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Messages - Tardigrade

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:22:37 PM »
Listening to a track from the album series called Throne of Drones from 20 years ago.  Asphodel is the defunt label.  I think the track I'm listening to is either Jeff Greinke, Robert Rich or Mick Harris.  Sadly, this album was sold and digitized before I cared about labeling tracks and artists.  It's very deep bass and droney.  It happened during the ephemeral Isolationist genre of dark experimental ambient.  Still sounds good today...       


I wouldn't be surprised if most of what you do is getting the volumes more consistent between different albums with some subtle EQ'ing here and there.

Sure, a lot of that happens with 35-50% of the audio.  Nothing more than a simple gain adjustment and subtle EQ.  Keep in mind, my collection of audio starts at 1937 and half of it was made before 2000.  I continue to buy new music in 2018.  The music since 2005 is less likely to need significant adjustments.

However, a lot of the pre 1995 content and even some 2005+ content really needed some major remastering to hang with my entire collection played randomly at an average 16-12rms.  This included broadband compression, frequency specific compression, stereo width adjustments, complicated EQ, transparent limiting and occasionally a touch of reverb.  Some really old recordings benefited from some noise reduction. 

Robert Rich and Steve Roach have been making excellent music since 1980 something.  However, there is a very big difference in the way they master their music today.  I prefer the way they master their music today.   


It would never occur to me to remaster someone else's music. I try to get into the mind of the composer - but I also prefer instrumental music because I am free to imagine whatever the music inspires in my mind, rather than having my thoughts directed by lyrics. 

But I suppose the remastering Tardigrade describes is just an extension of how I used to record tracks to cassette to create compilations - taking what is given and changing it for my own preference. It's amazing that the technology to achieve it is now so easily available.....(showing my age there a little....)

The purpose of me remastering my collection of 10,000+ songs is not to disrespect artists that I admire.  It's intended to make my entire collection of music significantly more compatible when played randomly.  If I didn't do this, it would be impossible to enjoy a random play from my entire collection unless I rode the fader, several EQs and compressors. 

I have unapologetically remastered Brian Eno, Steve Roach, Robert Rich and pretty much everyone famous and not really famous in Ambient.  I'm very happy with the way they sound now and don't think anyone would object to what I have done if they listened to it with my system.

Music from vinyl creates real waves. Digital music consists of bits and bytes. Bits and bytes cannot simulate real vibrations.  Depending on the recording resolution they generate artefacts. Digital cannot replace real waves. It comes close but it is not the same.

24bit/96k or even 24bit/48k recorded with a semi pro quality rig sounds exactly like the input.  Literally no one can reliably tell the difference when there is a less than a 20% chance of guessing correctly.  I agree things on vinyl sound different than the same release on a CD.  A lot of this has to do with the needle and the turntable.  LPs are romantic.  I love them.  I also love to capture them digitally at their prime.  The prime LP for me is one that has a bit of dust in the grooves.   

The beauty of remastering your collection to suit your ears is you still get to keep the original.  Digitally capturing vinyl sounds exactly the same as it was played from a turntable assuming you have an average modern audio interface.  You don't have to modify it after that unless you want to.  Digital is forever. Vinyl isn't.  Pops and clicks occur over time.  I enjoy the pops and clicks I've captured digitally.

No I have never regretted remastering audio I purchased.  A/B comparisons happen in real time.  The original is always there in just in case I realize I messed up the remaster long after it happened.       

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 30, 2018, 03:26:23 PM »
I'm listening to Microstoria's SnD via the youtube footage linked on Discogs. It is interesting. Sometimes I'm amazed that there are these pockets of music from over 20 years ago (!!!) that are still new to me. The world is such a big place.

Chances are a better stream can be sourced directly from Thrill Jockey Records.  They are mostly a semi-popular Indie Rock label, but somehow scored the obscure MoM and Microstoria at their apex.  SnD is one of my favs that really shines with some careful remastering.  The original has some extreme bass notes and the high end has muted content that deserves to shine. 

I suggest you make some contacts in Japan and include a Mercedes Benz with the purchase of your ridiculously long low bit rate music.  This has been done before.  I mean the Benz with the very long music. 

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Drone/pad EQ-ing.
« on: May 28, 2018, 02:22:42 PM »
APK and I have said basically the same thing on two occasions in this thread and no one is willing to admit it.

You "simply don't like to digitize" and have many reasons for it, but have shared none of them.  Then you said:  "Remastering old media mostly means brighter/louder and to compress edges and subtly tones/movements". 

Remastering old or even brand new media can be the opposite of what you said.  To be fair, it is often something closer to what you said especially with pre 2000 files, but without the assumptive negative effects. 

When remastering any song, the goal is to produce something that sounds better to my ears than the original.  My goal is not to make the loudest or brightest file possible.  My goal is to make every song sound the way I want it to.  The end result is a large collection of audio that can be played at random without ever needing to adjust the volume or EQ.  There are some exceptions to this.  Brian Eno faded into 80s Industrial is expected to have a noticeable loudness difference even if they have a similar RMS value.  Drone music can actually be subjectively louder than more abrasive music at the same RMS. 

