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    Creating Ambient Downtempo Tracks from Scratch


    Newb Alert, but learning lots here already.
    My question is with regard to entry level setup (preferably free until I grow my skills).
    Let me share what is for me, the optimum goal, to create tracks as wonderful as my fav - Boards of Canada (eg https://youtu.be/2jTg-q6Drt0)

    So, if someone can let me know if I have the following right?

    At the most basic level, I can download various tracks (ambient loops, drums etc from sites like Freesound) and use something like Audacity to basically "join" them for want of a better description? Is that correct?

    But, the purist in me, feels somewhat guilty of cheating, if I don't create the actual loops myself from scratch. And if I understand correctly, that is where I need something like Reaper for example, to create VSTs ? Is this correct?
    But I read Audacity can do this, but just not VST instruments???

    I guess another way of posing my question is, if I want to literally create Everything, all the tracks, drumbs, etc from scratch, whats my cheapest starting point?

    Ill have no issue investing later if I stick with this hobby, but in a way its a bit of a personal test too in that regard, as all my life Ive always let the requirements dictate and then go off on a big "I must get this and that first" only to realise now in life they were excuses and stalling tactics. I reckon if i manage to engage with this music production as much as I think, then time enough for all the bells and whistles, down the road. Which will be a change for me.

    PS - I have/play some insrtuments eg. Guitar, Bass, various effects pedals, and have a Yamaha Keybaord (PSR E333)

    Ok, ramble over. All/Any advice always greatly appreciated.
    Cheers guys
    A.

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    Check out my sounds for the description of what I use. My artist's of inspiration is much of boards of Canada, Tycho, bonobo. If you go out and buy a decent recorder and laptop. Setup recording software and get a DAW, like reaper, fl studio, goldwave editor. Travel to where you can find talented musicians and record them, learn from them, and most of all become them. Samplimg is a powerful tool for making incredible music. Sample intruments, have musicians play a small tune or yourself and learn to splice the recording and sample. Everyone has their own way of making music, for me, it's sampling, using vst's, recording and mostly using software. I hope this small Paragraph helps. Kind of hard to type on a smartphone 😂

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    Cheers Erokia. Delighted with your reply. A because my first attempt the other night was using one of your sweet samples and B coz you just mentioned two more of my favs Bonobo and Tycho. Theres also a Norwegian guy Biosphere... seriously good. Anyeay as it happened id already looked at your profile refs but its seemed like everyone of them were obsolete or no longer in business. But i think Reaper might be a good route. And yes i agree pulling in all sorts of sounds is great. BOC are great at using old documentary clips... love it. Thx again man. Keep creaticmve.

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    Reaper is good, it's the DAW I use most. But if you want to start for free don't overlook LMMS. It has some decent samples/loops and instruments built-in and will allow you to use many of the first-class free VSTs like Synth1. It got me started and you can make some great music with the combination of Audacity for recording audio and LMMS for beats, synth work, mixing and FX.

    Steve

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    If you've got effects pedals and are already familiar with guitar, you've probably got enough to start right away making your own samples using only the native effects in Reaper. For long swells and attack use a noise gate/compressor, layer fifths/7ths using pitch shifter, -10db compression to make your sounds even out a bit, add plenty of delay and reverb and you're pretty much there with the equipment you have. I've got more to post tonight but the stuff I have up now was made using a relatively terrible digitech rp80 and pawn shop DOD G10 run through a Behringer DD600 delay. I can run a guitar, a synth, my terrible casio or pretty much anything in there for a pretty warm/saturated sound before I ever have to process it in a DAW. Those same effects are all pretty much there in Reaper or any free vst website you can think of. Another great avenue to look at for sampling is phone apps. You can download a white noise/ambient sound generator to put organic effects on top of your instruments, download ambient music apps and other synthesizers for free, record them and resample them across whatever keyboard or sampler you can download. Happy experimenting yo, sky's pretty much the limit.

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