I decided to try recording a strictly ambient guitar piece, and ended up creating something else entirely.
First I recorded a series of simple one-note volume swells ... funny fact about these notes - I used PI (π) as my tab - i.e., 3.141592653589793 - using the low E string, I played the notes at the 3rd fret (G), 1st fret (F), 4th fret (G#), 1st fret again, 5th fret (A), and so on.
I used a compressor to keep the note nice and sustained, and I used my Morley Mini volume pedal to swell the notes in. My clean tone was my Tech21 FlyRig5 CALI, only using the Samsamp section for the furst half, then I added the CALI drive section for the second half.
Then I added a boatload of effects after recording - some EQ, chorus, phasing, some pitch-shifting, and some delay and a LOT of reverb. A LOT of reverb, to really sustain the notes for a long time.
This is how I created "Ambient Only".
But after completing the piece, I wanted to completely turn it into something else. Luckily, I thought ahead a bit when I recorded the "swells", because I recorded them with a "click track" on. So now I can add some additional instruments, including MIDI instruments since everything will sync to the tempo.
So I added some drums using EZ Drummer, then added the "solo" guitar (following the notes so I could figure out what key each section is in), then added live bass (my trusty old Squier Affinity P-Bass). Voila - the piece called "An Ambient Jam."
Finally completed a project that I started last year around September.
Abjuration of the Black Goddess Suite.
This is a long, conceptual piece of music. Originally my guitar was tuned to Open C, then eventually morphed into Drop-C. And I think I did a few parts in Drop-D, but transposed the audio tracks down a whole step. Bass guitar is either Cakewalk Studio Instruments VSTi Bass, 4Front VSTi Bass, or regular electric guitar transposed down an Octave.
The Ambient, atmospheric synth sounds are all guitar. No Synths used. In fact, this part is just my piece I just posted on YouTube entitled "Dark Drone 1" chopped up into pieces and distributed between the metal bits.
Then I added the spoken word bits after this. The words are from a section of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
An MP3 file is now downloadable ... go HERE to stream or choose your download options, or glick HERE to download a ZIP file directly.
This may be my last "metal" piece for a while. I'm beginning to find metal a bit "limited" in scope, so I'll be exploring some more alternate genres of rock and instrumental music, maybe some avant-garde improvisation, more of the "gentler" side of ambient guitar (Chords of Orion is a big influence in this area - makes really expansive, beautiful sounding ambient washes of sound, all generated by guitar), and who knows what else I'll try