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Messages - Altus

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Audio interfaces
« on: April 28, 2010, 07:21:36 PM »
Hey all.
I'm using a PreSonus Firebox and not very happy with the output of this thing.  I get random pops/crackles when the harddrive is active (I've confirmed it's not latency problems).  Very annoying when doing final mixes with lots of WAV files playing in the multitrack.

The output is also very noisy.  When the CPU is under load, I hear sort of a squealing noise that changes in tone depending on the load.  I've contemplated sampling it because it sounds kind of cool, but I digress...  I know it's not a shielding problem.  The 1/4" to XLR cables going from the Firebox to my monitors are fine, because the noisy output doesn't happen under I turn on the device.

On the positive side, latency is practically zero.

Anyway, I'm looking for an audio interface that "just works", and would love to hear what you guys are using/happy with.
Oh, to add to my problems, I'm using Windows 7 (64-bit) so getting driver support for a lot of these units narrows down my choices.

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Free speech samples
« on: April 21, 2010, 04:26:33 AM »
Freesound is an awesome resource.

If you're looking for NASA stuff, you can get tons of recordings off their site.
I just typed 'nasa recordings' into Google, and this came up:

I'm going to assume they had a catalogue like this for all their missions if you hunt on their site.
Just be careful using NASA stuff directly, it's very cliché... but I'm sure you knew that already.  ;)

Wow, I've never received so much feedback before.  Thank so much everyone.  :)

Thanks again for your comments everyone.

Nuun, what you're hearing on "Sodium Glow" are french horns sampled at a very high rate, and then played back at 44.1k.  I use lots of drone-y guitars in the first two tracks though.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: RP-VERB (WOW)
« on: April 16, 2010, 04:20:36 AM »
Thanks for the heads up.  I've been using ArtsAcoustic for years and while I love it, I've grown tired of it's "sound".
I'll definitely be checking this out.

Everything and Nothing / Re: E-readers revisited 2010
« on: April 03, 2010, 02:58:00 PM »
Yeah, I've seen the keyboard in landscape mode, and it's pretty much the same size as a proper mac keyboard.  Two-handed typing is very doable.

Glad to hear you're enjoying it so far.  :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: E-readers revisited 2010
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:51:17 AM »
The biggest issue with using the iPad as a ebook reader is the screen.  Whereas the Kindle and Nook require light to be viewed (e-ink), bright light on the iPad LCD screen will make it very hard to read.  The whole idea behind e-ink was that it's identical to looking at a book (ink on paper), which I think is brilliant since staring as a LCD screen for an extended period of time can give people eye-strain.
I'm one of those people.  However, I can read a book for hours on end and my eyes are fine.
The other obvious one, which has been mentioned already, is that the battery life of these e-ink devices is extremely long.

Mike, I'll be curious to know how you like your iPad after a month or two of usage.  You know, once the hype dies down.  ;)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Earth Mantra netlabel
« on: March 28, 2010, 06:28:22 AM »
I know that Kit Watkins has two DVD releases on Earth Mantra:
This Time and Space -- Very trippy stuff...  ;D

The Gathering -- Haven't seen this, but it appears to be a recording of a live performance.

Thanks much.  Enjoy!


Black Trees Among Amber Skies

on YouTube.

The latest from Altus is now available to download in MP3, and FLAC for those who rather to burn to CD.

Ambient music for night-time Winter walks in the city.
Originally planned to be released in early January, this album was put aside for other projects... Hence the reason it's an out-of-season theme.  Even if you're not a lover of Winter, don't let that stop you from enjoying the album.

Full-length previews are also available at

Thanks for sharing my music in your podcast again.  Much appreciated!

Does any one here know, or wish to debate, the differences in animation/video compression? (I'm actually serious.)
I could probably help you in that area.  What types of codecs are you wondering about?

Everything and Nothing / Re: Projekt wants you to fight piracy!
« on: February 20, 2010, 06:29:23 AM »
Getting burned by artists/labels from purchasing a disc of awful music (to your ears) isn't really an excuse anymore.  For the most part, free samples are going to be readily available either on sites like amazon. Or in the case of ambient music, directly on the artist's website.

While doing my daily evening shopping (bread and other stuff) today I was listening to Ambient on my headphones and once again I was realizing that most other people out there probably don't have the slightest clue about this music.
I've been in the same situation where I'm shopping, and suddenly realize that if the people around me heard what I was listening to, they'd likely take a few steps back in confusion.

I've always liked the fact that ambient is such a fringe genre of music.  It makes it feel more like "my own".  It's like a secret only a few people in the world share, and I'm in on it.

Anyone else feel that way?  :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Projekt wants you to fight piracy!
« on: February 15, 2010, 11:21:22 AM »
It's a shame that artists need to take matters in their own hands to get results, but as the saying goes:  If you want something done, do it yourself.
I'll be sure to spread this link and info on my blog.  Thanks for the heads up, Loren.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 15, 2010, 11:12:04 AM »
Currently listening to Sibelius' 1st Symphony and I really love those huge dynamics in the music. Almost inaudible Flutes and then *bang* the entire orchestra. Wouldn't Ambient benefit from such dynamics? Do you know any ambient album with huge dynamics?
Heh, your description sounds exactly like the beginning of one of my releases:

Another release where I very deliberately mixed in a "classical" style was Winter Embrace III.  Most of the longplay is fairly quiet, meant to be wallpaper ambient, but there's two times where it comes to the forefront and demands your attention.
I received one e-mail from someone asking why it was so quiet.  Clearly, not everyone gets it.  ;)

Yes, Ninjam definitely works.  Stillstream once broadcasted an impromptu four-person live ambient concert.  Each member was in their own studio.  A very interesting experience to hear, and the results were surprisingly good.

Sounds like a very interesting project.  Thanks for the heads up.

Hence I tend to make the bass almost mono and it sounds fine.
I tend to do the same thing for when I testing the final mix on headphones.  I usually bring it in around 50-65% to keep those bass tones closer to centre.

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: Low Light Mixes
« on: January 19, 2010, 05:24:31 AM »
Thanks Dave.  I'm a big fan of your more drone-y mixes, as they work beautifully for going to sleep.

And Paulstretch is an awesome tool.  I think it's been talked about elsewhere on the forum, but here's the link for anyone curious:

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