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Messages - ffcal

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 31, 2009, 08:23:29 PM »
Ryuta K + Sara Ayers - Kyzyl to Samarkand (very nice drone-based dark ambient CD with some great vocalizing from Sara)


I still use my Digitech TSR-24 effects unit, which is from the mid-80s.  I would still use my Korg MS-20, but it's currently in storage.  Ditto for my Prophet 5.


<btw--modulator_esp - Thanks for sharing your live set.  Enjoyed it.  Looks like it was quite an evening.>

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 29, 2009, 12:09:42 PM »
Immersion said: "one thing for certain is that it brings "clarity" into the mix, since you hear the whole dynamic range more clearly..."

I wouldn't say this is certain. The perceived clarity is perhaps simply a result of a volume increase. If compression reduces the dynamic range then its not adding clarity. 

I do quite a lot of mastering, and I'd say that a bit of well-placed EQ work brings clarity to a mix.

I'd have to agree with Anthony on both points.  Would it add clarity if you asked an entire orchestra to play at a fixed volume for the duration of a piece?  A lack of dynamic range can really bring up a listener's fatigue level very quickly.  I was recently listening to a Natural Snow Buildings release that had almost no variation in dynamic range at all.  My interest waned after about 10 minutes at the same volume level.

I find EQ to be far more critical to a mix than compression.  Even better, why not introduce elements in an ambient piece that touch on all of the different frequency ranges?  I find it hard to listen to some of my earlier pieces, which sound too midrangy to me.

I often use different reverb settings within a single piece, because it seems to create more of a "back to front" feeling than if I simply threw all of the sounds into the same reverb setting.


Hi Rick,

Your mini-mix sounds very interesting.  I'll check it out.  Are you familiar with the early 80s "Miniatures" compilation?  Some great and humorous stuff on there, like David Bedford's one-minute version of Wagner's Ring (the themes "sung" for cringe-inducing effect).  I hate to admit it, but I've not only heard of Snopek, but used to have Sigmund Snopek III's first solo album.  As I remember it, it was pretty good, some interesting Zappa-ish prog.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. - Klaus Wiese
« on: January 27, 2009, 04:16:42 PM »
Very sorry to hear this, too.  I'm not that familiar with Wiese's solo music (I've only heard Logos), but enjoyed his contributions to releases by Popol Vuh and Mathias Grassow.


Everything and Nothing / Wordle
« on: January 25, 2009, 10:07:05 AM »
Discovered this fun web app from a link on Chris Herbert's MySpace page.  It takes takes text and reconfigures it an interesting visual manner.  Endless hours of fun...


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 24, 2009, 10:05:55 PM »
Pleasure, Forrest. I've made it even more painless (emusic doesn't give you full-length track samples from what I recall) with a couple of tracks - not necessarily the best... first and last, in fact - here:
(Now playing: Manual - Confluence)

Hey Alan,  Thanks for going to the trouble.  Sounds great.  I think it's best I've heard from Manual by far.  I've just bopped over to emusic to get a virtual copy of Confluence and will be enjoying it this evening.


Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 23, 2009, 05:52:44 PM »
I mentioned this awhile ago in another thread--I have had some success saving the music from scratched or damaged discs by using a dual tray CDR recorder to make a clean CDR copy (at 4X) onto an audio CDR blank.  I don't know the specifics as to why it works, but it may be that the CDR recorder somehow reads the data differently than a conventional CD-Rom drive.  The copy also preserves the indexing between tracks, which is nice.  I have rescued a number of scratched and seemingly unplayable discs this way.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: The Foundry: Closed
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:33:38 PM »
Yep, Seofon's Zero Point (on Foundry) was a great one.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:32:26 PM »
I just heard his latest, and, blimey, heís finally cracked it. Confluence is a really gorgeous album thatís wholly satisfying.

Thanks for the tip, Alan.  It's available on emusic, so it should be relatively painless to check out.

I've been listening to The Zombies a lot recently and in particular their album, "Odessey and Oracle" (Yes, the title was misspelt: long story there).  They are basically one of those bands that was just missed by the public, and never got the recognition they deserved.  If you're into psychedelic 60's baroque pop, then Odessey is one of the greatest albums you're likely to hear. 

I remember hearing the Zombies' Time of the Season quite a bit on the radio when I was kid.  Great song.  A strange prog connection is that the Zombies' lead singer, Colin Blunstone, was a guest singer on Dave Stewart (of Canterbury fame, not the Eurythemics guy) and Barbara Gaskin's 1st 45, "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted" (a great version, BTW).

