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Messages - Seren

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: What moves the drone?
« on: November 28, 2021, 11:00:05 AM »
Hi animapara,

I think the key to 'drones' is playing around with your sounds and experimenting - as well as listening to many different artists music to get a sense of what they do.

A slight shift in one parameter can affect the whole drone.

I tended to use different sounds that shifted in and through each other - or slightly different treatments of the same sound. for example, if you have 2 or three of those running at the same time you can vary the volume in each.

Oophoi was very good at both the still and the moving.

I'm really pleased this album has dreamt it's way into existence.
Hope everyone enjoys it.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: old equipment.
« on: November 08, 2021, 03:58:03 PM »
Julio, I hope your own journey goes well - music / sound has always been important to me in various ways.
   Whether it is making actual music, listening to it or sitting in the middle of a forest and hearing the sounds around me - I love swimming in the sounds I listen to. I think we've mentioned before the pleasure from listening in places where no human sounds can be heard.

I don't know what the future holds, but it felt important to open to the unknown and make a leap.

technology is certainly advancing - the quality of sound even out of items such as TVs and phones are definitely improving, I know it was opening to such developments about 20 years ago that got me back into recording this time, who knows what might happen in a few more....

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: old equipment.
« on: November 08, 2021, 03:45:01 PM »

So last Friday I decided to retire the music studio.

Wow  :o
That's how I felt too...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: November 05, 2021, 08:31:12 AM »
Hi Julio, I had been looking for a way to play the ripped files on my computer into my amplifier - but did not want to get into streaming and/or a third box if possible. When I was shown the dragonfly it was exactly what I wanted.

They come in 3 models - 1 for small headphones such as ear buds, 2nd for bigger headphones and 3rd for hifi headphones and amplifiers.
   The sound quality is, I think, very good - but as everything it is in the ears of the listener....

I checked the audio settings on my computer and they can handle high-res audio, the only thing it can't play is DSF/DSD. So far I am really enjoying listening with it. I will also be looking at buying some high-res audio files, I downloaded a free sample track and with the dragonfly it is very good indeed.

The hi-fi shop loaned me another Audioquest product - 'Jitterbug' - which plugs into the computer and then the dragonfly. I found this a more subtle difference, but I felt I could hear an improvement. It is meant to clear noise and interference on the usb port - but internet forums describe this as snake oil, so likely to go back to the shop.

Some dealers do loan equipment for you to test, might be worth checking out.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« on: November 04, 2021, 12:34:57 PM »
...and following my birthday and an unexpected level of funds from selling things I now listen on these

Beyerdynamic T5 V3....
   I got a really good deal from local hi-fi shop - over £200 off the usual price. They catch as much detail as my old Grado's but are much more comfortable and easier to listen on.

I was given a 'newer' samsung phone for my birthday which I have discovered can play hi-res audio files and so also purchased this:

Audioquest dragonfly dac which plugs into the phone charging slot, and then the headphones plug into the dac.
    Which can also be plugged into a usb port on a computer and play hi-res files into my hi-fi amp....all of which is rather exciting and much simpler than streaming.

The phone (Samsung A50) also has a section called 'adapt sound' where you can plug your headphones in and then complete a hearing test - and it will set a specific EQ to flatten the frequency responses adjusting for any frequency curves for the headphones and your own hearing.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: old equipment.
« on: November 04, 2021, 12:10:32 PM »
I've not really got back into recording zone for sometime - I was not passionate enough to get the tech issues sorted and when I have tried recording, it has surprisingly been more of a task than a pleasure in many ways.

...and I am enjoying listening to music more than recording it for the first time in many years.

So last Friday I decided to retire the music studio.

I still have sonar artist on the computer and the Korg MR1 if I find some sound I want to record and see if I can play around in some way- but 5 days after making the decision everything else has gone.

Currently it feels like a leap into the unknown, but also a positive one.

It was not an easy decision to make, but it has moved surprisingly fast from the moment I made the decision. I took it all to the local cash generator type shop and dealt with a rather supportive gentleman (also into making music) and walked away with an unexpected level of new funds....

interestingly, letting it all go created a similar sense to  when I stopped recording in 1982 - a real sense of releif at getting rid of the cable spaghetti.

