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Messages - Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Reverb Plugin Sound Demos
« on: February 21, 2014, 10:20:05 AM »
One interesting thing to think about here is that back when hardware reverbs were all that there was, you bought a box, or two and you dove in and made it work for everything, now we have plug-ins, most of them at mere fractions of the cost of the old hardware and we can have one that is better for ambient reverb, one that is better for halls, one for rooms. Its like each plug-in is akin to what would have been a preset on hardware.

That said, I find out of the current crop that you have listed here that I own.

Usually use the Tsar for simulating woody sounding rooms for drums, percussion and acoustic guitar.

I use the Lexicon PCM bundle (which like the PCM 96 which I also own) really is not what most of us old timers would consider "the lexicon sound". The PCM plugs/PCM96 are really closer to a TC M3000/M4000 style of verb as they are very open, pristine and clear. They are great for those types of high quality verbs where you are not sure what the verb is doing to your sound until you take it away.

Spark verb has become my new - recent favorite for both working quick, fast and intuitive editing and more importantly does the big, effecty, cloudy classic bathed in verb, 10 to 20 sec tail thing that we we have
come to equate with classic 90's space actually remenid s me of what I use to get out of my Alesis Wedge (a secret weapon of many space music guys and Alesis' clone of a PCM 70) only cleaner.

Not listed above, I am a sucker for true old school emulation and as such my single most used reverb is UAD's Lexicon 224 emulation. I use it for vocals, space music, drum rooms, you name it. It just has that awesome classic, studio album sound that when you hear it in a mix, your brain tells you that you have heard it before. It is the reverb sound of mid period U2, Daniel Lanois, David Sylvian and more. Plus what I like about the UA plug-ins is that it is the real thing as they went back to the original papers, the original designer and the original parameters and algorithms and put that into the software. This is the vintage Lexicon sound, cuz it just is. UA also did the same with the digital EMT240 and while it sounds great, I find less uses for it in my music.

Lastly if you want a good in the box plate, the UAD EMT 140 is hard to beat.

Also you should check out demo's of PSP Spring reverb its pretty effecty and weird, but great for sound design.

UVI Spark Verb
UAD Lexicon 224
Softube TSAR
Lexicon PCM Natve Bundle

Got these and sold/and or never touch my outboard boxes anymore.
They are that good.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:55:26 PM »
Wether music or art is a labour or a passion should be ENTIRELY at the discresion of the artist. Meaning they have the right to give away or sell their work as they see fit.

It is not the right of lazy entitled wanna be's to take that art and claim it as thier own.

Otherwise if I want to live in your house because its nicer than mine, well then hey I am moving in.
Does not matter if I earned it, own it or not. I want it so it should be!

This noble cause of the poor artist making art by any means necessary because they are a poor artist is pure bull ....

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 04, 2014, 07:37:55 PM »
I should also mention that when we are talking about sampling another artists work I am assuming that we are talking about lifting things off of previously released works of art from albums or film. Commercially released loop libraries of course are fair game :-)

I should also clarify that I do understand to a certain point why the hip-hop generation went and sampled famous bits and pieces from old vinyl or famous songs, I get that from a novelty and interest standpoint.

However I don't understand why in the electronic music genre someone would need to lift an atmosphere or a drum groove etc. That seems like laziness, and yet I know it happens.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 04, 2014, 07:31:38 PM »
1: If you use a sample from an already existing work then you credit & COMPENSATE the creator and the source

I think you need to go a step beyond this, please ask first.  ;D  Don't just assume that someone will let you use their art anyway you feel fit, it doesn't work like that.

I absolutely agree!!! I think that somewhere in my thought process was that if you credit and compensate the original artist that there would have been first contact and permission.   :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:19:18 PM »
I think the issue of sampling comes down to 2 things,

1: If you use a sample from an already existing work then you credit & COMPENSATE the creator and the source
2 : Create your OWN sound sources

Seams simple to me

Check out Media Monkey and Media Center

what company make media center ? cause when I google it..I get a lot of other stuff..
What is the strongest points by the two ???

JRiver makes Media Center

I should mention that is is not free its $40 but it is one of the few full audiophile options that allows direct streaming to your converters and bypasses any processing and such which iTunes adds. I dont know the details of this, but it does sound better than iTunes and will play and tag both ALAC and FLAC if that is important to you.

Check out Media Monkey and Media Center

I use iTunes to manage my digital library as it still has the best system for playlists, sorting and such, as well as it works best with my idevices. For hi-rez listening I use Media Center.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: December 30, 2013, 07:48:02 PM »
I listened to the AKG K712's at AES a few months ago and these are what I am saving up for.


Really great Paul....takes me back to when I was about 10yrs old or so and I would bellow my lungs(I cant sing) out to Come oh ye and Hark the herald at this time of the year, though it was just an organ and no such production as you have given it.

Interesting you sent it out to Sadler to master....a great engineer...did you feel to close to it to do it yourself.

Thanks so much!

Thank you Julio!

As to mastering I am one of those people who believes that its rarely a good idea to master music that you have recorded or mixed.  I will do it from time to time with my own ambient stuff, but when it comes to client work like this christmas project especially in the rock/pop/jazz/country realm I will always encourage the client to hire a mastering engineer, which I really am not.

