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Messages - jkn

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Best DAW for Ambient Music 2015
« on: November 30, 2015, 07:34:23 AM »
Now for my personal opinions...  :-)

I love Mac over a PC for music.   It "just works" - the majority of the time.  It's more expensive inside the walled Apple garden - BUT - I don't have many issues ever with them.  They are computers so yes they do have problems now and then.

PC?  I'm a data analyst / programmer / anything that plugs in with blinky lights person in a 2 person IT dept.  I have a Win8 laptop at home.  I frequently use four letter words with PC's. 

If you love tinkering with PC's and updating them - then by all means - do it.  If you like Mac better - by all means - go that route.   You seem to be leaning that direction.


Mac's come with Garageband -before you spring for Logic - record in Garageband - it covers all the bases.  This will offset the cost of the mac over a pc.


Midi Controller - seriously tons of them out there.  If you can go try them.   That is getting ridiculously hard these days as music stores aren't plentiful.  Read up on them - read reviews.

Loren Nerell just bought a Nektar and I have to say - I've been looking at Nektar's for a long time as well.  But I don't really use softsynths so ...  not high on my list.

I've seen people happy as pie with akai, native instruments, behringer... I don't own one.


AU vs. VST - sheesh...   get what works well for your system and you'll be fine. I did some quick google searching and found tons to argue against VST (mainly a ton of poorly made ones - which you'll get with ANY software)

You may not need many VST's or AU's or ?  for a long time to come anyway.  Remember - start small - explore what you have.   Add when you're ready.


My recording style... software:

I'm a hardware guy.  I started on piano at 5 back in 1975... so I hit my prime teen years right into the poly synth explosion of the 80's and then digital craziness.   I still have synths and effects from the mid-late 80's.  I hate selling.   I'd rather have something I've known and loved for a decade or three than constantly sell / buy.  That's me.  That's not everyone.

I prefer recording audio like to tape. That's how I learned on 4-track cassette tape - and that's how I prefer to work.  So when all my pc's died in the mid-00's - I switched to Mac and Logic.   Logic works nicely although I still find it less intuitive than Vegas 2.0 I was used to.   Now Vegas went all video after 2.0 so... it's weird. 

So I record audio to Logic and occasionally I use softsynths now since I bought an 88 key piano controller. 

I'm sort of in love with playing guitar these days althoguh I can't play it and my gear lust is generally toward guitar pedals.  But I have 3 synths, a modular, and a nice array of hardware effects.  (remember, I don't usually sell anything.  :-)

Sincere good luck - and ask us anything.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Best DAW for Ambient Music 2015
« on: November 30, 2015, 07:13:03 AM »
I'll add my 2 cents... same advice I pretty much always give.

Tools are Tools are Tools.

What you use is entirely up to you.  Try different things. Download demos, get the feel for them.  Something is going to "feel" right to you - something that clicks a little better when how your brain and hands work than other things...  Go with that one.

What works for one person - sucks for another.

What sucks for one person - is a dream to someone else.

There is no "best tool" - there are only "best tools for you"...    things I love to use I know are seriously not best in class - but I love them.

A person with a cheap computer and nearly free software (Reaper or the cheaper / intro versions of DAWs) can make wonderful music.  A person with a beat up old guitar can make amazing soulful music.  One of my favorite artists and friends (Steve Brand) used nothing but Garageband and the 1/8" jack into his mac to record the vast majority of his albums - he's since gotten a soundcard.

Mac vs. PC
Ableton vs. Reason vs. FL Studio vs. Logic vs. Reaper vs. Studio One vs... 
Midi vs. Live Audio Recording
Hardware vs. Software
Acoustic vs. Emulated

All are personal choices that best fit your situation.


* Dip your toes in
* Get to know what you buy really well

You'll easily know your next thing you want to get - and we're always here to provide our favorites and point you to articles and recordings, etc... 

