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Messages - Julio Di Benedetto

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Everything and Nothing / Re: 24-bit for the masses
« on: February 26, 2011, 09:59:50 PM »
Anything Apple does is motivated by one thing.....selling more hardware.  Anything they develop regarding 24 bit play back has this in mind.   What could be more exciting is how it spins and where such technology goes.  As an Apple loving American with 2 Mac's in my studio I think this is about sales, for what, we will have to wait and see.

Forrest's concerns are well founded.....this could be really something for file based music and a further weakening of the compact disc, except you still have the download problem.

Within audio production, I remember reading a few years back that mastering engineers have clients that prefer to download via FTP their 24bit audio 74 min music  which can takes a day to download because its still faster than overnight express by carrier of choice for a physical disc.  This is especially true from a global perspective and it illustrates the point....our bandwidth is not up to the task and as far as the masses go....Things may be some what faster today but not to appease the masses.

I welcome any increase in audio fidelity especially if it means getting rid of compressed audio.  The mp3 was/is an effective way of dealing with the inadequacies of our bandwidth and making
possible devices like the iPod, but it is a sorry format, like the 8 track and in some ways the cassette.....there you go,  the tape cassette and the walkman, the mp3 and the iPod,  the 24bit and the ....?



Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Ambient music and Mastering
« on: February 22, 2011, 10:50:32 PM »
Hi Jesse,

Mastering treats the music/track in a holistic manner.......what you do to your music prior to summing your multi track song into a stereo 24bit @ 44.1 to 192 is part of the creative process.  Engineers love to slap compression and various rack gear across a mix to give a sort of glue to the mix.  So how you arrive at this point with a stereo  track is a your journey, but there are some hard fast rules that do apply.
The most important one being get it right in the mix...however you go about it with the best of your abilities, and I mean we are musicians, not engineers, though we try to wear both hats.

I like to think of the mix as though it was a beautiful carved piece, no, sculpture.  You toil away at your vision that is realized in the beautiful wood you are working on and when you finish, you send it out to be lacquered, stained & vanished to make all the textures and grain in the wood shimmer.  Thats what mastering does.  You can do it yourself, but do you have the craft?   

I recently requested a quote from a very respected mastering engineer for a 34 min long play ep I wanted didnt work out because Im at odds with the music but I was astonished to find that one of this countries top mastering engineers is not beyond my reach  $300 - $400 to master the track, $50 reference cd & $200 production master.  That is really very reasonable in the scheme of things and I said nothing about being an independent artist etc..... I do intend to use him for a bigger project coming up soon.

You know it would be so special if we could get Robert Rich to come on over with his perspective on this.  I believe this is such an important thread and Im really stoked by the recent Rich interview posted recently here.  Anyone has his ear here?

Everything and Nothing / Re: Jewel Cases
« on: February 21, 2011, 07:34:07 PM »
About the only good thing I can say about the plastic jewel case is that when you leave your  front seat passenger car window open with cd's sitting there and it rains,  ones digipacks dont fair so well.  Happened a few times.

Nice continuation on the other threads Jim!

Not a fan of any plastic, not just for environmental reasons.  lots of my jewel case hinges have broken which is easy to fix with more plastic.  Dont drop a jewel case on a tile floor or any hard floor.  After some use the jewel case can take on the appearance of an ice skating ring.  On the upside, they are cheaper to manufacture....though the cost difference between a digi and a jewel case has recently become considerably less.

For me the ultimate release format is the Digipack. All areas of artwork are better represented....a number of cover finishes are available from matte, semi gloss to gloss. Booklets et el are more accessible than jewel cases.  Ive broken many jewel cases over the years trying to get the cd liner cards out of the cases.     

In some ways the digipack is closer to a book format, or I should say book quality.  Theres a tactile feeling in the digi thats  totally lacking in a plastic cd jewel case.

Mostly digipacks are recycled material! 

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: February 14, 2011, 10:35:32 PM »
Great selections of Cans!  This is a topic that clearly every one can participate, not just musicans. 

