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#955 What do you enjoy about psychedelic downtempo?

Posted by yiannis on 13 February 2015 - 09:08 AM

The title should be self-explanatory. :)


For me it's the following:


1. Obviously, the slow tempo. I love it when it's  around 70-100 bpm.

2. The pads. Extremely important for me. It feels like swimming or diving in an aural sea.

3. The layers. Although I can appreciate some minimal psybient, like some Virtual and Robert Rich releases, it sends me to other worlds when there are arpeggios and effects around the main themes.

4. The melodies. I can't enjoy purely weird or experimental music for too long.

5. The ethnic element. a. Vocals, Arabic, Far Eastern, Tuvan, almost anything goes. I know they are anathema to a lot of listeners, but I love them as a part of the whole. Not so much as the main focus, although I do like Entheogenic, for example, who sometimes tend to overuse them :rolleyes: b. Instrumentation: I enjoy all manner of traditional instruments, but I have a soft spot for tablas, stringed and wind instruments.

6. The emotional aspect. This might be my favourite element.

7. The "fractal" quality of some of the music. As it says on a sample I heard recently (but can't remember where  :ph34r:  ) "self similar, but not the same," when I get deep into a tune it feels like getting ever deeper into the Mandelbrot. I know it's the most typical example there is, but that's what it feels like. And it also gets progressively brighter, with various visual effects that look like tricks your eyes play on you on a sunny day, following the effects. I don't often have the will to focus inward for too long though. :mellow:

8. Nature sounds from field recordings. What would Matt Hillier's music be without them? ;)

9. Some artwork is fantastic and deepens the experience in its own right. I adore the art on Dakini releases, for instance.


As I've said elsewhere, I used to value the spiritual aspect, but now it's not as important for me anymore.


And you?

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#880 The Official Carbon Based Lifeforms Discussion Thread

Posted by Jatab on 02 February 2015 - 10:57 PM

Just love CBL albums - my fav is "Hydroponic Garden"  but "World of sleepers" is most personal as I`ve got serious illness in short time after I bought this CD and was in coma for 3 weeks - then my wife put headphones over my ears with music from this album as she knew how much I like it, (hoped it`ll help me to get better soon)  - she was absolutely right :)  I belive it could be effect of sample from track "Abiogenesis"  ( "wake up" ) :)




btw. :  Remastered by Vincent ( Aes Dana ) reedition of "Interloper"  will be released shortly ;) 


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#5626 a Man got to eat

Posted by neil (spatialize) on 30 April 2016 - 04:16 PM

Since using Bandcamp and self releasing the music income now pays for music gear....software, synths etc. So it has become self supporting which is nice.

It's a little bit easier these days to combine creativity with a normal job as music technology is that much more immediate. For a few hundred quid you can stuff a pc with a fully functioning studio in a few hours. Back in the Atari / sampler / synths days putting a studio together was expensive and time consuming. Now you can lob a loop from Ableton into a sequencer and it will time stretch itself instead of spending a good couple of hours lining up a loop in a sampler. My first sampler had 8 mono samples, 30 seconds of mono sampling time and cost me £500 second hand. Do we appreciate this? Probably not, it probably just pushes our expectations up.

In general there are very very few people making a living from music nowadays. Even Philip Glass worked as a taxi driver and plumber while he wrote music for 18 musicians. Then within that larger music industry you have to realise that psy chill is a very very small niche. I think part of Ott's success (aside from writing very good stuff) is the fact that dub music has a certain crossover element. Dub and reggae is very popular with a broad range of people beyond the psychill community. He can tour America and play with other dub or dubstep artists as well as the psychedelic festivals. Good formula that.

Life did throw up the opportunity a few years ago to work more solidly on music. So I took it. And I can say that immersing yourself in something is a very worthwhile thing to do in life, particularly if it's something that you are really interested in. I definitely took my productions up to another level. Through teaching myself and asking questions on forums and now I know my way around the gear I can easily write good sounding music around a normal job (but then again I don't have children). But in terms of sitting down all day every day to write music, my experience is that it does suck a little bit of the magic or of it. But it also has its own rewards.

