My way to create Ambient Guitar Music Songs
In this new post I will talk about my way of creating ambient guitar music songs.
I will show you how I arrange the song with my pedalboard, and finally how to give a good end to the song.
First of all, you must start to think in a completely different way.
Remember these words:
LESS IS MORE
Ambient Music has very few notes, only the essentials.
Ambient has soundscapes.
Ambient has long background drones.
Ambient has slow arpeggios
You must start to imagine music as colors on an abstract paint, remove all unnecessary notes and leave only the essentials.
This is the most important thing to know when you start to make Ambient Music.
I often use three or even four loopers. I start to record with the last one in the chain (Looper 3) , because in this way the first loop won't be affected by the other sounds I will create with the pedalboard.
This is the pedalboard I'm using in this period, I can sum up it in this scheme:
TUNER -> COMPRESSOR -> BOOSTER -> OCTAVER -> MODULAR SECTION -> ECHO and REVERB SECTION -> LOOPER 1 -> REVERB 1 -> LOOPER 2 -> DELAY -> MICROCOSM LOOPER SECTION (Looper 3)
-> FINAL REVERB -> CAB SIMULATOR -> MIXER
Basically I start my ambient song with a drone recorded on the last looper in the chain.
In these period I'm using the looper section of the Hologram Microcosm.
In this video you will find a complete tutorial to use the looper section of the Microcosm in all its functions and options.
If you want to make a good drone, remember these simple tips:
Start to play before recording to have a final seamless loop and avoid the gap in the sound.
Be quick to create the drone, especially if you're performing in a live concert, your audience can be bored if you take too much time.
Find here five tips to create Guitar Loops:
Once the loop is recorded it will remain in background during all the song. We can imagine it as the first line of bricks of the wall that stands for our song.
Everything we do in the chain before this looper, it won't affect this drone.
The next step is to create the structure or the theme of the song.
The theme of the song can feature harmonic chord progressions, other drones or even field recordings that we can record on the other loopers.
The only rule we must follow is the key of the first drone we've just recorded.
I usually play a chord progression in this part of the song. I use the octaver or the bass section of the Boss SY-1 to make the bass line of the chords. The bass frequencies are very important in the sonic spectrum of the song.
The chord progression recorded on the second looper won't be affected by all the pedals before the looper, only by the delay and the final reverb.
Next step is to overdub a pad or synth arrangement on the second looper using different shapes of the same progression chords or arpeggios in the same tone.
The third looper can record a new drone, or a simple melody that features the notes of the chord progression.
In this period I'm using the BLOOPER as the third looper, so I can process the third loop and create many other sounds.
For example I can add a simple melody using higher octave notes of the chord progression.
This third looper will not affect the others, because it's placed before in the chain.
In this part of the creative process, the song has its climax.
Now we must think about giving a good end to the song. In the final part I usually play with the volume knobs of the loopers, giving fade in and out to the loops. A good idea to end the song is to fade out the chord progression loop (second loop) and leave only the opening drone together with the third loop and then give a fade out to the other two.
But basically all ideas are good in ambient music.
Here's a video to show you all my creative process to make ambient songs. Enjoy it!
Thanks a lot for reading this post. See you soon!