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Messages - Ekstasis

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This is a double CDr release, 2 and half hour long, limited to 50 copies. split into 9 parts...
I am not sure if it is officially available for order, but my friend did get it for free with an order...

I hope that eventually the complete concert of 12 hours will be released.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 11, 2008, 05:04:38 PM »
Just a follow up, here are a couple of articles that talk about how Steve works in the studio.

Thanks for digging up these articles, I will read them

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 11, 2008, 05:00:48 PM »
Right now when I listen to Steve Roach's masterpiece album "Labyrinth" I really try to imagine what these soundworlds what sounds like WITHOUT the all the effects and reverbs etc, I am simply interested to know what the sourcesounds sounds like...75% of the sound is the expression of effects especially reverbs..

Asking Steve to produce his sound sources without effects is sort of like asking a fashion designer to put on a fashion show only in their underwear.  ;D As I said in that interview the way Steve works he treats the effects as part of the whole sound, so his tracks are recorded already with verb and other effects as part of the track, he doesn't add much later so it would be difficult to hear just the original sound sources.

I know he use kind of old analogue equipment that I imagine sounds very bad or nothing similar without heavy use of digital effects such as a good amount of reverb...

Bad sounds? I think maybe this was maybe a poor choice of words? Reverb can certainly help a sound but I don't think it can fix a bad sound. As they say garbage in, garbage out.

hehe, alright I see what you mean about the underwear stuff, etc, but again, too me that is what is the most interesting for me right now to see the naked sound under the surface of effects. As I sad mostly to learn how the ideal sound is to work with before you add multi effect processors into the chain/layer.

Also interested to know how he does compose the music itself, the tonal aspects of the music,  I have never seen him play the keyboard in recent times, I can imagine he did that more before on the 80s and 90s albums, but does he play keyboard nowdays ?
Or those he form the sound with mainly with Eventide pitch shifters through midi nowdays ?
And if so what interface does he use to control the pitch shifter, is it possible that he use the mixer board
to do that ?

I can imagine that way of creating sound would give him a more "free hand" then composing through a keyboard interface, I can't really imagine that for instance the "immersion" series has been played at keyboard at all, it has a very circular spiral-like sound, deeply dimensional....

Regarding my comment on old analogue vintage synth, I hope I did not offend anyone, but what I meant was
that they require mordern sound processor to make them sound modern, so I have nothing against analogue synths at all, even though I need to learn more about it.

btw steve has a good sense of humor, the "toilet paper" part did make me laugh :)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 10, 2008, 05:51:33 AM »
Yes for sure, you are right. The synths on their own sounds probably very bad, he don't use sample based synths he use waveforms through many ooscillators, LFOS, and and many more modulation layers. It would indeed be interesting to see the whole chain he use to create his soundworlds, I am sure his chain is very long and complex.

Would be fantastic to see how the whole chain evolve step by step, and how the sound does develop...through each step of the chain..that would indeed bring much understanding how he creates the sound...

But as I understand it, he morph the sounds mostly in real-time, besides the mixing process...I also know he really likes to use a traditional mixer board a lot, I think he uses about 20+ layers or so, that is another key to his sound as I understand that, the tremendous amount of layers.

Some more info I found with an dicussion with Loren Nerell.

I really appreciate you taking a moment to try and answer some questions. I've been working on getting that Timeroom vibe in some of my recordings. I'm getting closer, but I've still got a lot to learn. I know some of the questions about workflow and stuff are just personal preferences and may not apply to me, but I'm still curious how you guys do it.

1) What is your personal workflow like when laying down tracks? Do you spend much time trying to decide which percussion and synth sounds to use before you start or do you just dive in and start layering things kind of freeform and tweaking it later? Is it different when you collaborate with Steve Roach? Does he have a different approach with different artists he works with? Is his personal workflow much different than yours?