But that sense of achievement can be achieved in plenty of areas of life. Doesn't have to be music. Plastering, being a waiter, understanding finance... There's a joy in life from applying yourself to something and seeing the rewards. For sure. It makes more sense to throw that type of energy into something that you know will allow you to live well and enjoy your life.. But well...music has a beautiful lure. It may not be the sane or economic choice in life but, well, when that groove finally slots together, you can't beat that feeling.

My advice to anyone starting out in creating music is to enjoy the creativity more than the production, and allow the production side to gradually build up as you finish tracks. You can write /arrange good tracks without decent production (you can!) but you can't write decent tracks that connect with people if you've spent 10 years obsessing over compressors and limiters.

I hardly ever thought about production for years. I just made music. But when I heard Ott Hallucinogen in Dub I started to look more at that side of things. Ott definitely raised the bar in psychill..and I thought my music was pants in comprison. I had crap monitoring, terrible eq habits and hardly knew how to use a compressor... But you know what? It turned that Ott was listening to my first album (Dryads Bubble) in his car for ten years. For me that was proof that electronic music is still about creativity and expression... and not production values.
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#4222 Tips for atmospheric/psychill sound synthesis

Posted by Matt Freak Flag on 24 December 2015 - 08:51 AM

Hey OP - can you post an example of anything you are making (or, an example of a song that does this really well that you like) ?


Some ideas for pads:


- Are you layering stuff?  A lot of great pad sounds are 2 or 3 or more pads layered (with one pad providing the low-mid warmth, another providing maybe the mid-range melodic component, and another providing the top-end shimmer).


- What synths are you using/ are you only using synths?  Stretched-out melodic sounds, especially reversed, drenched in reverb can make amazing, organic pads that no one has ever heard before.  Synths like Omnisphere or Alchemy have lots of samples already for doing this, but you can just do it manually using warping in Ableton / Flex Time in Logic / etc.  


- You said you are EQing out the mid frequencies - which ones?  I usually use pads to add extra warmth, movement, and depth into the mid frequencies.


- EQ the left and the right channel differently!  I like to boost and cut a few frequencies differently on left and right channels to increase width.  Even better, slowly automate a different peak on each left/right channels.


- Delay, chorus, reverb are all good for this, but can maybe sound bland if they are just used as static effects.  Do you automate your reverb sends or chorus amounts?  

Some ideas:

-- My favourite: I like to automate the reverb send up while automating a lo-pass filter down on the original pad.  This will make it sound like it is moving farther away, giving a great sense of front-to-back depth.  The reverse works well, too.  Or with a hi-pass filter.  

-- Try a chorus with a very low rate but high intensity, automate the mix from 20% to 80% every 1/2/4 beats, then quickly back down.  This will make it sound like it is "pumping" from centred to wide with each pulse of the beat.  I like to combine this with regular side-chaining to a kick etc.  

-- Old trick: automate the delay send, and then send that delay to itself.  Be careful because this might get loud, but if we do it carefully, we can make a pad (or any sound) turn into a completely different, ultra organic ambient soundscape of throbbing echoes.  If you want width, use a stereo delay (or maybe a flanger/phaser on the delay channel).  


- Panning rather than widening... less is often more in production.  If you make everything detuned and wide, your song doesn't sound wide - it sounds like stereo mud. Panning some sounds left and some sounds right - and especially automating the pan - is often way better than just making something wide.  


- Autopan plugins are great, but I like to automate the rate or width to keep them from sounding static.


- Sometimes mono reverbs work really well for localizing a sound in the mix. I like to make sounds panned left, send it to a mono reverb channel, panned right.  On its own, this isn't as impressive as a big wide wet delay.  But in the mix, it is sometimes so much more spacious.  We can do the same with delay - then maybe try automating the pan of that delay from right to left again.  


