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Messages - michael sandler

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: August 25, 2010, 04:27:33 PM »

"Quite what it is that wrought these improvements I do not know."

Believing they would be better before you listened to them?  :P
Please... He's an audiophile=he knows what he's talking about.
His website includes many useful tips.

In Tuning Tip #3 we read:
"Before connecting any cable to your system, give it a firm, robust shake. Grab hold of one end of the lead and shake it for a couple of minutes before you connect it to your system.
The process must – I suppose – do something to the molecular structure of the conductors, dielectric or insulation. What that is I do not know, nor do I care, but it has worked many times in my system."
Quark-shaker; if you try really hard you may turn it into gold, changing molecular properties of the cable. Shake it!

Aha! That's the solution for when we read on this forum about poorly mixed/mastered CDs/CDRs. They just need a good shake, then they'll sound fine.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Best Ambient cd to have sex to ?
« on: August 20, 2010, 06:22:12 PM »
I always thought "Midday" by Michael Brook was pretty sexy. However, it's only 6 minutes long, so that might not be a good idea.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Acoustic Instruments
« on: August 12, 2010, 03:32:33 PM »
I've got a Yamaha classical guitar that's about the same age as your guitar which was also a gift although I took the original back to the store and traded up for one that cost another $40, money well spent. It has rosewood back and sides, all wood binding and rosette. The only upgrades I have to make are new strings now and then. No operating system to upgrade or go obsolete on me.

By contrast, I've got an old Turtle Beach Pinnacle soundcard ('96) with a Kurzweil rompler/sampler on it but alas its an ISA card, a piece of ancient history now. Perfectly good card, no PC available to use it on. It would be cool if somebody made an ISA to PCI converter of some sort. I've also got an old Atari STe('91) with a whole meg of RAM but the floppy drive went belly up, good luck finding one of those that actually works. The Yamaha classical just keeps on ticking but you have to tune it periodically but it seems to stay in style over the years.

That's what I hate about making electronic music, wading through wires and software configurations and computer connections. Some people love that, but to me it's a barrier you have to hack through to get to the fun of making music. If there was a way to make sounds like a synthesizer or an electric guitar on an acoustic instrument, I would do it that way instead. I know acoustic instruments require maintenance and technique too, but for me at least it's not always that feeling that this isn't going to work unless I get a degree in electrical engineering.


Everything and Nothing / Re: World Cup anyone ?
« on: July 07, 2010, 03:28:46 PM »
And I'm loving the vuvuzelas!

Heh, me personally, that sound shreds my nerves so much I watch the matches with the sound muted.

As for favorite teams, I'm evaluating teams based on who has the coolest socks. The Swiss win there.

The other thing I like about football/soccer is the clock never stops. Even when a player is writhing on the ground in agony and the medics are coming to haul him off on the stretcher, the clock still runs. You must have cojones to play this game.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Live coding
« on: June 26, 2010, 12:33:03 PM »
In light of the Robt Rich tour thread which came to include a lot of discussion on computers in live ambient music performances, what do you think of "live coding?"

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Seeking guitar recs/advice...
« on: June 14, 2010, 05:18:13 PM »
I love the sound and neck of my Tele, but it weighs a ton (alder body, so alder can weigh a lot) and the body shape is a bit awkward. They are versatile, though. You can play about any style of music on a Tele if you upgrade the pickups. I put Bardens in mine, but they are too expensive. I would have got Bill Lawrence pups had I known about them.

They do make Teles with contours for more comfort, but I'm not sure how much more that costs. I'm sure too that had I got a Strat I'd be equally happy. Actually I only got the Tele because the store I got it at had 2 Strats and a Tele and the Tele was the only one where I liked the neck. It's really important to me that I like the feel of the neck and the fretboard.


I am heading to the house of some friends this evening, the house of metal dudes. They have a massive all vinyl collection stacked alluringly in their living room. Joyful hours are spent there poring over the elaborate 70's gatefold art while drinking in the sounds. This experience is quite fun, and compared to buying "air" for $9 off the internet, I know what I would choose.

One of my fondest childhood memories is rooting through the bins in record stores and department store music sections drooling over the cover art. I didn't even know what most of these albums sounded like, but I wanted them.

If you only have the wherewithal to release a download, you should rethink the idea of being paid for your music at all.

The question is more along the lines of whether labels, not artists, can afford to produce and distribute physical formats. I'd love for some label to release my next album on vinyl in a gatefold cover with a pop-up inside. But it ain't gonna happen. Now, I have been told that I should not release my music at all, but for other reasons... ;D


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: June 11, 2010, 07:49:13 PM »
Somehow I never valued John Diliberto's views, opinions and work on Echoes as important or vital.  For me it has an elite, wise-guy mentality that didn't stroke with my vision at the time and it still does.
His unfounded thoughts on how music needs to be performed is another proof on how he values and looks at music from his state of mind.

