Peak/Summit editor literally has a direct link to the NASA audio library to use as wavetable fodder. If that ain’t space, what it?
I came across that which obviously piqued/peaked my interest, I'd have to hold off for a few months for a Summit if that's the way I go. The DeepMind 12 isn't available for around 6 weeks so not committing to anything yet...
Old 15th July 2020
  #147
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post

In software land, Valhalla Vintage verb is worth a look.
Valhalla does have great plugins, I also have the vintage verb and it's great.
If the topicstarter do like plugins I can recommend the free plugins available on the website.
These three plugins are free at the moment and if you need something for ambiënt/spacy sounds take a look for Supermassive, Spacemodulator and Freq Echo; https://valhalladsp.com/plugins/
Old 15th July 2020
  #148
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bftucker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
These days I rarely see an ambient musician without a PCM-80 and one of the bigger Eventides, be it 7600 or an Orville. It is definitely that sound we hear on many ambient recordings...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I just got gear list from 1997 [Biosphere] Substrata album:

Akai S-3000
Yamaha FB01 (4-op FM synth)
Sony DPS R7 reverb
Roland A-33 master keyboard

I think a big part of his sound on Substrata album is the R7 reverb processor. It has "by default" that dark atmospheric sound.
“These days” and those days, eh?

Yamaha FB01 (4-op FM synth)
Sony DPS R7 reverb!

(And talent of course.)
Old 15th July 2020
  #149
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draig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
Valhalla does have great plugins, I also have the vintage verb and it's great.
If the topicstarter do like plugins I can recommend the free plugins available on the website.
These three plugins are free at the moment and if you need something for ambiënt/spacy sounds take a look for Supermassive, Spacemodulator and Freq Echo; https://valhalladsp.com/plugins/
The paid plugins are also only $50 each... no brainers really. The Valhalla Delay is awesome... plus Vintage Verb, Shimmer...

Ambient heaven!
Old 15th July 2020
  #150
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adydub's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
These days I rarely see an ambient musician without a PCM-80 and one of the bigger Eventides, be it 7600 or an Orville. It is definitely that sound we hear on many ambient recordings.

In the past I too drifted ashore looking "the ambient sound" until one day I've heard Lexicon reverb tail in person and realized: "Aha! So this is how they do it.". And it was kinda no longer interesting after that point. I stopped listening to most of this modern-ambient because it became a bit tiresome listening to the same 15 sec PCM-80 tail on every single piece of music which streams over the ambient radio station aka "Lexicon PCM radio" as i call it. Eventually i drifted into other more exotic reverbs over time, like the Ursa Major but then these are topics of their own...
I very much relate to all this. I still enjoy sparse minimalistic electronic music, but that so much of that cookie cutter genre ambient stuff hasn’t got much to hold my interest under that reverb tail. Still love my PCM80s though.
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