A new track added to Sparse - IX.
   Though seems I missed saying when VIII was out.
This is a simpler track, trying to pare things back a little, to make more reminiscent of the Umbra releases

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 14, 2021, 07:29:18 AM »

Been listening to this today, again.
If you made a venn diagram of electronic, orchestral, soundtrack, house, experimental, industrial, ambient, sequencer and music concrete it would sit in the centre - not specifically or even mainly one of them but somehow all of them.
   Its a really good speaker work out too...

In the liner notes it describes how, due to the nature of the film, they needed some things forwards as well as backwards....for the soundtrack the orchestra members received scores that were rewritten in reverse, including all timings, notations and instructions.
   This was then used at times for the 'reverse' sections of the film as well as being reversed and used for the 'forward' sections.

Similarly the main actor had to learn the same fight sequences in 4 'modes' - as he was fighting himself he had to learn himself forwards and backwards as well as his reversed state forwards and backwards.....

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Contemporary and Vintage Laptops
« on: September 08, 2021, 01:33:11 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it Julio

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Contemporary and Vintage Laptops
« on: September 07, 2021, 01:05:36 PM »
Secondly I thought I would share a story I wrote about paper (on a computer.....)

   The man looked down at the last sheet of paper. He had been working all day and had just finished, leaving a single sheet of paper on the desk. Despite having supported all the other sheets all day there was not a mark on it. He turned it over and found it was as clear on that side as the first. That pleased him as it showed the desk was clean - important when working with paper. It was a modern desk, all veneer and chipboard - but in his mind's eye it was an ancient piece of hand carved woodwork, solid enough to be the foundation on which the paperwork was completed. The wood was shiny with age, statuesque and the top inlaid with a dark green leather so worn by the caress of paper it was as smooth as warm ice.

   It was a Thursday in early June, there was a thin layer of cloud, much like a single sheet of paper in it's own hazy way. It meant the day was not so hot that people sagged heavily in their chairs, their necks and foreheads perspiring - but nor was it too cool - allowing them to relax. He could hear conversation and laughing from other offices.

   Looking at the sheet of paper he did not feel it would be right to scrumple it up into an untidy ball and throw it away. It was pristine, filled with infinite possibilities - He could feel the yearning to become, it wanted to be filled with the words that would communicate. They were swirling around, floating, hanging in potential. Awaiting their moment to pop into existence and arrive in their unique form upon the paper.
   True, a single sheet would never be a novel, weaving stories and taking the reader into other worlds with it's vivid descriptions, characters and complex plots. Nor would it become an encyclopedia brittanica, holding all the knowledge of the world. But a solitary piece of paper is not a lonely piece of paper. It could become a love letter, taking the emotions and passions of one lover, refining, distilling and encoding them so that when the other lover sets eyes upon the words; fire is met by fire. They are lifted, enflamed, engulfed and taken deeper into the dance of their love.
   It could hold an intent, a statement, a pledge or the magna carta a single sheet could change the history of the world forever.
   Looking at it he thought of different sorts of paper - the fish and chip shop wrapping heavily perfumed with salt and vinegar, the thick coloured paper cut by children for their art in school, the sound of book pages turning.
   He lifted the sheet up - it had virtually no smell, unlike paper with experience. Those books that have been shared in libraries with notes written in the margins or drinks spilled on them. Or old books from a long empty house - spiced enough to make your lips tingle and your hands itch.
    As he placed the sheet back down he remembered reading somewhere that you can only fold a sheet of paper so many times - now that would be a worthy task to consider with this piece of paper.
   He turned the sheet so it was landscape - a concept so basic and ingrained that he was not even aware of the memories and wishes it evoked. His childhood garden, which had been a huge and endless place of adventure full of bouncing balls and pedalled bikes. Every place he had been and seen, held as if being looked at through a window. The sunsets, the trees, the cities and the people.
   Every place he had yet to visit - the Amazon, the Sahara, the plains of Africa...and in its pristine whiteness the poles, the icy laden ends of the world.

He placed his right hand on that edge of the paper, like a spidery paperweight waiting for the other side to come into reach. He slipped his left hand under the opposite edge, seeing the free part of the sheet raise like a wave before it flicked up and onto his hand.
  Slowly he moved his left hand up and over, hearing the gentle crackles as the fibres got used to the change, knowing that it still had it's own life, that it could choose its own direction of fold unless he was careful, controlled and firm.
   As the top came over and touched the other side he could hear the ssshhh as paper slid over paper. His spidery right hand lifted and caught it's prey, pulling it in and settling it until each corner met and matched perfectly.
   He slowly slid his left hand back across the surface changing the curve to a bend, to a crease and finally to a fold. He turned his thumb over and ran the nail along the new edge until it was sharp - a fold to be proud of. He turned the paper and folded it again - it was less fluid this time, but slightly harder to get the new edge sharp. He folded it again, and again and again.