This whole conversation, the critic versus the artist, brings to mind something I read over 20 years ago that has stuck with me ever since. So I will don my asbestos underwear and throw this out for what it's worth...

"It is a melancholy experience for a professional mathematician to find himself writing about mathematics. The function of a mathematician is to do something, to prove new theorems, to add to mathematics, and not to talk about what he or other mathematicians have done. Statesmen despise publicists, painters despise art-critics, and physiologists, physicists, or mathematicians have usually similar feelings: there is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of the men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds."

G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

MikeS (running for cover)...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: June 04, 2010, 04:22:28 PM »
Anyone read John Diliberto take on Robert's and other similar concerts? Here's the link:

I'm not saying I agree with him, in fact I'm actually looking forward to seeing Robert when he comes to town, just an interesting take from someone who claims they are a fan of our kind of music.

The problem with finding a band willing to suffer along with you for your art is that most musicians want to be paid, at least if they are going to make a commitment like a tour. Should Rich stop touring because he can't afford a band? That would be a shame.

On the other hand, maybe it would be more interesting to just play what you can play live, even if it is not as complex as what you could produce with canned material to back you up. There really is something exciting about watching a skilled musician laying it down on the spot. A great musician can hold your interest for the length of a concert. Classical musicians do it all the time.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: May 13, 2010, 09:44:07 AM »
Not my studio but someone who obviously has more money then sense  :o

This person really likes to turn knobs.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: May 13, 2010, 09:42:43 AM »

Love the pink Tele (?)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:42:13 AM »
Well, at least he got to stay in a hotel with a jaccuzzi.  ;D

I've read Robert's blog from previous tours, and I also found it eye-opening. In this tiny niche market, he is a rock star. In the broader world, he is unknown.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Press Releases
« on: May 05, 2010, 09:27:26 AM »
Just received an email about an album I should listen to by a band/person I don't know:

"My work lies somewhere along an axis that includes Mahler, David Sylvian,
Scelsi, the Future Sound of London, Schubert, Nono, Gas, Scott Walker..."

That all sounds pretty clear  ???

I'd die to know what axis there is that covers both Gas and Schubert...all at the same time ;D

I'd die to know what an axis is.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: May 02, 2010, 03:36:44 PM »
Thanks for the Invisible Cities mention , Joe.

- The Circular Ruins: Invisible Cities  :::: yep, its a good un

Now just a darn minute, should you really be blowing your own horn like that? ;-)
...I always wondered if musicians listened to their own music. If I were a musician, I don't think I'd enjoy listening to my own stuff. I'd be too critical.

Once I finish something and put it out there I am so sick of it that I can't stand to hear it again. However, I like to go back after few weeks or months and try to listen with fresh ears. There is always something I hear that I dont like, but I have learned to accept that it's not going to perfect.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Free speech samples
« on: April 21, 2010, 06:03:04 AM »
The Internet Archive has recordings of US presidents speaking, both "important" historical stuff and mundane day-to-day nuts and bolts stuff, sometimes stretches with just pops and hisses.

I have raided the JFK recordings and liked the scratchiness in the recordings and the musical quality in his voice.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Cleo 1997-2010
« on: April 04, 2010, 02:48:35 PM »
Sorry to hear it, man. Losing a dog is tough indeed. They have a way of bonding with humans.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The price of CDs
« on: March 30, 2010, 03:03:56 PM »
For you old-timers, it’s hard to imagine Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon or Yes’ Close to the Edge without the 12”X12” album artwork that came with it.

While I don't care too much about format, I have to agree that the visual side of Pink Floyd has always been a big part of their appeal.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 24, 2010, 04:54:07 PM »
I just heard Iwrestledabearonce on the metal channel on cable TV. Strange, complex metal.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Why do the worst songs go on the longest?
« on: March 23, 2010, 03:06:47 PM »
When you say "songs" do you mean non-ambient music? Because I wouldn't call Steve Roach's music "songs," but rather pieces or tracks.  Anways, I've never noticed any correlation between length and quality.  Plenty of "short" tracks that are annoying as hell. I rectify this by just not listening to them.  ;D

I've noticed this feeling with ambient, pop, and classical music. No matter how long the piece/song/track/work is, it seems like it goes on forever. Sometimes I turn the station and go back after surely enough time that it's over...and it's still there!


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