Ambika Music


#1

Dear Mutable People,

This is my first post here, I acquired an Ambika about a year ago and have been quite busy with it since :slight_smile: First, let me say thank you Olivier for creating such a fantastic instrument! I just finished an album on which the Ambika plays a central part, and I thought it would be nice to share it here.

Pretty much all the synth sounds on the album are from the Ambika and it is actually triggered by my guitar through MIDI guitar software (the guitar part doing the triggering is the actual guitar part you can hear in the tracks, I recorded everything in realtime without any overdubs or edits). The guitar signal itself goes through a Korg Monologue, which adds some filter and noise effects and a few sequences here and there. Other than that, all the sound is coming from the Ambika, which is amazing, both for sounding absolutely killer and for allowing each part an upper and lower note limit, so all of this could be triggered from a single MIDI channel.

The full album is online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj-Jt8v4pxI, I hope you will enjoy!


#2

Ah very cool! I have a very similar approach to making guitar synth sounds as well, my guitar usually controls between 5 to 20 different synths at once, which can be a bit chaotic when you have stuck midi notes lol. Which filter do you have in your ambika? Sounds very nice

And a question with the Jam origin, I’ve been using this more than my Triple Play pickup. Do you have tracking issues on the release of chords? The app definitely is more responsive for leads than the triple play, however, I every time I release a chord in polyphonic mode, it almost always triggers a new note, even if I’m extra careful and softly playing 1 chord.


#3

Hey, thanks! My Ambika has SMR4 filters on all voices. I like their sound very much, they don’t have the screaming resonance of some of my other stuff (Volca keys, Monologue) but they have a very musical musical quality and are great for complex sounds. I think they work really well with the digital oscillators. Do you use an Ambika as well? I’d love to hear some of your music!

I have no experience with the triple play pickup, actually I have never used any of the hardware Midi Guitar stuff, only the Jam Origin software. I love the fact that I can just use my favourite guitar. I run it on a 10 year old macbook that’s dedicated to just this one task and that gives me a pretty low latency. There are definitely some tracking issues, especially it has a tendency to trigger the fourth harmonic of the low strings and throw in a major third while you’re playing in minor. That can be pretty cringeworthy but it can also make for some nice glitchy ambiguity so in the end I kind of decided just to embrace it. You can actually hear this happening in some of the tracks on the album I shared. I like to play pretty hard and usually on the bridge pickup, but by tweaking the input gain and the response curves, I found it to be more or less manageable. I turned of all aftertouch, pitch bend and legato features, that also seemed to help - and it makes the synth parts sound more synthy really, which I prefer anyway. I’m not really into the ‘fake orchestra’ kind of stuff :slight_smile:


#4

Awesome! Yeah I have an Ambika as well, it has 5 SMR4 and 1 SVF filter in it. I’m recording my first album right now. The Ambika has made few appearances in the music so far because I acquired it when I was wrapping up all the synth parts. I definitely don’t have the guts to record an album in a single take like that though, I’d mess up too many notes!


#5

Cool, I might try swapping out one or two of the voice cards at some point too, but for now I’m quite happy with it as is. I didn’t play the entire thing in one take though, each of the tracks is a separate take so there are eight takes in total - for which I had to do many more attempts, because there were definitely a lot of messed up notes at first. Performing this live is gonna be a bitch, but I’ll get there eventually :wink: Good luck with your album and keep me posted, I’d like to hear it when it’s finished!


#6

Sounds great, and really impressive that you recorded it all in one take controlled by a guitar! How are you doing the rhythmic parts in the first track? You mention that you’re working a lot with keyboard ranges for different parts, I take it that’s part of the trick?

This is excellent inspiration to get my half-built Ambika finished, this is very similar to the sort of thing I want to experiment with with my work-in-progress MIDI hurdy gurdy… one mono line and a kick drum when plugged into my Anushri is fun, but not quite cutting it!


#7

Thanks! Glad I was able to provide some inspiration :slight_smile:

The rhythmic part on the first track is just a simple sequence on the Korg Monologue that I feed my guitar through (the signal itself, not the midi). This is actually the only sequence I triggered manually (ie by pressing play on the Korg), most of the other rhythmic stuff is Ambika sounds that have arpeggiators or sequences attached and that are triggered by incoming midi notes. On these parts I usually set an upper and/or lower note limit so that they don’t respond to everything I play but only to specific ranges. That allows me to create some variations in the sound while both of my hands are on the guitar.

Good luck with your projects, a MIDI hurdy gurdy sounds like an awesome plan :slight_smile:


#8

Thanks! I’ll definitely post when I’m all done!