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Messages - Gemini Ambience

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41
Well possibly being the "greenest" composer here, over the last few years I was learning basic synthesis via soft-synths in Cubase SX 3. I also studied moreso books and tutorials on how to mix audio and just started learning about mastering. All the artists I truly enjoy, and signature sounds from genres I really like, tend to use hardware synths over softs. So I'm at the point where I just did a major hardware purchase to upgrade to a "serious" hobby project studio. I'm now basing the studio around a MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz lappy, the softsynths I'm most comfortable with currently are Spectrasonics' Atmosphere and Stylus RMX. I've also aquired over the last few weeks my favorite synth, a Yamaha AN1X. I also bought an Access Virus A. Rounding it off I picked up two Roland grooveboxes (mainly for live pa possibilities than for production) the MC-505 and MC-808.

I'm still a little intimidated by getting everything connected properly...but once the last piece of gear arrives (the desk) I'll be able to get everything up and running. I bought Cubase 4 last year and I have to say I'm truly a fan of Cubase. Maybe because it's what I've been learning production in, but I find the environment very logical and easy to understand and for my needs it's more than adequate. Stylus RMX is also great for using as a sampler as well as rhythm synth. I bought HALion 3, but have yet to start reading the manual. Once I get the studio put together I plan on using it frequently (HALion).

So basically, Cubase 4, Stylus RMX, and the AN1x and Virus are the core to my audio happiness right now.  :) 

42
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 15, 2008, 10:41:55 AM »
Enjoy the Lucid.

I found it more enjoyable without the sugar added to the louche.  :)

43
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 14, 2008, 08:55:27 PM »
Chad,

Thanks for sharing your experience. The fact that you landed a Jade absinthe as your first is AWESOME.  :)  They're not too bad; around $120 USD/bottle. I'm willing to pay for quality over quantity because, like you, I'm a light-weight drinker. I too was impressed with how you couldn't taste the alcohol after the louche. That was awesome for me.  :)

I slept like a baby that night, however, and didn't wake up with any noticeable hangover effects like wine hits me with.

:)

44
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 13, 2008, 08:52:49 PM »
Hi Chad,

I'm glad to hear you are drinking one of the Jades. Definitely let me know your thoughts/experience with that particular blend. I still think I'll be ordering the Verte Suisse 65 first...but all of his Jade absinthes get REALLY good reviews on the forums I've found.

Perhaps we should all start a Green Fairy compilation album and the rule is you have to compose while drinking absinthe (sober mixing and mastering obviously. lol)

Enjoy!

Jim

45
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 13, 2008, 11:44:27 AM »
The real stuff from the 19th century that Van Gogh and Poe and Gogan was on, I don't think you want to do that.

Actually, there is no difference between the pre-ban absinthe and modern absinthe with the exception of the distillation process. According to the sites I've visited, many of the myths of absinthe were related to poorly-made absinthes that had unsanitary or improper distillations. T.A. Breaux's research and testing of original pre-ban bottles of absinthe showed that in most cases the liquor had the same (or even less) thujone levels in it that are considered acceptable today.

All modern absinthes still contain thujone...thus making it "the real stuff."  ;)

Cheers,

Jim

46
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 13, 2008, 11:31:43 AM »
Hi Chad et al!

Well...in a word, the Lucid was NICE. Absinthe was nothing like I expected, and completely better than I had hoped.  :)

Since Lucid is the only absinthe I've tried, I can't comment on its body/nose/texture/etc compared to higher-priced absinthes. But I can share my impressions and experiences.

I had a total of 4 glasses over approximately 3 hours. The first glass I louched the absinthe with a sugar cube; the other 3 glasses I louched only with cold water. In my opinion, Lucid is sweet enough on its own that it does not need the sugar cube during the louche. The only way I can describe absinthe is like drinking a glass of mental clarity. While there is definitely a "buzz" associated with the experience, it's purely mental. I did not get tipsy/sloshed after drinking that many glasses (one of the main reasons I don't like drinking alcohol...I hate that feeling). Instead, it's like entering into a refined, care-free mental continuum with an ease of concentration on any given topic. I had no slurred speech or hesistation while drinking absinthe like large amounts of regular alcohol would have induced.

The nose and flavor are very nice. The nose is quite herbal and the flavor after the louche is velvety, mildly spiced, and smooth. Once louched you can barely tell the liquor is 65% alcohol.  lol  It was VERY nice indeed. And as hoped, absinthe goes incredibly well with ambient music.  :)

Since my first experience with Lucid was so positive I plan on ordering a bottle of T.A. Breaux's Jade Verte Suisse 65. According to the few absinthe forums I was reading over my vacation, all of Breaux's "Jade series" are top quality absinthes:

http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/Jade.html

I highly recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys mellow, chilled physical experiences coupled with a heightened, calmed mental capacity. It was extremely enjoyable!

Thanks,

Jim

47
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:06:50 PM »
Ya. My friend Steve has had some good absinthes in Europe and he said it's nothing like a psychedelic trip. He said it does give you a very "clear mind" and that it's very easy to concentrate/focus on thoughts while you're drinking it. He said he definitely notices effects that alcohol, alone, does not produce.

http://www.drinklucid.com/ 

That's what I ordered for me and my friends. Like I mentioned before, it's getting mixed reviews by hardcore absintheurs...but hopefully it will be a nice "introduction" to the drink and experience.  :)


48
Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 05, 2008, 08:48:45 PM »
Actually as long as thujon content is under a specific ratio, it is considered legal in the US; the same in Europe, but the European maximum amount is higher. But the thujon contreversy has always been based on myth. There are some really good short vids over at YouTube about absinthe's history and resurrection.

http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/about.html  (good info on the thujon myths)

It was illegal in the US because it was believed that thujon had similar effects and properties as THC. Also, there was a stigma attached to absinthe that it drove you mad or sent you into convulsions or siezures if you drank too much. T.A. Breaux is a good brewer to do a Google search on as well as he's tested many vintage pre-ban absinthes and has recaptured their essence in his modern recipes. His testing also showed that quality absinthes had thujon levels that were well below the modern legal allowances; helping to bust the myth that the mild trips it induces were not resulting from the thujon levels.