As to Trevor Sadler, I have a 10 year working relationship with him and really trust his ears and gear, although I also have used Robert Rich and think he does a stellar job as well, and last year I had a client who had an album that I recorded hire Howie Weinberg master the project so that is one of the highlights of my recording engineer life.


Thank you Paul! I always wanted listen how you drumming. I know from Discogs you are the drummer for the Rick Santiago Jazztet and also plays percussion with the Grace Church worship band.


Wow I should change that  :D Its been years since I played with Rick and all I have is a bootleg recording of us ha ha!

I should note that I only play drums on the original song, the rest are someone else. Interestingly though the orchestral toms and cymbals and such that I played on that track I am going to re-purpose into an upcoming tribal album because when the strings and guitars are stripped away and some reverb added, its very much a cool percussive soundscape.

Hey friends, I know we have lots of folks here with different faiths, backgrounds and such, and also this board usually centers around ambient music, but at my studio recently I recorded a 3 song Christmas EP for a local church (where I also happen to be the Technical Director). Two songs are traditional Christmas songs, and one was an original.

The songs are all done in an indie rock style, and there was no samples, soft synths, beat detective or sample replacement. Just lots of vibey guitars, drums, string trio and such.

I play percussion and sing background on a few of them as well as being the recording engineer and co-producer.

Anyway, the EP is free on band camp and is even available as a 24/96 FLAC download for the hi-fi freaks  ;D

Tis the season, and now back to your regularly scheduled space program.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: KVR Black friday/cyber monday sales list
« on: December 14, 2013, 11:04:32 AM »
The recoils are awesome. I was initially skeptical thinking it would be like most audiophile snake oil products...but the difference was immediate in terms of bass response and balance.

Although I have not heard them the IsoAcoustics stands seam to be really great too. I have 3 or friends using them.


This totally reminds me of gearslutz now. A product is not out yet, has no published specs and no one has heard it...but it must suck! Ha ha really?!?

Synths are such a personal thing there is NO way to really label one good or bad. The minute I say oh that synth sucks or I hate soft synths or ipad synths or what ever, I usually have to eat my words because I will end up at a music festival or hear an album done with one of the offenders and it will blow me away.

Synths are instruments and their success or failure is in the musician. Now one may not resonate with you, but thats ok. Does not mean it sucks.

Can you tell a guitarist that a strat is better than a tele is better than a les paul??? No. Is Fender better than Gibson or PSR or Rickenbacker??? No its all preference based on sound, feel, brand loyalty and more.

Every time I have bought a synth based on what I hear others doing with it, I am usually disappointed...that is unless and/or until I take the time to dig into it and make it my own.

As to synth manufactures, a huge factor for them comes down to one thing most of the time and thats "who will buy this, and how many will I sell?" Its that simple.

So its awesome in these rare times when someone says, "hey I'll try something new!" maybe it will succeed, maybe it will never get off the prototype stage or maybe the technology gets absorbed into a future model, but its still cool.

I can't wait to see what this one turns into as the guy has a great track record.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: KVR Black friday/cyber monday sales list
« on: December 06, 2013, 09:02:24 PM »
As a reviewer and tech consultant  I constantly have to do side by side comparisons and tests, and the reality is most of the time you are right Mike. The differences fall into the 10-15% category that most folks really would not care about. Now I am talking class vs class most of the time as its unfair to compare an old soundblaster card to an Orion 32 or whatever. I have heard the Orion 32, Apogee Symphony 64, Aurora, UA 2192, Lavry Gold, Pacifics Microsonics and a few others and its all really a 10% - 15% sonic difference. I could happily record with any of them and never look back.

Since this thread centers around plug-ins...or did. I have done real world side by side comparisons of most of Universal Audio's wares and they come scarily close to the real thing and the differences is really just the anomalies of air, noise and harmonic distortion present in the hardware that give that slight edge. In other words high end plug-in modeling is getting scary good.

Having said that when possible I will always choose the hardware to work with as I do find the effects of high end, analog gear to be cumulative, IE one high end piece will not make a ton of difference and save your butt so to speak, but a good collection of the right high end pieces can, but really high-end or low-end. It all about having the right collection of pieces that give you the results you want, and secondly get you the results you want when others hear your work.

In all my years of recording the 2 most significant times when my ears perked up and I went ahhhh, I hear it! I get it! were:

1. when I treated my room and put my monitors on Prime acoustics recoil stabilizers
2. When I ran sound through a real hardware La-2a


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: KVR Black friday/cyber monday sales list
« on: December 06, 2013, 11:38:55 AM »
God damn, I hate gearslutz. What a bunch of douchebags.

Its a crazy place. The only advice and tid-bits I ever pick up from there any more are practical, I almost never go there for gear recommendations or advice as there is always someone with an ax to grind or an agenda. Not everyone, but man its getting harder and harder to wade through the muck.

Back on track here, I met most of the Antelope guys at AES and got a run through of their gear, they make some sick stuff. They make a clock thats like $7-8k...for a master clock, and it looks like a piece of artwork to boot.

Also dollar for dollar their new Orion 32 is just amazing for how many channels of conversion you get for the price.

Oh and Mike, don't get me going on the audiophile forums...I have just started getting into Hi-Rez downloads and the guys at most of the audiophile forums are nuts!!! Its definitly a game for the rich to play.

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