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Messages - jkn

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 12, 2007, 07:50:57 AM »
Various - Transmissions from the Planet Dog

It's an enjoyable compilation of trance stuff from Planet Dog label acts - see for more info.   Not great, but fun.  Some of the sample heavy tracks crack me up a bit.   I tend to like disc 1 with Eat Static and Banco de Gaia tracks the best.

Laurent Garnier - Unreasonable Behaviour

This album is half brilliant and half merely really good.   Has a nice range of different styles - mostly in techno territory.   

Everything and Nothing / Re: Pet Sounds
« on: December 12, 2007, 06:47:24 AM »
Theo is definitely a cutie.   

We're dogless... and probably will be for a long time.   Our long battles with elderly sick dogs took it's toll.   We loved them dearly and I'm sure we'll adopt one some year down the road.   We had our cocker mix, London, for 15 years - we got her about 10 days after we were married in 1992.  She passed away at about 17 years old last summer.   Tippi was our mini-schnauzer which we adopted when she was 7 - and she passed away at 12 last year.   We also had a mini-longhair-dachshund, Mickey - for about 5 years - he's pre-digital camera and I don't have any scans handy to post yet... :)

A few of photos:

Me and Tippi:

Tippi stepping into a shot of London and Heidi (I LOVE this shot!):

Downward dog:

London, Tippi, and Heidi (playing tetris):

Scott.. ouch.  Good point!

I should clarify - all of my gear is unused at the moment only because I'm not recording.   Everything I've listed so far are my favorites when I'm recording (well, except for the TG33).  :)

I posted a track that's very DSS-1 heavy in the listening booth forum - it's from 1989 though - nothing current.  :)

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / jkn's archives...
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:35:48 PM »
I thought I'd post some of my old unreleased stuff for your amusement and/or enjoyment.

Marie - 3:01 - 1996 - piano recorded on a boom box - file size: 5.6 mb jkn_log_03_marie.mp3

This is a short piano song - recorded on a boom box so don't expect even close to good sound quality!   However, I really like this track so thought I'd share it.  I recorded it in 1996 while my wife was away for three weeks with work.   It was written for her.  You can hear our two dogs eating and making tinkly noises with their tags as they walk around - and they bark at the end as I was finishing. 

Evolutionary Dawn - 18:57 - 1989 - 4 track - file size: 34.8 mb jkn_log_01_evolutionary_dawn.mp3

Recorded sometime in 1989 on a 4-track recorder.   There are only 3 tracks used.   First track recorded was the drums using a Roland R8 drum machine and Korg SDD-1200 dual delay.  Second track is the pads coming from a Korg DSS-1 at times run through a Rat Distortion pedal.   Third is the bass/lead line, played on DSS-1, run through a crybaby wah pedal.    

The drums are only three patterns, however, I'm playing live over top of them all the way through.   I ran it out of voices every so often which had a nifty effect of removing some of the other drums - making it sound a bit more active and changing.   The tracks were recorded basically in three straight passes - it's almost entirely improv.  No overdubs or punching in, etc...

This was one of my first big long "epics" (as a friend called them... ha).   There are two others from this same year that I'll post in a while.

A Hole In Time - 14:03 - 1989 - 4 Track - file size:  25.8 mb jkn_log_02_a_hole_in_time.mp3

Added 12/14/2007

This is a 4 track recording which uses a few tape tricks - one track is running backwards the entire way through.  The beginning is made up of several tracks recorded at double speed and then played back at normal speed - some forward some backwards - a lot of punching in on this.    The drums... ha - I didn't have a borrowed drum machine handy at the time so I had to use a sample I pulled from a Psychedelic Furs track (called Wedding Song I think) - I'm running it through a borrowed Art reverb unit (I think it was John's (that Vir Unis guy) or his brothers...).   

During the mixdown from 4-track to stereo - I'm playing drums "live" on the keys of my DSS-1 - so you'll hear lots of other drum stuff going on besides just the drum loop... 

I mentioned earlier that one track is running backwarks throughout the track - that's a Juno 106.   The "flute" playing is me on my DSS-1 - I do like the little flute solos. 

As you get closer to the end of the track you get into more and more feedback and dense noise - coming from everything and the kitchen sink (DSS-1, Prophet 600, Juno 106, feedback from my dual delay SDD-1200, etc...) - the strings and everything else are DSS-1.   

There's one thing I utterly hate about this track - and wish I could remove it, but I've lost the original 4-track and only have the mixdown - and frankly if I went back to the original I'd lose the drum track recorded during mixdown...  Anyway - I hate the vocal sample when it breaks from the intro section into the main groove.    WHAT was I thinking???   Oh well... it was almost 20 years ago... ha!

A Terrible Dream - 15:55 - 1989 - 4-track - file size:  29.2 mb jkn_log_06_a_terrible_dream.mp3

The last of my three "epics" from 1989...  this one I haven't shown very many people at all due to the heavy (over) use of samples.   I've never been a huge fan of samples in my own music - though listened to tons of music that used samples frequently.   This truck uses drums fairly heavily - although it's a very laid back slower beat.   Many, many punch ins on this - since I only had a 4-track recorder borrowed from work - there were very limited tracks to work with (aren't computer DAW's freaking amazing?).  There's some ping ponging down of multiple tracks to one track to make room for another track.  Also - many different instruments are recorded on the same track - so at the beginning it's one instrument, in the middle something else, etc...

