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Messages - Julio Di Benedetto

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Thanks for the in-depth post Loren...the narrator of the video express just your sentiments about the problems of the SEM based voiced synths and most definitely the eight voice, but for him its this that makes the programming experience very special because of the sounds that emerge.  Never having played a SEM myself I cant say but I do enjoy these old machines and how they sound.

Incidentally, I do think we are very fortunate to live in this time with analog coming back strong in modular and keyboard form and that the fathers of synthesis are still making instruments to this really "Analog" is better than it has ever been!

Took a quick look at the sweetwater video, looking forward to watching the whole thing!

 It did load after all!


The video wont load so you will have to click the link,  if you can't make it through the long technical section go to 15:35 to listen and sit up to some electronica that still can not be matched by todays synths analog or otherwise in sound. ;) Except that Tom has a 2 voice in production and a 4 voice possibly on the way.... :)

Its worth listening to the whole thing from start to finish just for the amusing commentary as well. 

Im on the fence with a musician knowing the way I work it can take a while for a production to come to its fruition and to ask people to pay and wait doesn't sit right for me in my particular situation.  More suited to prolific musicians.  Also I would feel obliged to produce and push music out that perhaps is not ready.

Michelangelo's art very well may not of existed without the patronage of the Medici'

Recently I like the way Sam Rosenthals  "As Lonely as Dave Bowman, Monolith" kickstarter program went.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: New Toy for Studio
« on: July 13, 2015, 11:29:24 AM »
I have been watching this synth...actually been leaning more towards the desktop version due to limited space and the somewhat similar interface to the Xpander / Matrix 12

Congratulations....Let us know what you think. :)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Recording music without a computer
« on: July 04, 2015, 05:49:35 AM »
Lots of good points Loren, Thanks!

Additional thing to consider would be extra hardware Reverb, FX and compressor.  I have an Eclipse, perfect for 2 channels but used on say a 24 channel mixer it would be the same preset across aux 1 on every channel. If I want another sound on aux 2 it would have to come from another unit, same goes with a compressor. Having to go from say a "Medium Hall" to a "Lost in Space" sound  all going through aux 1 would be a definite compromise.  Now I understand why there are all those racks of gear in recording studios with big mixing desks.

To bring the mixer alive it would require quite an investment in hardware audio processing gear along with cables as you mentioned.

Need to think about all this.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Recording music without a computer
« on: July 03, 2015, 08:09:30 AM »

Forrest do you use your mixer and FX just as a front end to the daw and mix in the daw or do you come back out and use the mixer to mix, so to speak.  Im using the old school model as best I know it where the tracks were laid down through the desk to tape, they were then pulled up across the console and "mixed" and then sent to 2 track tape ready for mastering.  Im curious as the lore of AD conversion stands its best not to convert back to analog once in the box.

Hi Julio,

I generally use the analog mixer at the front end to "wet" the signal while playing live before sending it into the DAW.  I then add some plugins to alter the signal before adjusting the volume within each channel and rendering it to a stereo mix within the DAW.  I prefer shaping my own "automated" mixing curves within the DAW over live mixing, because I can spend more time on individual subsections of a piece without having to remix the whole piece.

The only exception I've made to this approach is that when I record as Sans Serif, I often start with digital files that have already been processed or edited, then feed that into the analog mixer using outboard effects, with the results mostly being recorded in analog into a DAT in real-time.  I think that because of this, many of the Sans Serif pieces have more an improvisational flavor to them.


Thanks for the insight into your process Forrest.....very interested in your San Serif approach, I could see that yielding all sorts of unexpected events and those sweet accidental moments.

Seren I think VS2480 still stands its ground today, perhaps its storage capacity is not up to current standards but in tandem with a computer or external drive it seems a very good studio solution with a small footprint.

