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Topics - mgriffin

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81
Computers, Internet and Technology / Halo
« on: September 21, 2010, 10:32:13 AM »
Any of you gamers out there keeping up with the Halo video game franchise? I was a huge fan of the first three, but skipped ODST which seemed like a cash-in to me, and was prepared to skip Reach on the same grounds. But now I'm reading reviews that make Reach sound like a true installment in the series, really just Halo 4 under another name (though it's a prequel), and I'm thinking about giving in.

Anybody keeping up with Halo?  The series is really the only reason I purchased an Xbox and 360.

82
Posting of self-promotion by recording artists or labels is acceptable, but please use restraint.

Don't "bump" your own topic over and over with frequent, incremental updates.

Don't just spam the same messages here that you're spreading to every other forum or mailing list on the internet.

Try to engage the Forum's other artists, labels, reviewers and DJs, as well as listeners from around the world.  You'll create more self-awareness by interacting with your peers, rather than spreading what amounts to junk mail.

83
Computers, Internet and Technology / What's up with SEO, anyway?
« on: July 29, 2010, 02:25:18 PM »
Most Hypnos Forum members and lurkers probably don't realize this, but for years now we've been flooded with "fake" member signups on this forum.  Sure, some people sign up for accounts because they actually want to post here and participate in subjects relevant to this board, but far more people sign up because they want to post spam and disappear.  A newer "trick" is signing up for an account and never posting anything, merely creating a membership with "spammy" links in your profile, so that Google's web-crawlers will see instances of those links and thus their placement in search engines will be better.

This is known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.  Before people started getting savvy to it (and even now, in some places) people would go around and create zillions of memberships and comments and blog postings and all kinds of other "presences" on the web, for no other purpose than to get these web links visible in as many places as possible.  Because if you post links to www.pornnnsite.com in five billion places on the web, then any google search for any term relevant to that site will tend to "rank" that site higher than others with the same term relevance.  In other words, if you have a site and want it to show up well on google searches, you might resort to this kind of disgusting, spammy trick to get people to find your sire.

All this background is for those of you who don't know what SEO is, or maybe you've just wondered why very often the front page displays a newest member name of "AmbientGuy" one minute, then the newest member is "Spammer99," then minutes later (after I've deleted Spammer99's account) the newest member is once again "AmbientGuy."

What I'm really posting this for is because I figure someone reading this must know more about the subject than me, and I'm really wondering whether this sort of activity really works.  I mean, is it really lucrative to pay teenagers in Indonesia or Ukraine to sign up for forums and message boards, and spread your web links around all day long?  It just doesn't seem like it can possibly be worthwhile monetarily, and maybe the only reason people are still doing it is because they haven't yet realized they're not REALLY going to get rich (same reason people try selling Amway or Cookie Lee or Tupperware).  If somebody knows better, tell me I'm wrong, and these people are actually pulling down a decent amount of money, setting up forum accounts and putting www.erectiledisfonction.com links in there, and then moving on to the next forum.

It's so annoying, deleting five or ten or fifteen new memberships every day.  I've managed to at least prevent the "bot" signups, automated computer programs that sign up without any human being involved, but it's tough to prevent somebody from setting up this kind of "junk" account. 

84
Everything and Nothing / Super-realistic human masks
« on: July 07, 2010, 11:20:36 AM »
Holy crap!  This mask is so realistic, it won't be long until ugly people can buy realistic masks that look better than their real faces!

http://kottke.org/10/07/super-realistic-human-masks

Uh oh... Lena might make me wear one of these things!


85
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Adobe Audition coming to Mac OSX?
« on: June 04, 2010, 04:05:45 PM »
Adobe Audition coming to Mac OSX?  Looks like it.



I've complained here over the years that one thing I've never yet found among Mac software to equal its Windows counterpart is a good stereo waveform editor for mastering.  Sound Forge is close to perfect for this, and it's the sole reason I keep a Windows machine in the studio, which I used for ONLY this purpose now that I've stopped using Sony ACID much.

I know, someone will chime in with "What about ___?" and name some sucky, half-assed audio editor for Mac, but we all know there isn't one out there to match Sound Forge.  Audition would be close enough, I think.

This fella's got me thinking of another possibility:


86
Everything and Nothing / R.I.P. Frank Frazetta
« on: May 10, 2010, 03:59:06 PM »
The all-time great artist of the fantastic, Frank Frazetta, died today at 82.  At his peak there was nobody close, and he inspired a huge number of imitators and totally changed the face of fantasy art. 

