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Messages - mgriffin

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:47:28 AM »
Since there have been many posts since my explanation, I'll just add a couple comments.

First, banning a member is never done lightly. This has been building for a while, and I have been receiving complaints for several months. In fact, when I was travelling for Thanksgiving, I had to spend several hours on my laptop trying to put out fires of angry forum members demanding I do something then. At least one well-regarded, long-term forum member said he wouldn't be back.

Second, Immersion was warned several times behind the scenes. One thing he did improve was cutting down the direct personal insults, at least in terms of removing specific WORDS that can be considered insults... such as "stupid" or "idiotic." Having said that, it's certainly possible to insult a person without using any such words. Telling a musician or record label owner that if they want to charge people for their music, they're not better than a prostitute, is such an example.

Third, we are all human beings here. If you taunt and provoke people all around you, and constantly inflame everyone so they're all upset, sooner or later you'll fire up the emotions and the anger in a person who has the power to delete your posts or ban you. Doing this after you've been warned multiple times to cool it is simply playing with fire, and much as I hate to see someone banned, in this case it's nobody's fault but the member who was banned.

Fourth, as a general rule in life -- not just on internet forums, but in relationships, in family, and workplaces, if you are a member of a large group of people who are all getting along, and nobody has a problem with anybody else, nobody fights or argues... then you enter the group and suddenly provoke fights and disputes with otherwise peaceful people... sorry, but the problem is YOU, not everybody else. Acting innocent and proclaiming "it's just my opinion" after the fact, that's disingenuous. 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 05:08:43 PM »
I should add, because I do believe in rules and fairness -- even if this forum more semi-private community than an open public square -- that the banning was for reason of provocation and disruption. Sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is trolling (intentionally trying to upset people) or just has controversial opinions and an "in your face" way of expressing them.

Either way, if the result is that everyone you communicate with ends up angry, upset or insulted, it's time for a break. Immersion had been warned more than once to cool it. Usually if someone stops short of outright insults, they'll be able to stick around. At some point, though, even if insulting words aren't used, the provocation is too much, and the community ends up disrupted. People end up staying away, or sending complaints. I try to make this forum a place where anyone can participate, but there are limits to how much disruption one member can cause.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 04:58:05 PM »
Note to all: Immersion has been banned temporarily.

The forum moderators and I will review the term of the ban, if Immersion eventually wants to come back. We need a period of cooling off, at least. For now, I hope for a return to civility and mutual respect, even where disagreement exists.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 04:12:45 PM »
Immersion, you show up on a forum where many of the members are ambient artists or record label owners, or both. You know most of them believe they should have the right to control their own work, to charge for it if they want, and to assert the right to control how other people use it.

If you want to disregard the rights all creative artists, at least be respectful enough not to rudely announce, "I don't respect your rights. Even if you don't want me to take your music, I will take it if I want to." To do otherwise is just being a jerk.

It's like showing up in a room full of married men and saying, "I dispute your right to protect your wives' bodies, and also dispute the right of your wives to control their own bodies, and I will touch them if I want. You can't stop me, because I disagree with your conservative beliefs."

It's just not cool at all.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:56:42 PM »
Music should be a passion not a labour..if you do it for money you could aswell be a prostitute and sell yourself..

If this is your personal opinion, then you are free to make music or art and give it away for free. That does not mean that other people should not be able to charge something for their work. It certainly does not mean they are equivalent to prostitutes for doing so!

Nobody creates music JUST for the money, or JUST for the art with no regard for money. I mean, even people who don't make a penny for their work probably would accept payment if someone made them the right offer. Many of those who argue most vocally against copyright are people who make plenty of money for their work. They just believe they can make money while still letting people share it freely.

The very great majority of the music you listen to, very nearly 100% of it, simply would not exist if there were not a system of artist's rights that allowed the artist to be compensated for their work. Think of all the albums that required a lot of expense to create. Nobody would have paid the bill to create these things, except that a system existed whereby they might recoup their investment and possibly profit.

Would this be a better world if there were no Dark Side of the Moon, or no White Album, or no Exile on Main Street? Seriously?! If you argue that these things would exist without copyright, you have absolutely no credibility.

Thanks, Pete. I hadn't see the Neco V2/V3 before, so that's interesting.

I don't object to people saying that they find value in much higher-priced components, but I really have a problem with people trying to shut down or disparage discussion of cheaper options. Everyone's budget is different, and to my mind the most important segment in audiophile component recommendations is at the entry level. Audiophile die-hards with huge budgets don't need any convincing... but people who are curious about higher quality sound need good advice about things they can try that will help them without too much cost or risk.

Of course then, once the listener is educated and hooked, they might drift up toward the more costly options.

I should add, when I want to play back FLAC files, I usually use Vox. Sometimes VLC, if I'm just listening to short bits.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 10:05:24 AM »
To me, it's one thing to sample from a completely different genre or style, and repurpose what you've sampled for a completely different kind of work. I mean, if I take a voice sample from Blade Runner and put it in a trance song, it's not so much about ripping off. It's just sampling... quoting, sort of. This seems like less of a problem to me.

