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Messages - triksterb

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Questions about field recording
« on: April 28, 2010, 08:11:08 PM »
Some good advice, thanks.

I did 2 tests yesterday.  The DR 1 was placed in front of a TV and I raised the volume equally for both tests.  One test had the Limiter set to OFF and the other had it set to AUTO.  These were the results: Limit OFF  Limit AUTO

I think it's pretty obvious that the limiter was my problem after all; it's only present for a few seconds at the end, but it's definitely there in the AUTO sample while the OFF sample is clear throughout the entire thing.  They both have similar levels and the DR 1 did not move an inch.

In conclusion, I'm going to proceed to never use the limiter on the DR 1 ever since it caused me to not use the DR 1 for 3 years, and besides, it's probably better to apply necessary limiting in the production stage.  Thanks APK and Mark for all of your help!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Seeking guitar recs/advice...
« on: April 26, 2010, 10:36:25 PM »
Gonna have to agree with Wayne about finding the right feeling guitar to play.  My first guitar was a Fender strat, and I liked it, but the sound was a bit lacking to me (it was a beginner guitar after all)  One day, my friend asked me if I would like to trade it for his Ibanez Artcore semi hollowbody (he really liked Fender guitars for some reason)  I said yes, because I heard him play it and I liked the sound of it.  So we traded and we both liked our new guitars.  I really liked the Artcore, and after putting in new pickups or whatever (don't really know the technical terms for all of that stuff) in his Strat, he really liked it. 

I played the Artcore for a few years, and it dawned on me that I didn't really like how big the guitar is; I could never play sitting down and it always felt uncomfortable to hold.  Sure I could play it, but not after struggling to find an non uncomfortable position to play in.  I know that if I had never traded, I would be much better at the guitar today than I am now.  Right now the Artcore just kinda sits there collecting dust, and comes out once in a blue moon with an Ebow before I remember how awkward it is to play sitting down and I put it away for a few more months.

Moral of the story is: don't just focus on how it sounds, but on how it feels to hold it both standing up and sitting down.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Questions about field recording
« on: April 26, 2010, 10:24:16 PM »
Hmm... I think the limiter control might be it, actually.  It was set to Auto, so I'm guessing that means it automatically maintains the rain volume and then does like APK said. (and it has a setting called LMT which stands for Limit obviously, but no idea how it's different from Auto)  I've set it to OFF and hopefully that was it.  Thanks for pointing that out guys!

Another thought I had is about the gain control.  On the side of the unit is the input volume which goes from 0-10.  And in the menu, there is a setting called Gain with LOW, MID, and HIGH.  I think I was using the input at 10 and the gain set to LOW, and the resulting audio file is always super quiet and barely even shows up in a waveform editor; do you guys think it would be a better idea to set it to MID or even HIGH (could HIGH possibly introduce distortion?) and set the input volume to what's needed?  It's probably a better idea to keep the input volume around 6-8 since I keep thinking that even though the audio is quiet, the input volume at 10 can cause distortion, but I have no idea if there's any truth to that.  I'm also super paranoid about any clipping that may occur if it's set too high...

Thanks for all the help guys!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Questions about field recording
« on: April 26, 2010, 06:47:19 PM »
I suppose these questions are about field recording techniques using hand held recorders.

I've got a Tascam DR 1 which I've had for about 3 years that I've never really used due to not really needing it.  Lately I've began trying to use it again and I remember why I never played with it much.  I tried to record a thunderstorm recently, and while the rain was at an acceptable quality, the thunder, well, you can hear a small sample here from an hour long recording: (just click download) 

I don't get why it sounds terrible like that when the rain was fine; it completely drowns out the rain and pans back and forth in a unpleasing way.  The thing is that the gain is ridiculously low; looking at a waveform of it shows that it is extremely quiet and is far (far) from clipping, yet it sounds like the thunder is just overloading it and the DR 1 is freaking out about it.  I'm pretty sure it's not wind because then it would happen all over the recording; it only happens when the thunder hits.  I messed with settings like a low cut filter on the DR 1 for different recordings and it still persisted.

