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Messages - Altus

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Wasting time on the web... Auditorium!
« on: December 05, 2008, 07:03:20 PM »
Heh Jim, you're supposed to eat and play.  ;)
Thanks for the hint SunDummy.. that got me past 3:4.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Wasting time on the web... Auditorium!
« on: December 04, 2008, 08:54:03 PM »
Thanks for the link, it's lots of fun!  But I can't get past Spring Act 3:4.  Did you finish it?

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 26, 2008, 08:56:34 PM »
I tried out the "donation-ware" Ambience plug-in.  Pretty impressive for a free plug-in!  However, it gives off a dead sound if that makes any sense.
My plug-in of choice is ArtsAcoustic Reverb (  When comparing the two, AA give a patch a very nice full sound (almost giving it a life of it's own), whereas Ambience sounds hollow.  Also, AA allows for a 45-second tail (and longer if you fool around with the EQ crossover)... which was the first reason I bought it.  ;)

Anyway, they have a demo for it if you want to try it out.  I've been using it for years and still haven't felt the need to search for another reverb plugin.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: I am trying to imagine...
« on: November 10, 2008, 05:22:02 AM »
You bring up the exact same thoughts I've had.  And after doing much testing on my own, I discovered you can take the cheesiest sounding synth and make it sound awesome with effects (for me, that almost always reverb with little to no dry signal going through).  There's obvious tweaking required, especially in the EQ department, but I'm sure you'll agree a good reverb will take you a long way in helping create the soundworlds you're looking for.

I'd also love to hear a "dry" Steve Roach to hear what's going on before the effects.  ;D

Netlabels have a lot of potential.  But I find that, as Forrest mentioned, they'll release anything just to say: We have a new release.  I find even the big players, for the most part, release too much mediocre music.  Or more often stuff that's just so off the wall that it's not that enjoyable (at least for me).  I enjoy a good drone/glitch/noise release every now and then, but 50 of them?  No thanks.

By the way, I just want to stress that there's no ill will towards you guys who feel the way you do about free music.  I understand your feelings completely, and in some respects completely agree with you.  (I guess that makes me a small hypocrite as well)  It's just that this isn't the first time this topic has come about and seems like the next "bad thing" that people turn their nose up to, like using softsynths.   ;)   But that's a whole other can of worms.  heh

APK, you just released "Land" as a free download.  I'm saying this in the nicest way possible:  From your comments here, doesn't that make you a hypocrite?   ;)

Personally, I enjoy the simplicity of uploading my music to my site and having it readily available to everyone.  Generalizing that an artist giving away his/her music means that they didn't put a lot of time and work into it is silly.

Judging from the numbers of my only release that isn't available for free, I could have enough money to buy all those music-making tools I've been drooling over.  But it's more important to me that people have unlimited access to my work.  Sure, there's going to be a lot of people who may download a release and never even listen to it.  But there's also going to be a lot of people who will enjoy my work, but wouldn't have purchased it because they didn't want to take a chance on an unknown artist.

In the past, a label decided who was heard and who wasn't.  It wasn't really a problem because we didn't know what we were missing.  Now, thanks to the Internet, everyone has the ability to be heard.  We all have a choice of who we want to hear, but as you mentioned the drawback is a huge dilution of music.  Nothing is perfect and you have to take the good with the bad.  I'd take dilution over never having the chance to hear a particular artist.

In my opinion, there's no right or wrong way to distribute music... only different thoughts on what's right or wrong.  I have no problem with an artist charging money for their hard work.  But it boggles my mind if you feel that my choice to release my music freely is ruining the genre.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favourite dramatic piece of music
« on: July 13, 2008, 07:05:18 PM »
That's because the piece is not in fact by Thomas Tallis, a 16th c. church composer, but by Ralph Vaughan Williams, an early 20th c. secular feller
Heh, sorry I guess you misunderstood.  I know that was written by Vaughan Williams.  My point was the piece doesn't sound at all like Tallis' style to me.  However, I haven't listened to THAT much Tallis so maybe that's why.