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Hypnos releases for 2015 ?
« on: November 19, 2015, 06:37:26 AM »
For they deny that I sold the last of my statuary, and point with ecstasy at the thing which the shining shaft of light left cold, petrified, and unvocal. It is all that remains of my friend; the friend who led me on to madness and wreckage; a godlike head of such marble as only old Hellas could yield, young with the youth that is outside time, and with beauteous bearded face, curved, smiling lips, Olympian brow, and dense locks waving and poppy-crowned. They say that that haunting memory-face is modeled from my own, as it was at twenty-five; but upon the marble base is carven a single name in the letters of Attica - HYPNOS.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Whatever happened to....?
« on: November 18, 2015, 12:44:36 PM »
Chad Hoefler is on Facebook.  Posting pictures of his dog now and then. 

I don't see any musical activity.  Looks like he's busy being a professor.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Casting little kids in sick violent movies
« on: October 12, 2015, 11:09:15 AM »
Just a quick note to thank Mike / Altus for such in depth responses...  nicely done, sir.

I don't enjoy horror / violence films much anyway - regardless if a kid or adult, but that's just my taste - I know a ton of people love a good scary movie - or an emotional one. 

Looks like spam.
Feels like spam.
Tastes like spam.

Hey - awesome!  Have a great show!

Welcome back!   Must have been one nasty illness! 

It was a great broadcast and chat.  Eric / Massergy is very passionate.   Except for Eric's intro and outro - SomaFM played the album straight through - so you're hearing it on Bandcamp exactly as intended.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:22:45 AM »
I posted what I hope will help the Ello community be more of a community and not a curated list from me...

join in the chat tonight if you're available - always a great time and I have a feeling this will be such an interesting one with Eric / Massergy being so very passionate about it.


Join us tomorrow for the premiere of the new album by Massergy - A Novel Sense of Calm on SomaFM Drone Zone!

There will be a live chat during the premiere with Massergy there to answer questions. It's always a great time! Details for the chat will be on the label website:

You can listen to the album today if you'd like!


Massergy's new ambient album is a tribute to the passing of his younger brother. He recorded this album:

+ entirely outdoors in a nature preserve
+ at night with just a headlamp
+ no sequencing, no software, no post-effects
+ the only in-studio changes were volume levels

This is passion. This is dedication. In the outdoors, Massergy can reach that 'zone' musicians strive for. This album was recorded year round - he mentioned he was bundled up like a mountain climber in the winter and barely dressed during the summer months.

Ignoring "how" it was recorded... the album itself is beautiful and to my ears... stunning. Massergy is new to Relaxed Machinery and I'm so happy we brought him on board!

posted originally to ello this morning - but totally fine to discuss here and not there....

Topic of the Day: "Subscription Services"...

Bandcamp Subscription
What do you think? Have you used them? Are they good for the fans? Are they good for the Artists?

It's back on my radar this morning because Bandcamp just emailed me about setting one up for my artist page.

I thought this part of their Subscription Details Page was interesting:

Is this yet another crowdfunding platform?

A few years ago we noticed many artists using Bandcamp to fulfill the digital piece of crowdfunding campaigns, so we asked them whether they wanted crowdfunding built right into Bandcamp. Their response surprised us. As they described months spent focusing on campaign rewards, the word we heard most often was “unsustainable.” At the same time, our own experience contributing to crowdfunded projects was that we were motivated by a desire to help an artist we loved, not by a wish for a t-shirt, signed plastic disc, or potpourri sachet. Our hunch is that your biggest fans are less interested in funding studio time or mastering for just one album than they are in supporting you in a sustainable way. Speaking personally, we don’t want you to knit us a beer koozie, we want you to keep making more great art.

Another one that's been around is Patreon.

I don't see a lot of musicians getting much backing (unless you're @amandapalmer - and she's awesome more power to her). But if you look for ambient musicians - you won't find many.

There are cool projects there. For example - awesome Elloer @kseniaanske has supporters on her Patreon - $157 / month right now. She's a writer (follow her - I love her posts).

Finally we have Drip.

Drip was created by Ghostly International (fans of ambient techno, Tycho, and a ton of great music will know them well). Another way for you to subscribe to an artist and get exclusive content from them.

You can subscribe to someone, for example Christohper Willits for $5 per month.