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: New Robert Rich interview
« on: February 14, 2011, 10:25:54 PM »
Have to say this is the most in depth look into an electronic/ambient artist philosophy I have come across......theres mush to discuss here.  Im  going to watch it a few more times to get the full scope of Robert Rich's insight...thanks for posting this!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: February 12, 2011, 09:15:16 PM »
Ive been using Grado Headphones these last few years.  Started with the Grado Sr125.  A recommendation by mastering engineers for QC & checking mixes.  The detail that comes out of these is quiet amazing.  Grado are notoriously uncomfortable but most put up with it because of the sound they reproduce.

I Just recently upgraded to a pair of Grado SR325si......twice the price as the SR 125 and 5 times as good.  These cans you could possible mix on. They are that accurate but you still dont get the spacial separation that studio monitors give.  The detail  & tonal balance from these is truly astonishing.  Also you do not need a headphone amp to get the best out of these as you need for cans such as the Sennheiser HD 600 or 650 and the AKG k701 that are in the same other words your iPod can drive these


So.....Whats on your head?

That didn't do much for me, mirth-wise.
'Father Ted' on the other hand...

Have to concur with you there...Father Ted is wonderfully funny.  I've not seen it in a few years.  I dont get BBC America anymore.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 09, 2011, 06:05:21 AM »
Enjoying a handful of Infraction CDs

Kiln - Thermals
Ben Fleury Steiner - Keep a weather eye open
Koda - Movements
Tetsu Inoue - World Receiver
Alio Die & Aglaia -  Private History of the Clouds

I know the early works of Inoue. Great stuff! But the other releases I don't know.

I just recently came across the Infraction label  Strikes me as somewhere between Hypnos & 12k, if your not familiar with them.  Beautiful cd design and packaging!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 08, 2011, 06:24:15 AM »
Enjoying a handful of Infraction CDs

Kiln - Thermals
Ben Fleury Steiner - Keep a weather eye open
Koda - Movements
Tetsu Inoue - World Receiver
Alio Die & Aglaia -  Private History of the Clouds

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: February 07, 2011, 06:43:26 PM »
I have begun ripping my cd collection into itunes and as it grows I have to agree with Jimzzzak... for browsing ones collection its much better than looking at a cd spines in racks.

I also purchased Amarra Junior 

Im still working things out with itunes...its not perfect sonically compared to playback on a cd player, which has more to do with itunes than computer based systems and Im still at odds with having so much available at one time.

Music selection was always a more organic sort of experience.....I have not heard artist X in a while , or a sense of the music will play on ones mind and you have to go and sort of match what your feeling.  I suppose its more akin to walking through a public library, or book shop,  not sure why your there but something called you.   It requires you to reveal it. 

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Where you people sell gear these days?
« on: January 29, 2011, 07:06:35 AM »
I have used ebay for years as a buyer and seller.  A good portion of my sales were international.  All audio related transactions. From a $10 cable to $3000 Equalizer. I can only say good things about ebay.  Not to say that there were no issues.

The last thing I sold on ebay in december 2010 was a Jomox analog drum machine to a person in Greece.  After a few days the buyer got in touch with me saying it was not working properly which was hard to imagine as I had had it a little over six months and hardly used it.  Still I was prepared to refund the buyer and cover return shipping cost.  We emailed over a few weeks and finally the part of the drum machine that apparently was not working didnt warrant the effort to return it.  I got positive feedback and the buyer got a mint drum machine with a very unfriendly user interface which I think was the cause of the buyers frustrations.

Ebay / Paypal works very well and you do pay for it. 

There are certain things I avoid.......I never buy something that does not actually show the item for sale.  If its expensive there should be detailed large pictures of the item.  I check the sellers other items for sale or sold recently.  How the item is priced tells a lot as well.   The same is true for me as a seller.  Lots of good photo's of the item for sale.....a picture's worth a thousand words.  I never end auctions early when someone asks privately.  I ship fast and pack really well.

From my experience ebay is fine, Im not a major player so perhaps Ive just been lucky.