If I record something, I'll usually just set it on a chair and leave it for a bit.  It seems to happen with anything I record with it; I'll have a recording of something quiet, and then as soon as something slightly louder comes in, it just covers up everything and sounds terrible.  Maybe I'm wrong and this is how it's actually supposed to be.

Every recording of a thunderstorm I've heard sounded really good; you could hear the thunder against the rain.  Any field recording I've heard have sounded pretty good as well.  So I guess my question is how do you do field recordings with small hand held recorders that have mics built in?  I just use the Tascam DR 1's built in mics, and I'm sure that they are actually not great and that is my problem.  Am I expecting too much out of this thing and all hand held recorders?

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Free speech samples
« on: April 20, 2010, 02:07:24 PM »
Have a look at this: 

Specifically, this page:  There's tags for speech, along with voice, speak, and other tags related to talking.  Some of it is already processed into something else, but there are a few short sentences and speeches here and there.  I found a 30 minute speech on there once that had 3 different presenters, so I got a lot of material from those 30 minutes.  You do have to register an free account to download, but I think it's worth it for the number of great samples the site has.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mired In Twilight
« on: April 16, 2010, 04:59:57 PM »
PMed you back, and just wanted to say in the thread that it sounds great now; just needs a couple little things which I described in the PM.  I really like the sound of it; is there a specific genre for this kind of music?  Keep it up!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mired In Twilight
« on: April 15, 2010, 04:36:27 PM »
Yeah the snare sound itself is fine, just the rhythm isn't very cadence like.  Triplets can help a lot here to get a more war like cadence feeling.  The important thing to remember with any drum part ever is to have dynamics and a little variation throughout.

If you have it as a MIDI track in Ableton, you can do what I do and put a Velocity MIDI effect on the track and set the range to about 80-100.  That way it'll add dynamics on its own and you won't have to go through every clip and adjust random notes which can get very tedious. 

It may be a lot of work to redo an entire snare part, but it'll be worth it when the snare can make you march and groove along with it.   ;)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mired In Twilight
« on: April 15, 2010, 12:42:28 PM »
Listened to The March which I assume was the one you wanted feedback, and I liked the organ and synth parts, but as a drummer, I have to say the rhythm section doesn't work that well.

You wanted this to sound like a cadence in a war, but the snare doesn't really carry it that well.  As it is, it's very flat and has no dynamics to it, and every roll kind of tapers off at the end, which doesn't happen on cadences.  You could try to EQ it to make it stand out more, but the rhythm still doesn't work. 

Another point is to change up the rhythm a little bit.  I didn't really hear any variation throughout the song, so the snare part is just the same thing over and over again.  Throwing in a couple triplets here and there would help.  The timpani could also use a little variation, like a roll into the next part of the song.

Personally, I would change the snare part almost entirely; I would give it a triplet rhythm on 1-2-3 and then a roll on 4, and then throughout the song I would add little fills to change it up a bit.  I would also go through the entire snare tracks and give it random dynamics all over the place to make it sound more real.  The timpani part is fine but I would add rolls before every section to make the new section have more impact.  I would also consider adding a crash at certain points.

Other than that, everything else sounds good.  I really like when the organ first comes in; I just think it would have more impact if the rhythm section built it up more instead of it randomly appearing out of nowhere.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Earth Mantra netlabel
« on: March 28, 2010, 08:47:25 PM »
I know that Kit Watkins has two DVD releases on Earth Mantra:
This Time and Space -- Very trippy stuff...  ;D

The Gathering -- Haven't seen this, but it appears to be a recording of a live performance.

