Ambient White is the first of a linked pair of sound design-based virtual instruments designed to provide composers and producers with a collection of original instruments and textures suitable for all sorts of ambient music. As its name implies, Ambient White covers the lighter end of the ambient spectrum, focusing on beautiful, peaceful, melodic, harmonious, and natural sounds. Ambient Black, the second VI in this series, will cover the opposite end of the ambient spectrum. The vast majority of the sounds used in the creation of Ambient White were derived from organic sources: found sounds and audio recordings subjected to extreme sound design techniques, prepared and/or heavily processed musical instruments, and sounds recorded in natural environments. The few synth sounds that were used were also processed with sound design techniques, and/or combined with various organic sounds and instruments. The end result is a product that combines acoustic, humanistic, and electronic elements to produce and organic-sounding virtual musical instrument.
The Instrument Patches Ambient White features over 250 different instrument patches and combinations (almost 7.5GB of uncompressed WAV data), divided into several categories:
1. Multi-Layered Instruments
2. Pads & Atmospheres
3. Melocid Instruments
4. Percussive Instruments
5. Bass Instruments
6. Looped Instrument Phrases
7. Effects & Textures
The most complex instrument patches in Ambient White are the Multi-Layered Instruments, which were created using combinations of patches from the other six categories. These patches are arranged by their basic type, using the following prefixes: ATMOS Layered Atmospheres and Pads BASS Layered Bass Instruments FX Layered Effects & Textures LOOP Layered Looped Phrases MELO Layered Melodic Instruments PERC Layered Percussive Instruments
Multi-Layered Instrument Patches
Many of the Multi-Layered Instrument patches consist of multiple evolving atmospheres, chordal and/or melodic components, and/or looped phrases. For best results, try playing these patches with one finger, in octaves, or in fifths. This doesn’t apply to Layered PERC patches, which in general don’t have any pronounced melodic or harmonic content; playing multiple notes at a time with these Layered patches can produce some interesting polyrhythmic patterns.
Effects & Textures
The Effects & Textures category includes a number of patches that were mainly designed to work in tandem with other types of patches. These patches were designed with that in mind.
The Percussive Instruments include several different acoustic and electronic drum kits. There’s also a selection of tuned hand drums, cymbals and gongs, and other percussive sounds.
Pads & Atmospheres
Many of the Pads & Atmospheres also include chordal components. When trying these patches for the first time, it’s probably best to play them with one finger or in octaves. You can then experiment with playing different intervals, depending on the level of harmonic complexity you’re looking for.
Melodic and Bass Instruments
The Melodic and Bass Instruments are mainly single-note patches. However, a few of these patches also few have some underlying harmonic content, and can be used as Pads.
Looped Instrument Phrases
The Looped Instrument Phrases include simple repeating patterns and some more-complex patterns created by mixing multiple loops together. Many of the loops lock to tempo, but some do not; this was done intentionally, in order to add an element of randomness and unpredictability to some of the patches. Looped Instrument Phrases should be played like the Pads & Atmospheres, using solo notes or octaves for less-complex patterns and different intervals for more experimental and harmonically-dense effects.