Ambient Drone Using Stock Cubase 11/12 or NI KK 13 VST/Instruments?

The below short excerpt is not the best example of the background, low frequency drone I’m shooting for but will do for this.

(YouTube only allows for a 60 sec. clip and this one is 29 - I tried to clip it to some semblance of a verse. The actual passage featured here in the full track is from 4:30 to about 6:30.)

It’s IMO also a bit of a muddy mix in that the dulcimer type instrument and gliding lead guitar sound (also in the background) are a bit buried.

I’ve looked at YouTube videos on creating this type of drone but it gets really complicated when soundscaping it from the ground up using some non-musical environmental sound and tweaking oscillators and the like.

I’m just looking for a pad or other instrument that would have the essence of this kind of sound, then I can go in and adjust things.

I’ve spent so much money rebuilding my computer, I just can’t afford buying another Native Instruments KK instrument or other VST.

So hopefully there is something I can do within Cubase to pull pull of this kind of sound. Or something in Kontakt Komplete 13 which I already have.


♫ Maybe best listened to with decent earbuds or headphones for that low end "rumble’ drone…

Also, I created an unlisted 2x loop excerpt of the two or so minutes of the part so that one can get a better sense of it. As stated there, please d not share, publish, sample or otherwise link to it: it’s unlisted for a reason: for reference purposes only.

And it’s only temporary - I will nuke the video once the subject of this thread is answered or becomes a dead thread. :slight_smile:


There are so many things going on sound wise in that clip that it is virtually impossible to give you any kind of suggestions without borrowing your ears and your brain.

Have you experimented with Padshop?

Also, it is considered slightly rude to “bump” a topic one day after posting. :wink:

Point taken on the bump - I removed it. Wasn’t paying attention - I have a post at the NI forum on an other subject that’s been floundering, so maybe I was thinking of that one.

And, you’re right, and I should have stated that there are a lot of layers of sound - probably several tracks stacked.

As to Padshop, I’ve did some dipping into it but whether its that or other pad, I don’t know how to get that wall-of-sound aspect of pads. Mine tend to sound a lot thinner. Maybe it does take a multi-instruments layers approach. I just haven’t figured out which.

Also, this needs to be said:

Due to a longstanding disability that has affected my cognitive capacity and my age - I’ll be 70 in less than two years, I don’t have the stamina of my youth. I want and need to compose music, I can’t handle spending hours and days tweaking LFOs and the like.

In short, I need ready-to-go sandbanks or patches that I can nominally tweak for I’m also a bit old school - apart from drums and percussion, I create and arrange, and play all instruments through my old Korg Trinity. I don’t use samples, I’m a MIDI guy.

As alluded to before, I’ve seen plenty of videos on how to create cinematic/ambient drones - namely Venus Theory. The guy is brilliant, but again, I have neither the time or ability to do integrate the complexities.

'Nuf said.

Native Instruments Reaktor. Try exploring the user library.

@stingray - Thanks. Ran into that possibility also as I kept looking. :slight_smile:

If you’re looking for good “out of the box” sounds I can also recommend Padshop Pro with the ZeroG extension banks. I also recommend Spectrasonics Omnisphere which has thousands of excellent patches and Halion Sonic SE is pretty good if you add multiple instruments within the VST and layer/EQ/pan them carefully.

Have fun and be sure to post a link to your drone masterpiece :slight_smile:

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@aromadome - Thanks, I’ll look into that. And thanks for the encouragement. All the suggestions here are good. I just have to not go into info-overload as can happen.

BTW mentioning my situation IRL, it didn’t use to be this way. I picked up a 6 string guitar at 16, went to 12 string at 17, and at 21 I was boat sitting a an old schooner in the Virgin Islands in’76, and I’d load it in my 6ft dingy to go “home” across the harbor (hardly enough room for the both of us - lol.) During that time I would play my guitar to the point that my fingers bled.

I never “made it” in music, but the passion was there and played on a couple of radio stations and even a local USA for Africa benefit concert in L.A. in '84. Then I discovered the hardware music workstation (Korg) in the early '90s after I had to face that I had a serious problem (the disability thing). That was the last time I was able to hold down a job.

By then I didn’t play guitar or sing anymore, but a whole new world opened up where I could play everything myself. Then came Cubase SX1…

OK, a bit TMI. Point:

It’s not about being lazy - just more dense and slower on the uptake. :sunglasses:

If you want a good Guitar sound then Omnisphere has some excellent patches from its sister product “Trillian”. I was surprised to find some quite decent lead and bass guitar sounds in Halion Sonic SE as well although I mainly use Trillian and Serum for electronic bass sounds (I’m a techno boy :slight_smile:

I was classically trained as a Pianist when I was very young but the errors of youth took me into broadcasting instead. I’m jealous of anyone who can play Guitar. My fingers are just too big!

Thanks. I didn’t play lead - rhythm, I feel pretty inferior to those who master lead. But I was pretty good it seems even though looking back I was very limited in terms of chords - as many others were:

One day when I was literally living out of pretty funky recording-rehearsal studio in Van Nuys, CA, one of the perks was to use the stage, p.a. etc. At one point this older black guy was standing there listening to me. He was and looked like the classic, old school Chicago R&B/blues guy. Once I got off the stage, he said, “You know… for a white guy, you’ve got rhythm”.

Coming from him, it meant a lot to that skinny 29 y.o. white dude. :slight_smile: