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Messages - michael sandler

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Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« on: February 17, 2010, 01:28:01 PM »
Sell less than 100 copies of your CD. If you sell more, it is New Age.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 13, 2010, 06:35:46 PM »
Nice track from an artist I had not heard of before, Michael Mused:


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 13, 2010, 05:54:01 PM »

I heard the clicks on the mp3 sample myself. (1:35 onwards)

Aha. There are 2 places on the Hypnos site this album is available with clips. The page I was at, the clip is only about a minute long, so the clicks had not yet started. I do hear them now. Really.  :D I don't hear it until 2:06 though.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 13, 2010, 05:11:42 PM »
re: the Clicks...Okay, I'm going to listen really really close this time.

I guess I'm a real candidate for a guy who needs mastering! Actually, I know there are some things in my recordings that some time with a professional would have helped. But I divest...


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 13, 2010, 10:56:25 AM »
Another mastering snafu=the annoying "clicks" running throughout track 2 of Oophoi/Vnuk "Distance to Zero" which ruin it. Am I alone on this? I'm pretty sure they weren't intentional "glitch" sounds, and if they were then, well, I guess I just don't understand that one at all. 

Interesting. I played the mp3 clip from the Hypnos site and did not hear any clicks. Maybe they got thrown out in the compression. I'm kind of joking, but would an mp3 conversion maybe tend to throw out "junk" like clicks?

Of course, I might just have no ear. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me i don't listen...


Paul Vnuk and Ben Swire - I absolutely agree that knowing how to apply compression, different kinds of EQ, multi-band compression and other studio techniques is important in forming beautiful sonics, and that having an understanding of music theory and at least one 'traditional' instrument can only be a help. I certainly wasn't speaking as an anti traditionalist, and I'm just as bored by people who are opposed to any formal musical training on principle as I am by traditional musicians who dismiss our music as not being 'real music' or old skool rock 'n' roll producers who scoff at any unusual or novel applications of studio techniques. A few folk in more noise-based 'avant garde'  circles (for want of a better word) come across as far more close minded than the traditionalists they oppose, and though they think they are free, I believe real freedom comes when you have worked hard at a form, consistently, over many years.

"Bored" is a good choice of word. There is nothing more boring than a person with no skill. You don't have to know know how to write a 6-part fugue to be interesting, but if all you know how to do is smear yourself with lime jello, anyone with any sense will perceive the truth that you are too lazy to learn how to play Louie Louie.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 11, 2010, 05:55:46 PM »
Question: if Steve Roach is a great Mastering Engineer, and people go to him for more than just to have his name (and implied "blessing") for their album, then why does he send all of his own material to Roger King?

Answer: Only thing we can think is that he likes having another pair of ears involved? Anyone know if this is the case?

Question #2: Two of the "Ambient" Masters who do Mastering are Steve Roach & Robert Rich (we put "ambient" in quotes since Rich's work really defies categorization.)

One of them teaches mastering classes at a university, and is sought out by people who pay him to master their work. He often masters genres of musick he doesn't particularly care for or listens to, but is being paid to do a job, which he does, often while teaching the new artists what he's doing and how they can avoid problems in the future. If necessary, he goes to clients instead of having them come to him, if they are working in a "pro" studio. His name in the liner notes is a big name, not Big Name.

The other seeks out "upcoming" artists and offers his services for a fine fee, which mayhap be "easy money", and which aforementioned "upcoming artist" will happily pay for to have a Big Name in the liner notes and the implied endorsement. We are unsure how much "mentoring" takes place during this work, although he does also work directly with his clients, but only in his studio.

Who should we approach to master our next release?  ???

This quiz will count towards 25% of yr final grades. Please show yr work and thank you for handing in yr papers on time.  ;)

Choose the one who doesn't say your music gives him a headache in his eyeball. Sorry, I just love that headache in the eyeball thing.  ;D


I've always wondered what these "Top" lists mean. Most airplay in all the world? Most sales? Mr. van Z's personal faves of the month?