Not too long ago, Lena and I watched a documentary about the guy, and he'd been unwell for a number of years.  That documentary is worth getting from Netflix, by the way.


87
Computers, Internet and Technology / Dropbox is fantastic
« on: May 07, 2010, 10:06:20 AM »
Anybody else out there using Dropbox?  It's a free service that lets you set up a folder on any/all of your computers, up to 2gb (and there are various ways to get bonus storage space), and anything you drop into there is automatically synchronized on all your computers.  It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone/iPad, Droid and more.  It's so great, I no longer have to carry around portable USB drives for my files I want to work on in more than one location.

Did I mention... it's free?  You can purchase an account if you want a lot more storage space but for most people, 2gb will get them by.  If you have friends with Dropbox accounts you can share sub-folders of your dropbox with them.  Lena and I share large files this way all the time, and Lena shares files with her sister in Austria as well.

If you want to sign up, use my referral link and we'll both get an extra 250mb bonus, here:

https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTUyOTU1MjA5

I'm mentioning this more because I think people will love it, than because I need a lot more bonus space.  I already have 3.5gb and I'm nowhere near my limit.  To me, this and gmail/gdocs are the best applications yet of "cloud" computing.  Oh, and Evernote too.

89
Everything and Nothing / E-readers revisited 2010
« on: April 02, 2010, 09:50:40 AM »
Over a year ago I created a topic here bitching about the Amazon Kindle, specifically Amazon's sneaky trick of removing already-purchased E-books from customer Kindles after Amazon received an "oops, we didn't really mean to sell that book electronically after all" complaint from a publisher.  It seemed clear afterward, though, that Amazon realized creating the sense that you don't really OWN the stuff you've purchased -- just rented it for an open-ended term subject to intervention by Amazon, the publisher, the author or possibly others -- was the worst possible impression they could create. I heard lots of good things from people about their Kindles, and I might have considered buying one.

Then Barnes and Noble announced their Nook, and I thought it looked like it might be even better than the Kindle, so I decided to wait a while longer and see.  Specs, photos and videos of the Nook made it look pretty appealing, but before it was actually released, rumors of Apple's tablet computer ramped up enough that I was sure one of those would be announced soon.

Apple did in fact announce the iPad and it seemed to me the ideal combination of kick-ass full-color e-reader, with additional (though basic) computer functionality.  I love my iPod Touch and often though tan iPhone or iPod Touch with a bigger screen would be an incredibly useful device, and that's what the iPad seems to be.  The increase in screen size isn't just about a larger display area, but ALSO a larger control area, so this thing really makes me wish I hadn't purchased a netbook last year.  I wouldn't want an iPad to be my main computer, but it could definitely be my second computer, for things like email, web browsing and the basic stuff (twitter, facebook, blogging, banking) that comprises 98% of most people's actual computer use.  Oh yeah, and it looks like a great ebook reader!



I went ahead and ordered an iPad which will be delivered tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to checking it out.  I know some others on here have Nooks, Kindles or Sony Ebook readers and I'd be interested in comparing notes.  Do you wish your ebook reader had a color screen for things like magazines, web browsing, comic books, or illustrated books?  Or do you just read black print on a white page anyway, and it doesn't matter to you?  To me, the color screen was something I really wanted, and I figured eventually the Kindle 3 or the Nook 2 or something would have color.

Just curious to see how much people use these things.  I probably won't buy fewer books (paper books I mean) but I'm sure I'll buy more ebooks.  Reading downloaded book or magazine PDFs while sitting at my computer kind of sucks, but lounging around and reading them comfortably sounds kind of nice.

90
Everything and Nothing / The price of CDs
« on: March 18, 2010, 11:03:29 AM »
I know we've discussed this from slightly different angles before, but usually the question has been mixed-in with other issues (CD versus CDR, piracy, the effect of free downloads, etc.) so here I'd like to make my question very specific.

How much does the price of a CD affect your willingness to buy?  Is there a price below which you would be more likely to purchase a CD?  Is there an even lower price point at which you would view the CD purchase almost as an impulse buy?

For myself as a music consumer (taking off my label owner for a moment), $16 and up represents "too high" and $12-14 represents sort of a normal, mid-point price, while CDs $10 and less seem cheap enough that I'm willing to take a bit more of a chance, and a CD as low as $6-7 is cheap enough I'd pick it up on impulse, without much consideration.

