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Messages - Ekstasis

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: February 04, 2009, 11:18:10 PM »
I still not agree about what you are all saying about compressors...
There exist so many compressors and non is the same...

For ambient music I have falled in love with the

sonalksis SV-315 Mk2 Compressor, this is very warm and soft sounding compressor with an analogue sound.
It is a good tool to cut the digital and hard edges in the sound aswell...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Spectrasonics - Omnisphere
« on: February 04, 2009, 10:51:48 AM »
Very nicely played.  A somber mood, which I love.
Have you considered playing on live show at  They'd eat this stuff up.

Hello Altus, thanks for your response

Never heard of stillstream, it looks interesting, I might send in something in future if I have recorded something that I think would fit.
Regarding this particular piece though, it is not complete yet, more modulation and layers needs to be added.

I have never tried professional ear-phones, only really cheap ones.
If I buy an mp3 player some day, I might consider to buy ear-phones.
However, I could never imagine that they sound anything near as good as full size headphones...(it is at least very hard to imagine)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Spectrasonics - Omnisphere
« on: February 02, 2009, 08:16:49 PM »
I did an recording this night... it has an atmosphere of nostalgia and yearning...almost painful feeling of distant times....perfect for rainy and dreamy days...

Since it is only an improvisation (did press play and record), and I plan to expand the ideas in this recording in the future, I will only let the link be up for 48 hours, then I will delete the link.

(link removed)

In the dark/at night, in bed, with headphones, eyes closed.

For me the ultimate way to listen to all ambient/atmospheric electronic music. It adds so much more to the experience than just 'casual listening' (eyes open / no headphones / while doing something else).

The only true test to determine how much I really like the music. My all-time favorites in electronic music all came to be after listening sessions in bed.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, but I have a hard time taking people's opinions on ambient serious, if they never listen to ambient like that. If there's one genre in music that just asks to be listened to this way, it's ambient.

I agree with you with 100%
It is only in night in bed with headphones I can fully sink into the music and shield of the outer world completely.
I also always use an "Mindfold" (can be bought from

Both Steve Roach, robert rich and Asianova probably give me the most deepest listening experience...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Does any one here perform ambient music?
« on: February 01, 2009, 02:38:57 PM »
I must say, I have never personally seen ambient music as live music, I will probably never have a need to see a live performance with ambient music.
The only exception would be Robert Rich's sleeping concerts or Steve Roach 12 hour concert/immersion...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Does any one here perform ambient music?
« on: January 31, 2009, 05:09:46 PM »
I have not played live yet with my ambient music - but am slowly setting up to do so. Only problem is trying to work out if I can do the level of sound twisting I use in the recorded sound in a live situation.

Which raises the issue of using CD/Minidisc/MP3 as part of the performance....

and how important are the visual aspect of playing live?

The only thing you need is a laptop with the music, and maybe a mixerboard that is not plugged in :)

I guess he is checking is email or something he look busy :)

Thanks for fielding the questions Anthony!

I'm a big Kaoss Pad fan and have the works. Although they get more powerful with each version,
things also get left behind - so each one has it's own personality. The black/red KP3 that APK uses
is strong in the sampling and quantized effects and the silver KP2 is stronger for non-quantized
playing of effects. My favourite delay from the KP1 did not get carried forward to later generations.
They're all terrific for live performance - where you can spontaneously transform your sounds.
BTW - The KP3 is the strongest as a MIDI-controller if that is also important to you.

Thanks for your response, yeah I am getting more and more intersted in this.
I have seen some youtube videos,  but I am still trying to understand how to use it in a creative way in my music.

Yes, I use mostly software but with as much hardware interface as possible... so midi controllers are always of a big interest.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: January 30, 2009, 08:33:22 PM »
Have anyone tried the Acousticas Impulse reverb, from the Lexicon 300 unit ???

On certain "audiophile" forums this is regarded superior to other impulses on the market...

I'll jump in ... Immersion,  they are a couple of Korg Kaoss Pads, looks like version 1 and version 2.

ah ok I think Steve Roach did mention he used some of those. But the one I remember is Red and black ?
I guess that is a newer version...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Spectrasonics - Omnisphere
« on: January 29, 2009, 09:07:05 PM »
I recently got Omnisphere as well.  It's interesting how Atmosphere had a "sound" to it, and I find that Omnisphere has it's own "sound".  I agree that a lot of the patches are too complex/busy to write music with (Atmosphere had the same problem), but I use them as a base and edit them to fit my needs.  Also, heavy reverb will smooth out the sharp parts.  The hard part is trying to make it not sound too much like Omnisphere, which I usually fail at.  haha.  Oh well, fun synth in any case.

Yeah, the presets are way too processed, but correct me if I am wrong, I think that all the sound processing in the presets is done by the STEAM engine.
I think you could in that case disable all sound processing... and get access to the pure source sound...
For me only the source sounds is of interest, from the source I want to create my own sounds...
Yeah the reverbs are good in Omnipshere, unfortunately there is only 2 reverb types to choose from... but they sound smooth, but I will most likely prefer to use an impulse reverb instead...
As always with digital synth you need to process all the audio through analogue simulators like PSP VINTAGE WARMER 2 etc, this will in general cutt off most of the digital edges and produce a more warmer sound.

Spectrasonics has also promised that you will be able to import own wav files into the steam engine in future...

I did really like "dead of winter" thank you...

Out of curiousity, what are those touchpad devices to the right on the picture ???
They look interesting :)

I have never actually had the opportunity to listen to a professional sound system..besides my headphones which is of studio reference standards...
But it is way more demanding to get a good sound with a speaker system, it cost many times more, and you also need a room directly adapted to your sound system..
But I still feel you come closer to the music in headphones, it is like it does echo inside your mind, the music have a more subconscious presence in your mind, I think it is hard to get that same experience with a speaker system.

