Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Topics - | broken harbour |

Hello Friends!

Quiraing, the Ambient/Drone album from myself and Robert Davies will be released January 25th on Databloem. 

Taking inspiration from the epic landscapes found in Scotland, Quiraing was recorded over 2 years during 2012-2014 during what was a prolific time for Robert.  The album survived my bouts with writers block, sickness, family crisis and 2 computer failures, the fact that I stand here 3 years after we started, with a finished project to present to you, makes me extremely excited, and frankly, a little relieved.

I was stunned and excited when Robert accepted my invitation to do a record together.  Robert and I have very different writing methodologies, and working with him was both challenging and rewarding, and I feel our unique ways of working contributed to a very unique sound on this release.  It truly doesn't sound like anything else out there at the moment.  Robert really blew me away with his contributions, I loved working with him on Quiraing, and I hope it's only the first of several collaborations together.

Here's a 12 minute album preview:



1. Quiraing - 10:57
2. Seaside Surreal - 6:42
3. Moorlands  - 13:13
4. Stone Circle - 8:04
5. Megalith - 8:17
6. Lochs Obscured - 7:22
7. Sunshowers - 9:35
8. Only Rain - 5:26

Total Runtime: 69:42

Want to hear the whole thing?

Good, because At Water's Edge, Rebekkah Hilgrave's fantastic weekly radio show on Stillstream will debut Quiraing in it's entirety on January 24th, 2pm-5pm Pacific, 4-7pm Central, 9pm-1am UTC. This will be the worldwide debut of the album, and you won't hear it anywhere else!  Robert Davies and I will both be in chat for the duration of the show.  Feel free to stop in and ask us... anything.

See you there!
Hi All,

I was big into Sonar for many years, but I bought Logic 9 a few weeks back, and have just started to use it.  Since most of you here use a variant of Logic (I think) and since my used copy came with almost no documentation, I'm going to ask some dumb questions and hopefully get some easy answers.  I've tried some google searches but with something as complicated as Logic, it's often difficult to get a straight concise answer to a question like "how do I.....?"

Here goes...

Dumb Question #1:
How do I do envelopes?  Say I want to fade something in/out or play with panning?  I can't seem to find the "envelopes" button or command.

Dumb Question #2:
How do I get a multitrack soft synth to output multitrack?
This sounds silly right?  Well I'm using Omnisphere, and I split the keyboard down the middle to play 2 different sounds at the same time, and then I can route it's internal bus's to separate outputs internally on the instrument, so 'Sound 1' outputs to 'Out A', 'Sound 2' outputs to 'Out B', etc...  but it keeps just outputting to a single track in Logic.  Doing this was totally simple in Sonar 8, but in Logic 9... uh.... I can't figure it out.  I selected 'MultiTimbral Instrument' and it creates 8 stereo tracks for the 8 possible Outputs in Omnisphere, but they won't 'route' to the correct tracks.

Thanks for the help!
To celebrate a year since the release of 'The Geometry of Shadows', the download versions all of my releases will switch to a 'pay what you want' model from October 5th to November 5th, 2013.  This would be a great time to snap up releases that you don't yet have, or a great time to invite friends or family to listen to Broken Harbour completely risk-free.  All my download releases include liner notes and pdf's of the album artwork.

Tell your friends!
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Midi Controller Recommendation
September 09, 2013, 06:37:59 PM
Hi All,

I've recently had a a music job actually pay something.... And I wanted to invest at least some of it into better equipment.  Can anyone recommend a good, weighted action, 88 key midi controller that won't obliterate my savings account?  I have an M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 now, and while it's perfectly competent, the weighted action is pretty lacking, so I barely play piano on it. 

Piano is something I want to do more of.

I'd prefer to keep things under a thousand bucks if possible.
I'm curious to know what people prefer when buying physical CD's these days.

I know the prevailing attitude is that Digipacks are superior, friendlier to the environment, and makes the artwork look nicer (no weird reflection from the case), but I've found the even though my CD's rarely leave the shelf (they're all ripped to my computer anyways) after 10 years or so some of them look like hell, wrecked corners etc...

At least with a jewel case when it gets scratched, busted, set on fire, whatever, you can just replace the case and it looks like new again.

I'm curious to know what collectors prefer, especially as I release albums in the future, I'd rather produce them in packaging that people want.
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Your Use of Reverb
December 18, 2012, 11:50:32 AM
Here's a question for you knowlegable types...

I'm currently working on a track for a compilation, I have the basic elements completed, synth patches mostly, no percussion elements.  When played back dry (no effects) it is missing something, a little flat, reverb gives it a nice, expansive sound, but it introduces a considerable amount of mud.  It almost sounds like 'First Light' from Immersion 3 by Steve Roach, while I like that album, it wasn't the sound I was going for.

I've tried eq'ing the source sounds, eq'ing the reverb, and I've run each sound source through multiple layers of small reverb, and also put one big reverb on a bus and run all tracks into it just to see what it sounds like. It still sounds a tad too muddy.

