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Messages - Ekstasis

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21
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: May 13, 2015, 05:59:32 AM »
using analysing tools is good to see problematic frequencies that you might not here.

Using a set of monitors that complete each other is a good idea I agree.
I have heard "Avantone MixCubes" is a good choice for secondary monitor.
They are not ment to blow you away but if it sound goods on them they will translate good on most systems.

Also In general doing reserach on which monitors that does translate best is also a good
idea. Genelecs for instance they do not translate well to other sound system, while it sound good
on them it might sound dull and boring on other speakers.

And yeah if the converters and headphone amp is not good enough it is all for nothing.
Especially headphone amp can colour the sound a lot be careful of that.
Solid state headphone amps are to prefer for reference listening.

Use more then 1 headphone for sure.. all headphone sound very different from each other, most have good and bad sides..
often they complete each other.  Buying headphones (after you have bought a good headphone amp) is still the chepeast way to get
multiple reference points in the studio, ideally you want as many reference points as possible.

It is certainly easier to mix in headphones 2015, there is a few products out there like SPL phonitor and also Beyedynamic have a tool to emulate speaker sound thru headphones.. anyway I think despite there is many software solutions for this  the SPL one is the best.. yet again it will give you maybe one more reference point

I would not advice anyone to mix totally in headphones.. you might get a few surprises when listening to the same music in speakers..
But for ambient music, you get a better focus on detail and more immersive experience which might benefit you..
However before doing the final mix down atleast listen to in spekears..you might find problems especially with the bass..
Too much static bass in ambient drone music can be very painful to listen to, you might not even hear it in the headphones.

If you have not enough good speakers with not enough detail, then when doing ambient it might be a good idea to focus more on the headphones.
Headphones are still the cheapest way to get good audio quality, with the right pair headphone amp ofc.


22
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: May 12, 2015, 04:59:03 PM »
Feel free to give us examples where a remastred version have ended up not louder ? :)

Anything done for the Audio Fidelity or MFSL labels, all ECM recordings are mastered, as are those by Telarc and I could go on. What you seam to be rallying against is the "loudness wars" which are quite common in new rock releases and many re-masters. However that is almost 100% label and artist driven. In essence a mastering engineer only has the power that you give them.

Also turning up and making sure tracks hang together from one to the next is not the same as squashing, limiting and crushing it to death.

One other aspect is to "glue the mix together" but how do they do that, if not with compression ?

Traditionally NOT done in mastering. That is, the whole "glue a mix together" thing is done by the mix engineer with buss compression and it is not usually a mastering engineers job or concern.

Sending ambient music to the best mastering studio in the world would be a total joke..they do not even know
what to do with that kind of music all they would hear is production errors..

Sorry but here you are just speaking in hyperbole and ignorance.

Not to be a jerk, but I have met, talked to and personally know some of the best mastering engineers in the world and this is not the case. They all take extreme care with the music they are given. They work with the artist to achieve said artist's sonic goals and would NEVER be content to craft a product that the artist was not 100% happy with.

Ambient music have nothing to do with traditional music production it is totally isolated from that.

I think that you are too easily putting "ambient music" in a fragile box and frankly doing it a disservice.

Its music! It may sound good in your room, on your equipment, but if it does not translate on some universal level to everyone else's music systems then you have failed. Period!

In other words, your music should sound good on ipod ear buds, Grado Headphones, KRK-Rokits, Audiophile home theater systems, 5-1 budget systems, laptop speakers and in your car. Its called translation and if you can't figure out how to do that, then that is what a mastering engineers job is.

Also if your music is so fragile that slight eq changes will ruin it, then that is a problem! Frankly I have never heard an ambient album from anyone that I respect in this genre where subtle eq changes ruin the sonic intent of the music.

How do I say and know this? Well because in any play back environment there will be subtle eq changes.

Mastering houses have played out there role more and more..people have better and better equipment in their home studios..
And sounds more and more like the fish product...  However.. there is many cases mixes can benifit from just go thru magic hardware
to give that extra magic you cannot get with the software... but that is more like summing..

A two sided example/argument you bring up here.

Some people are getting better equipment...but more realistically prosumer equipment is actually getting better. I do hold to the standard, that there is no excuse anymore for bad audio quality, at least in so much as you cannot blame the gear.