The drum machine is a Korg DD5 if I remember right.   I always thought of the DD5 and it's big brother the DD1 as kind of "sluggish" sounding - the drum samples were lower bit rate - it felt sluggish to play - it lended itself to slower beats for me.

Most of instruments are Korg DSS-1 - note, there's no sequencing - I think I've only used a sequencer on one, maybe two tracks - and none of these were.    Heck - you can hear me go out of time from time to time - so the lack of sequencing and quantizing should be obvious... ha... :)   Of course - I like it that way.  :)

Samples samples samples...  the train is from the movie Top Secret.   "You're safe now" is Sting from The Bride.   "I've had a terrible dream" is from the 1960 version of the movie The Haunting.   The screechy door slam whoooom noise is from the movie The Abyss.    Oh!  Almost forgot - there's a big orchestra stab stolen from Depeche Mode... eek.  I like how I used it though - especially underneath the trumpet solo.

The "trumpet" solo is a Yamaha SY22 keyboard - Yes - I threw the chord into the solo near the end as a sort - yep, it's a keyboard not a trumpet moment.    As far as the trumpet playing -I think I got the breathing right for the different phrasings and I like several moments in the solo.   Total improv - one take - as is the entire track actually... (even all the punch ins for different instruments were one takes...)

The last few minutes starts breaking into my more atonal playing - and the feedback really starts to take the forefront in a musical way - I think this is my first song to really push feedback so far forward and yet not be grinding industrial noise, but more of a musical ambient type of journey.

Still - 1:22 - ~1992 - Yamaha SY77 sequence to cassette - file size:  2.6 mb jkn_log_04_still.mp3

Back around 1992 I was still teaching piano at the music store that I'd worked at for 6 years - and one of my students called in sick so I toyed around with a Yamaha SY77 synth for a half hour.   I recorded this little sort of light jazzy sort of thing which I liked and dumped to cassette.   It's a sequence - but I didn't have quantizing turned on (or at least it was at 1/96 or something ridiculous).   The drums are just played on the keys live through the track (which is somewhat painfully obvious in spots... ha.).   

Anyway - I like this short little track - it's not ambient or fantastic or anything - but it was fun to throw together.

Thrown - ~1993 - 4:13 - Yamaha RX-8 pattern sequence straight to cassette - file size:  7.8 mb jkn_log_07_thrown.mp3

This is totally different from anything posted above.   A little closer to industrial than ambient... although calling this industrial is completely laughable...  Lets just say it's instrumental that leans a tad more towards Skinny Puppy.

Another "waiting for piano students" moment at the music store - I think there was a bad snowstorm so a bunch cancelled.   I took a Yamaha RX-8 drum machine and midi'd it up to 6 or 7 different synths at the store - SY's, DX's, the monstrous Roland RD-something or other ( I guess I could go look it up - the one with all the sliders that failed to sell well - but was a cool mix of digital with analogue like controls...).   Anyway - this was a fun experiment.   

The track is completely live -there are no overdubs.  I'm changing volume and patches on the synths - and playing the Roland RD-____ throughout the track.   The geeetar solo is the RD...

Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: December 11, 2007, 02:53:36 PM »
Hallu... of course, I disagree because I love Lost and planning to get the new season 3 dvd - but it's great to have a dissenting opinion.   

My coworker loaned me season 1 of House - so I'll be taking a look at that one soon.   I definitely agree on Sopranos and Six Feet Under... :)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Twin Peaks fans should have a look
« on: December 11, 2007, 01:05:43 PM »
Beymer was in a Murder She Wrote we watched two days ago... :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 11, 2007, 01:03:47 PM »
Good luck on the move!

It's been awhile since I've migrated a domain (either for home or work...) - it used to take from 12 to 48+ hours for all the DNS tables around the net to update - so a site could disappear for a few people and be up and switched for others.    Since you'll likely still have the old domain up - most people shouldn't notice - but there's always that outside 'flaky factor'... :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Creating: inspiration, roadblocks, resources
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:25:51 AM »
Inspiration I pull from just about everything - I believe that everything is related and tied into each other.    My music is informed by other music, tv/movies, reading, games, nature, friends, work, etc... 

Even though I haven't recorded in 4 years - I still feel very creative - it's just coming out in diffferent ways...   (photography, a lot of stuff I do at work, my piano playing, etc...)   

When I feel like I *have* to do something - that's usually when my brain clamps down and refuses to do things.   So I try to go with the flow and at least for creative things - let my whims take me where they want to go.   

