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Messages - Altus

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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.

I think it goes without saying that you should back up/copy that disc ASAP. :o You're correct that the label side of the disc is very close to where the data actually resides.  The bottom side is very thick in comparison.
Given your description, I'm very surprised it reads at all. Is the artwork/silkscreen print coming off, or is there another layer on top? If the artwork is okay, that would explain why it still works.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 16, 2012, 06:32:01 AM »
I haven't seen any new Pearce releases for a while. Does anyone know why his output is on pause?

Starting last year, he released a series of twelve singles every month (constituting an album worth of music).

Any thoughts on this? This is the dream duo of ambient, and I am eager to get this.
It doesn't break any new ground, but still an enjoyable listen. I would call it inoffensive ambient music. ;)

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Har / Altus - Shadow District
« on: August 27, 2012, 04:52:37 AM »

Har / Altus - Shadow District (MP3 & FLAC)
1. Descent to Street Level  [ 12:50 ]
2. Abandoned Playground  [ 07:51 ]
3. Borough of Shadows  [ 10:25 ]
4. Victims of a System  [ 07:49 ]
5. Burning While They Watched  [ 08:13 ]
6. Along The Shattered Waterfront  [ 08:49 ]
7. Betrayal at Twilight  [ 14:10 ]

Words from Darrell Burgan (Earth Mantra):
[...] the raw emotion barely held at bay in this powerful music, the palpable sense of despair and determination, of pain and hope, of disastrous loss and hard-won victory. One can picture the grit and grime of this dark underworld, of this merciless street that punishes so many and allows so few to escape to the light of day. And yet one can also sense the moments of triumph amid the ruins, when the human spirit rises above its miserable surroundings to fly free despite all odds. The duality in this music both inspires and awes the listener, with something for fans of nearly all ambient traditions to love. Truly magnificent work.

Har / Altus - Shadow District (Promo)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: August 25, 2012, 05:07:49 AM »
They are intensely pleasurable in the way true ambient can be, and not tainted by the need to be annoyingly avant guard.

This a thousand times.

I get there's an audience for the really weird stuff, but sometimes it just sounds like they're trying so hard to be "cool" by making it as un-listenable as possible.  ::)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Stephen Phillips
« on: August 24, 2012, 05:08:25 PM »
I managed to get in contact with Stephen.

I'm glad to report all is well with him, but unfortunately he's lost his muse and hasn't been making any music lately. "Real Life" has taken hold as well, being a father of two children.
He's been staying creative though, finishing a book of poetry he'd been working on, although didn't provide any details on that.
He certainly plans on producing music again... just not sure when.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Stephen Phillips
« on: August 14, 2012, 04:13:14 PM »
Yeah, he sort of fell off the map around 2010.

It's curious that you bring him up. I was listening to StillStream a few days ago, and suddenly heard his voice... his usual "you're listening to" blurb during live shows. He hasn't been a host for years, but I checked to see if he was just doing a random live show (which he used to do from time to time). Nope. I assumed whatever was playing happened to have his voice recorded over top for some reason.
Anyway, it was kind of weird.

I know a few guys who were close to him. I'll ask if they know anything.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« on: July 27, 2012, 06:14:43 PM »
I agree, the GUI for Absynth is bizarre, but I love it the sounds you can get out of it. As I mentioned before, loading in presets and tearing them apart teaches you a lot very quickly. The only issue is it tends to have a colder, more sterile sound... nothing a few effects in the chain can't fix, of course.

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