Hypnos CDs have usually been $12.99 for a pressed CD or $11.99 for a CDR in a slimline case.  More recently we've tried $9.99 for CDR in slimline cases and $10.99 for a pressed disc in a paper sleeve.

I've considered trying out an extra-low-price release just to see what would happen, maybe even in a jewel case or a digipak.  What would people think about that?  I mean, obviously cheaper is better, but how many of you would actually be more likely to try the music for a price $3 or $5 lower?

91
Everything and Nothing / How do you do?
« on: March 16, 2010, 01:44:24 PM »
It seems to me this Forum, while still relatively active, has gone through a phase of being less personal, less chatty.  You know, we still have plenty of music reviews and self-promotion and "now listening" stuff, but not so much real interaction any more.  I feel like I don't know the people here as well as I used to, even though I recognize all the names and know a few things about everybody's preference for music styles, music formats, and so on.

So... how do you do?  My name's Mike Griffin and I'm the founder of Hypnos Recordings, which I now operate with my wife Lena who is also on this forum.  At some point I stopped calling her my "new" wife but it still feels that way to me -- isn't that nice?

I'm ready for winter to be over so I can get outside more often for hikes and trail running and a few mountain bike rides.

I've been listening to a lot of demos, trying to get a number of Hypnos CDs going.

Lately I've been reading an awful lot -- great activity for Portland's gray and bleary winters.

How about you?  What's up, how you doin'?  Why not get everybody here up to date?

92
Sorry for the trouble yesterday.  The domain hosting company we use for hypnos.com had major problems yesterday and for about 24 hours we had no web site (including the store and this forum) and no email.  Everything seems to be back to normal now. 

93
Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Jeff Pearce - Daylight Slowly
« on: February 15, 2010, 06:06:06 PM »
Artist: Jeff Pearce
Title: Daylight Slowly (2010 reissue)
Label: Hypnos CD




We're finally ready with our reissue of this great early Pearce album, which was out of print between about 2002 and 2009. New issue includes updated cover artwork, and plastic-free vellum envelope packaging, at a lower price.

Many Jeff Pearce listeners missed this original release, and may have wanted to catch up on this wonderful collection of early Jeff Pearce guitar ambience. Pearce has moved on to a more direct and musical (as opposed to ethereal and absctract) direction in recent years, and uses a Chapman Stick now rather than an electric guitar, so if you miss the earlier work in this style, give this a listen. We even replaced the old-fashioned Real Audio samples with ultra-modern new MP3 sample clips!

Examples of praise for the first release:
"Best of the year list."
--Eric Meece, KKUP Radio
--Vladimir Jovanovic, Inner Space Radio, Zagreb, Croatia
--Scott Raymond (#1 ranking for the year), WVKR radio
--Chuck VanZyl, Star's End Radio, WXPN, Philadelphia

"Daylight Slowly, his latest solo album, is another deliciously slow, shimmeringly serene album of processed electric guitar. "
--John Dilberto, Echoes Radio

"The most "romantic" cd of Hypnos Label. Has a strange light and a sensation of time slow-down..."
--Massimo Pavan, Italy

Daylight Slowly tracks include:
01. Inner Light  MP3 http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-01.mp3
02. Spirals MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-02.mp3
03. Cloud Water Rising  MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-03.mp3
04. Labyrinth MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-04.mp3
05. Quiet and Clear MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-05.mp3
06. The Broken Places  MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-06.mp3
07. Known Presence  MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-07.mp3
08. Delta MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-08.mp3
09. Through Darkened Halls  MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-09.mp3
10. 11/11 MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-10.mp3
11. Inner Storms  MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-11.mp3
12. Daylight Slowly MP3   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-jp-ds-12.mp3
13. Passage to Home MP3  http://www.hypnos.com/ audio/hypnos-jp-ds-13.mp3

Purchase direct for $10.99
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyp1813


94
Everything and Nothing / Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:55:56 AM »
It's debatable whether Roger Ebert is the best film critic now working, but there's no debate that he's the best-known and most influential.  He recently wrote a column about his best films of the decade and I found it an interesting read, because A) I like Ebert's approach (not too intellectual, not too populist) to film, and B) I'm a huge fan of Synecdoche, New York which Ebert rates as the #1 film of the decade.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/12/the_best_films_of_the_decade.html

I certainly don't agree with the whole list.  I think Hurt Locker was very well-done and terribly real, but I'd put it fourth or fifth or sixth among films of 2009, not second among films of the whole decade.  I actually like Ebert's honorable mentions as much as his top 10, in fact I'd prefer the "almost rans" to the top 10 if not for the film he puts at the top.