I think for myself I would go the mixing desk route and use the computer as Forrest does, however it will require a major shuffling of gear.  I have worked at bring the audio production quality of my studio components up over the years and have reach its zenith all of which is focused on a 2 channel input daw system.  With a mixer Id want multi track recording capabilities which would mean more converters for example, so it will take quite bit of reconfiguring and solution thinking.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Recording music without a computer
« on: July 02, 2015, 04:09:05 PM »

 These days, I use a Mackie mixer with additional outboard effects before going into my laptop to record.  It adds an element of noise, I know, but I find it more interesting to use options from both worlds and combine them.


Forrest do you use your mixer and FX just as a front end to the daw and mix in the daw or do you come back out and use the mixer to mix, so to speak.  Im using the old school model as best I know it where the tracks were laid down through the desk to tape, they were then pulled up across the console and "mixed" and then sent to 2 track tape ready for mastering.  Im curious as the lore of AD conversion stands its best not to convert back to analog once in the box.

Steve Roach uses the computer pretty much just as an audio recorder with some processing. 

I think most of the better stand alone multi-track recorders have been discontinued, most of the ones I see now are really extended field recorders. I know Mackie and Alesis made 24 track hard-disc recorders like this one, that you can pick up used really cheap now:

Of course the big daddy pro one is the IZ Technology Radar that is still being made today:

Thanks Loren for confirming Steve Roach's process....I do remember the Radar, and glad to hear they are still with us.  A nice piece of kit for sure.

Seren, appreciate the in depth suggestions as well as Gigi's working method!

I recall standing in front of the VS 2480 in a music store and thinking "omg" when it came out and having no clue what to do with....still intimidates me  ;D

What would be really great is a system similar to this Roland that could have your plugins, soft instruments et el installed and give some analog goodness, digital convenience and hands on connectivity.....does it exist?   

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Recording music without a computer
« on: July 01, 2015, 07:13:00 AM »
Hi Pete, yes an alternative recording setup or alternative approach as you suggest with your iPad.

On a side line modular synthesis is really booming now because I believe musicians are coming to a world without presets and patch memory, its raw, alive, difficult at first and so hands and usually without ones & zeros involved.....this is sort what Im thinking about regard a recording environment.

As a teenage drummer in the late 70's early 80's I was around recording studios with the band I was in making demo tracks with mixing consoles and multi track tape machines but when I started recording music around 2000 the daw was well established so I have missed that era.  Perhaps I actually missed nothing and am better off now and just dont realize it.....I have heard recording industry people say how they cant believe how they did it back in the day compared to now, but these are professionals with clients, money and expensive studio rates etc. 

Im finding Listening to the music without seeing it is quiet a revelation and changing the way one works can often open up all sorts of possibilities.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Recording music without a computer
« on: July 01, 2015, 05:56:26 AM »
Hi Forrest & Phobos,

There is no doubt the daw offers such recording flexibly un matched, probably in the history of recorded music.

Always wanted to go to tape Forrest but more in a live type environment.....multiple instruments through a mixing board, Fx etc, stereo out to 2 track conversion.  Ultimately it would have to go in the box for mastering etc.

I have used Logic for years and more recently Live, very comfortable with logic. 

That Tascam unit does look impressive Phobos.

From studio pictures I have seen It seems to me Steve Roach works with the mixing desk as key to his process and the daw more of a digital multitrack.  His sound is controlled from the desk not the daw.  Others here may have more knowledge about his setup but if its so it appeals to me as a way to work. Old school in approach but still with the flexibility of the daw as needed.

Obviously a daw today is as much an instrument as a way of tracking music so to preclude it for some would be pointless though some soft instruments can be standalone.

My approach for all my recording has been to treat the daw as a digital multi track, rarely get into midi and mostly use hardware instruments and my production methods are straight forward with no bells and whistles.

Hope to hear from others with their ideas and perspectives.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Recording music without a computer
« on: June 30, 2015, 04:58:19 PM »
I spend so much time in front of the computer for music and otherwise that I was wondering what viable alternatives there might be to recording music without it, the computer that is.

Only person I know of is Seren.....I assume that still stands as so.

I guess part of this has to do with working deeper in Abelton Live, for sure a daw in the full sense yet in its main mixing window, it has a better name, you dont see anything but the individual channels, no graphic audio until you decide to create that.