Vaughan Williams on the other hand... I'm a huge lover of all his works.  But his 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 9th symphonies are my favs.

But for sheer dramatic (and emotive) import I'd go for Maurice Duruflé's Requiem. Its beautiful and sublime.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favourite dramatic piece of music
« on: July 13, 2008, 07:46:30 AM »
There's another BBC series called "Blue Planet" that uses the same composer at "Planet Earth", and while they sound similar, it has an even better theme.  Very emotional/dramatic music for something so short.

My favourite piece of music that gives me shivers every time?  Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis".
It's curious though.  I've listened to a lot of Thomas Tallis and none of it sounds like this piece, so I don't know what the deal is with that.

Sounds like a rip-off of Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)"
I've heard it used many times... "28 Days Later" was the first thing that came to mind.

The whole song:

Looking forward to hearing it!

Everything and Nothing / Re: the concept of "the album"
« on: June 24, 2008, 06:27:10 PM »
I use the shuffle feature, however I use the "album shuffle" feature so the albums are kept intact.  That way I can give listen to music and let the player choose the next album for me.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sigur Rós
« on: June 11, 2008, 06:09:31 PM »
Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware this existed.

Very nice.  Thank you!

Short review at Sonic Immersion (Bert Strolenberg)

Altus – Rapid Eye Movements
CD-R, Private Release, 2008

Mike Carss, aka Altus, explains that this album is not meant as a sleeping aid, but as a sonic voyage through one’s dreams and the secrets they can reveal.

Sonically, the seven flowing textural parts follow a rather darkening path that stretches out in the direction of his previous albums "Artifacts of Distant Memories" and "Only One Earth". In addition, they venture into deeper lands of the subconscious, as the music slowly evolves into hypnotizing shapes and vapours.  This is both mesmerizing as cinematic mind music revealing a new side of Altus’ impressive musicianship.

The music is available as free download from the Rain netlabel through a link on the Altus website.

I'll be there!  I'm looking forward to hearing you perform.


Rapid Eye Movements

This new release treads the darker territory between Artifacts of Distant Memory and Only One Earth to Destroy. I wrote this not as a sleeping aid, but more as a sonic voyage through one's dreams and the secrets they can reveal.

Available as full quality OGG download.

Thanks for the link.  I really enjoyed your performance.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: April 10, 2008, 04:31:32 PM »
Goodkind rolling into pages of philosophical speeches from a character that would have been fine if he didn't repeat the same thing over and over clubbing you on the head over and over... and then he toned it down and got back to telling a good story with the last couple of books.   My fear is the last book drops back into preachiness.
I found that once the preachiness started, it never went away. ;) In saying that, I still enjoyed the characters and story as a whole and the last book in the Sword of Truth series is definitely worth reading.  I'm curious what his next endeavor will be.

Everything and Nothing / Re: WebDogme
« on: April 05, 2008, 09:57:16 AM »
Curious... Most of these rules were used when I made "movies" with my friends when we were 16.  But in my case, these rules are in place due to lack of a budget.  ;)
The problem with these rules is the way lenses and film (or CCDs in the case of digital video) record images is nothing like the way the eye sees a scene.  You need light to fill detail in shadows that the eye can see, yet the camera cannot.  In the case of only using location audio with no overdubs, if there's the sound of a plane in one shot and they cut to another angle, suddenly that edit is going to be very obvious, jarring and NOT realistic to the viewer.  If they go the route of making no edits, that could mean another "Russian Ark".  Technically amazing, but what a bore.

I'm a fan of Lars Von Trier's work ('Dogville', 'Dancer in the Dark' & 'Breaking the Waves' are among my favourites) and I get why he's interested in putting these rules in place, but personally it just seems silly to limit yourself so drastically.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: April 02, 2008, 06:35:53 PM »
Thanks 9dragons for the info on his new releases.  It kind of bugs me that he doesn't have this kind of info on his site though.

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