Three songs, three styles

One of the really nice things of a DAW like Ardour is that it offers the possibility to create and perform music independantly from other musicians. Just do it your way, no compromising or finding common ground.
Of course playing with fellow musicians brings a lot of fun, inspiration and musical satisfaction and playing for a live audiance is really another dimension of making music together.

But for me it’s a best of both worlds situation, playing in a band and creating my own personal music in Ardour. One of the advantages is that you can explore different kinds of musical styles. Lately I’ve done so with a couple of songs, three of them linked here. Latin-stylish, Celtic-folkish and a bit GypsyJazzyWestern (I don’t know) sort of stuff.

Summer Breeze


Written in the Sand


Hey, great tunes. Playing is on a very advanced level. Production very pleasing to listen to.
My favourite is Summer Breeze. Beside the great guitar playing I like the bass.
Well crafted arrangement, keeping the interest, which is particularly difficult for instrumentals.

Maybe you can tell a little bit how you created and produced them.

1 Like

Wow, that’s how a good mix should sound like. Well done!

My only criticism would be the drums. During some sequences they sound just too robotic, e.g. the Ride cymbal parts in Summer Breeze, where all hits seem to be the same sample with the same velocity…

Thanks Peter for your positive comments.

Production-wise it’s not very advanced:
DrumGizmo-Aasimonster is my main drumsimulator.
Some Ace-Fluidsynth soundfonts for additional percussion and piano if needed.
Guitars and Bassguitar all direct recording from my Digitech RP500 (amp and cabinet simulation).
Dragonfly Room Reverb on most instruments and a little bit of compression on the rhythmguitars.

For me the basslines are an integral part of all my songs, securing the rhythm but also contributing to the melodies.
In Summerbreeze the bass was a little bit too much in competition with the guitar so I had to cut all high frequencies to keep it in the background, I’ve never needed to that before.

Thanks Slash,
Good to hear you like the mix. I don’t consider myself a good mixer/producer, I’ve read a little bit on how to do these things but often think it’s a task beyond my capabilities. I’m more a musician than a recording/mixing engineer.

I use DrumGizmo-Aasimonster drumkit. DrumGizmo has some knobs to fiddle with Humanization and Sample Selection. Sometimes this introduces unwanted effects. I always disabe the humanizer but not the Sample Selection. But in SummerBreeze Sample Selection was completely off. I can’t remember why I did that.
Thanks for pointing this out, you have good hearing :slight_smile: I will pay some attention to the drums making them a little bit more convincing. I recently bought an acoustic drumkit so maybe in the future I’ll record my own human drumparts (but how long will it take to beat drumgizmo :grinning:).

Hey, that sounds good in all the ways.
As far as I have no ears, I am not even able to tell what guitar you use.
It sounds different from a Fender , telecaster or strat, I would bet for a kind of an Ibanez, but I am not sure in any way.
For the bass, which is in place, I imagine to hear maybe a Squier, or maybe a japanese crafted instrument.
Your way to « tell your stories » is very straight and enjoyable.
The backing tracks are doing the job.
Cool time spent listening to your playing.
Thanks for sharing.

Shied away from DrumGizmo so far, but maybe it’s the time to start trying it. (In earlier days it did not have enough memory but now I do, so that obstacle has gone.)

While we are at it: I saw that the Asiamonster has a template for Ardour. It is an XML file, but I found no way of importing that into Ardour. Only export/import of the full archive of all templates.

Well, for a person with no ears your hearing is pretty good :wink:
My main guitar is an Ibanez S model (the yellow one in the picture). It has high output pickups so it sounds a bit compressed. My three other guitars have this same problem (I’ve been around in hardrock/metal territory). So I’m thinking about changing pickups or buying a guitar which fits this kind of cleanguitar music more.
Bassguitar is a Vester. Nothing special but I’m attached to it, it serves me really well.

Aasimonster has four toms, most drumkits have less, that’s why I, long ago, chose this one.

Place the downloaded template in the Ardour template-folder (on Linux: your home-dir/.config/ardour8/templates/) and Ardour can find it.
But this template has Calfplugin’s, it’s from 2013.

I think it sounds really awesome for my taste.
Is it also running trough the RP500? Does it have Bass centric patches?

Thanks, no problem, easy to switch. I’m mainly interested in the output assignments.

Great playing and productions, wicked guitar tone! Is that an ES-335 or similar?

Yes, through the RP500 and direct to my Steinberg AudioInterface. No Bass centric patches.

I barely need to tweak my recordings. It’s a bit of a miracle, I’ve had problems mixing bassguitar parts from other bassplayers sent to me. Bassguitar is quiet difficult to tame, low notes are much more loud than higher notes, to keep it balanced with a compressor and eq is a little bit finding the sweet spot. I think in a lot of music production you can hear the bass but not hear what notes are played.

It’s an Ibanez S1XXV through a Digitech RP500 effect processor (with Fender Champ '57 amp simulator and TubeScreamer simulator in the case of these songs). No amp or microphone involved.

Wow, that’s some impressive tone, it seems hardware amp sims still have an edge on the software amp Plugins, (I personally have a Strymon Iridium that is also very good) that’s a pretty convincing Champ crunch going on there, James Gang era Joe Walsh would be proud! I never would have guessed that guitar was an Ibanez (well OK, possibly an hollow body Artist series like John Scofield plays)…lol, Summer Breeze in particular really has a Gibson 3XX hollow body vibe to my ears… Anyway, great stuff!

Lots of professional guitar players go for amp simulation these days. It seems the simulators are more than a match to the real thing. Fractal Audio Systems for instance, not the cheapest however.
I don’t have much experience with software amps, tried Guitarix once but wasn’t pleased with what I could get out of it.

The Crocell and Muldjord kit also have 4 toms… :grinning:

Every drumkit provides a channel mapping list in the description page.
For the Aasimonster it is located on the bottom of this page

Unfortunately on my system I could never get latency down to a value that made me comfortable playing over SW modelling. I always use direct monitoring on my HW devices. (Audi IF, Zoom G3X)