Author Topic: Ambient Guitar.  (Read 19582 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Ambient Guitar.
« on: November 24, 2018, 06:46:32 AM »
I thought I would start this thread as I know Guitar, electric and acoustic, are a popular instrument in the creation of ambient music and it is an instrument I am learn to play. Hopefully this will be a place of exchange on all levels of ambient guitar, from gear to music theory, recording techniques and examples of ambient guitar music.
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2018, 04:32:08 PM »
I would also like to include ambient guitar work from forum members, but not so much of a....heres my new ambient guitar release available from.....but more as examples of what ambient guitar music was, is and could be. Educational so to speak

Im thinking out loud so please chime in with your thoughts about how to go forward....I realize there are few of use left here on the forum to contribute but I still do see a decent amount of people stopping here so perhaps we could create something worth while.

 
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Castleview

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 06:18:44 PM »
I use some ambient guitar but never as a lead instrument. On my last album, I used it to add some extra shoegazy noise to a couple of tracks.

To me, the important thing about ambient guitar is having just enough reverb to make it ambient while maintaining enough of the guitar's texture. Looping can help a lot obviously.

I love watching hakobune play. On the surface, his playing style seems quite simple but his use of reverb and loops is superb:




« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 08:07:42 AM by Castleview »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 06:54:47 AM »
Nice video Castleview.  The acoustic is still well defined within the wash of pedals.

Just discovered that there was another Ambient Guitar thread created by Pete back in 2008.....The title for this thread should be  Ambient Guitar 10 years later or 2018
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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petekelly

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 07:19:48 AM »
No problems, Julio  :)

In fact things seem to be much the same apart from 'ambient guitar' being more of a recognised sub-genre thing now.

Delays / reverb / loops seem to be still the staple part of things, the 'sound' has become quite common now. There are youtube vids on how to 'do' ambient guitar nowadays, too.

I shall add more later after a bit of a ponder...

 

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 07:50:38 AM »
Good to have you here Pete.

Im looking for Reverb and delay pedals.   All the pedals I have are Bass centric, specifically the MXR bass Chorus but it is great on electric guitar. Don't have any reverb and delays yet....well I have an Eventide Eclipse but as off now I don't like it on Guitar, the few chords I can play ;D  Love it on synths though.  Strange as it was designed with guitar in mind.

Pete, you go direct into the computer and process in the box or do you have hardware effects?

Yes, lots of youtube ambient guitar......this one I visit quite often.  Good mix of performance and gear.....https://www.youtube.com/user/chordsoforion

« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 07:52:54 AM by Julio Di Benedetto »
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
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Seren

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 12:57:34 PM »
Jeff Pearce has recorded some beautiful ambient guitar - including some releases on Hypnos - and had a new release last year.
   Funnily enough I played Vestiges only about a week ago - very floating.

Not forgetting Fear Falls Burning - inlcuding the DVD Infinite sea of Sustain - very sustaining...

Hmmmm...videos on how to do ambient guitar.....hmmm

I will mention my own 'Strands' releases, but only in the sense that my approach to ambient guitar is to make the sounds as different and varied as possible - playing different parts of the guitar - including the body - to get source sounds that can be manipulated.....if you want to listen on bandcamp, I'm happy to discuss further.

Castleview

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 07:17:58 PM »
Not forgetting Fear Falls Burning - inlcuding the DVD Infinite sea of Sustain - very sustaining...

I love Dirk Serries. He's brilliant when it comes to ambient guitar.

TBH, a lot of my inspiration to experiment with guitars actually comes from shoegaze and early 90's post rock.

petekelly

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 07:07:32 AM »

Yes, lots of youtube ambient guitar......this one I visit quite often.  Good mix of performance and gear.....https://www.youtube.com/user/chordsoforion




Yes, that guy was the one I was referring to regarding showing people how to 'do ambient guitar' :) His stuff sounds nice, but a tad samey, to my ears.

I can see the value of these ubiquitous looping things from a performance element, but it just seems that it hasn't really moved on from ye olde frippertronics.

Regarding delays, I hear a fair bit of fret noise / fingering noises etc accentuated by the long delays, personally, I try to avoid this, but it makes sense from the 'glitch aesthetic' side of things. Also, from a production point of view, I've found you can get a lot of peaky resonances regarding processed guitar.

I'm a long time e-bow user, which is a fantastic thing, but it has it's foibles. I've just bought one of these rascals, which is very interesting in it's own right. It's a Fernandes Ravelle sustainer:




Overall (to me), a volume pedal is primary as well as the delay / reverb combination (valhalla ones, in my book) On that note, I think the 'shimmer' sound has been used a lot, these days ! A more interesting sound can be achieved with a trem arm.