   Despite his unconscious rummaging around in the nooks and crannies of his memory he was unable to recall how many folds were 'possible' and because he never doubted he could fold, he did. Again and again and again and again and again.
   At this point it was as thick as a ream of paper - but just over a cm wide by just less than a centimetre high. It was almost more fold than paper.
   He folded again and kept folding. 4 reams, 8 reams, 16 reams thick.
He kept folding. Soon it was about 6 feet thick and he realised, looking at the lowish ceiling, that if he folded again it would not fit in the room. He carefully carried it outside leaned it against the wall and folded again. He ran inside and up to the first window and folded again - then realised the building was not high enough.
   He went back outside and very, very, very carefully laid the folded paper down in the street - then folded again and again and again. Very soon it was the length of the street, but he kept folding again and again and again. Soon it went round the whole world once. Then twice, then 4 times, then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 times......

At some point it had become so thin it had no width or depth - just length. The wind blew through it and and people walked through it without knowing it was there.
   Still he folded and soon, despite having no width or depth, it had filled the atmosphere and he kept folding it out into space. The fiery furnaces of the stars and nebulae did not burn it. The solidness of planets did not block it. Even gravity appeared to have no effect.
   Still he folded and eventually it filled the entire universe - at which point he finally paused and considered what to do next.

The man looked at the universe, true it would never be a multiverse - but a solitary universe is not a lonely universe. He placed his right hand on top of one edge, his left hand under the opposite edge and folded the universe in two.......

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Contemporary and Vintage Laptops
« on: September 07, 2021, 12:41:44 PM »
I bought an album recently:

It is 2 CDs of music in a hardback book
This was clearly a labour of love and reading the book was very interesting.
The short histories of the poets Natalie has provided is a reminder of how corresponding by letter could take weeks - and reminded me of this thread.
Publishing poems and or books could take forever, if at all.
The lives of the poets, even the privileged ones, were often difficult and Iíve realised how little I know about even Ďfamousí ones. Mervyn Peakeís dementia, others who were born into families of 21 children, parents in debtors prison.
The easy availability of things like music is such a recent development but it is often easy to forget, that even in my own lifetime, the way I had to save up to buy records and physically search out the sorts of music I discovered I liked.
Iím not waxing lyrical about the past or the present - but sometimes I am reminded of how little I actually know about many things. so much music, so little time, so much history, so little time.

Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum, hopefully you enjoy being here.
There is definitely loads to read and explore.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Contemporary and Vintage Laptops
« on: September 03, 2021, 12:20:06 PM »
I remember the blue olivetti writing on paper with a good pen, there is something different in the experience from word processing.....

something that is becoming much rarer nowadays

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 31, 2021, 01:21:11 PM »
amongst others, recently,
Shostakovich's 8th Symphony - lots of dynamic changes, some very quiet passages followed by very loud parts.
Grace Williams - sea sketches - welsh composer, heard on radio while driving to work and bought it.
Steeleye Span - Wintersmith (terry pratchett link up)
Klaus Schulze - X, Moondawn and Bodylove Vol 1
Myrkur - Mausoleam
Skald - Viking Chants
Alan Stivell - Renaissance of the celtic harp
Tindersticks - 2nd album
Sam Gopal - Escalator (Lemmy's first album, psychedelic rock where he sings of love and spirit....)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: what are you listening on?
« on: August 08, 2021, 01:16:38 AM »
The spikes came, so I put it all together - 2 H shaped oak plinths on spikes, which the speakers then sit on with spike cups.
   Same materials as the rack so all looks the same.