We work quite differently, Steve tends to record things in groups, with effects. I tend to record things seperate and dry, then add effects later. Both ways of working are fine its really up to you how you like to work. As far as what to start with, its the idea that drives that at least for me. Sounds can also send you off into new directions. Tweaking, layering, freeform all can play a part. When we work together its usually in his studio so we work his way, I'm not sure how much he differs with different artists, I know some of the work he did with Vidna Obmana that they worked almost live at times.

Originally Posted by plaid_emu
2) In the two Timeroom photos I've noticed a few things. I saw an Akai MPC and of course a computer. Also a nice old Soundcraft desk in there. Do you guys do most of the MIDI sequencing with hardware or software? Do you record into the computer and mix inside software or do you run the final mix through the console in real time??

First a word of advice about Steve's gear, its in a constant flux. As I said in that thread he's changed quite a bit of gear since I took that picture including that old Soundcraft. He's always trying new things so its never the same whenever I visit.

Again we work differently. In my studio I use a Mac computer running Logic and that is my central work station, I don't even use a mixer anymore as I have a sound card wit about 40 inputs so my computer is my mixer now. Midi and audio all work from one system. Steve treats midi and audio seperate. Midi does its own thing and then he records the audio from his midi instruments into his PC as audio tracks. He then sends things out of his PC back out to the board where he can process stuff and then record it back in the computer. When we mixed Terraform we did it in the box, we tried an out of the box mix but we didn't like it as much. Steve really likes to have a mixer, he's very hands on. When he came to my studio a couple years ago he felt very lost. He told me just last week it was like walking into a bathroom with no toiletpaper.

Originally Posted by plaid_emu3)
I noticed a rack full of Eventide and Lexicon stuff. I just recently purchased an Eclipse as my main effects source in my small studio because of it's high quality and versatility for the price. I know in the Liner notes of David Hudson's "Woolunda" Steve mentions his affinity for the Lexicon PCM-70 for creating the "soundspace". Does he mainly use the Lexicons for reverb and the Eventide for pitch shifting etc.? The reverbs on the Eclipse sound great, but I'm afraid I might also have to buy a PCM-91 or 96 to really nail that unbelievable spatial ambience sound. Any merit to this line of thought?

For years now Steve has been a Lexicon user for reverbs, he has lots of different models from them. But recently he's also started using Eventides quite a bit as well. In truth he's always trying out different things its just the Lexicon stuff is his main verbs. For what its worth I have reverbs by Roland, Sony, and TC Electronics in my studio and they've always played a part in my sound and sometimes make a guest appearance on the work I do with Steve.

Originally Posted by plaid_emu
1)Now I have just a couple suggestions maybe you could pass along to him.

I know Steve offers workshops, which tragically I can't attend. I can't really afford to travel cross country or get that kind of time off from my employer. I would love it if he offered some kind of alternative for those who can't make it. Videos or online tutorials or something like that would be awesome. Hell, I'd even pay just to watch him dick around the studio with no narration or anything.

You guys desperately need to collaborate with cEvin Key and his crew at Subconscious Studios. s u b c o n s c i o u s s t u d i o s Any work that came from those sessions would be destined for greatness. Talk about the recordings of the century! I can only imagine.

I will pass that on but the thing with the workshops is he can tailor them around what you need, he can see how you work and show you how to get around any problems you have. Videos or online tutorials have to be very general so you miss that hands on experience which is what he's really selling and is his strong point.

A collaborate with cEvin Key would be interesting. I'm not sure how aware the two are of each other though. I'll send Steve a link to cEvin's website and see what he says.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 09, 2008, 04:43:10 PM »
Right now when I listen to Steve Roach's masterpiece album "Labyrinth" I really try to imagine what these soundworlds what sounds like WITHOUT the all the effects and reverbs etc, I am simply interested to know what the sourcesounds sounds like...75% of the sound is the expression of effects especially reverbs..I know he use kind of old analogue equipment that I imagine sounds very bad or nothing similar without heavy use of digital effects such as a good amount of reverb...

I want to know how it sounds like under the surface... Mainly I want to know this to improve my own ability to create soundworlds in future...