So my question is... how do you use reverb on your ambient-ish tunes? 
Am I the only that seems to have problems shipping to the UK?  I've been getting a few complaints / heads up emails about CD's taking up to 6 weeks to arrive in the UK.  Many haven't arrived at all and I have to re-ship the order.  I used to have orders arrive in the UK with a week or two, but lately it's been really bad.  I've probably replaced 6-7 orders for customers already, wondering if it's just me....
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / VST / Software Suggestions?
November 09, 2012, 01:21:12 PM
So now that my day job is finally calming down, It'll be time to start writing again, I'm looking to add a few pieces of software to my current rig in order to broaden my pallette of sounds a bit. So I guess I'm looking for suggestions on a few things:

Reverb VST:

I've been using the 'Perfect Space' convolution verb and a few others that come in the box with Sonar 8.  They can be tweaked for ambient quite easily, but I've been using them now for 5 years and I'm looking for something with a different sonic character.  I've also downloaded Audio Damage EOS, which is pretty cool, but it feels a bit like a one trick pony.  I'm looking for something really expansive, with long reverb tails, etc... any suggestions?  Maybe I'm missing a technique?

Soft Synths:
I use Sonar 8, and Windows 7 64 bit.  So obviously, I'd like to use something compatible.  I find Sonar 8 is good with most probgrams, tho on occasion it just doesn't like certain synths.

I have Omnisphere, I love it, but kind of tired of it at the moment, again, looking for something with a different character.  I find alot of the patches in Omnisphere are too huge sounding, it seems like they went a little crazy trying to give every patch this massive sound that takes up all frequencies from 20hz-20000hz, I often fix this with EQ, but I often find alot of the built in sounds unusable.

I'm trying to be fiscally responsible with this one, which will likely mean only buying one, large, versatile soft synth.  So I'm trying to decide between:
NI Komplete
Camel Audio Alchemy

Other suggestions?  <- I'm sure there are a tone of other options out there, I haven't been able to do a bunch of research on it, please offer suggestions!

I've realized that, using Omnisphere for the last year or so, that I'm more of a preset tweaker than a sound designer.  So something with usable presets would be nice.  This brings me on to my next question...

Can anyone suggest a good book or something on sound design? 

I have an immense respect for guys you can take a simple sine wave and use oscillators and such and turn it into a gorgeous soundscape.  Anyways... I'd like in on some of that.

My latest album, 'The Geometry of Shadows', is now available.

Originally the music was composed under the title 'Ansible' in 2009, but was shelved when I took a break from music.  Then last year after I released Gramophone Transmissions, I dusted off the material and reworked it over 9 months into this release.  It's quite a left turn from my previous work, but still sounds somewhat familiar in a way, with plenty of variety in terms of mood.  Currently it is available as a digital download on Bandcamp and CD Baby.  There will be a limited Digipack/CDR release coming November 2nd as well, limited to 100 copies, more info on that later.


Music by Blake Gibson
Mastered by Peter James
Artwork by Kati Astraeir
Design by Steve Brand

A big shoutout to Relaxed Machinery for making this release possible!

I was recently interviewed by Relaxed Machinery, I talk about the inspiration behind the album, the creative process, gear, etc... It's fascinating...

Thanks for listening...  ;)

Questions or comments are always welcome!
I've been lurking on here for a little bit, but I guess now it's time to officially introduce myself...

My name is Blake and I create music under the pseudonym Broken Harbour.  While originally a guitar player, I eventually grew tired with traditional guitarish things (metal/blues/rock/etc...) and decided to start recording ambient & drone music as Broken Harbour in 2008. 

Gramophone Transmissions - September 13 2011

September 13 will mark the release of Broken Harbour's second album, entitled 'Gramophone Transmissions'.  It's a bit of an odd album, firmly in ambient territory, but there are no synthesizers on it.  All the source material for the record was samples and loops derived from classical vinyl records, and choral, mellotron and piano recordings. This lends it a bit of a lo-fi character that I found really interesting, hopefully you do too. Michal Karcz (Steve Roach, Erik Wollo, Conjure One) created some incredibly cool artwork for the physical CD release, and is well worth the price of admission alone.  ;D 

The album is currently available as a pre-order ($9.99 digital, $12.99 CD) on my Bandcamp store:

Broken Harbour - August 8 2009

This was the first Broken Harbour release, the self titled album was done in a more traditional ambient style.  It was released independently, and was fairly well received, and even garnered some airplay on a few ambient radio stations and podcasts, including the Hypnagogue Podcast. (Thanks John!)  Currently the CD is out of stock, pending a re-press, so in the meantime the digital release has been marked down to $0.99 for a limited time on my Bandcamp store.

If you'd like to hear samples I encourage all to visit any of the websites listed in my signature below.

Hopefully you like the music as much as I like creating it.  In October I will return to the studio and hopefully emerge in the spring with a few more albums of material.