Hello all; I'm new to this forum, and new to the "new world" of technology, but I'm old-school ambient, and I'm looking for some answers.
My history: with music started with writing avante-garde music back in the days just before midi and computer music because accessible and affordable....back in the mid 70's, one of my composition teachers showed me how he spliced the two ends of reel tape together to make a loop...and I was off.
In the 80's I did a number of theater "scores" on tape (music conctrete, we called it then) and I was into the sounds of Eno, Fripp, Jarre, TD, etc. Further love of early music, too, for it's open sounding harmony and drones. So I'm not new to doing ambient...it's just been a long time.
Life happened, kids happened, jobs happened, etc etc. But I sort of dropped away from the technological side of music.
Thru that time I did a lot with Folk and acoustic music, but sort of left the technology out of it.
Ok, so flash foward to now....I'm coming back to ambient, and the world has changed. For the past several months, I've been trying to get my head around MIDI and a couple of DAWS. About two years ago, I did a Native American Flute recording, all in Audacity....but for the past few months I've been working hard in FLStudio and Reaper.
But I'm not sure these are allowing me to experience the workflow in a way that is copascetic with Ambient....it all seems very beat/tempo based...which is fine, when I bring in a drum or ostinato pattern...
...but personally, I'm sorta improv based, and "conventional recording wisdom" sez leave out all the FX and put them in later....but that sort of changes the way I perform. It might be nice to generate sounds/samples/sequences in real time and "capture" them.
But I'm also highly into the "less is more" ethic when it comes to complications like chasing down hum, figuring out why the software isn't doing what it SHOULD be doing, figuring out routing, etc etc. I'd rather be making music happen than all of that, and by the time I get it all working right (for this one pass), I'm exhasuted from the frustration, and there goes my desire to make music.
It is getting better.
But I'm just wondering if some software is more suited to streamlined flow....and if I'm using a DAW that is too beat based. Maybe I should be going a hardware route and "performing" the music from synths, sequencers, samplers, and "capturing" what I do.
There is so very much to learn, in the areas of recording, midi, sequencing, synthesis, mixing, mastering (don't even get me started on that one...)
I don't know...maybe a little advice?
I am basically wanting to do what I'd call "organic ambient" with natural sounds/instruments/samples along with my flutes, keyboards, and hand percussion sounds. I also play a pimped electric autoharp that plays hundreds of chords and pentatonic scales (called the Prizim Zither).
I'd love to be able to do it live....I perform with my flutes in bookstores, art galleries, coffee shops... but streamlined workflow would be required. Groove boxes? THey seem beat based as well.