Im really getting into the listen and not seeing.  It was the opposite for a long the arrange window of said daw I could paint with graphic it but.

Is there a viable alternative to the computer / daw....and if so what would you do?

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Solid State Logic Duendo Plugin Sale
« on: June 15, 2015, 12:31:01 PM »
So I did.....this was an email to me from SSL and I have only check their website which is $99, and the sale ends on June 29th.

Heres the links

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Solid State Logic Duendo Plugin Sale
« on: June 15, 2015, 04:43:26 AM »
Dont usually see this software go on sale.....$99 for each plugin!  Follow the links for in depth video.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: New loscil video
« on: June 01, 2015, 03:49:49 PM »
Beautiful short film, photography really captures the organic nature and yet it is so other worldly and the music, a different side of Loscil that just works perfectly with the imagery.

Thanks for sharing 

Glad to hear the cd arrived safe Paul.....I remember the beaches of Scotland, especially the Outer Hebrides, the most beautiful I have ever seen. Great that you live close to something similar.  The cover picture was actually taken in Costa Rica during a surf trip. 


Karel, an ambient cd collector from the Czech Republic sent me this beautiful picture with my new release included...Wow!  Thanks Karel!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: May 21, 2015, 04:54:46 PM »
First of all thanks for the compliment on Seed Julio, and second I agree with Mike, great post!

I just upgraded my headphones to the new Audio Technicha ATH-M70x and all I can say is WOW! The clarity is stunning. The low end may seem shy to some, but its really more that it is not exaggerated like some headphones.

Hi Paul....Yes "Seed" is a sonic gem not often seen in ambient circles, and naturally that amount of detail is seriously matched by phenomenal music performance and production.

Through headphones lets keep the production level of what we hear at its zenith

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: May 19, 2015, 01:11:34 PM »
Great post, Julio. I love reading this kind of stuff.

I've been considering for a while that I have several pairs of very good headphones, but no great ones. Maybe instead of multiple $200-400 headphones I should try something really high-end. We shall see...

If and when you do Mike I can really recommend  The Cable Co and their headphone lending library..... 

The ability to try before you buy at this price point is pretty crucial and to be able to have 3 of some of the best cans on the market to demo is unheard of.  They will also lend headphone amps as well.  The cost was about $250 for a 10 day trail period which if you buy through them they will put that towards the headphone cost so you are only out of pocket for the shipping.  Very sweet.

Its the best sonic investment I have made.  It has completely changed the way I hear music, for pleasure or for studio work.

Thanks so much for your insightful thoughts have a good sense of the music and its sonic persuasions. Feed back from those that listen to the music is so important, for any artist. Im grateful for your support and taking the time for a deeper listening.

In one sense I have no intent other than the this urge to write music...what stirs this could be many things. 

I never had music in my head that I attempted to transcribe out into real music, into the real world which is odd as when I mostly painted some 25 years ago I used to do lots of sketches, color renderings etc, so that when it came to stretch a canvas I had a clear idea of where I was going. Perhaps this is something to do with visualization whereas the abstract nature of music in that it does not exist unless played and has no tangible form once complete precludes me form seeing it, or pre-hearing it.

Listening to other music can get the juices flowing but often that can be a technical thing, musical structure, musical sounds and how they are used, mixing preferences etc.  Sitting down, or standing and firing up a keyboard usually can inspire a new creation.  Recycling patches already used in other projects often leads to new sonic adventures.  Starting with a blank patch also but can be much more demanding. 

If a musical idea comes it is when I play the piano.....synths inspire galactic travel for me and are not usually the first place for melodic construction if that indeed is where I think I could go.  The piano is also very honest and shows flaws in structure easily whereas a single note on a synth can keep me occupied for hours in wonder at its evolving never ending nature.

I think I do treat the daw as a canvas and the musical instruments I use as the color palette, nothing unusual there but there is still no intent, well yes Im intending to write music and the outcome is unknown and for me that is the excitement.....a journey along which I grow, learn and hopefully become.....not so much better but maybe closer to something...?

Good topic Mike!

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