So when recordings don't sound good, who is to blame? The engineers and musicians who lack the knowledge of how to make something sound good or lack basic mixing skills, but that is ok because like anything worth doing, there is a learning curve and it will take time to get the hang of.

Also there are professional mixing and mastering engineers who can help. Sure, you can fiddle about and learn to fix everything on your car if you want to, and you can buy the tools you need to do so, it can even be your hobby and passion. But there is also the slight chance you might need some help from a professional with better tools and skills and taking your car to them can save you time, headaches and even by spending money for their expertise can save you more money in the long run.

Also there is no "magic box" that you can just run a signal through and audio sounds better, or where a bad mix is suddenly awesome.

There is great gear out there that can and will make mixing easier, but you still have to learn to use it and even there most professionals will tell you its a process best done, one piece at a time...

Anyway..I do not agree that mastering process is a must.. this I think was more in the past..
external ears can be good and also bad.. depending on how much of external input you are willing to put in.
It is easy to do drastic changes in the mastering process that might be far from the artist vision.

Here we will just need to disagree.

What music have you sent out to have mastered? Did you have a bad experience? Where you unable to work with the mastering engineer to fix the problem?

Here is the thing, some people/artists can and do master their own work at home. But usually they have the right tools, a great treated room and the correct knowledge and experience to do so. This is great when it happens, but I assure you it is the exception and not the norm. And the people who can do it have spent years mastering the art of mastering their own music and they have worked out sonic and translation issues.

Once again..too many good albums have been destroyed by these mastering studios.
Also a lot of them have this "fast food" mentality,  they master a album so fast that they can't even listen it thru
they find a preset and just use it on the full album.. which results in ugly artefacts in some parts..

Ummmm...what?

I would state that you get what you pay for. If someone uses a cheap on-line mastering service or a guy down the street with a laptop and "mastering" software, then what did you expect?

Again out of the numerous mastering engineers I know, NONE of them use set it and forget it processes and all of them listen through a song multiple times to get it right.

I also will say on the flip side that if it takes more than a day/session to master an album, then that person is not much of a mastering engineer. In other words, if you the artist/creator are struggling to get your finished mix to sound right and translate evenly across the board, especially after days and days of eq tweaks and such then perhaps this is when, where and why a mastering engineer is important.

I have really no energy for a long answer. I still think in the context of ambient music you are way to locked in the "professional music business".
I still think in year 2015 sending ambient music to mastering is a joke,  I think as an ambient artist and audio painter you should not let any one else mess with the colours,  you can do that but than it is a collaboration, listen to steve roach remasters for B Parnham, youngblood  they sound just like steve roach.

I still think that remastering studios in most cases are a fast food industry made to trick people with simple tricks. Of course there is good studios too, but in general I do not have much respect for them.

And remastering for ambient is just stupid, but if you do not have enough basic recording knowledge or equipment to make judgement maybe you need "help" by external people, but for ambient artists I think it is important to keep the integrity.

Especially with ambient remasters in many cases they are worse  listen to Amir Baghiri dreamsources original and remastered, a perfect example of excellent music ruined by software remastering.  There is also many examples of releases that sound al ot better then the original, but  you can make drastic differences and in the context of ambient music every detail matters, it is way too easy to transform the total picture of the music with even subtle changes, ambient music is extremely sensitive.

Regarding between translation between systems, I think in all honesty this is not a problem with ambient music the only thing really to be careful about is the bass, careful about not having too much bass, since that indeed might translate very bad.

No, ambient music is not pop music so no, no need of sending to remaster spend the money on a better effect unit instead or speakers.
Also I think people who like ambient music in general are more interested in Hifi and equipment and all that.

Would love to see the reaction if sending this to a remastering facility :)

For me this total" garbage" sounding ambient sounds totally perfect for me but I can understand
why they think it sound garbage.  I can also imagine how it would sound after remastering
A lot of the unique sound would be gone it would just sound. Ambient music does not follow the same rules
as pop music, ambient music is not as superficial, for me it is all about what happens when I close my eyes.
From the creator himself he said to me this music is made for headphones.






 
I am not going to say that ambient music is made for headphones, but I can tell I like to listen to ambient in both ways,but I can tell you
my deepest ambient music experience has been with headphones, the music takes over my mind a lot better which is harder with speakers.
And you get closer to the sound, details clearer.  Listening to speakers is a different experience.
I wish I could have my sweetspot position with my speakers so I can listen to speakers in bed too..unfortunately I can do that.
If I am not listening in the sweetspot it will not sound right unfortunately.. and it will be less imressive.