Also does anyone have a list of the instruments and tools he use to create music ? Reverbs ? Effect Processors ? Ooscillators ? Pitch shifters ?
And have there been any interviews that more in depth describe the process of how he makes music.
I am interested to learn anything, to me Steve Roach soundworlds are SUPERIOR to anything else in the ambient music genre.

Personally I am not sure what to think of it, it is certainly more experimental then usual..
Might not be one of his more deeper and transcendental albums though..time will tell..

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Korg Nano Midi Controllers
« on: November 02, 2008, 08:25:54 PM »
Looks like Chinese made toys indeed...
but yeah..I might look more into it..prices.. etc...
Otherwise..I have been planning to buy one of the more robust behringer controllers..


Mp3 samples of the album can be heard on the link below.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Intel vs AMD DAW
« on: October 30, 2008, 10:48:10 AM »
Intel will release the new CORE I7 in 5 days, it is said to be up to 50% faster then the current core 2 duo...

I am planning to buy this system and a lot of ram memory... in theory I got space for 16GB DDR3, and considering all software I use I would need so much...just wish it did exist 4GB modules for DDR3...

Have heard the album now finally...

My personal impression is that it is a great album as you can expect from Steve Roach, however I fail to reach that transcendental climax with this album, I fail to immerse myself deeply into these sounds unlike "Mantram"...much due the drums..which I feel is somewhat out of context...they sound too "plastic"...they also feel too upfront in the mix..failing to harmonize with the rest of the music...which takes the focus from the rest of the music...the low-pitched drums he uses sounds a lot better in my opinion...Moreover I do not think this album need drums at all...

Even though I prefer Mantram in this Tribal-Ambient style this is a welcomed contribution to Steve Roach evolution...after all some new interesting elements are shown here...such as the "yearning" sound of the Indian Dilruba and East Indian bansuri flute...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 22, 2008, 05:42:35 PM »
Ah ok, I was not aware of that...well in that case..I will see what I will do...

What a great discovery this album was, reminds me very much of TUU but mixed with space ambient.

"Most SMD customers will be aware of Jonn Serrie's work and I'm pleased to say that he has kept up the excellent form, found on his last two CDs, 'Spirit Keepers' and 'Dream Journeys'. However I had never heard of Gary Stroutsos before and that is a shame because his contributions on various flutes (and a few other instruments) to the CD are essential in making it the triumph it is. What we get is a very laid back album describing the beauty of the planet with ethnic touches, especially those of the native American Indian. In a way we are revisiting ground covered recently by Jonn but this time with a more world music slant. On some of the tracks the talents of tabla players are also used well. The title track starts things off with 'breathy' synths, gentle tabla rhythms and a very peaceful but melancholy flute melody. It is all so relaxing but yet moody at the same time Just close your eyes and let the music drift over you.

'The Ocean of Night' uses synth leads more than the previous track, the flute also tends to be more up front and optimistic. The feeling of calmness and tranquillity developed on the opener, however, is just as prevalent here even if the images created in the mind are somewhat different; questing rather than mysterious. 'Mystery of Falcon Cove' begins with the sound of the sea and objects being blown in the wind. The flute actually sounds more like an extension of the wind and we are carried along by the relaxing tabla rhythm. Its just the sort of music to sit back on some hot sandy beech whilst imagining a row of camels walking by. 'The Rain Maiden' is basically flute over a swirling backdrop of synths with the sound of a storm in the distance and gentle rain falling on the ground. 'Sunrise Song' begins with rather spooky sounds and percussive effects which mimic the sounds of insects running for cover as the sun rises. The flute soars as if describing the rays of light bursting above the horizon. The slow drumming on 'Earth Sky' rather reminded me of some sort of funeral ceremony and the mournful flute enhanced this feeling still further. Synth flutes are OK but I don't believe you could get the full emotional power of what you have here by anything else than the real article. 'Bird Canyon's' initially consists of ambient nature sounds over some high register wind instrument . The synths come more to the front at around two minutes, adding to the tranquillity.

