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Topics - Seren

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Everything and Nothing / ....genre of music - what's it about??
« on: July 11, 2021, 09:34:43 AM »
   I remember as youngster I'd listen to a wide range of music, I might not enjoy it all in the same way, but I'd give it a go.
   Recently I have been enjoying listening to music so much I have even bought CDs from genre's I normally avoid and thought I'd start a thread where I / we can ask 'what's it all about?'
   I'm hoping we can share our understandings and pleasures and learn from each other - I'm not looking for simple I like / I don't like type interactions. I'd really like to get to understand genre's I struggle with - clearly many people enjoy listening to them.

So as a start:
   Jazz - what's it all about?

   I have been listening to 'Charles Mingus at Carnegie Hall' (recorded 1972). The musicians are extremely talented and know what they are doing. They can take a song they know well, improvise around it together for a long time - starting, stopping, changing key and musical direction etc at what seems the drop of a hat - no one having to catch up or get back in the groove.
   There is what sounds like a great drum solo at one point which as a drummer I can hear the skill involved.
   But I don't get it...despite my enjoyment of discordant electronic music and strange rhythms I don't really know what I'm supposed to be enjoying - where do I hang my hat? How do I get the groove??
   The discordant harmonies are consistent enough to show they are deliberately chosen and explored - and different musicians use them at the same time so they 'disharmonise' together.
I know Jazz evolved out of other music (as do they all) so is there any history I need to check, to understand how the linked forms evolved and what they were trying to achieve or explore as they responded to what went before?

Your knowledge and experience very welcome

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / what are you listening on?
« on: March 31, 2021, 12:59:57 PM »
We had planned a trip abroad for my 60th this year, but I'm not getting on a plane at present...
   I've had my hi-fi for many years - CD and amp for 22 years, speakers for 17 and a DAC for about 5.
   So after some discussion we agreed I could upgrade my hi-fi...and spend an amount that I may not get the chance to do again
Pics are:

Technics SL-PS 770D CD player

Technics Su-A900mk2 amp

Beresford Bushmaster Dac

JMLab Cobalt 816

So after umming and ahhing and not being able to go into a shop to audition I decided to upgrade the CD player to a Naim CD5si

which has 28 less buttons on it.....
   also very minimal on features - only analogue audio out and no digital in. Not even a cd drawer mechanism, you lay it on, put on a magnetic puck and push the drawer closed. Almost the sense of laying a needle to a record....
   I also had to get new interconnects to go with it - Chord company Clearway.

The nice man in the hi-fi shop did me a deal on an ex demo model that has hardly been played due to lockdown and he had some speaker cable off cuts that were exactly the length I needed so he terminated them and only charged me for the termination  - so I got £120 worth of cables thrown in for free that direct from the manufacturer or amazon would have been about £220....

I picked it all up up last Friday, had it all set up in about 30 mins and spent a number of hours listening. I had thought my amp might not be able to cope, but it is doing a stirling job so far. the sound is so improved / different that after a few hours my brain was running out of my ears. Hearing things never heard before or hearing things i had heard but much more clearly (not always for the best - including my own music).
   Definitely a time of being halfway through one track and trying hard not to immediately put on another when I think 'my god, what will that sound like'.
   So I may be spending more time listening to music in the near future than making it...

...I'm always interested in what people listen on and in lockdown I can't get anyone round and say OH MY GOD LISTEN TO sharing my excitement here....


...and like buses, 2 arrive at the same time.

Sparse V - is a longform version of the 20 minute version from the project Sparse.

I loved listening to the finished shorter track and wanted to make a longer version - hence this album came into being.

I find myself drifting with the music, hearing different things each time, falling into different parts of the mix and depth of sound each time. Even though I have listened to it numerous times I can't tell what is going to happen next and the epheremal movement of the sounds draws me in...

Hi all,

Hoping this year is better than the last...
   I've managed to get back into the studio and have released the following ongoing project:

Rather than an 'album', Sparse is intended to be an ongoing project to be added to over time and allowing me to create music that is not constrained by the need to be a coherent release...
   ...5 tracks to begin with and more to come in the future. I found these tracks do share a sonic connection - something that arose out of the creative process, but looking forward to delving into different sounds in the future

available for free / name your price at

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / old equipment.
« on: November 17, 2020, 11:09:55 AM »
I've had my Roland VS2480CD for over 14 years (got it second hand).
   The CD burner has started playing up - will read and rip from but not burn to.

