How long?

This will undoubtedly seem like a silly question, but I’m a silly guy so that’s OK.

What I’m wondering is: if you are creating an ambient track that is mostly going to consist of one or more swirly pads with some melodic business on top, etc… How do you record the different steps?

It almost seems like you would have to decide at the outset that “I want this to be 5 minutes long” or “twelve minutes long.” Do you just pick a length and start recording while holding down your pad for 6 minutes (or copy and paste a section, whatevs…) and then go back and record the next layer (melody or bass)?

There is a video linked on here of someone showing how to use the OP-1 to make some ambient music and it sounded wonderful but it was only about 20 seconds or so. How would you translate that up to a full song?

Thanks in advance,

@Pizmeyre Not a silly question at all! I think often think/come up with a start and end point then work out how to make the journey between the two happen. I like to get a sound on the go (often subtle) to give me a vibe to work off then start and add layers on top. I like to play stuff live as much as possible so I go by feel in terms of pacing.

The other side of the coin involves planning and possibly a stopwatch!

Gotcha. Thanks!


On the DAW I generally record parts that are about 20 minutes of material and then cut it down to around ten when it’s all said and done. On the OP-1 I tend to record longer parts into it or let a sequencer run and record while I do something else. Sometimes I will play the parts though, but mostly if it’s flavor sounds and not pads/drones