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Messages - Seren

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I am enjoying digging into the fireworx - playing around with the blocks is very easy once you've got the idea of how it works - there is also about 200 user patches that can be stored with the effects I create....Each effect has a extensive range of parameters that can be changed, including the options for a variety of 'modifiers', including external, that can be 'matrixed' in to affect the effect, sometimes in 'realtime' - the way these 'modifiers' affect the sound can be varied/programmed too......

My only 'gripe' is that the overall processing power only allows 1 block of some effects such as reverb, or phaser per patch. Also some of the effects are mono in only....but as I got it for 250 on ebay I am not going to complain....

As you say - limitations are often good - I am thinking of what I need to do to overcome them...

The overall quality of the sound is as usual for TC, very good.

This is what I currently have in my studio effect wise:

...TC Electronics Fireworx
Ursa Major Stargate 323...

Never heard of the Stargate before - what's it like?

I've been having fun playing with my recently acquired fireworx, enjoying both the quality and flexibility.

It's not quite as powerful as i would have liked in that some of the effects blocks are limited - ie 1 phaser or 1 reverb block per you know if it is possible to upgrade to increase processing power and block numbers?

welcome Hedi

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
« on: January 20, 2014, 12:13:06 PM »
You have to do what you think is best re DAW. I have no experience re software DAWs so unfortunately can't comment or compare. I have cakewalk - but use it more for effects and morphing sounds than as a DAW.

The mixer looks good and links straight in to daw software so sounds nice - but again, you'll need advice on this from people more experienced than myself.

don't be afraid to ask any other questions.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: January 20, 2014, 10:10:13 AM »
Nice - the cage is an unusual piece of studio equipment...... :o

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
« on: January 20, 2014, 10:08:49 AM »
Hardware daws seem to be going out of fashion.....

.....but that in mind - mine are old tech - Korg D16 and Roland VS2480. The roland is the biggie with motorized faders and more facilities than you can shake a gourd at....I'm sure there are loads of things i just don't use on it.

But it is 16 tracks at 24 bit or 24 at 16bit.

You can find them on Ebay- if you do go for it get an external monitor as the on board screen is tiny......

But I think there are newer versions such as the Korg D32 (not sure of the exact number) if you are looking for soemthing still being made. I was only expressing my preference - so hopefully the guys with computer DAWS can also chip in.

Hypnos News and Announcements / Thanks to Mike
« on: January 20, 2014, 10:02:49 AM »
Not just for running Hypnos, managing the forum and doing all the other things that make him all round nice guy...

but also for responding so quickly to the crappy spammers - pages and pages of the crap tooday!!!!

Sure it is not something he enjoys spending his valuable time on so big thanks and thumbs up - we love you Mike 8)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Help me finishing my ambient setup :)
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:47:12 AM »
Welcome -

Nice set of synths.

If you are looking at running them all at the same time I'd suggest you could pause on getting more at the present - but maybe invest in some more effects units - so you can link the different synths to different effects in real time.

You could also consider hardware daw - either recording the different synths onto different tracks to bounce down at your leisure later (allowing you to manually mix the relative volumes to create different shifting textures) or using the mixer to get a stereo mix into the daw and then add stuff later if you want.

Headphones - good thread here -

Singing bowls and microphone thread -

field recorders -

just dig through the pages of the gear threads and you'll likely find answers to many of your questions - and maybe even more questions as well.....

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Oblivion - 2013
« on: January 15, 2014, 07:58:57 AM »
........made me wonder what the heroine of the movie would do with all these Tom Cruise character around....a bit of weird ending in my mind.

 :o :o :o :o oooh  :o :o :o :o

That is a beautiful looking cover

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Oblivion - 2013
« on: January 12, 2014, 12:28:09 PM »
I too enjoyed oblivion, though I felt it owed more than a nod to the film Moon from 2009.

Moon is a more subtle story, more in the lineage of silent running and 2001 than the more modern flash bang spaceship and fighting film that Oblivion is.

Great point - simple and very effective 8)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Constance Demby
« on: January 08, 2014, 02:43:17 AM »
Novus magnificat is a wonderful album, I had a truncated version recorded on cassette for a number of years before getting the CD.

Not ambient as it includes a sequencer, but Tim Blakes New Jerusalem track on the album of the same name has always been a classic for me in the same 'vein' as Novus - though you have to allow for general hippiness, new age sprituality and gong like strangeness - also includes vocals...... :o

Oophoi comes very recommended - Athlit is a dark ambient journey available on Hypnos

also a decreasing number of Umbra releases to consider

You may need to go to google for other sources of any discs still available.

(and a polite thank you for inclusion in the recommendations)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:38:13 AM »
Out of interest I started reading Immersions early posts - and even then there was the occasional request from others to relax a bit  - but nowehere near the level of recent events with the almost insistent nature of his posts.