I was in the time machine today, too.  Listened to Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Hi from New Zealand
« on: January 16, 2009, 11:04:31 PM »
Making music while on vacation?!  Well, you're one very dedicated musician...:)


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 16, 2009, 11:02:25 PM »
Enjoying two very different discs I picked up at Amoeba today:

Shanghai Traditional Music Society - Jiangnan Sizhu (Traditional Music from Southesatern China)(on Hugo(!)--I never see these discs around here)

Manual - Azure Vista (I like this a lot more than a beatless ambient disc of his I heard a few years back).


Everything and Nothing / Re: It's a new year... let's introduce ourselves
« on: January 16, 2009, 10:58:05 PM »
I recently was honored by the use of my art on two separate releases of Alio Die, which is something I could not have imagined when I was sitting in distant lands, creating art to the soundtrack of his music.

Belated congratulations to you, Joseph.  Your artwork for Alio Die is quite intense and really outstanding.  The attention to detail almost reminds me a little bit of outsider artist Adolf Wolfli (though you're probably a lot saner than he was, of course).

Sounds like a fascinating life route you've taken.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: The Foundry: Closed
« on: January 14, 2009, 10:18:02 PM »
I've spoken with Michael recently about the closing of Foundry.  I think that the continuously shrinking market for conventionally manufactured CDs had a lot to do with it, especially as it applied to distribution.  It's really a shame, because Michael was instrumental in bringing together several of us Bay Area ambient musicians under the Archipelago umbrella.  We met on a semi-regular basis at different Korean restaurants to talk shop and brainstorm, and it was a lot of fun.  I met Saul at one of these dinners.  Michael also sponsored several "Foundry" nights at local venues a few years back, that featured music performances by Foundry artists and video.  The Foundry label had some really cool "concept" albums, like 360 degrees, and Jonathan Hughes' Fluidities, and will be sorely missed.  Hopefully, my Invisibility release with Carl Weingarten did not hasten its decline!


Wow, especially great to hear about new Thomas Koner and Paul Schutze releases.  It's about time!


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 13, 2009, 09:58:12 PM »
- Intelligent Toys 5  (Sutemos)
First listen. Didn't sound as spectacular as 4, but interesting stuff for sure.
3 albums and free. Have not heard it all yet.

Yeah, I'd have to agree.  I liked it, but it's a bit lower key than 3 and 4.

Recently played:  The Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops (still my favorite of theirs, their 1st)


Everything and Nothing / Re: Organizing large music collections.
« on: January 13, 2009, 09:54:48 PM »
I don't have the greatest filing system, but I try to keep my ambient and electronic CDs separate from the rock and indie ones.  I also keep my classical, jazz and world music CDs separately, in (mostly) alphabetical order.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl Mastering
« on: January 13, 2009, 09:52:40 PM »
The Problem is solved. The Label will pay for the mastering which
is going to be done by a professional Mastering Guy. Which means
that i don't need to worry about this process. A good thing. Instead
of this i can plan a few Concerts for a small tour to promote the record
when it comes out.

Sounds great.  Glad that it all worked out.


Everything and Nothing / Re: It's a new year... let's introduce ourselves
« on: January 13, 2009, 09:51:22 PM »
Hello, I'm the other Forrest (not to confused with Forrest Houle).  I'm a couple of years older than Mike with 70s progressive rock collection to prove it.  My early interest in electronic music started with a class in college, which provided me with generous access to an Arp 2500, Arp 2600 and a Moog Mark V.  I was also interested in minimalism, having really taken to the works of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley.  In the late 80s and early 90s, my music took a little detour from EM when I studied the gu zheng (Chinese zither), started playing gagaku (Japanese court music) with a local group of Asian musicians on an oboe-like instrument called the hichiriki, and took a workshop on Balinese gamelan in the Bay Area.  I returned to EM in earnest in the late 90s when I discovered algorithmic music and, in particular, fractal music. My current music is probably still a mixture of these different influences.  In my other life, I am a Bay Area lawyer.

Forrest (Fang)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 10, 2009, 01:36:29 PM »
VA - Intelligent Toys 5

(a massive "three disc" mp3 set on netlabel Sutemos.  Have only digested part of it so far.  No real impressions of it yet.)

Also listening to some nice Kyma sound streams from Richard Lainhart.


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