A lot of ambient artists mix and record only with headphones I think really in many ways you can get away with it..
as long as you make sure to cut the bass

No I refuse that there is any specific rules with ambient music there is no "certain" ways to do the process, it is all about closing your eyes
and the the sounds transform you, if it sounds good to you in that moment it is all you need, no need to send it to any fast food chains to make it sound more radio friendly ?  With ambient music you can with very simply steps make a poor recording sound very professional.. Remastring for ambient audio painters I think is just wrong.. and in a way a disrepect to the artits, if the artists feels he want to change the colours it must be called a collaboration.
I would never in my life let any label send my stuff to any remastring for my ambient, since I think the recording should be the ultimate reflection of a certain moment in time,  if you really can't get this feeling in real time when you are recording or listening then you really need some equipment or sound shaping tools to give you that sensation,  if you do not feel the sensation  then it just feels fake to send it to any professional paid mastering god that will make it sound perfect and professional, this is just fake and mass produced ambient that atleast I have no interest  in.

Especially the Dark Ambient genre I think suffer from this mass-produced crap, I think also in this genre it is more usual to send it to remastering since dark ambient are often more sold on bigger labels,  dark ambient in general is a bigger "market", it sounds too mass produced that it is hard to decide if its dark ambient or just scary game music,  a lot of Lustmords works I think follow under "game music" category for instance..



23
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: May 08, 2015, 02:22:38 PM »
Feel free to give us examples where a remastred version have ended up not louder ? :)

One other aspect is to "glue the mix together" but how do they do that, if not with compression ?

Sending ambient music to the best mastering studio in the world would be a total joke..they do not even know
what to do with that kind of music all they would hear is production errors..

Ambient music have nothing to do with traditional music production it is totally isolated from that.

Mastering houses have played out there role more and more..people have better and better equipment in their home studios..
And sounds more and more like the fish product...  However.. there is many cases mixes can benifit from just go thru magic hardware
to give that extra magic you cannot get with the software... but that is more like summing..

Anyway..I do not agree that mastering process is a must.. this I think was more in the past..
external ears can be good and also bad.. depending on how much of external input you are willing to put in.
It is easy to do drastic changes in the mastering process that might be far from the artist vision.

Once again..too many good albums have been destroyed by these mastering studios.
Also a lot of them have this "fast food" mentality,  they master a album so fast that they can't even listen it thru
they find a preset and just use it on the full album.. which results in ugly artefacts in some parts..


24
I myself think RedShift and Free system projekt have the best sequencers in this style of music And of course Klaus schulze (before he started to use software based seqencers)

25
Soundcloud link is embeded in the link below.

Sounds really good!

http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=113246

26
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: May 06, 2015, 04:31:44 PM »
This albums reminds me more of the "live archive series".. it is very medocire in all aspects.. the sound are petty boring.. and sonics are not on par with his older albums, some people compared to Electric ladder,I still that album is soo much more better.

What Filaments is missing is any type of atmosphere, this músic fails for me to paint any mental pictures besides in certain moments, but then the other problem is the short length of the songs, which make the album too fragmented.

For me Entangled is the only memorable song from this album, the rest feels just like a medocre soup something you would hear on any improvised live concert from robert rich.

Anyway, I am still grateful Robert Rich is producing albums, I which He would have a bigger flow of releases.
I did like his nest release. His sominum release while appreciated it was a big disappointment.
Seem like ambient indeed was better before then it is these days.

27
Steve roach can do a lot more better sequencers then this, this album took how many years to create ?
It was boring  Just compare any of the songs to this song ? the difference between this song and the songs on the albums is this have this instant "timeless" quality to it..the difference is so big..  Steve roach has still some of the best sequencer stuff.. and when I listen to his discography i actually which he did do more sequncer based stuff.. he have kind of gotten away from that stuff lately.



I do not know, I am glad steve roach is producing music but I do not feel he have the same joy any more,
He looks more old and depressing now days, how is his health now really ? he does not look too well to be honest.
Maybe he should focus more on getting better health which gives him more health and energy, his music sound more vibrant before more cold now days.
In other worlds I think his health reflects in the music.