'Rhapsody' is basically a wandering flute over a carpet of synth textures, another one to just chill to. 'Tuptims Garden' uses plucked strings (probably the koto, whatever that is, mentioned in the booklet) but these soon disappear leaving a middle section of synth textures and gentle percussion, the plucked strings returning nearer the end. 'Vision Lake' has a rather cosmic feel to it and wouldn't have been out of place on one of his 'Planetary Chronicles' CDs. Certainly an album for those quieter moments. (DL) "

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 21, 2008, 05:51:22 PM »
Make your own dreammachine!

I guess it is not impossible to make your own...but I really wonder how much does they cost to buy ?
if they cost around $150 or something like that I would rather buy it...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 21, 2008, 05:45:37 PM »

seems mine, called the Orion, no longer is being made - but they have 3 versions called Sirius, Proteus and Procyon....

The Procyon seems to have a software that enables the creation of music that creates your own light programmes.....

PS the sirius is $99, the Proteus is $159. The website is a bit new agey (never looked at it before just bought the box after a trial at a festival)

Obviously, using flashing lights you need to be aware of the risk re epileptic seizures etc.

This looks indeed very interesting!
Would really love to try this...for many reasons...
One it can make me reach deeper meditative states easier..
And it could help me sleep better, it usually can take me 4 hours to fall a sleep...and I am dead tired when I wake up. According to the site you can fall asleep within 5-15 minutes.

I think, Procyon (2007) looks most interesting to me right now...

I do not know enough about epileptic seizures, need to read more about it....

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 21, 2008, 05:42:33 PM »
we have a very cool light/fog device that works with tap water and ordinary light bulbs. and it generates no more heat than an ordinary light bulb either so it is safe. it makes a very nice environment for meditation and relaxation.

Seems very cool, but might not work so good here in my one room apartment...
Anyway, you have any link to the product ?
Would like to read more about it, thanks.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Fun in the mountains... and other adventures
« on: October 20, 2008, 03:36:01 AM »
Looks really nice guys, have always been dreaming about climbing the mountains...must be a mind cleansing experience...Some time in future I might do it..

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 20, 2008, 03:34:22 AM »
If you want some psychedelia more self contained (ie when away from home) you can buy small gadgets that produce a variety of flashing light patterns in leds on 'sunglasses'. The make I have is called Orion. The range of patterns include steady pulses and you choose the frequency. They also have set programmes that start of at normal 'waking' brain frequency and thenh gently slow down into the more deep sleep brainwave frequencies for a time before bringing you back up to waking again.....

This plus headphones makes for a great and dreamy time.

Hmm, do you happen to have any link for it ?
I am interested to read more about it...

I always use the Mindfold while listening to music in bed at night, I have always thought it would be cool
to have some kind of psychedelic visuals in there, but I guess this is kind of the same thing...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 20, 2008, 03:31:39 AM »
I've always wanted a dream machine. It seems like it could potentially be a very effective tool for what you are talking about. The stroboscopic effect seems key in consciousness alteration...

Looks very intresting, I found a video about it on youtube

I wonder, how much does these cost ?
I can imagine they are quite expensive.

Everything and Nothing / Psychedelia in your home
« on: October 19, 2008, 04:35:00 PM »
So I have been interested in this some time now, I want to create conditions of psychedelia in my home when I listen to deep mind altering music,  with help of light and various tools that might give en beyond sensory experience or just a higher state of consciousness/awareness. I want the walls to be covered with shifting lights and shape & forms, I want the room to feel organic and alive.

Please check this little video clip for inspiration, it would be perfect to have the windows like that...with the orange/red light.

A good way to start would maybe be an psychedelic projector, have anyone tried "Mathmos Space Projector" is it really worth investing ?

Maybe a Strobe light would be cool also...

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Clothing
« on: October 19, 2008, 04:18:31 PM »
i would like to see females in ambient clothing that represented one of my favorite ambient styles - minimalism!
no comments on this post? c'mon, that is a good line. obvious but good!

Hehe, took me a while to understand your "joke", but yes I fully I agree with you, the less the better :)

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