AMBIENT | Standalone Audio Software

 Time: July 10
 Media: Standaone Audio Software
 Version: 3
 Format: PC & Mac

 A unique ambient soundscape generator. AMBIENT is
 capable of producing a vast array of ambient textures, 
 from the bizarre to the beautiful. AMBIENT processes 
 any sound you care to load into it. The possibilities are 
 endless. All tracks here were made with AMBIENT.

 Software Designer: Christopher Hipgrave
Graphic Artist: Mike Podolak Price: £10 Press Release: Download Multi-effect standalone software module featuring:
+ Granular sampler with random pitch function
+ Amplitude envelope with a trigger speed control
+ Three pitch shift controls for adding extra layers
+ Tape delay
+ Multi-mode filter
+ Ambient reverb + MIDI learn
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REVIEWS | Ambient

 The results from this piece of software have blown my mind. Thank you.

 Thanks for the great piece of software, i am certainly enjoying it.

 This is most seriously the most creatively inspiring tool I have ever come across.

 Excellent programme... it's pretty darn cool and inspiring!!!

 I love the way it just works straight away - no need for MAX or MSP - great piece of soiftware.

 Fantastic app, only took a short while to work out what does what. Reminds me of paulstretch plus ioplong
 plugins off smartelectronix.

 Brilliant! Cheers, had a go and it's a lot of fun. Thanks for putting this out.

Thanks! Just wanted to drop a quick line that I love what you are doing with this software, looking forward to more 
 releases hopefully! 

 Occasionally, one stumbles across a PC audio utility that is far more useful than its minimal price tag suggests, 
 and such is the case with Ambient, available from Audiobulb records. Written by Christopher 
 Hipgrave as a standalone Max/MSP application running on Windows & Mac and given inspiring album-like artwork
 from graphic designer Mike Podolak, Ambient is described as a "unique ambient soundscape generator", and is 
 simplicity itself to use. 

 You simply load in any single audio file (it accepted all sample rates I threw at it, and maximum length is only limited 
 by your available RAM), and click on Start for playback and Records to capture the results in real time to a new file 
 as you manipulate the various parameters on offer. At the heart of Ambient is a granular sampler that spits out a 
 stream of "grains" at your chosen speed and pitch, but with variable random-pitch and pitch-quantise functions 
 to make things potentially more musical. There are three additional pitch-shift layers available for extra richness, 
 an Amplitude Envelope, so you can add real time fades, plus effects including delay, various filter options and 
 ambient reverb. However, this bland description of the controls doesn't prepare you for the results, which I found
 truly inspiring.

 Ambient is perfect for the avant garde electronic composer, but it is also a wonderful tool for sound designers 
 and,  indeed, any other musician who needs a kick start for creativity, some ambient backdrops or some fresh
 audio flavouring. Highly recommended! Martin Walker.

 Audiobulb Records specialize in exciting and experimental ambient music and they have just released a piece
 of software that allows even complete beginners to manipulate sound; creating huge sound-scapes. Ark 
 Magazine was one of the first to get our hands on a copy. Here’s what we thought ... 

 There’s something about ambient music that has always fascinated me. While some would dismiss it as “just 
 noise”  the level of subtlety and images created in that noise can be simply awe-inspiring.

 I play the guitar but I’d never tried to making music using a laptop, preferring to use instruments rather than relying 
 on a cold, clinical machine to do the work. That was until I loaded up the simple Ambient software. I didn’t have 
 any instructions and having tried this kind of software before, and understanding it about as badly as the noises 
 I made it produce, I didn’t hold out much hope for making it work. 

 To my complete surprise, however, I quickly and painlessly managed to load up a song that was stored on my 
 computer and was ready to begin manipulating it. 10 seconds later, I was cowering as a throbbing, disturbing 
 bass tone was being emitted from my tiny speakers. It was shaking my eyeballs and was genuinely unsettling. 
 Considering the song I’d put in was a pleasant jaunt with acoustic guitar and a tambourine, the transformation 
 was simply incredible as the song was now unrecognizable but was absorbing to listen to, and like nothing I’d
 heard before. I twiddled a few more of the labeled, virtual knobs, and the noise was gradually tamed back to 
 a state where it sounded like a human could have created it. 

 Intrigued by my first adventure into the software, I decided to do some experimenting and so I plugged in my 
 guitar and recorded a few samples of noise from long drawn guitar notes to high pitched squeals of feedback.
 Considering what the software had done to the gentle tune I’d tried earlier, I thought that it would revel on getting 
 its hands dirty with some more abstract sounds. I first tested it with some random stabs on a guitar, which was 
 already being distorted. On putting it into the software I had no idea where to start manipulating it so I hit the 
 ‘random’ button. The many reverb, pitch shift and grain size knobs suddenly jumped to all different positions and
 what sounded like a fierce wind was ripping through the room. I pressed it again and somehow it had managed 
 to construct a gentle beat out of the mess of noise I’d entered. 

 I wasn’t prepared for what it threw back at me though as I twiddled with a few knobs for the feedback sound
 and my speakers pierced the room with what sounded like somebody dying painfully. I tried another setting and 
 was presented with what can only be described as peace in sound form. As I listened carefully to it, drifting into
 a state of eternal bliss, the sound was comprised of many different layers of noises which were floating in and 
 out giving the sound different textures to it. I’ve no idea how it had produced them from what I’d put into it though. 

 The software is certainly not just for mucking around on though as it has a record facility which will record as 
 you play with the noise and can record for as long as you want, until your computer runs out of space. This 
 gives the option to twiddle with knobs while recording and it has already been used by Christopher Hipgrave to
 create his album ‘Slow, With Pages of Fluttering Interference.

 I found that the controls were a little fiddly and if you needed to be extremely precise in what you were altering
 this may cause a little trouble as some of the mouse movements were a bit clunky in dragging the virtual knobs 

 The random button was a brilliant idea though and ten seconds after loading up a few high pitched notes from 
 the guitar, I’d managed to make them sound like the biggest mosquito of all time and elegant churchbells – just 
 by clicking my mouse twice.

 In all this is a pioneering and yet beautifully simple piece of software. It opens up endless possibilities for creativity
 and is an absolute steal. Alistair Webster. 
 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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