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Messages - Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ambient cover art?
« on: December 02, 2008, 10:20:10 PM »
Ok, as to great cover this day Well of Souls may very well be one of my all time favorite covers, which truly compliments and conveys the music.

I also loved the original package for Spirals of Time by Oophoi.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ambient cover art?
« on: December 02, 2008, 10:17:02 PM »
Ohhh and as to bad cover art. I know that John, Chris and myself were never very happy with the now very dated cover for "Imaginarium", but the label gave us no choice in the matter...

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ambient cover art?
« on: December 02, 2008, 10:14:37 PM »
Better a few hurt feelings than indefinite mediocrity being allowed to go unchallenged.

Just saw this, great quote Mark!


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 27, 2008, 09:20:56 AM »
I think that sums it up perfectly Campus!


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 26, 2008, 01:45:24 PM »
Well like I mentioned, I am very interrested in the new PCM 96, I have heard great things about it.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 26, 2008, 08:52:36 AM »
Ohhh one more I forgot, in the Lexicon MPX series, the original MPX-1 was probably the nicest and most flexible of the bunch. Its verbs still are not PCM quality, but as a multi-fx processor it rocks. Plus they can be had for cheaper than the MPX100's, 500's and so on on e-bay and they are way nicer.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 25, 2008, 09:49:53 PM »
...I guess I should clarify, Loren I am not saying that the Eventides are bad, it just would not be my (or most other audio engineers I know) 1st choice for reverb when compared to Lexicon or TC. Not bad, better than most, just not the best, and I think its pretty universally accepted that Steve's sound was based on the PCM 70 for years. On sites like Gear Slutz, many consider it to be the last of the true great Lexicon boxes, not that I totally agree, the 90/91 is no slouch and I am currently deciding between a PCM 96 or the Bricasti.  I do

The warning with anything older the the 81/91 series is Lexicon no longer supports them or stocks parts, so if one dies you may have an expensive paper weight. This fact is what kept me from getting a used 70.

Another cool box is the Kurzwiel Rumor, which is the verb only section of thier expensive high end box.

As to plug-ins I do have to agree with Loren as well, there are very few which I really like, short or the DSP based TC/UAD's as they are really not plug-ins in the true sense.

...however, if all you can afford is the MPX series or TC 300 series, the for the same cash I would consider plugins like CSR, Breverb or Convolution based ones as there is zero advantage sonically with most hardware in this class, unless of course you need portability.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 24, 2008, 11:35:34 AM »
Reverb is like wine, very subject to price, age, make and of course ultimately, taste.

A few thoughts here from a reverb snob (I am also a wine, beer and coffee snob as well  :P ).

If you are after a great deep space reverb, then you should not look at Eventide, regardless of the preset name on the H7600. Now the H7600 is indeed a great, incredible effects processor, but I don't think you will find many in the pro studio world who would reach for an Eventide unit for just reverbs. They are more known for their pitch shifting, harmonizing and spacial stereo algorythms, but not verbs. I have the Eventide Eclipse which is a great effects unit, but the verbs are pretty bad...

That mantle goes to Lexicon for the most part, and maybe TC if you want realism.

The new player on the block is Bricasti, who only make one product the M7 Reverb which is supposed to be amazing.

Now the snobby part, the reality is if you truly want the luscious verbs you hear on Roach or Rich albums or even what you hear on most music on the radio you are looking at reverbs in the $2000 - $4000 price range. Many will argue but any Lexicon unit below the PCM series or TC unit below the M-3000/4000 series do not even come close to this quality.

The only similarity in the MPX Lexicons or 200/300 series TC units is the brand name.

So what to do if you do not have this kind of cash??? Well there are some decent plug-ins (you will need some decient processing power on your computer) the CSR verbs are nice, Breverb, many Convolution verbs are not bad, as is the reverbs on the TC powercore (they are actually from a TC system 6000), but they are pricey, plus add in the powercore...

...or go used. Yesterday's PCM-70/90 will still blow any modern MPX series away, M-3000's used are in the $700 range...or as JKM mentioned, the Alesis Wedge is not a bad Lexicon substitute if you can live with the noise. I use one all the time live.

Just some opions,


Just a quick heads up, Chris and I are performing an evening of soundscapes this Saturday at Monfortís Fine Art Gallery, Racine, Wisconsin

Not so much a performance, but more of an installation. We will be providing music and sound worlds for the opening of Artist Phil Saxon's latest collection of work.

You can find out more about Phil's work at

Monforts is located at 430 Main Street Racine, WI 262.898.1513

The Artist Reception is from 6-9, and we will be playing for 2 hours.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Who you will vote ?
« on: October 30, 2008, 05:50:55 PM »
Crap, you mean I would have to use my real name.... ::)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Handsonic 10
« on: October 22, 2008, 04:04:05 PM »
I have had a handsonic 15 for about 7 years now and it is a staple part of my live you will hear as soon as I get atmo-works the final master of my live performance from CitySkies last spring.

Its still not as organic as a Korg Wave drum, but it comes the close to mimicking acoustic drums and the playing styles associated with them.

I like its versatility as I can use it in electronic as well as traditional performance situations equally.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Ravi and Anoushka
« on: October 15, 2008, 07:49:53 PM »
Saw them 3 times over the years down in Chicago, the 1st & 3rd times were magical, the 2nd was an off night for Ravi. One of the greatest musical masters of our time!


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Singing Bowls
« on: October 14, 2008, 07:06:50 AM »
....shortly hit upon the idea of using one of the temple bells (two small cymbals on a string) and twirled one end around inside the bowls as fast as I could - was definitely edgy and dischordant - and apologised to the bowls all the time I was doing it. Surprisingly none seem to be any th worse for wear.

