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Messages - LNerell

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Too bad Laura Escudé and Kathie Talbot's set was plagued with technical glitches galore complete with incredibly poor graphics. They had so much potential and I loved Kathie's voice and her Louise Brooks bob hairdo.

I think the guy with the red laptop was doing graphics, not the best I have seen. It seems that Laura's new soundcard was the problem as it crashed on her once just before the show started. Then once they got started everything was distorted as well. After the second crash it seemed to work better. Hopefully next time they will have better luck.

Robert Rich had the right idea nixing laptops and sticking with his Korg's and MOTM modular. 

Robert did have a laptop running ableton live but he could still do stuff if his computer went down, unlike the two artists before him.

His set was by far the best of the three, too bad so many people split in the middle of it. Too trendy for the room I guess.

Yeah that was strange, except that most of the people who got up and left the room came back after the concert was over. I was sitting in the back next to the door so I saw everyone come back in. I guess they wanted to chat or something else.

It was a good show and I had a great time catching up with Robert and everyone afterwards, met some great people. I didn't get home until almost 2 am.  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: March 05, 2008, 12:54:41 AM »
Get a job. The rest I will think about once I can pay the bills. :(

Goal number one for 2008 has been achieved I am happy to say. I was officially hired today by my old alma mater. I am now a "recording technician" for the music department at UCLA. What that means is I am one of two guys who records all the concerts and recitals that occur in the music building.  :) Its only part-time but I found out that I might be able to make up extra hours by doing audio work for other departments, and their is the possibility that it might become full-time in the future. Another very rare bonus these days is it comes with full benefits.

Thanks to everyone who wished me well, and also to those who helped me out last December by taking some of my gear off my hands when I really needed the help.

Now, I think the next step is to start losing some weight.  ;D

Is cable quality an issue when using digital signals?

Yes cable can make a difference with digital signals but in a different way then what this article is talking about.

Speakers are still (mostly) analog; does cheap wire make THAT much of a difference?  Or, as in the article, none at all?

I believe it can make a difference to a point. A local dealer gave me a demo which switched between a cheap generic speaker cable and a high end brands cheapest cable, price difference was around $100 between the two. When switching back and forth between them I could hear a difference. I have also heard major differences when I upgraded my studio cables a few years ago, but that mostly had to do with moving up to balanced cables from running mostly unbalanced cables before. The difference was their was much less noise in the signal chain.  Of course this kind of difference is not what this article is referring to.

So yes, cables can make a big difference. Having said that some of the mega expensive cables to me carry more voodoo then objective differences.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: March 03, 2008, 12:20:14 PM »
I forgot to mention my favorite Behringer product, the Behringer MIC2200 Ultragain Pro also known as the "fake tube" preamp. All the glow of tube electronics but none of the warmth.  ;D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: February 29, 2008, 07:36:00 PM »
The monitors are Behringer Truth B0231's. 

Behringer Truth, not thats an oxymoron if I have ever seen one.  ;D

Basically they are generic Mackie HR824's.  For $300, they are a great deal!

Great deal because they have no development costs to consider so they can sell stuff super cheap, as all they do is rip off other companies designs. True story, about a year ago I was on their job forum, of the 20 or so jobs they were advertising at the time 3/4 of them I kid you not were for photo copying.  ::)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Ambient Sub-genres
« on: February 28, 2008, 11:48:52 AM »
Someone once called my music "gambient," a cross between gamelan and ambient.

Sandbient - ambient music made by sanders.
blandbient - I think this one is obvious.  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 21, 2008, 12:36:46 PM »
Pong was fun, too.  When I bought a used Atari to use for music in the mid-90s, it came with a Pong disk, so I had to play it again, of course.

My Kurzweil 2500SX has pong on its display, does that count as a favorite toy?  ;D

I remember Major Matt Mason, use to have a bunch of that stuff. Same with hot wheels.
Forrest I use to enjoy playing all those games as well, did you ever play Risk? I use to play a version of it I called Pacifist Risk.  :o

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 18, 2008, 12:19:38 PM »

I think I recognize that cassette recorder. Isn't (or should I say wasn't) that a Craig? They had that distinctive "T" control, IIRC. A friend had one.

The one in the picture is a Philips machine but their were probably lots of copies. Mine looked just like it but I can't recall if it was a Philips or some other brand.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Favorite toys from when we were kids
« on: February 16, 2008, 12:09:33 PM »
These were two of my favorites as a kid:

The GI Joe Mercury space ship was probably my favorite xmas present ever. Its actually one of the few xmas presents I still remember getting as a kid.