And I still think his productions in his old studio sound a lot better then they do today.
I have never been to his studio but I can hear big changes have been made..

Despite what I always looking forward to check out steve roach new albums it is always exciting to listen,  and his library of music can never get too big, cause I get tire of listening to the same albums over and over so it is nice to get new additions constantly..

28
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: May 06, 2015, 03:55:44 PM »
My Opinion 6 years later after I started this thread, for ambient music, there is no need to send any ambient music to any "Traditional mastering studio" or such for me this is bullshit.. ambient music is a finished product from what you do in your home.  Mastering studio main purpose in today world is to make the volume levels more even and most of all higher..  Ambient music does not benefit from it.. While it might do in a quick A/B test it can fool your ears easily, it might sound bigger and more volume and energy but less airy and dynamic.  If I would send any of my ambient music to a traditional mastering studio then only thing I would expect is some compression added.  In other worlds Mastering for ambient is totally bullshit and really overrated.

I can only look to all ambient I like, all of it are mostly self made at home  and often in far from "professionals studios"

And regarding mastering for other music in other genres, it can be a good idea, but as long as it is hardware mastering.
But I also think mastering have destroyed a lot of good mixes and albums out there.. in general what people want is that they play the music they create as loud as possible,  and to make it sound loud with just compression will not give the same feeling as playing it loud with less compression and more dynamic..
I think mastering has become more and more overrated, people produce more and more good mixes them selves..  and are then maybe sent to some cheap software mastering studio which destroys it all..

EDIT: also I forgot to add..due the nature of ambient music I think mastering by an external person would make too much difference in general the the colours of the music expression in general..  so yeah..good ambient music should be done in your home studio.. and all ambient artists I like do this..
They produce what they want to meet your ears.. nothing more..

29
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Camel Audio stopped business
« on: January 10, 2015, 02:53:22 PM »
rumours suggest they have been being sold to another "big company" it would make sense..because of the lack of information on the website.

30
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Camel Audio stopped business
« on: January 10, 2015, 02:23:05 PM »
Very sad and very surprising news! Alchemy is pretty much my primary synth for Ambient music!
Very bad news.. I had hi hopes they would release something big any time soon.. like a new version of Alchemy...
There is really no other synth to fill their spot to be honest..

I wonder what was the reason for them to lay down camel audio ?
No info on the website either... did they not pay taxes or what ?

31
So, if it's not 'artistic', what else is it - do you think he's made a technical error of judgement ?

Downloaded your video, but I didn't get it, playing around with an Eq doesn't really show what you're trying to get at.

On the subject of noiser and Eqs, I use a high Q parametric Eq to 'soften' noise textures (or just noise), I find the frequencies vary with the sound, but yes 4k - 8K is usually the range (using up to 3 narrow Q cuts). A 'steam' like sound is much more pleasing to these ears than unfiltered noise.

For me it is quite obvious it is an artifact. This is noise produced as an artifact from something within the chain. Or how do you explain the exact same noise is produced thru the whole album which is 15 hours ?

 I am not sure what he used to mix this record.
ButWhen I lower the 4khz  and 6Khz it sounds a lot better and cleaner when all that constant noise is gone.

My only purpose with this video was to show and isolate the frequencies I had problems with, even at 0 db level the noise is very high in the mix... when listening to this noise for hours It is tiring and there is not one minute that goes by listening to this album without me getting bothered by the noise.
I agree that this "steam like" noise can be desireable, but for me they must have some kind of warmth and softness to it, to sound good, this noise sounds just cold and like a artefact to me.

32
I made a video/audio recording to demonstrate perfectely what I am talking about, my vote it is not artistic.  Even at 0 db level the noise floor is catastrophic  .

Download video here: http://www.fildirekt.se/dl/1415698622.avi

33
Is this from the nest or perpetual?
I have no complaints about the nest from what I remember.  Even though it has a more lofi character.  It sounds like it is a release from 1995 and not 2012.

However with perpetual this noise sounds deign definitely not artistic.  It is quite obvious it is an artifact.
I know Robert rich use toraverb,  if it is used  on perpetual it could be it I get the same noise with it which was hard to get rid of until I found the source. 
I can give examples this week of the noise in the audio.
I hope he will do a re-release

34
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Interstellar
« on: November 09, 2014, 01:52:50 PM »
I have only seen the trailer..but I am pretty sure it is very good..