Anyone ever tried Craigslist?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 22, 2011, 05:56:26 PM »


I pressed 1000 cds of my debut release, a double cd unknown musician pressing that much in this market place was crazy, but the reality was/is that to press less would mean the cost would be much more per unit, so I could not pass that along to potential listeners, so pressing more than I thought I could sell to keep cost down even though that meant sitting on inventory that may or may not move in the future, was the only way to go!


Artistic expression has absolutely nothing to do with convenience.

Absolutely, but unfortunately it is mistaken as such by many these days. Blame it on a lack of proper education.

1,000 copies of a 2CD set as your debut album... kudos to such a lot of bravery.


Hey Stephen,

Bravery & Stupidity can be taken as the same sometimes....... seriously though, to press 300 of a double digi would have put cost beyond sense.  a little strange that less should cost more. 
Heard this on radio this morning

Seren I enjoyed reading that....I remember a time were a few friends would gather round a stereo system and  enjoy the simple but deep union.

Personally, I have always taken the good songs with the bad and generally the bad have not been so, just have not found their footing so to speak, and as such added a dynamic to the recording.

Again, not to to over stress a point....."The Ritual" Music does not have this in the same way today. your new Flac logo....what do you call those, anyway....... respect.

I too, am both an artist and a musician (composer, really). I just released my debut CD and had no intention to
release downloads only. As an artist, I immensely enjoyed creating the art formy debut CD, A Distant Light, and
will continue to do so with subsequent releases. I highly agree that there is something to be said for being able
to hold a CD in your hands, see the art that reflects the music and read the liner notes about the artist, all without
having to log on to a computer or other digital device.
While I do provide both CDs and downloads, as an artist, I feel compelled to share the tangible asset. I know
that there are people who appreciate this and even many who prefer it. Yes, it is much more expensive, but it
is, to me, totally worth it. Besides, how am I supposed to autograph an .mp3? ;)

A toast to art, music and their steadfast creators. Long live the CD!


Hi hhh,

thanks for joining in the your imput!

I received 5 Cd's  yesterday from Infractiion........Wow, beyond the music...I felt like i was back in 12' vinyl days . Artwork, Booklets, Excellent graphic design work.  Im very impressed with the high quality of production....Thank you! 



Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sequencer-esque ambient
« on: January 20, 2011, 09:39:37 PM »
Saul Stokes and his circular sequencer!   I dont know his production techniques but I hedge my bets theres a lot of sequencing at work in his music.

On a side the last few years I have discovered the sequencer/arpeggiator to be the a source of wonderful and surprising tone generator. Start to stretch those natural rhythms....... :)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 16, 2011, 11:38:06 PM »

Why press 500 cds and only sell 500 downloads or more or less when the cds sit unloved in boxes....

You have to educate your listeners. Make the CD the only option they have. A lesson I had to learn from past experience. I will make a new album only available when it has paid off. The sooner you make the download available, the less you will be selling of your CDs.


Hi Stephen.....Quite so, but we must also listen to our audience

I fear that if I wait for my music to pay for itself than I will be waiting a long time before I release anything else...not questioning your business perspective, just not the model I came into this with.  I pressed 1000 cds of my debut release, a double cd unknown musician pressing that much in this market place was crazy, but the reality was/is that to press less would mean the cost would be much more per unit, so I could not pass that along to potential listeners, so pressing more than I thought I could sell to keep cost down even though that meant sitting on inventory that may or may not move in the future, was the only way to go!

I dont think about how I can recoup, I think about how the music should be released and then I work on putting that together..... money, production, design, internet presence, etc....

As of now I dont see downloads as something I want to get into for a number of reasons that have been well represented here......but mostly for me its the journey, I spend too much time and joy in creating music to end up as a simple file within a folder to be downloaded. 

Artistic expression has absolutely nothing to do with convenience.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 16, 2011, 07:33:52 AM »

Honest. We're in a rare situation here as the people who make and sell the music interact closely with the people who
buy and enjoy the music. This way, we get to learn from each other, find out what matters to each
other through this.

Scott Raymond

Great opening statement to an very interesting post.

I original posted the Leaf "manifesto" here because as I ponder releasing 3 cds this year It seemed hopeless to does so in pressed format because of the current conditions.  Why press 500 cds and only sell 500 downloads or more or less when the cds sit unloved in boxes....the leaf post sort of took the blinks off my eyes and
and expressed important things beyond economics which was what I was only looking at.   