- Same philosophy, polyphony: too much polyphony can also make things unfocused, especially when working with bass/pads/atmospheres/multiple melodies.  Sometimes I like to think like in jazz, where the bass can play the root note and the pads can play the 3rd/7th/9th etc.  Leaves a lot of harmonic space for melodic instruments.


- My other favourite: you need a microphone to do this, but even a cheap microphone is fine because we are trying to make weird sounds anyways right? Solo the pad you want, put the microphone somewhere in the room, maybe pointed at a wall away from the speakers, or even in the hallway, whatever... record 8 or 16 bars.  Move the microphone around to a totally different spot, do it again.  Then, pan one recording left and the other right.  We should have a very wide sounding pad, with lots of room echoes and reflections making it organic and interesting.  


I have a million more ideas if this is helpful at all.  Just remember - there is such a thing as too wide.  1 ultra-wide sound and 4 sounds swirling in automated panning will sound bigger and more spacious than 5 ultra-wide sounds.  

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#76 How to release a dj set in internet (naming, tagging, cover art)? My way to d...

Posted by Gagarin on 20 October 2014 - 10:45 PM

Maybe it is not the pro way to do it, but in this way i do feel that i am creating something that is listener friendly. I've seen some other people around me doing and created my own approach. Being probably the biggest consumer of my mixes, i like them to look "nice" on my audio players.


I am sharing the technical aspect of creating DJ mix, the "legally" proper way is to contact each of the artist/labels and ask them for permission to use a track in dj mix. Well i guess 99% of dj's in internet don't do it and i am one of those. Actually most of the time if you provide proper credits (information about track-list) most of the artist will thank you for promoting what their music. 


Creating of mix and archive file

  • Recording a mix (following an idea or experimenting, track pre-selection or improvisation)
  • Checking the mix (i do not like to re-record mixes, but sometimes is necessary)
  • Intro / Outro - fade in / fade out (to make it smooth) 
  • (optional) mastering. ( i am not doing it, but i know some people do it). Here is discussion on this subject.
  • Giving the name to the mix
  • Track-list (i think this is a mandatory for all the mixes that are released to public, dj's must give credits to all the artist tracks they use)
  • Basic mix info to the text file
  • Cover art creation (i usually use a creative commons licensed images and i edit them in photoshop)
  • (optional) i create a .cue file.
    • This file is useful when you record a mix to CD, as it give the information to cd recording program about the track length. This way when mix is recorded to CD you can skip tracks.
    • This .cue file will allow to skip tracks when you use some of the software audio players on your computers.
  • put everything to a folder (audio file + text file + cover art file + cue)

Preparing mp3 file to online / offline sharing

As I record my mixes to the wave format, i keep the lossless version of file for archive (i convert them to Apple lossless format, but FLAC, AIFF can do the job as good).

  • Then I convert it to mp3 (320 kbps). This file will be uploaded.
  • using Itunes i add all tags: artist, name, year, style etc (see screenshot)
  • a add cover art
  • i add track-list to lyrics field  (see screenshot)
  • i name the mp3 file properly (something like this Gagarin_Project_-_32_-_Cosmic_Awakening_-_10_-_Earth.mp3).
    • Adding number to the mix allow me to keep them sorted if they are stored in one folder)
    • adding "underlines" instead of spaces can be useful when you upload files.

(this allow to view all this information on some audio players, for instance the track-list can be easily visible by ipod/iphone). It also help for people to identify the author of the mix. 


if i want to make mix publicly available i will upload it to online streaming services (soundcoud and mixcloud) and will share share it to groups on soundcloud and facebook.


you can look here the example of a folder with all files => http://www.gagarinpr...load-our-mixes/


Last but not least, i think dj's shall support/buy the music they mix, listeners shall support/buy original artists. 


Let me know if it was interesting / useful for you to read :)



This workflow might sounds complex, well i do it like this.



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#286 Video of Lab's Cloud working in a new track

Posted by Raul Jordan on 11 November 2014 - 09:12 PM

This is a recording of a new Lab's Cloud track. 
First writing the filter in the arpeggio and after recording some melody keys.
There is no name for this song, any suggestions?