35
drone on...  I can answer the Vir Unis question as he's an old friend (since teens).  He's semi-active on Facebook - and is about to release The Book of Mutations 2 after a long break from releasing ambient.

Posted Oct 22 by John / Vir:  "This a 20+ minute preview of an upcoming Vir Unis album on AtmoWorks. I plan to work with some very talented and creative musicians on this throughout this Autumn and Winter. It's s continuation of Book of Mutations, which can be purchased at store.atmoworks.com "

Listen at:   https://soundcloud.com/johnstrate-hootman/book-of-mutations-pt-2-preview

Looking forward to new Vir Unis album, while his latelest album has not been so good..

36
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New David Sylvian, Steve Roach
« on: November 09, 2014, 01:48:54 PM »
the new steve roach album is really good.. Ancestors circle

37
Old news  ;)

For me it was anyway, since is updating cycles are not so frequent on his website so I do not check it often.

First expression is that it is not as good as somnium at all.  There is not much flute atmospheres as on sominum and envoirment sounds.

My biggest problem with the album is that there is a constant "noise" sound between the 4khz-6khz area, this is a constant noise and a constant irritating element. It is not a good sign that Robert Rich make this pass the pressing.. it sounds like a air valve which seeps constantly while the "pressure " in this "valve" does vary the sound does come and go a little bit.. disappear for a few seconds but always come back... to hear what I talk about you can always in your EQ max the 4khz  and 6khz  you will hear that this should definitely not be there.. it is not sound just pure noise.. for me it does ruin the music experience totally..  My guess is that it is more audible on some speakers then others..  Anyway I do not hear much progress here, it seem that not as much time and passion was put into this then Somnium, , it sounds worse then somnium in all regards but still good contribution to ambient genre in 2014, but his older somnium is way better.

I do did not expect it to top the somnium (online version) so all in all it is a very appreciated release.. but seriously this 4khz-6khz  noise I find to be a big problem..I hope I am not the only people who hear it..

39
24 bit is definitely no placebo effect.. It is always frustrating to have to down sample to 16 bit.. When you  hear such drastic difference.. But it does also matter what music..  But especially with ambient music I hear a difference..  If I buy an digital flac album I would easily choose the 24 bit if there was a choice.

Many blind tests regarding 16 vs 24 bit have proved that peopled can´t hear a difference. In any case, when it comes to CD anything has to go down to 16 bit anyway. To hear a difference especially (!) in ambient music is a huge myth for me. When it come to classical music with a lot (!) of dynamics there is a reason for this higher bit/sample rate rate, but when when it comes to Ambient I don´t know any music in this genre using the full dynamic making it worth at all to for the additional headroom nor a higher sampling rate.

Are people really be able to hear a difference between 192kbit and 320kbit mp3?   ;D

But OK, it´s usual that those believers feel better if they can say they feel have the tools or special gear (the price for the additional investment in those cases needs an explanation too) or rendering options. I´m pretty sure, if I would offer 2 unnamed files for a blind testing concerning this issue, those people would avoid to be part of that test.

Two unnamed files created to prove your point or two unnamed files to show there is a difference.  ?
Tests can be designed with different goals. 
I myself I hear a difference and I know a lot of other people to do,  you need sensitive equipment and ears and know what you are looking for.  In heavy high energy distortion  guitar I think the 16 bit have harsher edges to me. 

I think it is funny say  classical music has more complex audio information then in ambient music.
Ambient can be as complex as audibly possible. Classical music in general consider very lofi in comparison to modern music.  Adding max amounts of transients is usually the best way to find differences in 24 bit or 16 bit  or different sample rates.  On all my recordings in my signal chain I always use audio processors to maximize transients,  especially with ambient there is nothing worse then ambient where all transients are drown into reverb tails,  the transients bring out all details and making complex audio harmonics.  Yeah so the amount  of transient information is probably one thing that matter,  without the complex audio information it might be possible there is no difference in sonic experience in resolution or sample rates

40
I do not mind Klaus shulze releases but it his last album was very bad.. He have become lazy sounds like he is using only omnisphere presets now days.. But I follow the Berlin school genre.. But I think it is Mario schönwalder and Co that have most to offer to the Berlin school genre now.
The free system projekt i wish did release more was many years ago now.  Same with pollard.

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