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Messages - Altus

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Neverwinter came out of beta last week, and you can't beat the price (free).

I had a lot of fun with Dragon's Dogma on PS3.

An excellent site to check out if you're curious about a game is Giant Bomb. They do these excellent--and usually hilarious--quick-look videos that offer a glimpse into a game.

Have fun!

Ahh, classic Rich. Always interesting to see a musician at work. Thanks for sharing. :)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Vintage Gear
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:13:09 PM »
Interesting read. I completely agree with it.
Reminds me of those who collect tons of vintage synths, build a studio, and yet seemingly never find the time to produce any music with said gear.

I wrote to Steve maybe a month ago about the possibility of releasing out-of-print stuff on Bandcamp as well, but he never got back to me.  :-\

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: What's happened to Depeche Mode?
« on: February 21, 2013, 05:49:22 PM »
I think DM has done a good job in very slowly changing their sound over the past four albums, while still remaining "Depeche Mode". Have you listened to Playing the Angel and Sounds of the Universe? I would consider this new single very similar to those albums.

I think Ultra and Exciter was the exit of the older DM that we grew up on. To my ears, nothing beats Violator.  8)

Do I like the new single? I wouldn't say I love it (the chord progression is pretty tired), but then it always takes time for me to warm up to new music. Ultimately, DM has never let me down (see what I did there?), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and purchase their new CD.

Seren, reading your comments reminded me of this.  ;D

Likewise from Canada!  ;D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Your Use of Reverb
« on: December 19, 2012, 05:44:43 PM »
Given most of "First Light" has a huge rolloff with nothing much happening above 5kHz (except for a section between 36min to 58min), that would explain the muddy sound. Perhaps including another element (soft) living in the upper frequencies would give you the air you're looking for?

And even if it does sound like "Fight Light", there's certainly nothing wrong with that.

Ambient: No rules.  ;)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach - Soul Tones - 2012
« on: December 16, 2012, 08:50:00 AM »
And although it's nice to be able to download from somewhere other than iTunes or Amazon, especially in FLAC(!), I'm going to keep buying his physical CDs as long as it makes sense for him to produce them.

Same here, but having the ability to hear a whole release before making the decision to buy is great.
For the record, I'm definitely purchasing Soul Tones.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach - Soul Tones - 2012
« on: December 14, 2012, 05:07:57 PM »
Whoa... Roach on Bandcamp? Cool!  ;D

Everything and Nothing / PressPausePlay
« on: November 28, 2012, 07:41:50 PM »
An excellent documentary about what many of us have been talking about for years. Technology has allowed everyone to be creative, and ultimately share it with the world. Is that a good or bad thing?

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities.

But does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era.

PressPausePlay on Vimeo

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Hard Drive Clicking
« on: November 24, 2012, 06:51:41 AM »
A simple yet powerful tool. Thanks Tomas.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: RIP Pete Namlook
« on: November 18, 2012, 06:40:02 AM »
I have to admit, I came to Faxlabel ambient rather late. I discovered it through a Shoutcast server in '98 called J's Ambient
This is exactly how I discovered his work as well. His work was a huge inspiration and definitely part of my shift toward writing ambient music.

What I thought was weird was the interior controls on the Prometheus looked way more advanced than the Nostromo.
The official answer is: When the Prometheus was built, they spared no expense and used all-current tech. The Nostromo was simply a long-haul towing ship for mined materials. It didn't need to be fancy, it just needed to work.

Independent Music Reviews / Re: Wind and Wire is back
« on: November 13, 2012, 05:04:32 AM »
I had your blog in my news reader all this time, and was surprised to suddenly see new updates. Good to see you back at it!  :D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: VST / Software Suggestions?
« on: November 09, 2012, 07:32:24 PM »
I'm in the same boat: preset tweaker. While I've certainly built some patches from scratch to match something I've heard in my head, I don't have the patience to do it "full-time". Those who do, I tip my hat to you.

I've been using ArtsAcoustic Reverb exclusively for many years now. If you're looking for a long tail, I recently discovered it allows for up to 226 seconds. And no, I've never required a tail that long before.  :o

If I were in your shoes, I would choose Komplete over Alchemy.

Have fun!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Windows 8 and your music rig
« on: October 27, 2012, 06:19:46 AM »
As we know, it's smart not to install a new OS on a mission critical computer (aka your PC/Mac you use for making music). At minimum, I'd wait a year until the kinks were worked out. However, it seems Microsoft might've done something...right? Crazy, I know, but hear me out.

Check out this in-depth article from Cakewalk about using SONAR in Win8.

Here's a few snippets:
Desktop apps still have access to low level audio and can communicate with drivers at a low level to get low latency performance. There are no changes to how drivers work as far as desktop applications go, so its very likely that your Windows 7 drivers will work on Windows 8 without modification. (unless the driver installation prevents it)

The results of the benchmarks were surprisingly good! Windows 8 performed better than Windows 7 across the board in all categories, and in many cases with fairly dramatic performance gains.

Very curious given OS upgrades generally run slower on the same hardware, and in doing so, breathes new life into an aging rig. I guess they finally decided to remove some of the bloat. Haha!

Software is generally forgiving when running on a new OS, and will run without a hitch. My biggest concern is normally driver support (especially for older hardware), and how the hardware interacts with the OS. The possibility that Win7 drivers will work in Win8 is very encouraging. I know that Vista drivers sometimes worked in Win7, but it seemed a rare occurrence.

Obviously, there'll still be bugs to work out, but it seems we're so much more ahead than ever before when dealing with a new OS. I noted Mike G's message on FB that it was quite different. Personally, that doesn't scare me. A new experience can be fun, as long as the change provides improvements to the user experience.

Has anyone taken the plunge or test-driven Win8? What are you thoughts?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Srg? Any info?
« on: October 06, 2012, 05:26:45 AM »
I was in the same boat for years. I'd discovered his long-form work and immediately fell in love with two pieces in particular: <- This one is pure melancholic magic.

But like you said, it was impossible to find any information on the artist. Early last year, to my surprise, he contacted me because of a short review I left for his work on the page. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to finally chat with him.  :D

His name is Sergio De Vega, and he's since released new work on Earth Mantra.
Here's some more details on him, along with the ability to contact him if you like:
And here's his album "The Edge of Forever":

To clear up any confusion: While ALAC & FLAC use different algorithms, they are sonically identical to WAV (or any uncompressed format). There's zero loss in fidelity. That's why they're called lossless formats.  ;)

And yes, I know there are people out there who insist there is a difference between lossless and WAV (or AIFF). Let's just call them crazy.  ::)

Here's more info on all the lossless formats available out there:

Here are few sites that sell FLAC, however their selection is fairly limited:

I'm the same as you. I have a problem paying money for compressed audio, so I still buy CDs and rip them (for pay for lossless if it's available). Like you, I prefer to do the conversions myself. I'm such a control freak. :P

While I don't use iTunes, I was under the impression that lossless was an option now, though it could be just for select albums. In any case, don't waste your money buying music from there. Everything is in a MP4 (M4A) container, which makes it annoying to deal with outside of iTunes. At least they got rid of the DRM. ::)

All that said, I think purchasing CD is still the best option.

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