45 Years After Brian Eno Defined Ambient Music, Sonicware Intros An Ambient Synthesizer

More than 45 years after synthesist Brian Eno defined ‘ambient music’ with his release, Ambient 1 – Music For Airports, Sonicware has introduced a new synth, the LIVEN Ambient Ø, designed specifically for creating immersive ambient soundscapes.

The Sonicware LIVEN Ambient Ø is described as a ‘soundscape synthesizer’ and ‘immersive ambient generator’.

It offers 4 layers of tone and texture: Drone, Pad, Atmos, and Noise; and effects tailored to ambient music, including 9 types of reverb and 6 additional types of effects.

Other interesting features include MIDI IN/Out and audio in, which can be used to add stereo user samples.

Key Features:

  • 4 layers of tone and texture: Drone, Pad, Atmos, and Noise.
  • Blendwave Modulation Synthesis – Newly developed synth-engine with 6 structures, designed to create undulating and fluctuating tones.
  • Noise and Space – The Noise layer processes 8-second stereo sampling loops with noise blending and pitch modulation.
  • Extensive Effects Section – 9 types of lush Reverb with shimmer, plus 6 types of effects including Tape Delay and Master Chorus.
  • Sequencer for Each Layer – Records performances, notes probabilities, and evolving tonal changes.

Audio Demo:

Using the Sonicware LIVEN Ambient Ø to create an ambient soundscape:

Pricing and Availability:

The LIVEN Ambient Ø is available to pre-order for $239 USD.

50 thoughts on “45 Years After Brian Eno Defined Ambient Music, Sonicware Intros An Ambient Synthesizer

    1. On the other hand, USB introduces all these noise and timing problems why people cry for real MIDI jacks again….

  1. @Jens, why discard synths without USB? I personally avoid any USB connection whenever possible to prevent having ground loops, or any crackling artefacts (only discovered after the recording). Only non-audio devices get USB connected in my set-up. So what’s your story to go for the opposite?

  2. This is funny advertising.

    It’s like…Jack Johnson sold his soul to the devil to record the first blues recordings
    Over a hundred years later, I have made this guitar that can play blues’
    Please inquire to own our blues guitar

      1. He surely did… couldn’t play a note before he left and came back playing the Blues.

        I read a book about someone wanting to learn how to play guitar and he made a trip to see the actual crossroads… it was bordered on each side by McDonalds, 7/11’s, souvenir shops and general garbage… I think the Devil would be pretty upset about that.

    1. And yet Fender and Gibson have made hundreds of millions marketing guitars designed for rock and roll.

      Sonicware is being smart by reusing the same hardware platform to release different versions of the same software-based product. The challenge within the industry is that new products get a burst of sales when they’re first released, and then everyone forgets about them when the new Sawzall 2000 XL Turbo is released. Releasing different firmware versions of essentially the same product allows companies to stay in business.

      1. Now I’m imagining Robert Johnson playing ‘Banana Pancakes’…..and thinking “I sold my soul to the devil for this?”

  3. $239 – well. sorry but these (ambient) sounds can be achieved by any plugin (free as well) in conjunction with free shimmer FX from Valhalla

    1. Really?
      Well. Sorry, any style of music can be made with plug ins. Any great number of things can be done for very little cost on an iPad.
      You’re somewhat missing the point.
      Many people find the tactile experience of dedicated hardware more pleasing than using a computer.

  4. I like how it has no audio outs either so that you’re forced to appreciate the ambient sounds of the Monday morning garbage truck outside and that annoying ground loop noise in your monitors you’ve never been able to isolate and quell.

  5. I’ve been waiting for something like this for YEARS. A portable standalone ambient generator with onboard effects, probability sequencer, etc. Sounds dreamy. Instant pre-order.

  6. A completely ridiculous box….what’s next? The Tangerine Dream box? Or, the Kraftwork box? These things make music accessible to dolts not thoughtful musicians!

    1. Can you define what makes a musician a “thoughtful musician?” Or are you saying that if someone is interested in this box, they are a “dolt,” and not a musician? Can you be a dolt AND a musician?

      If I had to guess, I’d say that you don’t think this box should exist because it doesn’t/shouldn’t appeal to real musicians. But that can’t be your take. That would be…. completely ridiculous.