Here's another pic:

This probably shows how much of a geek I am  and its not really a toy but looking back I had a lot of fun with it and its obviously made an impact on my life greater then in probably should have:

Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: February 16, 2008, 11:55:14 AM »

No vinyl, but if you love the sound of analog, this Music for Insomniacs series was originally released on cassettes, I believe 7 of them, which included material beyond the 2 CD set on Enigma (which are among the most treasured CDs I own).

Was it a series? I only have one but that was enough for me, dreadful stuff. Personally I thought it should have been called Irritating Music that Will Make You An Insomniac;D I listened to the one cassette I have for the first time in about 15 years a few weeks ago and I put it way and probably won't listen to it again for another 15 years.  :P Its hardly an analog lovers dream as the sound sources were digital (fairlight samples and DX7 for the most part) plus cassettes don't really show off tape to its best unless you really like tape hiss.  ;D

The packaging was pretty interesting, it came in a cardboard box about twice as long as a cassette. The cassette was in one half of the box and was gold colored. In the other half was a deck of cards with Mark Mothersbaugh's picture on each card playing the different characters.

Is it just me? I have a whole bunch of other 70's electronic music on vinyl hidden away (maybe a 1/3 of 600+ albums I guess - Krautrock and French electronic/jazz-rock) - I don't have a turntable anymore though. . . .

Lots of Klaus Schultz, Ashra, Far East Family Band, Stomu Yamashta, Egg, Pinhas/Heldon, J-M Kajdan, Zed, Cluster, Roedelius,Moebius, Gunter Scheckert(!?), Rother, Neu, Benoit Widemann (Excellent Stress!! and album called 3 I think -

Sounds like we have similar collections. I use to have alot of that stuff, still have quite a few around 400 - 600 LPs plus a few singles and bootlegs. I use to have a lot more, close to a thousand or more LPs, but I sold most of it off when I started buying CDs in the mid-1980s.

Eyeless Dreams (just found this - - seems like you can download the tracks!) - very cold, glassy, metallic, Tangy krautrock

Yes you can download it for free which is very nice of Wolfgang. I quite liked that album at the time. I think it still holds up for berlin school type stuff.

Baumann-Koek (not The Baumann) which I thought was great anyway.

You must have been a customer of Archie Paterson of Eurock. :D I always wanted to hear that album but I could never get my hands on a copy. It seemed to come and go before I could save up to get it.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Looking for Krautrock
« on: February 12, 2008, 01:43:26 PM »
I'm not sure what it could be categorized as, but as far as the most amazing '70-'76 psych-sci-fi-cosmic-space-proto-punk-fantasy-cosmic-rock, Hawkwind has to take the crown.

Maybe but they were a British band so don't really qualify as Krautrock.  ;)

Here's a few Krautrock albums I would add to the list:

Can - Monster Movie, Soundtracks, Future Days.
Agitation Free - Malesch2nd, Last. I'd start with 2nd which I think is by far their best album.
Cluster - Zuckerzeit, Sowiesoso.
Ash Ra Tempel - New Age of earth, Inventions for electric Guitar. I never got into their earlier stuff, these two are considered transitional albums as they moved from the more pure freakout rock to more cosmic electronic sounds similar to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.

On a releated note some of Edgar Froese's early solo albums are worth a listen, Mainly Macular Transfer, Aqua, and my all time favorite Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. Their are tons more, I would have to dig through my collection for some more, maybe later.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 11, 2008, 03:15:44 PM »
This weekend I watched and listened to Time of the Earth for the first time in a couple of years. Oh boy it's still fantastic! Thank you Steve & Steve! Can anyone suggest something similar to this for me to check out?

Yeah just about any of the films by Ron Fricke. Try "Chronos," "Sacred Site," "Baraka" or even "Koyaanisqatsi."

Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: February 09, 2008, 09:24:11 PM »
I've been moving my studio into a nice bright big room ... slowed everything down for me, but is now looking super functional.

Well when you finish the move please post pictures in the studo thread.  :D

As for me, still looking for work. Am hopeful as their are some great jobs that I applied for out there. Other then that hopping to release two solo CDs this year and some other stuff as well.  ;D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: February 08, 2008, 01:31:43 PM »
It looks like a plain old Target stepladder thing to me.