Random Question #13

What are sales of ambient albums described as? (platinum, gold, ???)


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:44:32 PM »
Roy Buchanan, 2nd Album

B.B. King's vibrato.

I also wanted to mention Richard Thompson in Durham NC a few years back. The guy's so good it's like he's from another galaxy, but he's so firmly rooted in folk music that it all makes sense. I've been a big fan ever since. I especially like the soundtrack he did for that movie about the guy who lived with bears until they ate him.


From what little I have been able to find out about her, Pauline Anna Strom a.k.a Trans-Millenia Consort seems to be a very interesting person.


I'd like to have spent time with Max Planck or some other deeply creative physicist (perhaps gallieo or Da Vinci - perhaps Marie Curie or Maria Mayer) - just being in the room when they were in the zone and feeling the movement of the universe whether in atomic or galactic size just through thought - for someone to work out that the universe is expanding before it was even known there were more than one galaxy is just a level of creativity/ understanding/ intuition that is just mind boggling.

I suspect that such a meeting would involve a lot of equations, so I hope you like math :-)


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 15, 2010, 05:26:22 PM »
Cradle of Filth.

So peaceful.

Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ005: Were you a band geek in school?
« on: January 15, 2010, 11:15:02 AM »
Random Question #5.

"Were you a band geek in school?"

...and feel free to elaborate.  :-)

I played the trumpet and wasn't too bad, so maybe that makes me a band geek.

Best concert: The Tallis Scholars. Just 10 people singing sacred music from the Renaissance without accompanyment. Talk about being transported.

Worst concert: Van Halen, 1984 Philadelphia. Roth was drunk and "sang" little more than "Whoa yeah woo" and the odd juvenile sexual crudity (Alex raising his drumsticks as an analogy to raising his, well never mind). The sound was awful. The bass frequencies overwhelmed everything else. The bass drums and bass guitar were like atomic bombs, which would have been fine except they drowned out everything else. So this meant I couldn't hear the guitar half the time, which kind of depreciates the value of a VH concert.

To make matters worse, I had floor seating. When the concert started, everyone in floor seats stood up on their chair, so I had to stand on a chair the whole night to see anything (and I still couldn't see a whole lot). Then people started trying to stand on the backs of their chairs, with predictable results.

Fortunately, Alex must have drank some coffee or God knows what else, because he was all over the drums. So I just said to hell with the rest of it, this is a drum clinic. I ignored everything else and just listened to the drums. What a performance. Drummers know how good that guy is, but in the general public he's shamefully underrated.


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ006: How do *you* define ambient music?
« on: January 14, 2010, 07:19:44 PM »
Random Question #6

How do *you* define ambient music?

There's no right or wrong answer here...  what's it mean just to you?   Whether you subscribe to the Eno way, or there should or shouldn't be drums allowed in ambient music, or if you toss a flute in that automagically makes it new age, etc...  what do you think ambient means?

No drums. Absolutely no drums. Except maybe a cowbell. More cowbell.

Bach is not ambient because his music is not ignorable. It sucks you in and unless you are careful you can become obsessed with it.

Rhythm has a place in ambient music. There is rhythm in "Music for Airports." That's because there are melodies in it, and you cannot have a melody without a rhythm (I think).  A truly rhythmless piece would be "Texture One" by Stephen Phillips and Mystified. It's just, well, texture. Maybe ambient music is an ignorable slice of an interesting texture.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Constructive criticism
« on: January 14, 2010, 05:48:47 PM »
As far as reviews go - I love any review where it appears the reviewer actually sat down and listened to my album. 

Exactly. If it's obvious he listened carefully and doesn't like it, then I want to hear his comments. On the other hand, if he says, "All this is is leaning on the low C on the keyboard," and I'm playing a guitar, then I do not take his comments too seriously.


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ001: I write or play music because... ???
« on: January 11, 2010, 04:28:37 PM »
The hedonistic lifestyle fueled by my ambient music royalties.


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