Ambient music is full of percolating sequences that add interest and melody. In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a melodic sequence that does not repeat.
What I am going to show you adds some predictable randomness to your sequence. For this tutorial we are going to use Omnisphere, but you can use any synthesizer that has sequencer which allows you to programme steps and notes.
If you don’t feel confident in programming your own sound, choose a preset that has a nice short pluck. The magic happens in the sequence. Take a look at this video in which I show you how to put this together.
Spice up the sequence
This trick can be used in however long a sequence you need. All you need to ensure is that the last 3 steps are the ones that provide the actual different notes to the key you are pressing. Let us take the note C as your starting note. If you set the sequence to +10, this means on that step the sequencer will play a note 10 semitones higher than the note C you are playing.
When the sequencer triggers +7 it is seven semitones higher than the note you are pressing on the keyboard. +3 is three semitones up from the note you are pressing. If we go into this further the steps of +3, +7 and +10 are playing the flattend 3rd, 5th and flattened 7th note of the scale. Using C as the starting note, this will play the notes Eb, G and Bb. For those music theory buffs amongst us these notes are from the C minor scale. As most ambient music uses the minor scale, this setup is perfect.
“All you need to ensure is that the last 3 steps are the ones that provide the actual different notes to the key you are pressing.”
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