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Messages - ffcal

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701
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 13, 2010, 10:29:08 PM »
Glad to see that I'm not the only one who's been going back in time.

Recently:

Gentle Giant - The Power and the Glory
Druid - Fluid (mid-70s prog--sort of a cross between Yes and Gentle Giant)

Forrest

702
Everything and Nothing / Re: Constructive criticism
« on: January 10, 2010, 08:45:02 PM »
I would agree that constructive feedback can be very be useful, whether it's coming from your friends, family or complete strangers.  It can be particularly useful to hear from people not accustomed to listening ambient music, as they have a very different take on the music that you may not have thought of.  (Of course, "it doesn't do anything for me" would not be that useful as a comment.)  In general, I tend to prefer more technical feedback.

Forrest

703
One piece of advice I would give is not to use the same reverb setting on all of your tracks.  It will help differentiate the back-to-front depth of your tracks, and make the overall effect less muddy.  Also, I would make sure not to overdo the midrange frequencies, as they can also make a mix very muddy in a hurry.

Forrest

704
Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:03:47 PM »
Now that it's so easy to "rip" vinyl to digital files, I'd be curious if anyone has ever done an A/B comparison between vinyl, and a vinyl-to-CDR rip.  Does the rip sound worse, or does it retain the "warmth" many people perceive from the original vinyl source?

I've done this, too, with the first Led Zeppelin box and with a Steve Tibbetts release that I originally couldn't find on CD.  In both cases, I've kept the CDR around because it still sounded warmer and fuller than the manufactured CD.  I don't think that a CD can generally beat the sound of a clean, well-pressed metal mastered LP or even a high quality pressing.

Forrest

705
Now Playing / Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« on: January 07, 2010, 08:57:23 PM »
Here is my list of long-term ambient favorites:

Jade Warrior - Waves
Steve Roach - Structures From Silence
Budd/Eno - The Pearl
Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra
Steve Tibbetts - Safe Journey
David Sylvian - Gone To Earth
Michael Brook - Cobalt Blue
The Durutti Column - LC
Kit Watkins - Thought Tones Vol. 2
Jon Hassell - Dream Theory In Malaya
Tetsu Inoue - Organic Cloud
Mark Isham - Vapor Drawings

A fairly old list, but I'm still breaking in the newer releases.

Forrest

706
I agree with Seren.  Time can really become an issue-whether it's because it's being used for other things, like creating music, or simply because there is less time to listen for pleasure because of longer work days.  Mike, I think you're being too kind--the only thing major or significant about my CD was that it came out at all.  It was a struggle every step of the way--probably not unlike your Fabrications CD.  I'm glad that this forum is generally civil and tends not devolve into the kind of scatological name-calling that recently hit the ambient list.  Wasn't too thrilled about Austere's comments, though, drunk or not.

Paul, isn't it about time for that next Ma Ja Le CD?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Forrest

707
Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 07, 2010, 01:09:40 AM »
I've A-B'd a couple of releases I've had on both CD and vinyl (The Church-Hindsight, Crowded House-Temple of Low Men, the Jade Warrior Island albums) and thought that the vinyl generally sounded fuller and warmer.  I wonder, though, if some of the "cold" CD sonics might attributable to poor mastering.  Some of the early CDs were horribly mastered, and in some cases the record companies forgot to reverse the RIAA curve used for vinyl or used lousy fourth or even fifth generation tape masters.

Forrest

708
Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:28:37 PM »
One thing I do not miss about records is getting off-centered vinyl.  This was especially annoying when the music had sustained tones like the music of Klaus Schulze or Jean Michel Jarre.  My crude solution to the problem at the time was to widen the hole in the middle with a nail file and center the record on the turntable by eyeballing it from the side.  Such fun!

Forrest

709
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:23:43 PM »
Some nostalgic listening, though on CD-

Bill Evans Trio - The Last Waltz (his final live recordings; fascinating, more exploratory than I had expected)
Barclay James Harvest - Live Tapes (I always though they were more interesting than the Moody Blues, but were always compared to them)

Forrest

710
Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Hypnos In Vital Weekly
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:56:17 AM »
I'm not a big fan of FDW, but I think it's commendable that he reviews everything that is sent to him.  That said, I doubt that he listens to a given release more than once and probably types his review as he is listening to it.