I have considered replacement, but the current range of non computer based DAWs (Tascam and others) seem very basic in comparison. They appear to be stripped down, lean machines with less flexibility, adaptability and range.
   I suspect the quality of the recording is as good, but I would struggle to do what I can do at present...especially as they generally seem to lack digital ins and outs - all my equipment is linked via S/PDIF digital connections (another older technology) - so much of what I do now would no longer be achievable.

I have bought a Zoom44 interface that enables me to record from the VS direct to Sonar on the computer - converting digital to USB.
   I still have to create a final mixdown on the VS - it's just the process of getting it from VS to computer that has changed, it is a longer and slightly more complicated process.
   In the past the computer was mainly used to store final tracks/albums with some use of sonar to play around with some sound effects and long fade in / outs (10 - 20 minutes) - so still getting my head round options and possibilities. Including whether this is the best I can do for what I want to do...

I am open to any thoughts, ideas, discussions, suggestions about how to think or what to do...

Everything and Nothing / unexpected Hypnos message recieved
« on: October 23, 2019, 01:11:09 PM »
Hi all,

I have received a NSFW message in my Hypnos message box - anyone else had anything similar?

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / 4K movies and documentaries
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:50:23 AM »
Well it took a bit of time and a dispute with a large retailer over misselling a TV >:( >:( >:(, but I've upgraded to 4k TV and player.

I've not yet bought many 4k discs but the improvement is significant and both 'upsample' all other discs to the next highest spec (Blu ray to 4k and DVD to Blu ray).... I know they are not as good as watching a disc in the higher resolution, but they are not far off.
Even ordinary TV is better. In UK watching Blue Planet II on TV is often like having an aquarium in the room.

Deadpool - brilliant.
Passengers - quiet but interesting story, brilliant picture.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - fluff of a story but stunning picture.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - improvements harder to define.
Planet Earth II - Exquisite and Beautiful and Stunning

Everything and Nothing / RIP Tomita
« on: May 10, 2016, 12:50:13 AM »
Just heard that Tomita has died - this is another one of those that really hits hard, I remember getting The Planets as a youngster.  :'(

Everything and Nothing / RIP Terry Pratchett
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:56:12 AM »
don't know what to say, thouroughly enjoyed his books, will miss his sideways humour and the hints that he knew more about things than he let on.....

Everything and Nothing / Chef Thread:
« on: September 22, 2014, 12:32:53 AM »
Baked Trout:

Tin Foil with a little olive oil on to stop the fish sticking.

Fish should be fully deheaded and de-finned

Place fish on the foil and add a little butter on top, black pepper to taste.

Place a number of baby plum tomatoes and 'half moon' slices of orange and yellow peppers tightly around the fish, drizzle soya sauce over this and then finely cut coriander leaf dropped over the fish in the centre.

Fold over the foil to enclose - preferably not touching the food on the top.

Place in preheated oven gas mark 9 for 20 mins.

The foil should hold in all the juices/fuids making this a moist meal.

Once cooked slide the whole lot onto a plate - If cooked to the right moment the top side of fish should peel off the bones easily, then the bones should peel off the bottom side in one complete piece.

I occasionally cook rice as well, but numerous people have found this in itself enough for a main course.

Hypnos News and Announcements / Thanks to Mike
« on: January 20, 2014, 10:02:49 AM »
Not just for running Hypnos, managing the forum and doing all the other things that make him all round nice guy...

but also for responding so quickly to the crappy spammers - pages and pages of the crap tooday!!!!

Sure it is not something he enjoys spending his valuable time on so big thanks and thumbs up - we love you Mike 8)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / effects - old and new
« on: December 10, 2013, 04:40:57 AM »
I'd like to tease a theme out of the middle of another thread.....

....after almost 20 years of neither listening to recorded music, nor recording music I was very surprised when I started dipping my toes back in to the river again.

In some ways I was positively amazed - the things digital synths and DAWs can now do would have taken a building the size of Rockfield recording studios in the 70's and 80's (when I was recording) to achieve.