On a related note, I've bought lots of guitars recently (too many !) for my ongoing guitar project and it has shown me that throwing money at a project doesn't always work out !

Julio, I mostly do the processing on the computer. I do have a Zoom G5n (which is great) for overdrive and volume pedal duties though.


Not sure if I've posted this here before, it's just a bit of live noodling I did over a drone texture:

]=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHyYlDASj8o

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 08:29:30 AM by petekelly »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2018, 05:50:03 AM »
I will mention my own 'Strands' releases, but only in the sense that my approach to ambient guitar is to make the sounds as different and varied as possible - playing different parts of the guitar - including the body - to get source sounds that can be manipulated.....if you want to listen on bandcamp, I'm happy to discuss further.

I have listen to Strands before but without reference to it being created on guitar. The soundscape , music is actually impossible for me to associate it with an instrument and I mean this in a good way.  It is amazing what you did to the guitar to create this palette of sounds.  Please if you feel to let us know the process especially as your don't use a computer where heavy manipulation of sounds with plugins etc seem more accessible for sculpting sonic creations.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 06:09:28 AM »

Yes, lots of youtube ambient guitar......this one I visit quite often.  Good mix of performance and gear.....https://www.youtube.com/user/chordsoforion




Yes, that guy was the one I was referring to regarding showing people how to 'do ambient guitar' :) His stuff sounds nice, but a tad samey, to my ears.

I can see the value of these ubiquitous looping things from a performance element, but it just seems that it hasn't really moved on from ye olde frippertronics.

Regarding delays, I hear a fair bit of fret noise / fingering noises etc accentuated by the long delays, personally, I try to avoid this, but it makes sense from the 'glitch aesthetic' side of things. Also, from a production point of view, I've found you can get a lot of peaky resonances regarding processed guitar.

I'm a long time e-bow user, which is a fantastic thing, but it has it's foibles. I've just bought one of these rascals, which is very interesting in it's own right. It's a Fernandes Ravelle sustainer:




Overall (to me), a volume pedal is primary as well as the delay / reverb combination (valhalla ones, in my book) On that note, I think the 'shimmer' sound has been used a lot, these days ! A more interesting sound can be achieved with a trem arm.

On a related note, I've bought lots of guitars recently (too many !) for my ongoing guitar project and it has shown me that throwing money at a project doesn't always work out !

Julio, I mostly do the processing on the computer. I do have a Zoom G5n (which is great) for overdrive and volume pedal duties though.


Not sure if I've posted this here before, it's just a bit of live noodling I did over a drone texture:

]=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHyYlDASj8o


Chords of Orion youtube channel has been helpful with the pedals and performance videos and seeing how they are used in the context of creating this style of ambient guitar. I have if I like the chords played figured out how to play them on my guitar which has been very educational and rewarding as I make my fretting hand do all sorts of unnatural contortions to achieve this. :o ;D

The Sustainer guitar looks very cool, like the design and I listened online to how it really does sustain.

Thats beautiful playing Pete....Ive not seen it before.....very fluid!
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
http://databloem.com

petekelly

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2018, 03:39:05 AM »
Cheers, Julio !

Out of interest, what guitar are you using for your ambient explorations ?

For a clean sound, I've found single coil pickups can be particularly effective, especially with a trem bar (light 'vibrato' on chords / volume pedal swell combination) The out of phase stratocaster type sounds can be very appropriate.

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2018, 06:44:03 AM »


Pete I have an Epiphone "Elitist" ES 335.....dont much like the word elitist on my guitar but this designates it as made in Japan.  The Pickups are Gibson P90. Always love the sound that those who played this type of guitar made in many genres.  Had a Les Paul and a Strat in my hands recents and they felt rather small.  This guitar seems to support my right arm nicely the way an big acoustic can.

It sounds wonderful with heavy gage strings...I had 13-56 gage strings on it for a little bit but trying to do bar chords nearly sent me to the hospital ;) ;D. Im using 11's now.  I did go lighter but the tone was sacrificed.  Hopeful I will develop a strong fretting hand.

 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 07:09:07 AM by Julio Di Benedetto »
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2018, 05:43:35 PM »
I have been running my guitar through a dedicated amp instead of DI on a mic pre amp.....I really needed to get the headphones off,  great for recording but....

