I’ve been songwriting for awhile, but I am completely new to live performance. One thing I really want to figure out is a way to create cool ambient noises on stage – but I don’t even know where to begin with this kind of stuff. What’s a good place for someone new to start looking?

I’m thinking of sounds along the lines Chad VanGaalen’s intro to “Where Are You? ” (it sounds like maybe there is a delay pedal involved??). Are there any pedals that I can manipulate dynamically on stage that create weird washes of sound?

I’m looking more towards the simpler ways to accomplish this – i.e. I don’t really want to introduce a laptop into the equation. I’d prefer something that works as seamlessly with an electric guitar performance as possible.

I know nothing! Help me out. Thanks!
Delay, reverb, looper, slight modulation (imo this is preferential, and not essential). You can stack delays (run a delay into another delay) for more depth.

Loopers are good because you can then loop and stack multuple layers of the delayed signal, possibly changing delay times and effects levels, between loops.

An overdrive would be good for different textures, as changing amp channels changes your whole sound overall.

Imo, I would recommend looking into Boss DD-3 or 7, TC Electonic Flasback (X4) or MXR Carbon Copy, Boss RV-5 or TC Electronic Hall of Fame, TC E. Ditto (X2, and any Tubescreamer type pedal you like, or even the EHX Soul Food.

Hope I helped.
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
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Strymon Timeline
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TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
Great – thanks. I guess a looper might be the closest to what I am looking for – if I can loop sounds to the point where you can't really recognize their source anymore that could create some cool textures.
Realistically, if I was doing what you wanted to do, I would run a Boss DD-3/DD-7/TC Electronic Flashback/Flashback X4 for delays, an EHX Holy Grail/TC Electronic Hall of Fame/ Boss RV-5 for reverb, and a Boss RC-3/RC-30/Digitech Jamman Stereo and a Line 6 DL4 for delay, reverb, and looping.

I don't have experience with all of them, but have looked into them, and this purely my opinion. Most of these pedals are fairly common; nothing special, so they shouldn't be too hard to find.
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
2006 PRS CE-24
Mesa/Boogie Mark V
Voltage S212 w/ V30's
Strymon Timeline
CMATMods Signa Drive
TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
Multi-FX pedals like the M13..

Check out the "particle verb" from Line 6.


Line 6 has some awesome crazy ambient stuff. Mostly it's reverb/delay but they do sound mad.. and you can turn the mix up so you can't hear initial guitar sound at all, only the effects, so you can have it sound really cool and it's not-so-obvious a guitar is making the sounds.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 2, 2014,
I got this using an volume swells with a tonne of reverb plus either (or might have been both) shimmer and particle verb from my Line 6 M5. There was probably some delay on there too.


Equipment used: Gibson SG, Soul Preacher Compressor, M5, Hall of Fame, iRig and Garageband on my phone

Its just an ambient track that just kindo loops round a bit and slightly different stuff comes in every now and then. Its just a demo really...
I play the same kind of stuff you want to play.

My board is in a link in my sig if you want to take a look.

The Line 6 M9 is the centerpiece. The Spring Reverb can get insanely, stupidly deep. Combine that with a delay of your fancy, and you're basically into ambient wash heaven. Then head over and check out the Octo Verb. lol.

Besides my M9, one of my major players is my Mooer Eleclady, which is an EHX Deluxe Mistress clone. It gives me an effect that sort of makes my sound pulse in and out. I like to keep the speed slow.

That's pretty much it as far as crucial FX go. The other stuff I have I just like. A Muff is a Muff (my Earthquaker Hoof). One of my favorite pedals, you'll probably find yourself wanting one or some other kind of dirt.

Oh yeah, also a looper. There's one in the M9 and M13. Not sure about the M5 (not that you'd consider bothering with an M5 for ambient anyway).

I made this video a while ago, just dicking around, a quick demo of some of the type of sounds I can get out of my board.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 2, 2014,
Oh, great guys. Thanks – this is some cool stuff to work with.

Yeah – I am also just going to need, pedals. Period. But that's another discussion. Though some of it is answered here.
Last edited by Alligatorfish at Jun 3, 2014,