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Messages - ffcal

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient sound packs for synths ?
« on: October 28, 2014, 12:10:23 PM »
I'm just thinking of a scenario where someone new to ambient composition decides to start creating their own work and looks around for some 'ambient sounds' and starts off with someone else's ideas of such a thing.

I remember when Acid loops were the big thing a few years ago, including several for ambient music-making.  Made me cringe a bit to think of newbies loading a Robin Storey acid loop and thinking that this was all there was to making ambient music.



Inland Is a really good one.  If you're curious about Moebius, the other half of Cluster, his collab with Tim Story and Jon Leidecker (Snowghost Pieces) is also very good.

BTW, there is also a limited Story/Roedelius Cd from the late 90s called "The Persistence of Memory" that's a pretty good one--a collage/mix of studio and live recordings.

For those who can't get enough of Mr. Eno.  The bonus disc for Nerve Net is the unreleased My Squelchy Life.  There is also a longform bonus disc for Neroli that sounds promising:


I can't speak for Tim or Roedelius on why that CD is priced at $35, but it is a really nice album that has a continuous flow.  I like having the signature of someone as influential in the electronic scene as Roedelius.  BTW, the signatures are underneath the clear DVD-sized tray, so they must have been sent directly to the manufacturer beforehand.


One thing that bugged about the article at the top was a focus on whether the listeners thought they could hear a difference.  That really isn't the question for me at all.  If it were, I would have released everything on MP3 at a 256 kbps bitrate.  The test for me has always been whether I can hear the difference and whether that difference more accurately reflects what I intended.  On that score, I would lean in the direction of 24-bit masters for myself, though that doesn't mean I would want or expect the same as a consumer of other musicians' work.


The jury still out for me on this one.  I've seen similar articles.  Robert mastered my recent recording at a 24-bit level and it seems to have more definition to me than the 16-bit version.  It don't think it's a placebo effect because I experienced the same thing within my own software.  We'll see.


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: October 18, 2014, 08:46:23 AM »
Pete and Dave,

Thanks guys!  It was fun stepping out of my usual style for that new one.

Pete, your new single sounds nice.  A lot of interesting transitions there--almost has a suite-like feel to it.


Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: October 16, 2014, 01:22:18 PM »
Just wanted to let folks know that I've added a few stray tracks to a new Soundcloud page I just created.  What prompted me to do this was a new one-off track I created yesterday for fun ("Bothered") that was inspired by Tim Story's recent collaborations with members of the German electronic band Cluster.  I've also posted a track from 2009 ("Cicidas") that I originally posted to, a track from 2001 ("Silent Blue") that didn't make it onto Phantoms, and an ambient track I did back in 1999 ("Crickets With Gongs") as Spirit Oscillator for a beat-oriented EP.

Here is the link:

As for my next CD, it should be released by Projekt a few months from now, probably in January 2015.


Erik W°llo's "Tundra" EP, released 3 months ago on Projekt, is on pro CDr. Ordered directly from Projekt, I was quite surprised when it arrived  :(, because I didn't notice anywhere infos about CDr. It was advertised as a CD, I asked Sam about this via private FB message, but didn't get any answer. Later, CD was removed from advertisements, kept EP only... If it's released as a pro CDr, it should be definitely advertised this way.


I agree with you, Richard.  I think customers would expect to pay less for CDR and may prefer not to buy them at all because they are more finicky and can be damaged easily.  I had something similar happen to me when I bought an obscure pop album from an independent label that I thought was a manufactured CD.  The CDR tracked poorly and I actually had to rerip and burn the CDR so that it would play properly.   I'm surprised and disappointed to hear this.  Hope that this is the exception.

If you bought a "recent" pressing, drone on, I'm sorry to hear that, too.


In the years I've been on Projekt, I've never known Sam to release CDRs.  My guess is that you have a boot, or maybe you were hoodwinked by someone who created a CDR version from a legitimate copy.


Okay, I understand what you mean.
But how can small independent labels make listeners aware of their new releases if not through forums and posts?
In this day and age it is impossible to get any attention if you don't do this.... and even so, we are talking about a piece of music in an edition of 50 tapes, certainly I can't be accused of milking the cow and trying to make any cash with that? I simply want to share the music I love and release....
How else am I going to do this?
Maybe I don't have much to say about other topics in this forum, that doesn't mean I don't care....

