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Messages - petekelly

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Binaural Recordings?
« on: December 28, 2013, 02:22:06 PM »
To clarify - the Binaural recording technique:

I studied ambisonics when I was a Uni, what constitutes dimensional space is very much open for discussion. Ditto for 'superior dimensional sound' :)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Binaural Recordings?
« on: December 28, 2013, 01:36:39 PM »
Hi Loren,

I'd say there's a big difference between binaural recordings and 'binaural plugins', which mostly appear to be some kind of HRTF (head related transfer functions) placement arrangements. Nothing wrong with that, I think they can be very interesting, using 'space' as a compositional consideration in a mix.

You don't lose information with the recording binaural technique, it's just a different way of capturing spatial information. I've found using a binaural recording of something like rain or a storm for example, gives a great spatial element to a track. Binaural recordings I'd say are
perhaps more suited to field recordings. If you (or anyone else) is interested in hearing an album of material derived from binaural recordings. I've made my 'Binaural Soundtracks' album a free download:
(Dropbox link 67.9 MB zip file)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Digital Compact Camera - any advice?
« on: December 23, 2013, 08:36:57 AM »
I asked this question to a photographer friend who has owned many, many cameras. He says that they have all been compromises in the past as they used small sensors, but with the use of large sensors in compacts, things are improving. He suggested having a look at the Ricoh GR:

I have a Sony HX5 as a compact, it's not great quality, but it's small enough to carry around and is pretty responsive. I look at some of the shots in details and they are poor at 100% pixel-peeping magnification, but I don't know how important that is, unless you're making large prints. I use this camera as my Sony R1 which has a zeiss T series lens and is fantastic, but as it is big and very slow in operation, I don't take it out. I don't recommend the HX5, but the (compact) camera in the pocket is better than the one at home !

Everything and Nothing / Re: The new age music 'scene' ?
« on: December 19, 2013, 09:22:39 AM »
Moby is huge (not in my book though !), other ambient artists are pretty big too - Basinski etc..
I thought other artists here may be curious about the marketing ploys the new age people are up to. For sure, it's a more commercial form of music.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The new age music 'scene' ?
« on: December 17, 2013, 02:58:09 AM »
Any opinions appreciated Bill,

As I said, the purpose of the post was not to disparage the genre, just to contrast it with the ambient scene. The new age people seem to be far more savvy in terms of marketing and the like.

Cheers 'Castleview', that's the kind of thing I was wondering about.

Everything and Nothing / The new age music 'scene' ?
« on: December 16, 2013, 12:49:02 PM »
Is there such a thing ? I was looking at this site today:

I'm not getting into the merits / demerits of the music as such, just that it seems a whole lot more commercially oriented than ambient. There's some artists who crossover from the ambient side of things, but they aren't as 'hardcore' (an oxymoron here ?) as some of the big name new age artists I've come across. I'm not being judgmental about that, I'm just curious. My only dalliance with the 'scene' was trying to push the 2004 '8 Shades of Sound'  album I produced, but I gave up on that as I wasn't too keen on sending hundreds of copies of the CD to the States (where all the radio stations were based) I'm curious if things are still the same ?

I'm sure some people here know much more about this side of things - Bill B, Jeff P et al 

Don't these artists have bad days and want to release some fiercely abrasive dark ambience ? :)

Somewhat off topic, but I hope this synth's presets doesn't come liberally lavished with delays. Almost every (soft) synth I've tried has these ruddy things ! No need to ice the cake, so to speak ?

I hope it has some 'interesting harmonics' too :) (sarcasm off...)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: effects - old and new
« on: December 10, 2013, 06:55:02 AM »
I think this is a very good point and I tend to share your 'negative amazement', Seren !

On the subject of synths:
Not being a decent keyboard player myself, I find the VA instruments pretty uninspiring. Of course, if you can play something interesting, they're great, but simple waveform sounds don't excite me terribly. Granular synthesis is the interesting one for me.

An example of re-inventing the wheel is all those emulations of tube style overdrive / distortion - a technology that is pretty ancient in itself. As regards FX in general, I think thats a more interesting area these days.

For me, the biggest advantage of modern (computer) music making technology, is the sheer ease and integration of a DAW and plug-ins. FX automation comes to mind as a great thing that wouldn't haver been possible previously. Perhaps it's too much to expect real innovation in a relatively small period of time ? I'd say most of the 'innovations' are actually marketing.

Following the original link, I saw the 'phase 22' engine under 'technology', which has evolved from Spark. I've found Spark to be a real odd one, like a lot of NI stuff, I don't think the presets are that interesting, but I'm sure it is.
I feel the need to delve into it some more, I think my lack of understanding of the architecture of the synth is a factor here :)

Great news Mike,
I wasn't sure if this was a 'go-er', but you've proved me wrong !

It's not a question of overt positivity here on this forum - there are other places which are much more like that, it's more sometimes there's no point in being negative just for the sake of it, just keep it to yourself. I have to 'bite my tongue' at times, as I am a far from positive person myself.

Of course, everyone is entitled to post whatever they want, irregardless. But on the subject of technical stuff, I'm of the mind that listening to other people's experiences can be a useful thing. It's great that you're very enthused about these things though.

Thanks for posting this and your other postings on technical stuff, don't feel the need to take a hiatus. Personally I'm far more interested in the thoughts of someone who has released (some great !) ambient music, than someone who merely has a set of intransigent opinions and no examples of their music output.

I'm also tiring of thread hi-jacking too and posts about what my favourite food processor is...

Opinions are no substitute for experience.

Very interesting, big respect for the feller who started NI / developed Reaktor - still one of the most interesting synth environments that I've come across. If only they'd got some guys in to develop some less glitchy / 'aphex-esque' presets to show what else some of those ensembles could really do.

Mike banned all political posts some time ago as they were getting out of hand, can this topic be added to the 'dangerous' list ?
Seriously, (for me) what is created on a machine is the primary thing and what it allows you to do also. Beyond that, who cares ?

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: KVR Black friday/cyber monday sales list
« on: December 01, 2013, 01:48:50 PM »
Picked up this very interesting percussion library from Soniccouture. They do some great stuff and it was (is) 50% off. I'm a bit overwhelmed / underwhelmed with synths these days.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: KVR Black friday/cyber monday sales list
« on: November 29, 2013, 09:08:47 AM »
Yes Mike, so much stuff and so tempting...

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Thoughts on the zither?
« on: November 27, 2013, 02:45:09 PM »
I don't have any real instruments of this type, but I've got a number of harp, lyra, zither, kantele etc. libraries for Kontakt. I love these sounds, in fact they'll be featuring heavily on a new project.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Digital to analog converters
« on: November 22, 2013, 09:04:29 AM »
Yes, absolutely regarding these Valhalla plugs, reading the developers blog, it's obvious he really knows what he's doing - studying and developing all those 'classic' algorithms that actually make digital reverb (which is inherently 'fake' in itself, compared to say, a real plate reverb). It's those actual algos that are creating the reverb, not all those esoteric components on the circuit boards in these esteemed hardware verbs ? (correct me if I'm wrong)

I've spent a long time with UberMod and even as reverb (which it isn't marketed as) it's much deeper than other things I've looked at.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Digital to analog converters
« on: November 21, 2013, 01:49:26 PM »
Very good advice here from Forrest and APK, I think this is one of the advantages of this forum, there are people here who know their onions and give informed advice on technical stuff.

I would go as far as saying these days, most modern gear is good enough (mostly), it's very easy (I speak from experience !) in trying to find the 'best' reverb or whatever. Time spent learning the things that you have is time well spent, in my view. 

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