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#1486 What are you listening now?

Posted by YuriNondual on 23 March 2015 - 01:15 PM

This is incredible! I heard it before, but re-listening today and this is sooo psychedelic. You can feel mushroom influence here. 

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#6386 Carbon Based Lifeforms - Interloper (Acoustic Guitar Version)

Posted by 0llum on 28 August 2016 - 01:54 PM

Hey guys, 


I've recorded an acoustic version of that aswesome track and I'd like to hear what you think


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#6096 Has the genre been getting worse or better over time?

Posted by schofield on 16 June 2016 - 11:03 PM

I don't know if it's getting worse, but i see my self listening to older releases rather than new...alot of it sounds familiar to me, i'm listening and it's like i heard this before, there's hardly any new releases out there with that "wow" factor...was listening to the Shpongles first album yesterday(which to me is the best psybient album ever made) and is stills sounds fresh to me, better than 99% of whats out there nowadays...maybe i'm just getting old lol


Well, Shpongle would say that Shongle's album is the best psybient album ever made.   ;)


Don't the oldies always say the old music was better?  Maybe it is just perspective, and the ties that bond us to music in our past are stronger than what we feel for the newer music.  When we were younger (I'm nearly 42) we were impressionable and going through big changes finding our places in the world.  The music I listened to 15 or so years ago definitely made its mark on me and brings up feelings when I hear it today.


So the genre is probably still fresh for new, younger ears.


Anyway, I listen to less 'psybient' these days than I used to.  I suppose my tastes have broadened as well over the years.  I it's all swings and roundabouts - falling in and out of love with different genres at different times, going and coming again.  That's why I rarely sell my old CDs, because sometimes I go back to the old ones and have a listen and enjoy them, and reminisce.   :)

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#5246 Continuum - Become Happier (2016) [Independent] (psychedelic downtempo)

Posted by continuum on 30 March 2016 - 10:45 PM

I'm delighted to announce that my first album 'Become Happier' is now available!


It's been a long journey and this album has been with me through some very happy times, and some very sad ones - hence the title.

I'm absolutely delighted with the way it's turned out, and I hope you like it too.
Thanks to Colin Bennun (Stooodio) for the flawless mastering, and Tash Davy for the lovely hand-drawn cover :)

With lots of love to all my friends and listeners  :wub:


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#5219 Psychill vs Psybient do you make difference ?

Posted by Shoom on 30 March 2016 - 12:13 AM

PsyChill being the broadest term for "Psychedelic Chill-Out" or "Psychedelic Downtempo" in that its "Chill-Out," "Downtempo," or "Ambient" music that has an added Psychedelic influence (often being produces by people in the Goa or Psytrance scene).


Psybient being a subgenre of Psychill (of which is a subgenre of Chill-Out) which can be described as beat-less, such as traditional ambient music.


Thats how I view the two. I often see the term ambient being used for anything downtempo which I don't like, ambient should always refer to music without any beats.

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#4549 What are you listening now?

Posted by timeisart on 03 February 2016 - 12:55 AM


that track with Yechidah is awesome. some of the others have a Kalya Scintilla eastern/bellydance vibe, good stuff though.

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#4185 Your favorite mantras

Posted by Tanya on 22 December 2015 - 05:27 PM

Hi, guys!

Let's collect here mantras we love and would fancy others to love.

Ideally these mantras shall be extactically touching and breath taking: let it be a piece of art, not just a traditional 108 times repeating with the same timbre and BPM.
So it can be even Om Mani Padme Hum played that #wow style that you scatter out to the Universe with the tiny pieces of lovedust.
If you can write a little story about this mantra, how you heard it for the first time etc etc, that would be fantastic!

I will start with my favorite one. It's Om Namah Shivaya by Russil Paul. It is 17:30 minutes long and every second is worth listen.
It is slow and shanti in the very beginning, but then tempo increases, energies circulate more actively and ... (no more spoilering).