I don't think immersion arrived and started aggravating people straight away - he has been posting for for 5 1/2 years - perhaps something elsewhere has changed, and not seeing the guy face to face we just don't know what it may be or if we can help in any way.

I was advised by a friend to get one of the beresford headphone amps when I was thinking of getting one - but I know I take the risk of being accused of being Mr Beresford himself by posting this.... ;)

Hi Jim,

I have not tended to use synths for drones for some time - though I have been intending to get back to exploring synths as source for a little while - just need to find the time.

The 'loss' of time signatures is important (unless you are intending to have any rhythmic component to your ambient music).

I don't know if you have listened to my track Silver Wheel? this is purely synth based and was 'saved' from the background of another track.

My tendency is to try and create sonic textures, so I suppose any use of effects, detuning etc that creates a texture i like is what I search for. Sometimes I search for something that is very 'static' (ie makes paint drying interesting) and sometimes I search for dynamics - something that shifts and changes over time (either short or long periods), drawing the listener through a sort of landscape or story.

Sometimes I consider how many layers of sound I want a track to have - when is more more and when is less more?

Let us know how you get on......

but something you mentioned intrigued me - What do people think are 'common mistakes' in ambient music?

Everything and Nothing / Re: Ambient Music + Copyright
« on: January 06, 2014, 01:39:54 AM »
I'm sorry to hear of anyone being banned - and I have often wondered what immersion's first language is due to the use of 'opinion communicated in the form of fact' and his misunderstanding of people's efforts to communicate more subtle approaches - a sense of ships slipping past each other in the night with increasing levels of frustration and uncomprehension. I nearly asked this on one occasion but chose not to in case it caused offense.

I have felt my own frustration in the communications - and found myself having to 'hold my tongue' in some of the interactions as I did (perhaps more a sign of my own emotional insecurity) find the thrust of 'I think you are all idiots (conservative/prostitute etc), lets just agree to disagree - insensitive and I can understand how people became upset.

Immersion did not seem to understand, even when it was carefully explained (in numerous of the threads) that his way of communicating was the problem not necessarily his opinions. It pushed people into making defensive responses rather than exploring subjects together - which was also clearly pointed out by numerous people before any defensive statements were made by anyone.

All of which was a pity as it distracted from the interesting elements of the discussions and any valid points that may have been included in his posts.

It is difficult to see how this could have been resolved differently as eventually the level of upset could have driven people away or caused people to avoid responding to Immersion's posts - neither of which are positive outcomes.

Perhaps the strangest thing is that Immersion has been a member of the forum since 2008 and I certainly don't recall any issues like the recent ones until, well, recently......

A good place to start the imagination working is 'Foley' -
in which artists create normal sounds with other everyday objects - it is only a small jump to creating unusual sounds with everyday objects.

the same wiki article leads onto soundscapes -

and field recording -

each of which fractal out into other subjects of interest.

Hi Gemini,

I think your original question included 'ambient' as well as 'drone'.

My advice is that the best tools you have are your imagination and your ears. The next important one is taking the time to use your imagination and your ears to explore your sounds in any way they take you.

If you've been learning or been taught formally it can take a while to take the recieved understandings and make them into springboards rather than limitations. technique can be a double edged sword - either setting your imagination free or battening it down....

Sometimes I make the music from a sound I can hear in my head, using whatever I can to bring that sound into fruition.

Sometimes I start from a concept, an idea I want to put into musical form.

Sometimes I just 'muck around' with sound sources until something arises that I really like.

Sometimes I am working on one project and a sound appears that grabs me and i need to get it recorded for a whole new project it is calling for.

One of my best 'drones' was made from recording pan pipes, slowing it down and layering it over itself.

One technique passed on to me was to take a sound I like, not too long, copy it into a recorder/DAW so it repeats itself and becomes 1 track (mono or stereo) of, say, 10 minutes (time length is very optional):

then copy this twice and shift them by 1/3 and 2/3 the length of the original sound so you end up with 3 tracks of 10 minutes:

A:  ............/............/............/............/............/etc
B:       ............/............/............/............/............/etc
C:           ............/............/............/............/............/etc

Then bounce these down to a single or stereo track.  If you  do a live bounce you can put different effects on  each track and subtly change the relative mix levels to create shifting textures. You can use pan, especially if the base tracks are mono, to create more of a soundstage where things shift spacially as well as texturally. 

Another 'starting' technique is to find what sounds you like, that give you the sort of buzz you enjoy. Drone, ambient and experimental music can be very varied - from very 'simple' to very 'complex', from very 'hypnotic' to very 'demanding'. Chances are you'll most enjoy making, at least to begin with, what you most enjoy listening to - then you can start exploring other areas as your imagination grabs hold of you.

PS - Enjoy

Hi Gemini,

Can I suggest you start a new thread in the members projects news and promotion board.

There are most probably threads somewhere in the history of the forum about what you are asking, but I'd hate to start digging to find them.

The questions you've written above would be a good first post and I'm sure many people would be willing to give advice...

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