Pretty sure This Time And Space was it, thanks.  I didn't know there was another one, especially of a live performance which should be cool since I've never seen how ambient music is performed live.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Earth Mantra netlabel
« on: March 27, 2010, 11:27:49 PM »
I also remember that there's a DVD (well files to burn onto DVD) on there which struck me as very cool.  I'd love to check it out, but unfortunately I forgot who it was or what the name was.  Does anyone know which release it was?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Earth Mantra netlabel
« on: March 21, 2010, 09:41:58 PM »
Earth Mantra is pretty great.  About 2 months I went on a hunt for hour long pieces, and EM had plenty of them.  I really enjoy Singularity by Palancar, Excursion One from Altus, and a couple others.  I also can't forget about Tange's "A Bucket Full Of Tange" which is 11 hours of music, all for free.  There's some pretty great stuff on there; one of the better netlabels out there.

Everything and Nothing / Re: How do you do?
« on: March 16, 2010, 09:21:45 PM »
Name's Bryan, and I am 21.  I have started a new job yesterday at Disney World here in Orlando, and it is at Animal Kingdom in Dinoland and the Finding Nemo musical theater which, by the way, has an absolutely amazing audio setup in the middle of the room.  It has to have at least $100,000 worth of stuff, and it's hard to not geek out over it when I walk by it.  Anyways, if you're ever here in Animal Kingdom, say hi!

Music wise, just yesterday I have finally finished a track (trip hop) that I really love and think I will set up an Soundcloud account soon so I can finally get feedback on my music.

Florida has been getting warmer slightly, which I'm not looking forward to, since my job will have me working outside most of the time, but it comes with the territory.  I have been going to school for Sound Technology, but I have been seriously considering changing to Journalism; I'm doing really well in my composition class and can write an exceptional (according to my professor) essay in 30 minutes, so that has been exciting. 

And that's about it for recently.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Dolorian
« on: March 05, 2010, 08:24:51 PM »
Cool stuff!  Doom metal was my favorite genre in high school, so I wonder why I never heard of these guys.  They have the "right" guitar sound that I look for in doom metal.  I'm going to check them out, thanks.  And if we're talking doom here, I'll recommend a few bands.

Nortt:  One man band from Denmark who has made some of the slowest and most crushing music ever.  The second track from Ligfaerd is my favorite and is called Ligprędike: .  He started off as funeral doom, and then later start to incorporate more dark ambient soundscapes with his awesome style and tone of crushing guitar.  I think Nortt is perfect for fans of dark ambient like Lustmord.

diSEMBOWELMENT:  Only made one album before splitting up, but that one album is legendary among doom metal fans: "Transcendance Into The Peripheral"  It may actually be the slowest album ever made, as evidenced by the best song called Burial At Ornans: It's a shame they never made another album.

Sunn O))):  My favorite doom (well, drone doom) band.  They are the master of the low end, and are a big reason why I got into ambient music in the first place with their heavy soundscapes.  The best track is Hell-O)))-ween: The quality is terrible and it's cut off, but if you find a high quality version, I guarantee as a doom fan you will not be disappointed.  Here's a video of them live and with their amazing guitar tone:  .  They've been disappointing lately though, since they keep using vocals, which was fine on Black One, but it's kind of run its course now.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Ylang
« on: March 03, 2010, 08:21:22 PM »
Yeah I wish he would make more like Inner Landscapes where it gets really quiet at parts and you have to reach for the volume to raise it up, and the same goes for Calling Down The Sky.  And even though it's a rhythmic album, Temple of the Invisible has those quiet parts, too like the middle of (I think) Fasanina where it's just a ringing sound and the vocalist.  I hope Ylang has some of those moments, too.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich: Ylang
« on: March 03, 2010, 05:55:38 PM »
Haven't gotten it yet, but I listened to the samples on CDBaby and it sounds great.  I especially like the background sounds in Attar and Tamarack.

I've heard the album is like Seven Veils and Temple of the Invisible.  I really like TOTI, but SV not as much, but this one sounds to be as great as TOTI.  Can't wait to order it.

It would be cool to discuss ummmmm.....oh let's see...

How about American Idol!

I know AI is probably laughed at a lot around here, but last season was seriously great and some of the best TV I've ever seen. (Adam Lambert should have won, though)  This season right now though is pretty terrible...