It looks like an ordinary $20 stepladder now, but paint some flames on it, add the word "tube" in its name and its now a $200 a "tubestompadder."  ;D

Everything and Nothing / Re: Utopia & Dystopia
« on: February 07, 2008, 07:58:26 PM »
I've never read a convincing description of a utopia that works, not even close; they always succeed by creating stratified classes.  And even Walden 2 is just a fantasy; it's never succeeded in the real world.

For Walden 2 to work you have to buy into Skinners notion that behaviorism is a complete system for behavior modification, not something that a lot of people do anymore. And if I remember correctly he even added some seeds of doubt that it will work in the book. Although I could be wrong as I read that book 25 years ago.

Have you read Aldous Huxley's book "Island" (no, that cheesy movie with the same name from a couple years ago is not based upon this book)? Probably the best of the utopia models although in the end Aldous made sure that it fails. Another good one is "Ecotopia" by Ernest Callenbach. Seems rather relevant today.

"Brave New World" is perfect, as long as you take your Soma...

Aldous Huxley also wrote the distopia "Ape and Essence" a post W.W. 3 world. As you could expect its pretty dark.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help the playwright do some research
« on: February 07, 2008, 03:30:29 PM »
I've got to agree (1" reel-to-reel, 16-track), but they probably would've scrapped together as much money as possible and gone into a studio, so 32 track is not out of the question.

I have to say 32 tracks is highly unlikely for a couple of reasons. Back then studios had 8 tracks or 16 tracks or 24 tracks. If you wanted more tracks you had to gang together machines and they were almost always of the same format. A studio that could do this (it required a lot of technical stuff to do and in the process meant you lost 2 tracks per deck to get them to sync) usually had enough money for 24 tracks. So if more then 24 tracks were required then you usually ganged two 24 tracks together giving you 44 tracks. Ganging two 16 tracks together gave you only 28 tracks so in most cases you would move to a 24 track machine instead.

Another reason, these studios were expensive. I've been in a lot of LA studios back in the 1980s from some of the biggest to the smallest, and only the big studios were setup to do multiple machines at a time. And these studios where $150+ an hour in 1980s money. Compare that to 16 track studios which cost between $25-50 an hour. And 8 tracks were even cheaper.  ;D

Also the cost of tape, 2" reels cost about $100 and you got about 15 minutes of time. Ganging two of these machines together meant 200 bucks ber song just in tape alone, a standard album length project could easly cost $2000 just for the tape. 1" tape was about half the cost and 1/2" was about half of that.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help the playwright do some research
« on: February 07, 2008, 12:26:16 PM »
I'm picturing one of those 8 track Foster reel to reel things that Loren and Forrest probably did a bunch of recordings on at some point... they were sort of the budget studio precursor to the ADAT.

Yeah I recorded a few things on that make of Fostex, mostly Djam Karet's 2nd and 3rd albums because they bought one and wanted to record in their rehearsal studio instead of in a proper studio. They were the budget machine and didn't sound that great. Small tape witdth and slow speed meant lack of bass and no real highs. The studios I worked out of had a 1/2" 8 track or a 1" 16 track with dbx noise reduction. Much better quality but cost quite a bit more to buy at the time.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Help the playwright do some research
« on: February 07, 2008, 12:20:01 PM »
I worked in studios just like this back in the early 1980s. I would say 1" 16 track machine would be the top and probably a luxury for most small local labels. Most small time bands recorded on 1/2" or even 1/4" 8 track machines. Here's a pic of what I use to record on:

I still have that machine, its sitting unused in my garage. Mixing was probably to 1/4" two track reel-to-reel or maybe an old PCM F1 recorder which recorded everything to a video tape. Here's a picture of a PCM F1 with matching video deck:

Everything and Nothing / Re: The Bowed Piano
« on: February 06, 2008, 08:37:28 PM »
I heard a feature this morning on NPR's Morning Edition about a bowed piano.

"To get a sense of what the bowed piano is, imagine a grand piano with the lid lifted off. Ten musicians crowd around, leaning over the innards of the instrument, like a team of surgeons performing an operation."

Link to article and sound clips:

Saw him and his "surgeons" do this in 1987. Lovely stuff, though at that time heavily indebted to Steve Reich. Thanks for this! Will revisit!

Same here, I saw Stephen Scott's ensemble at a new music festival here in Los Angeles back in 1985. Just last week I pulled out an old LP of his music and gave it a spin. Nice stuff.

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