I understand some artists feel this is a sacrilegious / offensive thing to do.  I wish they didn't feel that way.  They should be glad I paid money for their product and carefully modified it to suit my ears and make it fit into a much broader playlist.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Drone/pad EQ-ing.
« on: May 27, 2018, 02:36:00 PM »

As i understand, the basic problem when you do drone is nasty resonances in low-mid and hi-mid frequency range. It completely kills the drone turning it in plastic unpleasant trash.

And my problem is that i'm always overdo resonance cutting (i do it with notch) ... doing too much of eq carvings. Thus, my drone usually sounds too "soft" compare to drone that other do. Always do much more that 2-3 dB :(

Maybe is there any "tactics" when cutting resonances and any unpleasant frequencies?

Yes, there is a tactic that is better than a notch for the issue you have. Frequency selective compression that targets the resonant frequency above a certain threshold using the proper bandwidth and compression ratio.  This is something a simple EQ can't do. 

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Drone/pad EQ-ing.
« on: May 27, 2018, 02:26:58 PM »
Since a drone from a synth, guitar, cello, etc. can have infinite spectral possibilities, there is no set formula for drone EQ.  Analyse the sound with your ears and a real time frequency analyzer.  Make whatever EQ adjustments you need to get the sound where you want it to be.  Fairly narrow band parametric EQ in problematic muddy frequencies is typically more effective than broader EQ curves or extremely narrow notches.   

I also would never digitize my media. I simply try to be careful with it.
Eventually: Remastering is imo mostly a disadvantage for the original (but not always).

Please explain why you would never digitize your media and how remastering is mostly a disadvantage.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 26, 2018, 02:43:29 PM »

I think you'd also like Microstoria. Check out SND and Init Ding. It was a duo of Markus Popp from Oval and Jan St. Werner from Mouse On Mars.

I might be one of the biggest Microtoria and early Mouse on Mars fans on the planet.  MoM has produced a lot of works that do not appeal to me at all.  My favs of the two are: 

Microstoria:  Init Ding, SnD, Model Three Step Two and Reprovisers. 

MoM:  Instrumentals, Glam, Autodikaker, Niun Niggung 

Microstoria is Ambient / Avant Garde / Experimental electronics.  SnD is the most Ambient of the bunch. 

The MoM albums mentioned here are Ambient techno / glitch / IDM.

All the albums mentioned exhibit interesting sonic characteristics that very few artists have successfully emulated.  Some of the Microstoria content appears to be influenced by the early Avant Garde electronic pioneers from 1950-1970.   


CDs, vinyl and cassettes  ;D will still continue to be purchased however storage after a lifetime of collecting music is now a major issue. Thank goodness for downloads in that regard.

Digitize and remaster everything physical.  If you have been collecting for a long time, it's quite likely a lot of the tracks could benefit from some careful remastering.  Only keep cds and lps that you like more than 60% of just in case the worst case digital scenario happens.  Also keep rare physicals that could fetch silly money someday.  Sell the rest of your physical collection for a pittance or throw it directly in the trash.

A year after this thread was posted, Spotify went public yesterday and the founder is a multi billionaire on paper.  Spotify lost $1.5 billion last year and the current valuation is absurd.  I do not like the company at all.  They don't provide an adequate payout to artists especially the artists that aren't huge.  They reduce physical and digital sales. 

The only thing I use Spotify for is to preview music that doesn't have an adequate preview elsewhere.  At least the artist gets paid a penny for the preview.  I will never stream instead of buying mostly because remastering a stream is an exercise in futility.  Plus I want obscure artists to get paid a lot more than Spotify pays.   

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach & Robert Rich
« on: April 02, 2018, 03:58:04 PM »
Sadly, epic Ambient collaborations aren't economically feasible by chance.  Send email to Steve and Robert and encourage them to create a Kickstarter with a $5000 minimum.   

Not sure what criteria BC uses, but I've seen many of their so called "Massive Survey of Ambient" pieces and listen to all of them.  Less than 10% of them are something that appeals to a seasoned listener of Ambient.  Perhaps someone here that isn't an Ambient artist should volunteer to promote exceptionally good Ambient? 

Glad to hear Halftribe is rubbing off on someone else! Such a great release.

The previous Halftribe releases such as Luxia did not tickle my fancy to the same extent, but they are on my revolving purchase radar.  Looking forward to Halftribe's next release on Dronarivm soon.  If it's half as good as DDiF, I will buy it to support the artist.   

What I have been playing more than anything else:

Sonmi451 :: Panta Rei

Panta Rei is in my top 10 for 2017.  It might be number six?  Sonmi 451 - The Limbus System is an older release worth purchasing and remastering.   :o 

RR's content continues to evolve positively, but this album doesn't break much obvious new ground in terms of what he has already made.  This is not a problem for me.  It is for others.  This album is 100% fantastic.  I applaud RR for refining his original sonic concepts via modern technology.  I recently purchased something he made 20 years ago.       

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