I'm definitely looking forward to trying it this weekend.  :)


49
Everything and Nothing / Anybody here...
« on: February 05, 2008, 07:59:19 PM »
...an absinthe drinker?

I'll be trying it for the first time later this week in Miami when I am on holiday.

It's good to see the FDA finally educated itself about this drink and dropped the ban last year (if you didn't know, it's now legal again in the US).

The only US-based absinthe my friends and I could find on short notice was Lucid. Has anyone tried it?

It's getting mixed reviews from various absinthe forums.

Thanks for any feedback.

Jim

50
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Tools for rhythm-making
« on: February 03, 2008, 09:42:36 PM »
Previously my studio was software-only and I was using Spectrasonics Stylus RMX for all my rhythms and percussion. The beauty of RMX is that you could create just about any type of loop you wanted and converted it to a Rex file, and then convert it via the SAGE converter that comes with RMX, and then load the loop into RMX.

Now that I'm switching over to a hardware and software set-up, I have a Roland MC-808 and MC-505 which I plan on using for most of my rhythm and percussion sounds. I'm not sure which I prefer yet...the 808 is like having Stylus RMX in a box.  hehe  I like step programming for percussion loops and other rhythmic elements, so in that regard I really like how fast you can program in patterns via the Rolands, versus the amount of drag/drop/shuffle in RMX. Both have their ups/downs, but so far I'm enjoying the Rolands a bit more.


51
Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: February 01, 2008, 06:58:02 PM »
Sounds like something I'd definitely enjoy.

I have to watch the Twin Peaks series as well; my friend Javier almost had an attack when he learned I never saw it when I was younger.  lol 

Thanks for the info!

52
Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: February 01, 2008, 11:09:55 AM »
Being that I live without a TV (on purpose) the only series I get to watch are ones I rent from Netflix. I keep hearing about this show. What's the basic premise? Is it a reality show?

53
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: How do you record?
« on: January 31, 2008, 10:04:41 AM »
I just got my mixer and interface last night. I have an Edirol M-DX10 digital mixer and an Edirol UA-25 audio/midi interface. I'm looking forward to having a digital hardware mixer combined with Cubase 4. Should prove interesting.  hehe


54
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Pads from the waveform up...
« on: January 31, 2008, 08:09:10 AM »
You're lucky I'm church of England!

hehe

Glad to see there's another Izzard fan here.  :)

55
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Pads from the waveform up...
« on: January 31, 2008, 08:00:25 AM »
Thank you very much everyone.  :)

And JKN, you get extra points for quoting Eddie Izzard in your signature.  LOL 

56
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Pads from the waveform up...
« on: January 30, 2008, 07:09:49 PM »
Okay...let me ask a few more specific questions.

Is it better to use a minimal number of oscillators versus maxing it out as far as your synth can go? Likewise, is the evolving characteristic of a nice drone or pad all LFO-controlled? My biggest hurdle is trying to make a pad soud soft and large...

Thanks again for any and all replies.  :)

57
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Pads from the waveform up...
« on: January 29, 2008, 02:45:15 PM »
Hey everyone,

As I've been studying about subtractive synthesis, I've had one creature elude my knob-turning fingers: evolving pads/textures. I either get tones/sounds that are too "tinkly" or too "pale" when I try to create a drone or evolving texture. I'm at a loss.

Can anyone recommend a good tutorial or process that is essential to making rich, evolving textures and pads? I've been using Atmosphere from Spectrasonics until I can improve my own pads.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Jim

58
Everything and Nothing / Re: Warm Greetings - I'm Back in Town. :)
« on: January 29, 2008, 02:41:20 PM »
Thanks again everyone.

Good to hear there are other Philly area folks here on the forum!

59
Everything and Nothing / Re: Kombucha tea
« on: January 29, 2008, 02:39:59 PM »
I have a cake of the pu-er in my cupboard. I like it, but don't drink it often. It's main function, at least according to my wife, is to aid in digestion.

It also helps lower your "bad" cholesterol levels.

Quote
I have to say that drinking green tea every day feels much better than coffee, after a few months you really notice the difference.

This is due to the caffeine in tea (camelia sinesis) being more water soluble than the caffeine in coffee. In their dried states, tea leaves actually have more caffeine than coffee beans, but again, it is also more water soluble than the caffeine in coffee. This is why tea tends to relax and soothe where coffee tends to tweak you out.

I'm not that big on green teas myself (except for my shou pu-erhs), I mainly drink oolongs and blacks. My favorite oolong is a medium-oxidized Chinese tea called Da Hong Pao (big red robe). It's amazing. :)

60
Everything and Nothing / Fermented Teas - Pu-erh
« on: January 29, 2008, 01:13:46 PM »
Hey there,

I'm a tea fanatic. I love all types of tea and also practice gong fu cha (Chinese tea ceremony).

I've never heard of that particular style of fermented tea, but the name is Japanese. The only fermented tea I am familiar with is pu-erh; in certain areas of China it is also known as Bolay.

http://www.pu-erh.net/

I have several cakes at home and can cut off some samples and mail them to anyone interested in trying some pu-erh. It brews best in either a gaiwan or yixing gong fu tea pot.

Peace,

Jim

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