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 13, 2011, 10:03:51 PM »
To me, it's a piece of art, many times featuring personalized signature of the artist, I have to feel it in my hands, open it, load it into my CD player and taking the journey. I simply need this kind of ritual.

This is what it is all about.....the ritual.  There is simply nothing that can "touch" it.  Without going into a how de ritualized existence we tend to live, without the ritual we are somewhat robbed, or the experience is certainly lessened.

I recently made my first itunes download......Ambiant Otaku, the out of print starting prices waS $82. To rich for me and on top of It I had not really heard the music, so.....the itunes download sort of felt like downloading an app on my iphone.  To my taste it was fast food disrespect to the actual music, love it, just dont like the delivery.  From an archival perspective, Im all for it, but as a first thanks, unless perhaps you pad it out with additional artwork, text, photo's etc..... otherwise its just so cold!

Perhaps with time I will catch up to evolution, or just go extinct!



Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 09, 2011, 08:50:14 AM »
I do like special editions, and I have plenty of them, but the reality is that on the server, I now have much easier access to all my music.  It's playing constantly when I'm home.  Whether it's a special edition or a set a files, it all sounds and looks the same on the server.  Here's my interface: server

I think this is the the preset future of playback.....what started the process of ripping my cd collection into itunes @44/16 was I wanted to take advantage of my mastering grade digital to analog converters and monitoring system in my studio.  Playback on my plextor external drive or computer drive is just to noisy.  I think if music @44 or 96/24 bit was made available by artist and playback of such files was only capable via computers, Im not sure if any hardware plays back at 24bit, the idea of a cd doesn't  work because it cant store a 96/24 file, well not much of what we come accustomed as the standard length of 74 mins.  Dvd could be and option.  I think it will be usb flash drives or something of the like, they are to expensive right now to make it a viable option but I think we could be really close.  With the large store capacity of some of these drives, music, artwork, photography & video
could be available.  Im not sure about downloading......I dont know enough about flac to be able to say if it could handle 96/24 or even 192/24.

I dont think receiving a flash drive in the mail equates that of receiving a beautiful packaged digipack......however what I describe above perhaps would change how I feel.

Heres a link to software that can playback 192/24 bit files

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 08, 2011, 06:55:22 AM »
Thanks for the informed posted Mike.....came across to me as upbeat and realistically positive.

The leaf post is inspiring for me and I hope others......artist & music lover!

I have great faith in the cd format and do not see its demise until something physically better comes along......itunes & mp3's are not the toll of its death bell.  I choose Option #1  

To further this discussion.......below is part of a Robert Rich interview that Mike posted a link to recently on this forum.  A great artist's perspective.

Synth ME: How has the Internet impacted your work both in content and context? How are you approaching the uncharted future as an artist?

Robert: Of course, we live in a quickly changing and contradictory landscape of info-culture. I happily adapted to the Web quite early, and I have held my own domain names since 1996. It's a blessing for independent artists like me to be able to control our own image, our own distribution, and to be able to contact listeners directly. In this regard, the Internet is a tool of empowerment. I love the fact that people can share their own music with each other immediately.

On the other hand, the ease with which people can share free bootlegs has undercut not just the mainstream music business, but also the independent scene. It has rendered the music disposable in many people's minds, which can get discouraging for someone who spends a year or more on a new release. People don't realize that someone like me might only sell a thousand copies of an album, compared to tens of thousands of free copies shared. I console myself that file-sharing is a form of marketing, and that the people who get the music for free would not have purchased it anyway. The only way to survive in "free culture" is to remain enough well-liked by the listeners who follow one's artwork that they *want* to pay for music as a show of support, as a vote of confidence. Without those few supportive listeners, it would get rather discouraging.