The result - much quieter downstairs, which is great.
   But even better - I was getting a certain level of bass boom in the music room, which I had thought was due to proximity to walls and meant I had to put soft plugs in the bass ports.
   The plinths have lowered the bass boom so much I was able to take the port plugs out of the speakers and the overall sound has improved again.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Jaja - Space traveler
« on: August 08, 2021, 01:09:36 AM »
This sounds beautiful.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 08, 2021, 01:01:52 AM »
Been listening to all sorts of stuff recently:
Lygeti - Requiem
Charles Mingus - Live in Carnegie hall
Eva Cassidy - Nightbird
The Gloaming - 3 albums
Roach and Unis - Body Electric
Roach - A Deeper Silence
Obmana and Die - Echo passage
Rhiannon Giddens - They're Calling me Home
Klaus Schulze - Cyborg, Moondawn and Body Love 1
George Michael - Older
Carolyn Hillyer - Weaving the Land
Nigel Shaw - Requiem: Well of Souls
plus a whole schlew of stuff picked up by perusing charity shops - Katie Melua, Alison krauss, Dvorak.....
   The shops have loads of stuff to wade through, but if i buy 4 for £1 and only like 1 or 2 it's a great bargain - those not liked go back to the shops.

one of my favourite tracks to play (often first on the CD player) when home from work is Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Inkanyezi Nezazi. Stunning song

Everything and Nothing / Re: ....genre of music - what's it about??
« on: August 08, 2021, 12:46:36 AM »
Space Music / Space Ambient
For me, ambient still carries the meaning it had when I first heard it in the early 70's - music with no beats or rhythms.
   But I know the genre has evolved and diversified since then....

I find Ambient music can evoke a wide range of atmospheres - ethereal, other-wordly and earthly.
    I don't experience 'space music' as part of the new age genre, which (opinion and gross generalisation coming) I tend to find very bland and syrupy.
   But I recognise there is, like many genres, large areas of overlap.

For space ambient I would include
Tangerine Dream - Zeit.
Steve Roach - The Magnificent Void / A deeper Silence / Darkest Before Dawn
Max Corbacho - Far Beyond the Immobile Point
Lustmord - The Place Where the Black Stars Hang
Oophoi - Athlit and others.
Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht - like being directly plugged into the currents of the universe!
edit - Michael Neil - Towards the Unknown Region
   I don't often mention my own music - but I would hope 'Ydd Hwnt y Seren a Llygedin' evokes some different areas of space.

Some that may not be 'space' music but evoke that for me
Vidna Obmana + Alio Die - Echo passage
Tuu - The Frozen lands (more often makes me think of vast space than land.....)

There are of course other space music albums that are more 'electronic beat and melody' based including
Micheal Stearns - Encounter
Phil Thornton - Alien Encounter
Steve Roach - Light Fantastic also evokes space for me - but more in the sense of light moving within the vastness of space.
Software - Electronic Universe (1 and 2)
Robert Rich's music can take me there too.

I find Constance Demby's Novus Magnificat a very space evoking album - but she does this in a very musical way which I know is classed very much as new age.

In the classical arena I have to give a mention to Lygeti - some of his music including parts of his requiem sound very spacey to me. I'm sure there are others - some of the choral music can do it for me too.

In my own dreaming with the Earth and the Stars - if I go deep enough the two become aspects of the same thing, or different themes of the same sound....

I'm sitting downstairs typing this so likely will add more later as my music room is upstairs...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: what are you listening on?
« on: July 31, 2021, 02:51:42 AM »
That is some fine wood crafting skills Seren.....dont let the audiophile community see it or you may well be inundated with orders.  Interesting triangular structure to the component shelfs.  That system through your JMlab/Focal speaks must be a joy.

Thanks Julio,
I learnt that a 3 legged rack is easier to stabilise than a 4 leg. Also the length of the wood in the shop meant the three was cheaper as there was no off cuts left.
   I will post some system pics at some point on the Naim forum - and even if people do ask, I have no intention of making for sale (I'd have to practice more and buy the right tools for the jobs...I'd rather be listening...
        but I suppose, never say never - who knows where things may go.

I'm currently working on some speaker isolation - the Naim equipment has such a precise grip on the sound that more of it is going downstairs through the oak boards I've used for years - which is where Glenys watches TV, so she is having to turn the volume on that up. As nice as the Technics was, it was very smooth in comparism.
   I've ordered some more speaker spikes and made 2 H shapes out of the oak staves so the speakers will sit on those and then the H's will be spike and cups on the floor. I'm hoping the extra space will reduce the downward transmission and I will get some thick carpet offcuts to lay under as well.

P.S. the audiophile community is pretty vocal with it's opinions and I suspect the fact mine is solid and uses squishy stuff to isolate rather than each shelf seperate and isolated by spikes will not be in it's advantage....

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