Or They Might Be Giants Dial a Song... 52 weeks / 1 song a week...

@atomtm has 95% of his massive catalog online:

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 15, 2015, 01:30:52 PM »
Pete - that's exactly it.  I totally agree with that description.  It's curated and not a community.

Which is why I wrote the post and was very happy to see the Ello devs taking notice of what I wrote.   

I see what I'm doing on Ello Ambient as a curated list of ambient related posts - and a stopgap / interim step to get from where we were at Ning to where we're going at Ello when Private Groups gets implemented. 

Until then - I hope everyone just pops over to see the curation now and then and if Ello doesn't appeal to you - post here or at Ambient Online or on the various Facebook groups.   Eventually I'll have the Ello Ambient group where people can actually post and interact.

And if that never actually happens.  I really enjoyed the Ning and the friends I found there.

I do think Ello will become an awesome place.  but if it doesn't... that's ok.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 10:50:47 AM »
For the rM / Ello question earlier... 

For @elloambient - I try to repost everything I can. I do it in different ways.  If you're on ello -then be sure to follow @elloambient - that will put all those summaries and pausebox and whatever posts there.  It's totally a stop-gap interim step until Ello has groups.

Maybe worth popping over once a week or every couple weeks and skimming through.   Just like a lot of people did at rM.   It's so not the same - but I knew that would happen. 

Hypnos - yeah - I've loved this place - and Mike is becoming quite the author and it makes sense the label is taking a backseat to that. 

Troubles... lemme see...  Lisa Franklin, the Anything Goes section and politics and having to ban people, the trolls that just wouldn't go away - holy cow (that's not that long ago).

But good Hypnos times... the infamous Haunted Stick, something about playing music with jars of jelly?, Jim Brenholts. 

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:18:37 AM »
I haven't tried anything - right now I just use itunes... and it can be played in my living room through an Apple TV.    I use an ipod at work and I stream more and more from mixcloud and bandcamp these days. 

I stopped buying CD's a few years back.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:15:41 AM »
Ello won't be a "community" until they figure out private groups - which I know it's on the dev list and they've asked for my input on it in the past. 

I truly believe some people love forums, and some love mailing lists, and some love bigger social networks like facebook, twitter.

Ello is somewhere in between all these things. 

I mentioned in a comment on the Ello post that I used to try to make the "perfect place" and it took me a long while to realize I just can't.  And it's a silly thing to do... as eveyone's different.  It's like music - some love long drones, some love short experimental noises, some love blues.  And most of us love bits and pieces of all of them.

This is a special place that unfortunately lost a ton of it's core group years ago during a time of troubles. rM had a similar problem on ning... some heavy spam and just amazingly persistent trolls.  (maybe the same ones that were here?)

I've decided to continue building Ello because... it's a platform I love working on.  Nope - totally not perfect - and when it seems much better I'll bug people to give it another try - but I think it has a ways to go yet. 

I'm just happy I can find the awesome people that make and love this music - wherever they cluster together in communities. :-)

Everything and Nothing / ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 09, 2015, 10:58:41 AM »
I posted about my involvement with communities over the years and how Ello is doing - what's right what's wrong.  I mention Hypnos and Ambient Online - and point people here.

Just thought I'd mention I'm babbling about you.  :-)

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Mixcloud favorites
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:54:10 AM »
I know I'm late to really getting into Mixcloud - a lot of reasons for that. The big one is I couldn't stream at work for years so I always listened on my ipod. Now - we've got a big fat fiber pipe and... umm... I'm enjoying it.

There's my profile, you can scroll down my listens.

A few recommended mixers - these are people I keep coming back to and listened before I bothered to sign up for a mixcloud account.  Some, of course, post here.  :) <- truly oustanding < - Ambient Landscape / GAB on forums - does a great job <- long time mixer <- circumambient series from thomas matthie / we are all ghosts <- brilliant, not always ambient < - yep - slow... and drifty <- old friend from chicago - he does great mixes, not always ambient <- the name says it all...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach Etheric Imprints
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:51:17 AM »
I enjoyed this one.  Then again - I'm a fan so enjoy most of them.

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