Went with a Vox AC4WHC.....the little thing is loud for 4 watts.....already changed the the tubes from JJ's to NOS RCA's 12ax7 tubes and power amp el86 tube. What a jaw dropping difference.  I thought the amp would have Chinese tubes in it but I bought it used so...anyway this has been the single most significant audible upgrade I have made in quite some time.  The low end went deep, the chime, chimed crystalline and the the amp broke up and distorted in such a subtle and yet assertive way.  Sometimes I think I should have been an audio engineer with what my ears perceive. ::)

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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petekelly

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2018, 12:07:07 PM »


Pete I have an Epiphone "Elitist" ES 335.....dont much like the word elitist on my guitar but this designates it as made in Japan.  The Pickups are Gibson P90. Always love the sound that those who played this type of guitar made in many genres.  Had a Les Paul and a Strat in my hands recents and they felt rather small.  This guitar seems to support my right arm nicely the way an big acoustic can.

It sounds wonderful with heavy gage strings...I had 13-56 gage strings on it for a little bit but trying to do bar chords nearly sent me to the hospital ;) ;D. Im using 11's now.  I did go lighter but the tone was sacrificed.  Hopeful I will develop a strong fretting hand.

That's a nice lookin' guitar. Never tried to play a gauge as heavy as that !
I'm playing a lot of fretless bass now and 'regular' guitars seems very easy after that.

hdibrell

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2018, 05:05:38 PM »
I've been experimenting a bit lately with ambient guitar. I'm using a Strymon Big Sky for reverb and a Moog MF-104m for delay with interesting results. I also use a moog MF-101 Low Pass and a MF-103 Phase Shifter. I'm not a very good guitarist, so I need to work on that a bit. I also picked up a Gizmotron not too long ago, but haven't installed it yet. Should be an intersting device.
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2018, 06:51:21 AM »


Pete I have an Epiphone "Elitist" ES 335.....dont much like the word elitist on my guitar but this designates it as made in Japan.  The Pickups are Gibson P90. Always love the sound that those who played this type of guitar made in many genres.  Had a Les Paul and a Strat in my hands recents and they felt rather small.  This guitar seems to support my right arm nicely the way an big acoustic can.

It sounds wonderful with heavy gage strings...I had 13-56 gage strings on it for a little bit but trying to do bar chords nearly sent me to the hospital ;) ;D. Im using 11's now.  I did go lighter but the tone was sacrificed.  Hopeful I will develop a strong fretting hand.


That's a nice lookin' guitar. Never tried to play a gauge as heavy as that !
I'm playing a lot of fretless bass now and 'regular' guitars seems very easy after that.

My guitar teacher strung it up with 13's, D'Addario Medium Jazz. I did a lot of reading up on what strings people use their ES 335 type guitars and few went that heavy so I experimented.  As I said the tone changed quiet noticeably. 

I have not played much bass recently as Im focused on guitar...come to think of it I have not written any music in a long time either.  All study and no play. :(

 
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2018, 07:08:23 AM »
I've been experimenting a bit lately with ambient guitar. I'm using a Strymon Big Sky for reverb and a Moog MF-104m for delay with interesting results. I also use a moog MF-101 Low Pass and a MF-103 Phase Shifter. I'm not a very good guitarist, so I need to work on that a bit. I also picked up a Gizmotron not too long ago, but haven't installed it yet. Should be an intersting device.

Hi Harry,

Nice trio of Moog Pedals. The MF=104m, perhaps the King of delays and the Big Sky, the one reverb to rule them all.  Don't know much about the Gizmotron. 
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Remco Helbers

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 06:49:22 AM »
Cool insights here! I use guitar as a part of my music; I tend play/compose the soundscapes on guitar and add other elements like flute (for melodies and also extra scapes) and a homemade zither for accents/plunky stuff. On top of that I'll use Ableton for some percussion/spoken word/atmospherics. I also use Ableton as a effectprocessor/looper for my flutes and zither. The guitar is also used for melodic elements (I wouldn't call them solo's). I just released a live-recording of my gig at the 4th Ambient Festival in Paris with this setup (minus the zither).

My guitarsignal-chain:

Mooer compressor > ProCo Rat > Lehle Volume-pedal > Line6 Echopark > Boss RV3 > Digitech RP360 > Strymon Timeline (for delay/looping) > Neunaber Stereo Wet.




« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 07:02:53 AM by Remco Helbers »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Ambient Guitar.
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 05:51:27 AM »
Hi Remco,

Thanks for contributing to this ambient guitar thread.  Im enjoying your music.  I live performance in a Crypt.....must have been an interesting vibe.



I have had a Neunaber Wet Stereo Reverb pedal for about a week now.....with so many reverb pedal options out there the great sound and simplicity of this pedal won me over.  It is versatile with many size verbs available with just the mix and depth and tone for colour.

I was considering the Neunaber Immerse MK2 which is amazing and has the Wet algorithm.

"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
http://databloem.com