What's harder is those firm deadlines...  obviously something due for work - well... not much I can do there except crank through the best I can...   I've found that trying too hard to come up with a creative solution rarely works.  Walking away, doing something else, sleeping on it - that's when the inpiration tends to hit.    Sometimes I have to plow through whether I want to or not (that's why it's work... ha.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:16:43 AM »
We're still watching a lot of Murder She Wrote - there was a really nice one from the third season where they took a movie from 1949 or so and had several of the actors from the movie portray their roles for the episode.   A very young Harry Morgan (you know him from MASH as Col. Potter or from Dragnet...) - was in the movie and episode.   Definitely the fun part of Murder She Wrote is all the older actors that make guest appearances.   The other really nice thing about this show is we can just kind of leave it on in the background - it's nice "ambient" tv...   ha. 

We bought the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol - which was really good.  Fun part of it for us was it looks like the Department 56 Dickens Village pieces that we collect - a lot of them look like they were modeled after the movie (and the city it was filmed in).    For me, the best version will always be the Alistair Sim version of Scrooge from about 1951.  I have very fond memories of that growing up -waking up before mom and dad and watching that downstairs sitting by the fireplace waiting for them to get up...    I was thrilled when I found the dvd version.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:42:42 AM »

Ben Fleury-Steiner - Drifts

Semi-drifty synth chords, subdued rhythmic movement, the occassional tinkly bit, leans towards glitchy moments without diving headlong into all out glitch territory.    Gets a bit meandery for my tastes in some of the later tracks.    One thing that bugs me is the lack of movement in the bass range - which Ben has told me is intentional.   This is where my being a bass player and loving the low end pulls me a back a bit on this album - I love a bit of a bass line... :)    But just because I wouldn't have written it this way doesn't mean it's not a good album.

I like this album and spin it about every three months or so, a good effort from Ben and probably one most ambient fans will enjoy.   

Everything and Nothing / TV: Lost
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:15:15 PM »
We had a nice Lost thread before...

Despite a good friend's prompting that I need to put the TV away and start recording again (smile!)... Lost season 3 comes out tomorrow!   We haven't seen any episodes of season 3...  we can't wait!   

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 10, 2007, 01:44:53 PM »
SunDummy got me thinking about Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust so I tossed that on.   Still an excellent record.   I like Loops of Fury - got that in the stacks somewhere...

np:  Miles Davis - Kind of Blue  Not much more to say about this that hasn't been said already.  Utter classic, influential to tons of musicians on this planet and a few others.

Everything and Nothing / Photo Thread
« on: December 10, 2007, 12:58:03 PM »
A thread for your favorite, interesting, odd, whatever you saw through your camera, etc... photos.  :)

I'll post one my wife took - it's of a large clock in our living room shot in negative.

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 10, 2007, 12:54:31 PM »
The ERP system I used to run (it won't be turned off for many years so I guess I'll be the admin for years, odd thought...)

Anyway...   one of our users loved to have their gui (which was a glorified telnet session) look like the old 'hotdog stand' Windows colors...  we're talking hot pink, neon orange, and lime green.   Holy cow was it irritating to work on their computer...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:36:48 AM »

was:  M Griffin - The Pulse Meditations

Listened three times this morning - nice backdrop for an icy morning at work. 

now:  Various - Annex 2 (Tresor)

A Tresor label comp of Detroit/Berlin techno stuff.   Mostly a good release - a couple I tend to skip over - but mostly good.

Some of the gear mostly collecting dust over the last four years...

Korg DSS-1 - the second synth I bought - and still my favorite for some odd, bizarre reason.   It's a sampler, but not a good one... it's real stength is it's filter and ability to sound like a fat analogish synth.   I also think I love it just because I've had it so long (since about 1987 or so...).   It weighs way too much (70 lbs? - I can't remember - stupidly awkward to move and heavy).   I have a great manfrotto keyboard stand that Korg was actually sending to the stores at the time they came out because they could support the weight.   

Korg SDD-1200 - this is a digital delay unit from around '87/88ish.  No memory.  It's a dual delay and is fantastic for creating feedback... I think I've used it more as a feedback device or the last 20 years than anything else.  If there's one piece of gear that I'd say you'd find in almost everything I've written - this is it... Modular - My most recent addition to the studio - bought it a couple years ago.  It's a 22 space unit -you can see the modules I have loaded in this mock up:

Roland Juno 106 - I bought this in the late 80's... I love how this can cut through almost anything.

Sequential Prophet 600 - Fatter and grainier than the Juno - they make a great pair.   

Yamaha TG33 - I wanted something from the fm family and picked this up from a friend a few years back.  Still haven't really used it much.

more later... :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: cheese
« on: December 10, 2007, 07:15:59 AM »
Because when I think of American cheese I think of little squares of semi-nuclear looking orangish color that have a shelf life of several thousand years... :)

Although I admit - I'm really not a cheese fanatic.  :)

I'm addicted to Luminous Arc... great game!   I still groan over some of the horrible dialogue between battles - but the battles are darn fun.

I tracked down a used copy of Etrian Odyssey - Gamestop is shipping a used copy to my local store.  Released in May 2007 and discontinued only a few months later.   One of those titles I stumbled across on - hopefully worth the effort... :)

Mike, have you shared that thought with Lena yet? 

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 09, 2007, 05:59:05 PM »
I have to admit - I find the current default theme the easiest of about 6 I just flipped through.   White text on black is too hard to read for me.   Glad we can select different themes.

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