It would nice to hear from more from you and from others who post about their releases but haven't participated in the forum yet.  Knowing more about you and your interests would gives us a rounder picture of you and your label than a mere ad would do.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: RIP Pete Namlook
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:48:25 AM »
I forgot to mention that Dave at Ear/Rational has a reasonable selection of the Namlook DTS albums for sale at reasonable prices:

What I admire about Dave is his efforts to keep the Namlook Tribute box in print in physical form, so that fans don't have to pay collector's prices for it.  It's a really nice box and much of the music is good, too.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Echospace Detroit CD's
« on: October 02, 2014, 12:11:23 PM »
I collect CDs, and only want the physical product.  So if they have this obviously rabid following, and every CD shown on their bandcamp page is Sold Out almost immediately, they are doing something wrong...

Isn't there a similar problem with the Autumn of Communion/Nacht Plank limited releases on Txt?  I think it encourages impulse buying for fear of losing out and buying for resale at a substantial markup.  Seems like a questionable ecosystem.  No thanks.


It worked for me without the preceding http.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 02, 2014, 09:13:35 AM »
$45 for their "deluxe" versions?  That's outrageous

I guess the deluxe versions are more like art pieces, but the concept behind them in this case seems a little gimmicky.  The label is based locally in Alameda.  I'd rather buy a piece of art from Robin Storey or Andrew Chalk, but different strokes.


<np Durutti Column - Chronicle XL - a nice somewhat lowkey release (2 CDs and an additional unreleased early version via download, with a booklet of photos) that may have slipped under the radar.  A nice package, too--sturdy and shaped like a paperback book.  I'd lost track of Vini Reilly and hadn't realized that he suffered a serious stroke just a few years ago that affected his ability to play.>

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 30, 2014, 08:31:05 AM »
Regarding 'blocks', I presume that the finishing of something is generally more the problem than the starting of something (?)

It is for me.....I have a music project that I thought was finished a year ago and was maturing so to speak.  Opened it up to see how its tasting only to discover it did not need more time but more work so Im currently throwing the kitchen sink at it.  Will it improve? Perhaps it was already all it could be.  And so it goes.

I agree with Julio that it can be harder to finish a project than to start one.  When you're at the project's beginning, there is a blank slate feeling that the project can be open to all kinds of possibilities.  When you reach the home stretch, what you've created before can start to narrow your options.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as for me it helps keep the project focused, so that it is not just a collection of random pieces.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sorry Pete Kelly....On Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:18:13 AM »

Something that has worked for me is keeping a project notebook.  I reserve any ideas I might have for the next project for that notebook, however scattered or crazy.  Though I usually end up using only a fraction of the ideas, it helps me think out loud and gives me more focus.  The notebook can also help me remember what flow I originally had in mind, once I'm deeper into the project.

Good luck getting restarted.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 13, 2014, 09:24:04 AM »
One thing would add to my prior comment is that, as to synthesizers, some training or study and understanding of the basics of synthesis is important first.  Without this, raw inspiration can only take you so far.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 12, 2014, 11:27:03 PM »
Here's another great album of music made almost entirely of stones:

Doesn't get more basic than this, yet it's still a great album.

Yes, that's a really nice album.  The stones on that album were resonating stones, though, that were created as a sound sculpture, much like Harry Bertoia's or the Baschet sound sculptures.  I wouldn't mind playing those "stones," of course!


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: On Inspiration - Chuck Close quote
« on: September 12, 2014, 08:22:43 PM »
I'm somewhere in the middle on this.  I don't think of either playing music or being inspired first as an either/or proposition.  To me it's more like a continuum or an ebb and flow, where varying degrees of each may be needed, depending where you are in the process.  Starting to play or record might trigger an idea, but without some germ of an idea to start with, the act might lead you down a blind alley.  What I think is more important than inspiration, though, is a sense of structure that allows you visualize the process while you are creating the music.  Having that mental anchor can help keep a piece from trailing off into a noodle-a-thon.

I think some form of training in music is also essential, beyond simply being able to read staves.  Yes, it's possible to do without it, but it's generally harder to create something original this way.  If I have to choose between banging on rocks and banging on the piano, I'll choose the piano every time.


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