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Messages - Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Although my personal favorite Roach album is "Halcyon Days", I do feel that his 3 best albums that each in their own way are era defining pinnacles of different parts of his career are "Dreamtime Return", "On This Planet" and "Mystic Chords..."

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Any Genesis fans?
« on: August 12, 2014, 08:11:17 AM »
I guess I will be in the minority but I pretty much like it all from "Genesis To Revelation" all the way to "We can't Dance". There are even a few good songs and a nice edge to " Calling All Stations" even if it is largely forgettable as a whole.

I think in someways Genesis are one if the only Prog bands who made a successful transition into the 1980's without sounding forced or fake. Yes had one good pop album but could not sustain their trajectory. Genesis on the other hand, along with Gabriel on his own really had a hand in defining pop in the 80's rather than simply being followers.

I think all in all " Duke" is a masterpiece and the best album of the trio era.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top Oophoi discs
« on: July 28, 2014, 11:35:02 PM »
Spirals Of Time - Still my favorite
Mare Vaporum - I have always resonated with this one
Athlit - the Cd that sparked my interest in working with Gigi
The Rustling Of Leaves - this one is special to me as I have vivid memories of lying in bed in Gigi's guest house listening to this on a Cd Walkman and drifting off and thinking how beautiful and pastel it was.
Dreamfields - please excuse what could appear to be shameless self promotion but, this album is special to me due to the deeply personal level of back and forth collaboration on this release. Gigi kept calling it his most psychedelic work, and the concept of the directions was his. I also have memories of taking a daylong retreat out in nature and listening to the final mix and master and being completely lost in the bliss of the moment of the atmospheres blending with nature. He was really pushing for avant guard sounds, movement and startling artifacts and instances on this one.
Bardo - I will pick a 6th one to be fair, I like this one for its sheer intense power.

Are you Mac or PC ?

I have been using a Zen Studio for about 2 weeks on a Mac with no problems.

What problem are folks specifically complaining about?

First of all, there is nothing middle weight about the Zen Studio or The Orion 32. Both units are full on professional grade.

Yes there are more expensive converters from Prism, Lynx and Apogee (which too be fair is my personal favorite), as well as really upper end pieces by Burl, Benchmark, Lavry and such, but the difference in quality gets pretty narrow once you hit any of these levels, IE over $2,000.

I have reviewed, tested and used most everything in the above list and more, with the exception of Burl and at this stage it becomes becomes a matter of taste as the sonic differences in units is in the 10-15% range, usually less. Most people I have had in my studio cannot tell the difference in side by side tests of the Lynx Aurora, Antelope Orion (or Zen) and an Apogee Symphony I/O. I hear nuance, air, sweetness and depth differences but again they are very slight and I am listening on a very expensive monitor set up.

Now between the Zen Studio and the Orion 32, the conversion is the same sonically. The choice comes down to inputs, cost and if you want/need 12 really nice mic pres.

If you do not ever see yourself needing 32 channels then I would go with the Zen. If you don't need 12 mic pres or plan on getting a selection of differnt outboard units then the Orion may be better. Also the Orion has 32 channels in, and 32 channels out. The Zen Studio has 20 analog inputs and 10 out.

Other factors are that the Orion is made to be a studio piece that lives in a rack. The Zen Studio is designed to be portable and cannot be rack mounted.

Anyway whichever one you pick it will be amazing for you! Best of luck!!!


Very cool Pete! Has almost a vintage Mick Karn-wordless-art rock feel to it. This needs to be played loud folks!  :)

It's jazz - but still with an ambient / atmospheric feel to it - but primarily jazz.

Thats an awesome quote John, I need to put that on the band camp page somewhere!


Marketplace / A whole batch of music gear for sale
« on: June 20, 2014, 10:44:17 PM »
Hey music friends, I have a few pieces of studio gear I am going to be selling...Message me for prices and pics if you are interested

Lynx Aurora 16 - 16 Channel AD/DA converter
Lynx AES 16e (I have two of these with cables) - PCIe cards for connecting 16 channels of digital devices to your PC
Milennia Media TCL-2 Compressor with tube upgrades - High end mastering compressor
A pair of Blue Robbie Mic Pres with upgraded tubes - Mic Pre amps
SPL MTC 2381 Monitor Controller - Multiple source audiophile passive monitor controller
Shure KSM44 - Large diaphragm multi-pattern microphone with case, shock mount and bag

All devices come in their original box, except one Blue Robbie and one of the AES cards

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Eventide UltraChannel for FREE
« on: June 11, 2014, 10:55:46 AM »
Just an FYI, it uses Ilok/Pace as a protection scheme, but you do not need to own a physical Ilok. Its something new the company have been doing. You can authorize an Ilok and use your plug-in on any computer or simply authorize it through the Pace/Ilok system to a single computer of your choice.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: What synths did O÷phoi used?
« on: May 27, 2014, 08:58:32 PM »
Nice pic Paul - any chance you have one of the other side as well?

No sorry

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: What synths did O÷phoi used?
« on: May 25, 2014, 09:58:31 PM »
Ok, I found a picture from when I was in Italy with Gigi. Most of the synths have been mentioned but given the spirit of the thread I though you might enjoy it.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: What synths did O÷phoi used?
« on: May 10, 2014, 01:43:46 PM »
I can not remember for the life of me what Gigi had in his studio when I was there. I do know that he used a fair bit of sampling and sound worlds recorded to various DATs and CD recorders which he then manipulated and recombined into his finished products almost always through real time performance. I will try and find my photos from that era and see if anything jars my memory.


Hey friends,

Although not an ambient album in the strictest sense, last year I released a new album as part of a modern jazz trio call the Moss Garden Sessions.

I played drums as well as engineered and mixed the album.

Each song started life as a live in studio improvisation and if we liked what we just came up with, we would quickly start a second and even a third take of the newly birthed piece. The album was recorded and mixed old school, meaning very little editing and ZERO overdubs. On occasion we would merge takes like the begging of take one into take two just like they used to do it in the early days.

Most of the songs are heavily Eventide & TC effected guitars along with a miked Mesa Boogie Amp, soprano and tenor sax and a 4 piece 1966 Slingerland drum kit augmented with odd percussion bits and a remo mondo snare.

In a few spots we also added EWI instead of sax and korg wavedrum again all played live.

The album was mastered by Robert Rich at his studio and he did a fantastic job!

Chris Short of Ma Ja Le and Gerry Baccash join us on bass for three songs making it a quartet as well.

The album is available on itunes, amazon and you can get the physical CD from me or on CD Baby.

Or I just added it to bandcamp where you can preview the album as well as purchase it for a mere $8, if you are a hi-rez fan be sure to download the album as a 24-bit flac file.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Reverb Plugin Sound Demos
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:42:06 PM »
Found this just now...really reflects what Paul was talking about.  Give it it chance its not your usual sales demo.... it may surprise you, it did me!

I forgot about that demo, but it pretty well sums up why the 224 is my most used plug-in reverb. I have used it on Pop, CCM, Jazz, Ambient and Folk projects and it has never let me down. Dont get me wrong, I love the PCM Bundle as well, but that is modern Lexicon where as the 224 is the sound of classic records and even classic space music that is ingrained in our memory.

I also love Will's UA demo as he is one of the few people I know in the industry who like and get the whole ambient, art rock thing and his demo shows. Its not your usual this is a drum room or acoustic guitar in a space thing.

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

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