  7. It seems well-positioned in its area. There’s no big difference between adding this for its strengths and putting a Minilogue in the chain for more traditional instrument sounds. You probably wouldn’t tour with it, but its also a cut above extra-cheapo pocket synths. The 8-sec. sampling aspect is a smart addition in an instrument that’s aimed at real-time manipulation anyway. $239 seems reasonable for a specialty tool, not unlike some Eurorack modules. I’ve never heard anyone fault Sonicware’s builds, either.

  8. I love when an illogical, irrelevant statement gets retired.
    And yes, you can make any style of music or noise with plugins, so I guess Leslie doesn’t understand why any hardware synth exists? I mean why doesn’t JMJ just use an iPad or laptop.

  9. What they mean by „layer“ is track/part?

    Basically a 4 part synth (like Nord Lead A1) and then you mix between these 4 parts?

  10. I learned my lesson with the Lofi12. I’ll wait for the Ambient0 XT. The SMPLtrek format is way easier to navigate and use with the screen and menus plus I love the oversized gameboy arrows and 2 buttons thing it has going on.

  11. Looks interesting – especially if they’ve designed the synth signal path specially with Ambient in mind, and they can always add more useful randomisation and scale features in time!

  12. Synthtopia – “45 years after Eno defined ambient music, Sonicware knocked him off.” Translated it for everyone. Synthtopians, like Democrats, hate you.

    At first I thought the knockoff thing was funny, but now I note that it is an actual disorder. The hateful bias of the site works into stories about every synth, including stories about the “good guys.” It’s almost like the writers/readers of this site are bigoted leftist Marxists that are so polluted by hate and anger that no product is pure enough. Just like the Marxists in the 20th century, eventually they eat their own.

    Synthtopians hate synthesizers, unless they are overpriced and designed and produced by communists that donate all profits to destroying private property rights (all while claiming moral authority over those “idiots” that disagree with complete the worldwide slavery that is the goal of your ideology).

    Your ideology crapped its pants last Thursday (it’s the ideas not the old man mumbling those ideas morons). Since TDS hit society, I can’t even look at synthesizer news without being preached Marx. Synthtopia started the politics on the site, and slowly has been showing its true colors, which is they hate you, unless you have the same voting patterns.

    Synthtopia hates more than half the products it reviews here. I liked it better when the site at least pretended to respect its readers. Sorry that I don’t advocate for global oppression and government control over all aspects of my life. Can I read about synths without the hypocritical indoctrination into the most racist and murderous ideology in history.

    The desperation of the left demands all action be devoted to the party. Synthtopia is a great example of the blind adherence to the cause. Marxists think they are subtle about the propaganda, but after decades of ignoring and condescending to anyone that disagrees, the Marxist intellect has atrophied to the point that I bet Synthtopians don’t even notice the bias. The hate becomes more of a vague “feeling,” as thinking is racist/mean.

    I’m surprised there wasn’t a vax requirement to visit this website.

    1. MuscleMenMarx – You have lots of thoughts to share!

      Some readers may have trouble reconciling your anti-Marxist take with the fact that essentially all synthesizers are now either made in China, or made of Chinese parts. If you don’t want to support the commies, globalization has made it challenging.

      But I suspect your comments may resonate with readers that are triggered by Synthtopia’s use of the term ‘knockoff’ for synths that are designed to be cheap, unofficial copies of the originals.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  13. While I recognize it’s not for everyone, I love having all the tools in one box. Was so excited when I saw it drop I tried to order it in the stands during a minor league baseball game

  14. A lot of navel gazing in these comments. You don’t need midi for ambient music – just hit record. I think this sounds fxxking great for $239, and has heaps more character than a lot of other synths in this price range.

  15. Who cares if it’s labelled “ambient”. I’ve been making “ambient” tracks with the Liven 8-bit Warps for ages now, for instance, and it’s supposed to be focused solely on chiptune.

    Look at what the capabilities of the synth engine are (this one looks rather tasty for general pads and similar, perhaps?), then figure out if it gels with your musical direction. Otherwise, they could label it “cheese sandwich” for all I care…

  16. I’m a Texture owner and think SonicWare make some good ideas. But, come on, you can’t use the words Immersive in your ads, and Atmos in your interface these days without confusing people. Dolby Atmos is equated with both terms. Ugh.

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