I have always wondered what it would feel like, to perceive sound waves through the wind, sometimes while I am standing in the forest against the wind, I do in my mind I hear distant music in the wind......I would wonder what it would feel like to feel the pressure of sound waves touch you... while you feel totally absorbed in sound waves and they massage your body...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 29, 2009, 12:08:49 PM »
Immersion said: "one thing for certain is that it brings "clarity" into the mix, since you hear the whole dynamic range more clearly..."

I wouldn't say this is certain. The perceived clarity is perhaps simply a result of a volume increase. If compression reduces the dynamic range then its not adding clarity. 

I do quite a lot of mastering, and I'd say that a bit of well-placed EQ work brings clarity to a mix.

I use compression very sparingly.
But I do use a good EQ quite a bit.
And I find that a good visualization plugin is absolutely essential to mastering.

Yes but what I mean is the result of the reduced dynamic range, makes the lower dynamic range more clear and audible, sound you would not maybe even hear before in a full mix... otherwise the higher dynamic range will overlap the lower dynamic range. So for me it does definitely give a certain clarity in the full sound spectrum....
This can be very useful for certain sounds in the mix, but to use it on the full mix..that is something totally different...

But when we speak about mastering and add it in the end of the sound chain... I think you should be very careful in ambient music...I am pretty sure that masters like Steve Roach and Robert Rich all use the reverb unit in the end of the chain.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:27:06 AM »
Compression can be very useful, and in fact I incorporate compression often, both in the creation of my own recordings and the mastering of other people's recordings.

But the notion that compression automatically makes things sound "better" is nonsense.  In many cases it can make things sound worse.  It's nothing more than a tool to change the relative dynamics between loud and quiet parts in a given segment of audio.  Used casually, compression is more likely to screw things up than improve things.  I've screwed up a master more than once by getting too compression-happy, and ended up going back to pre-compression version of the master and trying to solve the level or volume issues again some other way.

I think there is  no right or wrong, in the all comes down to personal preference and taste...  It all depends on context and how you use it, if we speak compression in an mastering or mixing context, it is completely different..
There is both good and bad things about compression, but one thing for certain is that it brings "clarity" into the mix, since you hear the whole dynamic range more clearly, but yet less dynamic... As I see it a lot of music today is totally destroyed in the mastering process, where they compress everything to the max to get the extra "boost" or "power".  Metallica's "Death Magnetic" is a good example sounds like total crap.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:20:28 AM »
"Redline Monitor makes mixes sound identical on speakers and headphones."

Has anyone of you tried this ???

From their page:

Its proprietary algorithm performs a sophisticated combination of filtering, frequency-dependent delaying, mid/side processing, and room simulation to create a convincing acoustic soundstage that allows you to properly localize sound sources.

I would never use it, it kind of defeats the purpose of mastering, you don't want to add anything to simulate what you might hear and to then make corrections, you want to actually hear it for real and then add corrections.

Most mastering engineers I know say the most important tools the mastering engineer has are their years of experience followed by the sound of the room he/she uses.

As for compression I don't think its really needed that much in most ambient music, maybe a bit of limiting to make sure their are no overs of the digtial signal. Compression is over used in most popular music, I think its best to stay away from it for the most part.

While I have not tried this enough, I think REDLINE monitor might be less suitable for ambient music. I think the Red line monitor itself is based on an Impulse reverb. I tried my latest recording which use a lot of reverb, the reverb sounded not good at all through the plugin in headphones... The bass resonance/feedback was way higher then without the Redline Monitor.  Bass bass resonance/feedback I think is the biggest problem when you mix in headphones, it is very hard to hear and detect, to detect it you must most likely use some kind of visualizer.

What is the ultimate way to experience ambient music if you have a choice ?
If you have any more option you want to add...please tell me...

My choice is Headphones...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 28, 2009, 10:19:35 PM »

"Redline Monitor makes mixes sound identical on speakers and headphones."

Has anyone of you tried this ???
It might be useful... if you as me mostly use headphones...but not sure how well it does reflect the reality...

You can download it try it for free for 60 days!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: January 28, 2009, 12:37:50 PM »
Well, I wish there was tools directly made for ambient music and where the extreme volume and power is not in focus...but the sound quality...
In popular music today there is a competition in who have the loudest volume and much power in the mix...while this sounds good in some music
I think in general that we overuse it a lot...

Personally I sometimes use very mild compression with maybe a maximum threshold of -3.  Compressors do not only add increased volume but they could also
add improved sound quality and improved mix in general...this is what I like about for instance Waves L3.
You could do it backwards also I guess, using a limiter or in other ways make sure the volume level does not get past -6db during recording,  then afterwards you can  normalize to get a better volume level while you still the dynamic range remains unchanged. 

Another question is where in the chain the reverb should be might sound best if you put it in the end of the chain on the master bus.
Depending on what reverbs you use and the quality, but for instance pure an genuine reverb algorithms from Lexion I am sure sounds best "untouched"
without any compression that does distort/dissolve the reverb algorithms.
Other less powerful reverbs might sound better if you use various audio processing tools to make it sound better...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Spectrasonics - Omnisphere
« on: January 28, 2009, 08:49:42 AM »
I wish Omnisphere had no presets at all.
I think the menu "get a tate of omnipshere" is enough...

Robert Rich did prestes for camel audio in the past, for the synth Cameleon 5000.
Not sure if he did any for Alchemy.

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