Story: Goa, Westend Club in the jungles, 10 am in the morning and a massive outdoors party is about to finish. It was powerful full-on before it and everybody understood that in a few minutes the party will finish and we will leave a venue afterwards. DJ (XP Voodoo if it rings a bell) puts this mantra on and WOW! That was so unusual and refreshing to listen to it after this crazy night!
Just a perfect option how to finish a party: final chord on the mind&body holiday.

I hope you will enjoy it the way I always am!

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#4011 news - 2015 - W49 - release of the week poll

Posted by Tanya on 01 December 2015 - 10:43 PM

I would like to point out that Unusual Cosmis Processes reached a higher level of the music. The album is much more interesting, special and attention attracting (even in background listening mode) as before

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#3905 Virtual World of Ishq in 2015

Posted by YuriNondual on 20 November 2015 - 04:35 PM

Matt Hillier released plethora of music this year. I arranged some of my favourite tunes that came out in 2015 into this amateur mix. Enjoy

click here to see it on mixcloud

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#3843 Where do you live?

Posted by Shpongle on 17 November 2015 - 11:42 AM

Those photos look great, Shpongle, beautiful place. And Flexagon, the vimeo video took ages to load, but boy was it worth it! Those waters! The video with the music warmed my heart. 


Interesting that three of us already live near the coast. I was actually expecting more urban dwellers. Hopefully more people will answer so that we can get a clearer picture.

Post some pics Yiannis;)   I used to be all about big cities, but the older i get the more difficult for me is to live on a crowded place...if i have the chance i still want to move up north to rural Portugal though ;) All my life i lived by the coast, i think it's a privilege to be honest...but even though i live close to the beach i rarely go there, .it gets way too crowded, i rather drive a bit, so i'm all about "Secluded/hidden" all natural beaches, it's all about being in touch with nature.... these are two of the beaches





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#3672 What are you listening now?

Posted by Gagarin on 28 October 2015 - 11:01 PM

following our discussions about origins i am into oldschool now, and i highly recommend this =>

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#312 VA - Forest Garden compiled by Indra (2014) [Maia Brasil Records] (psybient,...

Posted by Indra on 20 November 2014 - 05:55 PM

Artist: VA (compiled by Indra)

Album:Forest Garden
Type: compilation
Style tags: Psybient, Psydub
Media type: WEB
Year: 2014
Label: Maia Brasil Records
Catalog ID:
1. Master Minded​ - Enter the Garden (feat. Tye B )
​2. Moon frog - Star Portal (feat. JemInEye)
3. Zen Baboon -  Ovostruz
4. Kalpataru Tree​ - Over the Years
5. beatfarmer - Tuvan Dream
6. Martins Garden - Aurora
7. Tikki Masala - Deep Mystery
Balancé - Rainy Day
9. Naturelement - Out Flow
10. Globular - Timeless Vibration
​11. Primal Vibration​ - Lost Stillness


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#1149 What do you enjoy about psychedelic downtempo?

Posted by Soul Shanti on 20 February 2015 - 04:37 PM

I like that every songs is an unique journey. I've been almost exclusively listening to psybient and related genres for the past 3 years and I never felt tired of it. It fits with every kind of atmosphere (imo), i can listen to it while falling asleep, while working on something, while chilling with people, i can dance to it, i can walk/run/train to psybient... its limitless. It just put me in a state of mind where im at peace and cool with everything.

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#209 Androcell - Imbue (2014) [Altar Records] (psybient, psydub)

Posted by Gagarin on 05 November 2014 - 11:03 PM

Artist: Androcell
Album: Imbue
Type: album
Style tags: Psydub
Media type: CD/WEB
Year: 2014
Label: Altar Records
Catalog ID: ARCDA46
Length: 00:59:41
1. Smile On (07:31)
2. Under The Sun (06:46)
3. Trodding Valleys (06:49)
4. Pushing Onward (08:28)
5. Finding Our Bliss (06:26)
6. Neuron Circus (07:32)
7. Sacred Encounter (07:38)
8. Root Of Pharmacology (08:28)

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