If you're an ambient musician creating drone work, and you take a large section of another ambient artist's drone and make it the basis for your own track, that's entirely different. To me that's just laziness, a terrible, lame shortcut... and much more like stealing or at least dishonesty, even if you credit it. You're using the person's work for something very much like the original work, barely changing it, certainly not repurposing it or creating something very new/different from it.

And yes, loop libraries or commercial sample packs are totally different. Those are sold with the express purpose of being used in other people's work.

The headphone topic has been a popular one, and many times while reading it I've wanted to create a related topic to discuss headphone amplifiers.

I think in many cases, the audiophile community tells prospective enthusiasts that they have to spend huge amounts of money, or don't even bother. This probably leads many people to distrust the advice they receive. Well, in the case of headphone amplifiers, I hope people won't ignore the advice that headphone listening can be significantly enhanced with the use of a dedicated headphone amplifier, as well as the use of a decent DAC (digital audio converter) if you're listening to music output from a computer.

We can get into the discussion of some higher-end headphone amps, but for now I want to discuss the "entry level" headphone amplifiers, the kind that might be purchased by someone who is not completely convinced they will change the way a given set of headphones sound.

Lately, there are some good, high-output headphone amps for not too much money. My latest is the Aune T1, which is a USB DAC as well as an amp, and is really amazing quality for under $200.

Schiit (see ) makes some cheaper models which won't quite stack up to their Lyr or Mjolnir, but at least output sufficient power that even a high impedance headphone will perform pretty well. The new Magni model us just $99!

Also if you have any DIY abilities, you can build one of your own. I have a kit for an O2 (Objective2) headphone amp which has been sitting on my shelf... haven't found the time to build it yet. You can buy them pre-built for not much more than the price of the kit (see ) and the sound quality is supposed to be especially good for the money.

Kit version:


I'm certain some people will look down on the suggestion that headphone amps under $200 could be adequate, but my purpose is not to suggest these are all the amplifier a headphone listener would ever want. This is just to show a few ways it's possible to try outboard headphone amplification for $100-$200, and gain a noticeable improvement in sound quality. I think people are much more likely to try something if they can do it cheaply, with less risk. Personally, I think it's unlikely a serious headphone listener would try one of these amps and fail to agree the difference was a great improvement over using the headphone output of their computer or iPod or stereo receiver. Once the listener is convinced, maybe they will want to step up to a mid-level or high-level amplifier. There are certainly many of those to choose from.

In my own listening experience, you can get excellent sound quality from an amp in the $500-600 range, and unless you're using very exotic headphones indeed, you might not need (or notice improvement from) a headphone amp more expensive than that. I have yet to hear a headphone amp over $1000 that convinced me it was better, though there are plenty of high-end amps I've never heard. I do understand that many people listening to planar or electrostatic headphones especially emphasize the importance of the amplifier, even more than with normal high-impedence headphones.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: January 05, 2014, 09:45:43 AM »
The same thing is true of many good headphones in the $200 - $500 range. They tend to be higher impedance, so they need an amplifier to really perform. Maybe it doesn't seem so bad to pay extra for an amp for a really expensive headphone, but as you say, if you buy a $150 headphone, you might end up paying more than that for an amp.

The way I look at it, though, is the amp and the headphone are separate purchases. If someone is just getting into better-quality headphones, maybe something like this DT990 Pro 250 ohm is their "gateway" to higher-end headphones. Maybe they have to buy an outboard amp for $150 to $500 more, but then they can continue to use that amp if they move up to even better headphones later.

I didn't really appreciate my Sennheiser HD580s until I plugged them into studio gear that had strong output at the headphone preamp. They improved even more with a dedicated, standalone amplifier. 

Lately, there are some good, high-output headphone amps for not too much money. I've been meaning to create a new topic about headphone amps, and I guess this is a good time to do so. I'm off to do that now!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: January 05, 2014, 12:12:30 AM »
The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, 250 ohm version, is on sale right now at Amazon for $148, an excellent price for such a highly-regarded headphone.

Of course you'll probably want to use a headphone amp to get the best sound out of these, but if you're open to that (and not just plugging this directly into your iPod or something) this is quite a deal... which reminds me, I've been meaning to start a topic to discuss headphone amps.

What this points out is that, regardless of the platform, there don't seem to be that many good choices out there.

In any media segment where there are several good, free options, there won't be much drive for competitors to develop something new, since they know they probably won't be able to charge (at least not much) for it.

It's like what has happened with web browsers, anti-malware tools and fonts. People are now accustomed to getting these things for free, so most potential new developers don't want to bother... they just work on something else.

Well I tried to explain to you that your prognosis for the future is not "facts" either.

Yes, and in my prognosis for the future, I used the word "likely."  I did not state it like it was a fact.

This is degenerating into "platform wars" and probably boring for 90% of people reading this topic -- not to mention,  off-topic.

The last thing I will say about your previous few messages is that you frequently make statements as if they are facts, when they're actually opinions ore preferences, or worse, incorrect facts.

So, let's talk about media players.

I should add we are not considering switching desk-bound office workers like myself to iPads for our work, just mobile workers.

