« on: April 29, 2014, 10:28:40 AM »
Welcome to the forum, almost all ambient artists I like use the old school method, maybe this method also reflects in the music output also..
From what it sounds from you should focus to have as much external gear and effect processors and samplers as possible to be able to perform in real time. You can watch robert Rich on youtube he have a quite inspiring work flow and he does all in real time with samplers layer per layer with external effect processor, I myself prefer to this route. so Yeah, a good effect processor and a good sampler is probably what you are looking after.
There is many ways to approach ambient music, for some people the technical aspect and the science of syntehsis is very important and is the driving force while some people prefer to just close their eyes and let their ears guide them, personally I prefer the later method, the only thing that matter is what comes out.
The big difference now days that is a lot of ambient artists use offline edition and cut and paste method,
Personally I perfer the old school way where all is done in real time improvisations.
I think in your case the choice of effect processor and reverb will be the essence since this tools are what will transform simple sounds into ambient worlds.
Lexicon Reverbs are very popular in the ambient scene exist in both software and hardware form, the PCM 91 you can get for good money.
Eventide is good for all kinds of effects in general, H3000 you can find for good money used, same with orville.
Some people prefer TC electronic reverbs I know Opphoi did like them, I know Robert Rich and I think also Loren Nerell like Sony reverbs.
Personally I have no favourite, I like both Eventide and Lexicon they complete each other, it is really a matter of preference, when you use different tools you will create your own preferences after some time. Bricasti M7 is regarded on of the best for realistic reverbs, how it is for ambient and longer decay reverbs I am not sure.
Regarding DAW and streamlined flow.
Ableton Live is done for live performance with it's session view it is easy to trigger and record samples.
I think the latest Sonar X3 have something similar.
the session view is the only thing I miss in Sonar, but you can do the same thing with a sample manger plugin in reaper for instance.