Forrest

711
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach at Grace Cathedral
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:53:38 AM »
I was there, too.  A great show (over 4 hours), and probably my favorite Bay Area show of Steve's so far.

Forrest

712
I don't think the music is to blame.  There are so many more technological distractions/alternatives to recorded music than there were 20 to 30 years ago, that I'm not surprised that listeners' time and opportunities to fully engage in a piece of music have been fragmented.  Yes, an iPod can lead to more listening, but I'm not surprised that iPods are no longer the big sellers for Apple that they used to be.

Forrest

713
Everything and Nothing / Re: good old vinyl... yet another article...
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:45:23 AM »
For me, it's part nostalgia.  But LP artwork is far more meaningful to me than a small 5X5 booklet, even if the CD packaging is visually interesting.  There is also the difference in format.  With 2 different sides, sequencing becomes more interesting and thematic, and the built-in limitations of the LP format discourage the inclusion of irrelevant bonus or throwaway tracks.  If a LP is well-maintained (you will likely need an arsenal of record cleaners like LAST and at least a DiscWasher to remove dust), it can sound better than a CD, assuming that your pressing is not a problem and that you have a fairly decent record player (I still have my B&O).  Recently, with certain small independnet releases, I've noticed a trend back towards 35-40 minute CDs; could this be a form of nostalgia?

Forrest

714
Everything and Nothing / Re: Passing friends
« on: December 31, 2009, 04:39:45 PM »
I was just thinking of Gordon this week.  I recently picked up Klaus Wiese's "Dunya" CD, based on his glowing review on Amazon.  Still hard to believe that he's no longer here (or Jim).

Forrest

715
Everything and Nothing / Re: What have they become ?
« on: December 31, 2009, 12:46:01 AM »
I've wondered about what happened to Yamashiro Shoji, who released some great world ambient albums in the mid 80s and early 90s, including the soundtrack to Akira, then seemingly dropped off the map.  Also I haven't heard much from Marc Barreca, who had a great album on the Palace of Lights label in 1981, or Philip Perkins, who released a great ambient/field recordings album, Neighborhood With a Sky, in the early 80s.  Barreca is apparently set to release a new album on POL next year.

Forrest

716
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Best of 2009!!!1
« on: December 31, 2009, 12:42:12 AM »
Didn't keep up with the new releases as much this year, but here are my top 10 from the ones I did pick up:

Peter Wright - An Angel Fell Where the Kestrels Hover
Steve Roach - Immersion:  Four
Celer - Capri
Ten and Tracer - Tsotsitaal (reminds me in places of the warm organic sounds of Mirror)
Saul Stokes - Metacollage (a nice sleeper of an album)
Natural Snow Buildings - Shadow Kingdom
Jon Hassell - Last Night the Moon Came...
Sleepy Town Manufacture & Unit 21 - No Traces (agreed, a fine album)
Elm - Namcatacoa

Forrest

717
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 02, 2009, 09:27:20 PM »
Celer - In Escaping Lakes (This one just came today.  Very delicate and tonal.  I'm enjoying it so far.)

Forrest

718
The podcast sounds really nice, Mike.  I, too, like that untitled track.  Some of the earlier pieces remind of strange recordings I have heard of space sounds on the Symphonies of the Planets series.

Forrest

719
Everything and Nothing / Re: Happy Birthday Loren
« on: December 02, 2009, 09:15:48 PM »
Well, I can't top that cake, but happy belated birthday Loren, and I hope you're feeling better by now.

Forrest

720
I'm curious whether anyone is using "abandonware" software, that is, a software application that is no longer sold or updated.
Anybody using an Atari ST or an Amiga?  Every app on those platforms is abandonware now!

I still occasionally run some very old Dos/Windows 3.1 algorithmic programs (mostly fractal) on my Windows 98 computer for fun.  A couple of "obsolete" algorithmic programs I've always wanted to run but could never find are Russ Kozerski's Sound Globs (a DOS program which requires a certain type of obsolete MPU-401 card to run) and Ovaltune (for old Macs).  I did once have a demo for Sound Globs, but didn't have the right card for it at the time.  I also still own an ATARI ST, which I used in the late 90s to run algorithmic programs like PVG, but there are now some great PC simulators (like STeem) that can run these programs.

Forrest

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