If you're doing data entry and spreadsheets all day, a mouse and keyboard is still the best control device, and most of us in this office have two large 1080p monitors mounted on a stand for an extended work place.

At my workplace, everyone has a Windows computer on their desk, and the Outside Salesmen have always had Windows laptops.

As of yesterday, our Inside Sales Manager has been promoted so that he will be going outside, visiting customers more often, so he will get a portable computer for email, entering call reports, web browsing, and accessing our ERP system. He decided he would rather have a 4G iPad with a bluetooth keyboard, instead of a laptop. I completed a full review of the costs, and plusses and minuses as far as capability and convenience, for our company's owner. We came to the conclusion that of the activities he needed to do while traveling, most of them could be done at least as well using an iPad and keyboard. The one thing that will probably be a little less efficient is the creation of pricing spreadsheets, but even that will be do-able with the touch interface and keyboard.

The other outside salesmen, all of whom already have their Windows 8 Pro laptops, have already heard about this. Many have expressed that when they are eligible for an upgrade, they might want to get a 4G iPad instead of a new laptop. The Outside Sales Manager has an old laptop and needs a new one, and he's already eagerly asking for an iPad instead of an upgraded laptop.

The reason this is interesting to me is not because I'm an "Apple fanboy" and prefer to see my corporation spend money on Apple products. For 20 years, my job has been to test and recommend technology options, and to train people on the new devices they will use to do their job. The reason this change is interesting to me is that for the first time since the release of Droid and iPhone "smart phones," when everyone at the company who was eligible for one was eager and excited to be one of the first people to get an upgrade, now everyone who might be eligible for a company-paid computer is eager and excited to get an iPad instead of a laptop. They're acting like it's something COOL and FUN that they're excited to get, even if their laptop is already allowing them to get their work done.

As an IT Manager, it doesn't really make my job that much better or worse if an Outside Salesman uses a Windows laptop, or a Droid tablet, or an iPad. I do think it's interesting, though, when a professional salesmen is excited like a kid with a toy at the prospect of getting a new piece of technology with which to accomplish his work.

As a mac user like you are I can understand that you think apple is growing,  I am a windows users I see myself that more people is using windows,
Apple is losing users to android every day, their market share is going to android every day...

I didn't say Apple was the main reason Windows market share was shrinking. Please re-read my post. I said Windows was losing market share to Mac, Linux and especially tablets and smart phones.

You're simply wrong that more people are using Windows. It's not even close.

You can't make assertions about market share based on your own preferences, or a few people you know. Market share isn't about which you think other people should use. It's about the actual number of real people in the world using different devices.

At the current rate of change, within the next 10 years, Windows is likely to be used by only a tiny minority of technology users. I'm very curious to see what will happen, because my day job is as a corporate IT Manager.

Ubuntu Studio is a version of Ubuntu especially for audio production.

I've experimented with Linux at length, because I too like the philosophy of openness. Unfortunately, the result of this openness is that it's extremely hard to get anything done, and most of the really useful software is not available. I've given up trying to make it work for me. It's fun to experiment with. It has some of the benefits of Unix, with a few similarities to other GUI-based systems like Windows and Mac, but in my opinion it's not really a suitable operating system for anybody except programmers and people who work primarily in the command line.

You're right that Windows is still the biggest platform, but the situation is changing. Not only is Windows losing market share to Mac OS and Linux, but more significantly, many people who used to use a standard Windows PC now use a tablet or even a smart phone instead. I know many people who now use their table for most "computing" tasks, and only use their desktop computer rarely, for things like printing out big documents, or filing tax returns. For other things, they use portable touch-interface devices. The world of personal computing is changing.

You don't have to like Apple or use their products -- as we said we each get to use what we like -- but to dismiss their influence in the world of computing is silly. They are not only the largest computing company in the world, not only the biggest technology company in the world, but the biggest company of any kind, and still growing.

No, ASIO is just a Windows thing to overcome problems in the built-in Windows audio handling components. ASIO fixes a problem in Windows that doesn't exist in Mac OSX.

It's OK if you hate Mac OS and don't want to use it. Some Mac users treat it like a religion, and want to convince Windows and Linux people that they're WRONG WRONG WRONG. I'm not like that. I think people should use the tools that work for them, and help them accomplish the work (or play) that they want to accomplish.

Ten years ago, 97% of people used Windows for everything. Many people hated it, but felt stuck. Now there are many options. You can use Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Droid, iOS. This is much better -- nobody's stuck any more.

No problem - I know many Windows users assume the same thing "ASIO means better sound" is true on Mac too. This is one of the things I like about the Mac, though I realize you can still get very good results and do professional work on a Windows computer, with some extra setup or configuration.

This is why it's just simpler for me to use iTunes for everything. It's so easy to stick a CD in the drive and rip it to my preferred format, and maybe drag files to a new playlist. Even though I have a huge library, it's surprising how often I find items I want to listen to, which I have on CD but not in my iTunes library. Just yesterday I ripped several Kraftwerk CDs and Wolfgang Press's Bird Wood Cage.

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