Interestingly, though Ebert raved about Avatar when he reviewed it, and it's already become the highest-grossing film of all time, he makes no mention of it in this column.

95
Everything and Nothing / New interview with Eno
« on: January 20, 2010, 10:03:57 AM »
Here's a recent interview with ambient godfather and all around brilliant guy, Brian Eno.  Normally I'd post something along these lines in the "non-Hypnos artists and labels" area but this interview is about more subjects than just music.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/17/brian-eno-interview-paul-morley

96
Everything and Nothing / Yet another filmed version of Dune
« on: January 05, 2010, 06:10:09 PM »
I've been hearing murmurings that a new film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune may be in the works, but I've always doubted it would really happen.  Yesterday I read a director has signed up, so it appears that much closer to actually reaching the screen.

Here's an article:  http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43535

The new director is Pierre Morel, who directed Taken which starred Liam Neeson, and was a decent little suspense/action film.  He also made the earlier, enjoyable and yet bizarre District 13 which is probably the only French, parkour-focused, near-future action film I've ever seen.

Part of me thinks the world doesn't need another attempt to film this massive, strange and difficult novel, and yet another little voice in my head says maybe someone will get closer to doing the book justice.  David Lynch's version was inspired and visually rich, and yet it left out so much of the story as to end up virtually nonsensical to those who hadn't read the novel.  The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries version (sorry... SyFy now -- what nitwit marketing/branding genius came up with that?) was much more faithful to the book, and tried really hard, but felt a lot like a made-for-TV movie.

Anybody else care about this book as much as I do?  If so, what do you think about this news?

97
Everything and Nothing / Have a great holiday season, everybody
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:22:51 PM »
Lena and I would like to wish everyone happy holidays from warm and sunny Hypnos HQ in Portland, Oregon.

However you celebrate this time of year, we hope you are healthy, happy and comfortable.  If you're not sure how to accomplish that, drink a few beers and watch Christmas Vacation, and stay away from all the crazy people out there.

Ho ho ho!!


98
Today received an email announcement from Cyclic Law announcing the release of the new album from Svartsinn, who appeared on the Hypnos compilation Message From a Subatomic World in 2008.  But that's not the only Hypnos connection with this release.  The second disc includes a special set of remixes of Svartsinn tracks including a remix I created for his track "But the Fire Burns No More."



SVARTSINN "Elegies For The End" 2CD  (26th Cycle)
The 4th album by Norwegian dark ambient act, Svartsinn, shows a more melodic yet rather obscure side of the artist. 2009 is the 10th year of Svartsinn's existence and it has inspired Pettersen to try a different approach and to experiment with some new ideas. This new musical journey deals with sadness and melancholy, about not knowing one's place in this vast and at times uninviting world, how it can become a daily torment to not be able to find one's reason to exist. And it's also about finding one's personal path, finding ways to endure and hopefully transcend these engulfing life challenges.

The Double CD includes a unique collaboration track with Dahlia's Tear and a 10 years anniversary bonus disc containing exclusive remixes by Triarii, Kammarheit, Letum, Life Toward Twilight, Gustaf Hildebrand, Tenebrious, New Risen Throne, MGriffin, Visions and Hovmod. All acts giving very interesting perspectives on some of Svartsinn's previously released tracks, making this second disc a very special homage to the singular world of Svartsinn.
Edition of 1000 copies in 8 panel foldout cardboard sleeve.
CD1: 4 Tracks. Running Time 34:36
CD2: 14 Tracks. Running Time 1:11

99
Everything and Nothing / We all get old
« on: December 22, 2009, 10:32:23 AM »
We all get old eventually.  Even Captain Kirk.

http://www.tmz.com/2009/12/22/its-william-shatner/



Actually it's not just a matter of getting old.  It's all those huge glasses of whisky he drinks every evening with Alan Shore, out on the balcony.  Man, I like a good Scotch or bourbon but I can't believe the Big Gulp those guys put away every night.

100
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Synthesizer tattoos
« on: December 21, 2009, 03:58:55 PM »
We have a lot of electronic music geeks and synth lovers on this forum.  How many of you have a synthesizer tattoo?




The story:
http://www.synthgear.com/2009/strange-weird/synthesizer-tattoos/


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