Ok now I have to try this when I get to the studio later today...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Singing Bowls
« on: October 10, 2008, 07:49:56 PM »
I got my favorite singing bowl in Hong Kong a few years ago, ornate and carved with a gorgeous tone.

Gigi (Oophoi) has one of the nicest collections I have seen, although if I remember he was selling some of them a few years ago.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: 80's Music Forum
« on: September 27, 2008, 02:27:38 PM »
One thing I have always found interesting for myself is that I was never a fan of most 80's music while I was living through it...well the synth pop stuff anyway.

I did like Missing Persons and the Go Go's quite a bit, and maybe early Cars (that was late 70's though), but for most of the mid 80's (84-88) I was into metal like early Ozzy, Priest and Maiden and then moved swiftly into Venom, Exodus, Slayer, Exciter and early Pre-black album Metalica, from there it was punk and hardcore for a few years, Black Flag, GBH, Naked Raygun, Minor Threat and then that evolved backwards into classic rock again like Zeppelin, Beatles & Floyd which I liked before the 80's. The only late 80's band I really liked a lot was the Cult.

Strangely it has been in the past 5 years I have been able to appreciate the sound and skill of bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Japan, Talk Talk, Tears for Fears, Sade and such and now with very few exceptions, I cannot listen to most of my older hard core and extreme metal tastes.

One of the things which blows me away now about many of the 80's pop and new romantic stuff is the production and precision of the playing and the music, especially when you consider, they had no auto-tune, softsynths, pro-tools, drum editing and such...they really sang and played that tight. Amazing!


ohh and on your second part, I think the "pleasure" part of creation is a most assuredly one of the reasons artists keep going and become engaged in the first place.


I would agree Forrest, thats why I never trust that reasoning from artists as their way out of criticism or a way to dodge said rules...

I would push the point that whenever any artist looks deep into their creative process and their beliefs for that matter, as I am not sure you can successfully separate the two, then they will find a set of rules and/or ideologies to which they will consciously or even sub-consciously become guided by...and that it is the art which is devoid of such principals and rules that is ultimately over the course of time...useless and forgetable.


Interesting thread,

9Dragons, I really enjoyed your take on this.

...pushing this train of thought further,

I also see a parallel in that:

Art or what we call art, be it song, sculpture, painting, architecture, whatever, like societies of old, especially those with deistic leanings (everything from Roman Catholicism, native tribal culture to Judaism) as well as societies with imposed socialistic deism like many Chinese and Roman Dynasties...they all had rules or codes of conduct, which weighed heavily on Art. These rules created both a reason of intent for the art as well as a level of what was acceptable, many times down to something which we take for granted like style, color, chord choice, instrumentation and so on.

I would wager that in many instances these "rules" and the skill required to work around them led to work that is subjectively longer lasting and superior to what is being created today.

Like 9dragons implied, in many cases the work, much like the world back then carried greater meaning.

Now in our "oprahesque" society (just an example not meant to spark debate...sorry to the Oprah fans here) where anything goes, right and wrong are on an individual sliding scale and art (and religion) has become entertainment, it is all largely disposable. What (or whom) is the modern artist/musician creating for?

I have even seen this make its way into our art colleges in the US, where students used to be pushed hard to learn tradition and technique...IE rules, now students are allowed to..."BE".

While this may be arguably beneficial to their inner child, I am not necessarily sure it is so for the cause of art.

In many ways this is why the artistic arguments, safety blanket of..."I create just for myself" may be partially to blame for the throw away media of the day...again no rules, no striving and many times no passion behind the creative drive, because once you reveal your passions or your reason for being, then your art will have a measurement on which it could be judged... as well as be open to debate.

Also add to this the constantly obsolete movements of Cool, what is "in" now, won't be in 6 months, is this really long enough for any artistic movement to reach fruition?

Ok thats all that will come pouring forth for now.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Prophet 08
« on: August 31, 2008, 04:39:35 PM »
I have one and love it! Not sure what else to say. It is one of only 4 synths I now own. I whittled down my collection to 4 that I really liked and wanted to dive deep into.

I would say, I don't love it as much as my Moog Voayger, but it is a close second.

You really need to move past the presets though, as they are...underwelming.

I have a cd coming out soon (Atmoworks) of a live performance which features the P8 prominantly.


I think whenever we like it or not, softsynths are the future, for many reasons, with all tools I got including professional studio plug ins and reverbs I see no real reason to switch to hardware.

The only problem I have have with this thread is that Immersion, you really need to stop making such broad sweeping statements as the ones above.

I have been reading this thread with interrest and there is a nice balance of insight from folks as to the tools being largley un-important to the end result, which I agree to in theory, but not necessarily practice as the instruments you choose "will" have a huge impact on the end result.

Now setting aside that this is ambient music for a second, will a guitarist "most likely" make better music with a cheap $79.00 Harmony Acoustic or if they can afford it...a $2000 Taylor? Which instrument will inspire better playing and learning?

Unfortunatly I honestly feel it is similar with synths, recording gear and so on.

Meaning that you may actually learn more and get better sounds with a real modular, than with a soft synth equivalent, or I can't find one single person in the industry who acctually thinks and belives that the Arturia, NI or GForce recreations sound anywhere close to their real world equivalents. Now this may not matter to an end user or even a listener, which in some cases is sad, but there is a quantifiable difference to the real thing VS software.

Even in plug-ins, every time I have switched to the real thing from a plug-in version the difference has been obvious. Does it stop me from using plug-ins or soft synths, no...but when given the choice I would certainly choose the real thing.

Just my opinion,

I guess my point is that while soft synths and plug-ins are here to stay and quite excellent in many cases, I don't see any proof in the industry that the real gear is becoming exctinct yet. In fact many the Boutique hardware industry is at an all time high...


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