I also think those three subjects are pretty played out, and yes, I realize the irony of saying that since I have a topic on piracy, but I needed opinions for my essay. :-[ Maybe some threads about different genres that aren't related in any way to ambient would be a cool thing to do.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Questions for artists and labels re: Piracy
« on: February 28, 2010, 03:17:21 PM »
"Make-a quick-buck" attitude musicians, highly respected or not, most certainly don't

Hmm...this is interesting.  How can you tell which musicians are like this and which aren't?  I know there's "make-a-quick-imaginary-buck" musicians that release for free on certain labels, and there are those highly respected musicians that deserve money for all of their music, yet they choose to release for free.

When paying for music, it should be expected that it's top quality.  But, more than often, that's not the case.  Do you (everyone reading this) have the same standards for free vs. purchasing or do you all expect more from purchased music?  And if a purchased album was a dud, would you still download that album for free if it was on a netlabel with creative commons (where it's not a big deal because you didn't waste money on it?)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Board Advice
« on: February 25, 2010, 02:48:43 PM »
3.  Do not write droney, dark music.

This is personally my favorite style of ambient.  My ears are more sensitive to higher frequencies then most, so I prefer music with a lot of low end to it.

4.  Do not release too much.

Gonna be honest here and say that I thought this about you when I first started listening to ambient.  I'd go to all of these netlabels like Dark Winter or Webbed Hand and see quite a few releases from you, so I would think "Hmm... another Mystified album.  I've already heard like 3 other albums; what's different about this one?"  So it got me in the mindset that most of the releases did not have a lot of effort put into them (not saying you didn't, but from a listener point of view, it seemed that way) and I wouldn't really bother with them.  There are a few albums where I don't really understand why you decided to release them, but I do really love Altered Signals from Dark Winter and Children Of Space from Earth Mantra and a couple others, but too many releases put me off initially.

You don't need to apologize for anything.  You're doing what I hope to do one day by releasing music on the internet that comes from the heart.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Why do the worst songs go on the longest?
« on: February 21, 2010, 05:37:55 PM »
The worst long songs are the ones that are just a never ending wall of sound with no regards to dynamics or changing the sound, so at the end, your ears are like "Enough already!"  That holds true for shorter songs as well.  Long pieces like the Immersion series or where the music is quiet and has dynamics are usually the best.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Questions for artists and labels re: Piracy
« on: February 20, 2010, 03:00:01 PM »
These are all great points for my essay, especially mgriffin. Thank you!

I think that there is too much ambient music out there to the point where it gets impossible to kind of consistently like.  I don't know how many times I've bought an album, and it just kind of sounded like everything else that I've already heard.  Once in a while, I'll hear a really great album, but most of the time I think it's just someone phoning it in. 

I also think that Creative Commons is one of the best and one of the worst things ever created.  Most of the music I have is under a creative commons license.  It's great because it's free and legal, but it's bad because since it's free, the artist may not put as much effort into it; kind of like "well, this is what you get for free," and also for a niche genre, it's probably easier to release for free, and there are thousands of no name artists, so it gets hard to find something you like.  I've noticed this with some labels; labels like Dark Winter and Earth Mantra have a lot of really great albums and I would gladly pay for them, but some others (I won't name any) have maybe 2 good albums out of an entire catalog and I feel like the artists just didn't put any effort into it since they knew it would be free.  When that happens, you get thousands of boring albums which you can't criticize because "hey it's free!"

Regarding piracy, the majority of the people that I've ever talked to about it has said that they download because they want to hear the whole album first before paying $15 for it.  Of course, I doubt that anybody actually deletes an album they didn't like, since it's just data on a computer and not something they paid for so it's not an incentive for them to get angry about it.  This isn't just music too; I know people that do it with video games which I could see why they do it, but it's far easier to just play the demo or rent it.

Also, what's the deal with CD-r's?  I see them mentioned as a bad thing on this forum all the time; are they just CDs bought from Office Depot with a sticker on them to make them look better, or is it something different?

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