In other ways I was negatively amazed - despite all the advancements, effects units appeared to be basically the same, more complicated, more powerful, but still focussed around the same set of processes that had been around for years - reverb, phase, flange, echo, filters, ring mod etc.

I know I may not have looked hard enough or in the right place, but I am surprised about this - I would be very happy to be corrected and guided to interesting effects or other sound processing

Please discuss:

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / 24 Frames per Second
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:32:57 AM »
Hi everyone, I've been involved with some other musicians in putting together a new release on the Ambientlive label – 24 Frames per Second.

The album is a compilation of music created by members of the Modulator ESP forum.

The idea was to create tracks with an average length of three to three and a half minutes that were inspired by films or possibly for a film.

24 Frames per Second contains 21 tracks by 13 artists with a wide range of styles and contains some unexpected music.

All profits from the album are being donated to ‘The Music Therapy’ charity -

Ambientlive webpage

There are samples from all the tracks on soundcloud:

Front cover:

Back cover:

Disc image:

Hope you enjoy the music.

Independent Music Reviews / Review discussion thread
« on: October 25, 2011, 01:29:27 PM »
Thought it might be good to take the discussion out of Joe's review thread: If Mike want's to delete this thread at a later date when we've clarified things a bit I don't mind.

Would using our own names mean I could not write a review? Or just that whoever writes one makes sure their name is on it.

I don't have a blog or website (yet) - I think we might miss some people sharing their experiences of how the music touches them, I know that Joe wanted to share his delight in the Austere release.

Can we have really minimal rules so we don't inadvertently strangle budding reviewers?

Quote from: michael board=tav thread=4471 post=162081 time=1306185123


Mayfield garden Orchestra was a working sound stage orchestra that recorded a small number of soundtrack albums for little known U.K. films and TV shows between 1969 -1974.

Members of the MGO during sessions for Gridlock (January 1973)

MGO recorded their first album, The Terror Of Doctor Price, in 1970, on the shortlived English Hydrophone label.

The MGO were in the running for the soundtrack to "Karn" series on BBC2 in 1972, and 18 minutes of music was comissioned and recorded, and although Laurie Johnson got the gig, The short (and incomplete) "Karn Suite" was played on Radio One in January 1973, on the Derek Lamont show, albeit in the graveyard slot.

Also in 1972 "The Return of Doctor Price" saw the MGO return to Soundstage 3, Twickenham Studios, where they again accompanied the diabolical escapades of the venerable Doctor.

1974 brought a comission from Bobby Lelandro, and the MGO embarked on the recording of an extremely dark series of pieces for the late night anthology series "In The Watches Of The Night".
A year earlier, in 1973, they almost made a break through in the USA with the film soundtrack to the movie "Gridlock" - only to be scuppered by the Technical Union of America strike of summer 1973.

Because of the percieved limited appeal of soundtrack recordings, none of the five albums were pressed in any significant quantities. Gridlock is the first of the MGO recordings to see the light of day in almost 40 years, and discussions are in progress to re-release the other wonderful recordings of The Mayfield Garden Orchestra.

Unfinished 1973 proof copy of release artwork for the unfinished movie "Gridlock".

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Pete Christopherson RIP
« on: November 25, 2010, 05:19:49 AM »

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Frances byers sod off
« on: November 04, 2010, 05:29:11 AM »
title says it all

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / AKG C 3000 B
« on: December 28, 2008, 06:07:37 AM »
I'm thinking of upgrading the microphones in my studio - I've seen a pair of these and wondered if anyone has any experince with them or advice?


Other Ambient (and related) Music / EMPortal forum CD
« on: October 28, 2008, 05:47:59 AM »
Hi everyone,

The EMPortal forum has been putting together a compilation of music by members. It's a 2 CD and should be available soon.

go to to have a look at the artists and tracks list etc (scroll down a little). There is a wide range of artists on the set so the music should be just as varied.

Everything and Nothing / Cover songs....
« on: September 12, 2008, 06:52:40 AM »
Anyone got a song they want to do a cover version of, even for fun, from any field of music.

I've always wanted to do a version of Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game' - no idea why, just intrigues me.

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