So while independent musicians are empowered with greater visibility, and novices have a better chance of getting heard by a handful of people, we are simultaneously rendered incapable of sustaining ourselves financially through recordings. Artists have become marginalized in a propaganda battle between "free culture" proponents and their perceived nemesis the "recording industry." This means we artists have to find different ways of surviving, whether by keeping a day job, or by repurposing our art. For these reasons and others, I think music is becoming increasingly subservient to image, as more musicians rely on "work for hire" corporate jobs like sound design for film, television, computer gaming, and other multi-media outlets that remain commercially viable in this information-saturated culture.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:21:19 PM »
This is a forum topic over at 12k......One forum member by the name of Leaf post this on 12/30/10 which I have pasted below. I feel this is well worth posting here.  It has inspire me not to give up on cd releases, which I have never intended on doing, nevertheless, with free downloads and artist cutting cd prices just to be able to share without much profit, if any..... manufacturing CDs today in our community requires a lot of passion & belief in what we do as musicians and needs a greater, more powerful sustained voice from the music lovers that listen!


i made some adjustments as i wanted to keep my reply simple.

I see and experience the only cd market left for obscure and small labels as Limited edition cds in good packaging.

I was selling 1000 cds about 3 years back in 1.5 years.Now i am down to 300.I always sold these as limited editions and for me its the only option.

I do not like files , i like to feel , see , have art , a package and i collect cds.

So do at least 300 people worldwide and as labels phase out cds it simply means those who do them will become more rare and sort after.

There will always be a % who want cds.

I see a day when cd in collectable art packaging will be worth alot more maybe an audio cd / flac data cd / art , package .

As eno has just done.

Instead of slowly eroding your art into a cheap and worthless digital commodity return it to art , do the opposite , dont follow trends make them.

There is no future in selling cheap mp3 via itunes , or cheap music for artists.For mass produced labels maybe but as musicians we really have to consider our worth.

As an artist selling his own music on limited cd ( glass master with full art etc ) for 5 years now and with about 8 releases i can say for me its now about limiting my sales , not maximising them , about selling less , distributing less and making my art and label more collectable , making it harder to buy it and making it so each buyer is a collector and supporter of me as an artist.Sell less , charge more  , return music to a valued work of art.

I end all digital distribution ( via  a major network and on every major digital retailer ) in 2011 and you will only be able to buy my work direct from me , on my site .I also end all distribution with pile it high and sell it cheap retailers .

The future for me is selling 100 / 300 limited works of art , of music / flac and in good packaging and making it so you have no choice , you buy the work as a work of art from me direct or you go buy or download some free musical commodity.

Sorry but many are heading in the wrong direction as artists , devalueing their work , piling high , selling cheap and really being sucked into and endless spiral of worthlessness.

The future is in becoming small , self suficient , offering good creative art , nice packaging and a mixed medium of cd , flac , wav and above all cutting out pointless middle men  , deal direct as artist  / label with the music buyer who supports you as an artist.

We must return music in peoples minds as a work of art.

Selling digital files does not equate to a  living for small labels.Its a trap and the trend is killing music and the idea musicians can make a living.

Its an erosion of creative spirit in music by market forces and consumerism trends that suit mac and the rest of  ' the corporation '

Digital only sales will in the end kill music i feel as art and all we will have left is a load of watered down labels selling files for 1 cent and a few highly collectable artists labels doing to exact oppsosite .

Do the opposite form the pack i say.I invested my time in collecting all my customers contacts , selling direct.I sell more direct than via distributers and retailers  now , way more.

We have to step back now , make efficient and above all work as a painter selling his work to a buyer.

Take a pro active step , force all sales through your site , all mediums controlled by the label and artist ( if an artist run label ) Price the works at a good value and remind the buyers anc Colectors ( the key ) that theya re supporting art and artists , not itune and the rest of big business.

Educate and appeal to the listeners heart and thank them for direct support.

Its a  worthless relationship that sees a listener want to pay as little as possible for your work.They dont emjoy it so much and value it less and you ? you make no living.

Mp3 via distribution is a  trap as are cheap file sales.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: January 01, 2011, 09:08:02 PM »
Just for beer money I wrote down the current number of views this thread had received when I first posted on it in early december 2010......49,257, that in itself is a staggering amount.  As of today its 50,233.....!

Gear seems to be popular.

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