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Messages - petekelly

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: June 23, 2010, 03:59:58 AM »

Here's a shot I took today of my current studio set-up. As you can see, it's based around two computers (one connected to the Internet and one not).

I use a KVM switch to use a single keyboard and monitor with the 2 machines. I like things to be minimal and uncluttered.

The blue elephant wallpaper is a remant of the previous owners of the house, but I kind of like it.

Those two guitars are my Yamaha 112 and my Tokai 'Love Rock' (Les Paul copy), both great 'workhorse' instruments.

The book is a yearly diary / log that I use to document what I've done on a day-to-day basis and has proved to be very useful.

I'm a headphone man, I pretty much do everything on phones, the KEF Q3.5s speakers I rarely use are out of shot.

The thing I take most inspiration from is the view outside;


Everything and Nothing / Re: World Cup anyone ?
« on: June 20, 2010, 06:43:12 AM »
I'm getting more into this World Cup now, there's been some dreadful shooting, but either a lack of initial nerves or circumstance are making for more open games.

The South American teams in general are looking good, making most of the European teams look jaded (apart from Holland).
God knows why England have been so bad - still we are still world leaders in Darts (and gurning)  ;)

Everything and Nothing / Re: World Cup anyone ?
« on: June 14, 2010, 06:15:12 AM »
Shame about the keeper fumble in the England/USA match

Ouch  - you're not joking there !

Everything and Nothing / World Cup anyone ?
« on: June 14, 2010, 01:35:48 AM »

I know that there probably isn't a great deal of interest here regarding the world cup, but I thought I'd start a thread anyway.

Watched the Germany / Australia last night - wow ! the Germans looked impressive.
I look forward to seeing the really good teams and players showing off their talent, am always keen to see Brazil, Holland and the like.

I know football isn't to everyone's taste, but its a massive global cultural event nonetheless.
People go a bit mad over here when England are in it, but that doesn't usually last beyond the opening round :)



From an artist's point of view, a finished album is a collection of wav or aiff files (presuming that the work was created/mastered on a computer).
Historically the 'master' format has been:
Reel to reel tape / ADAT tape / DAT tape / Minidisc and more.
The next format conversion stage is to CD / mp3 / Flac etc.

The spinning silver disc is obviously just a format. The 'art' is the music and the act of listening to it, and that hasn't changed.
The appeal of the ownership of the silver disc I can see, but its still a physical copy of the original.

Just because an artist decides to release a digital release doesn't mean that it's a 70 minute jam over some loops that he/she did last night.
I think there is still a feeling that if its a download, its not a 'proper' release. Well, I'd be interested how this pans out in the next few years,
when (I suspect) they'll be even less CD releases...



I have to say that I would much prefer to have a CD made up for my releases, but practicalities are dictating otherwise.
Perhaps I am in a similar situation to yourself, I've got albums I want to finish and release this year, but I don't think I can justify getting a
run of CDs made. It makes me a bit sad but its the way things are going. So the releases I'm planning for this year will probably be digital
releases. I use the term 'digital releases' to differentiate from the term 'downloads' because I prefer the sound of it :)

I'm thinking of having an option for people to buy a DVD of the WAV files / Flac files if they are after the best sound quality.

On a positive side, there isn't the constraint of a 74 minute release with a digital release. The albums that I'm planning on releasing are both
significantly longer than 74 minutes, this was a factor in my choice of how to release them.

I agree that download prices are too expensive, but it's mostly out of the hands of the artist.

There's quite a buzz in the Hi Fi community around people using the computer as the primary sound source as opposed to a CD player and using a high quality USB/SPDIF DAC to connect to the amp and speakers. People are listening to music in a different manner at home as well as out and about.

I still play CDs and have kept a 'master' copy CD of all my releases, as it's quite important to me to 'document' the album and its artwork. In the
future, who knows...


Everything and Nothing / Re: Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: June 09, 2010, 09:20:59 AM »
So Mike,

I take it you're not one of the 'gold-pressed-latinum-fairydust' brigade ? :)


Everything and Nothing / Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: June 08, 2010, 03:25:50 AM »
Whilst checking out snake oil/valid opinions on the merits of HiFi interconnects. I came across this gem:

Nice one  :D

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: June 04, 2010, 01:18:14 AM »
Diliberto's blog didn't challenge me or make me think at all. It's an old argument and it seemed rather mean-spirited including Robert in it. As Jesse says, he's been touring in this way for years.

Sure, watching some dude operating his laptop perhaps isn't the last word in entertainment, but watching a lot of 'real' instrumentalists isn't
necessarily that exciting either. What ever happened to 'stage presence' ?


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 19, 2010, 06:09:24 AM »
Interesting replies,

I found it encouraging to hear Robert's thoughts, to try to make a living from one's creative endeavours in the ambient world is quite a feat.
Good to see him keeping on creating and performing.
From what I can gather a lot of ambient artists create because thats what they do, like a lot of 'fine artists' I knew do as well.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Robert Rich Tour Blog
« on: May 12, 2010, 07:19:02 AM »

I found this to be a Interesting read, particularly as a travelogue. I was struck by finding that even the 'premier league' ambient dudes can
experience disappointment and uncertainty. I found this quote to be quite inspiring about what Robert was trying to achieve:

'...Once again Iím a bit concerned about low turnout here in Burlington. I donít think many people here know about my music, and I feel a whisper
from the shadow of uncertainty; trying to overcome lingering doubts about perpetual obscurity, while trying to communicate something quiet and
personal in this distracted and overmodulated world...'


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Press Releases
« on: May 09, 2010, 03:05:34 AM »
Lots of replies !

Personally, I'd prefer to read a press release that refers to an artist's use of instrumentation/source sounds or their approach to making the work,
rather than some more 'creative' text, but I can see that an artist may want to express their thoughts concerning the work in this way too. In a
sense, the press release can give an artist the opportunity to do their own 'mini-review' of their own work.

Also, as John said, factual info is pretty useful as well !

I have no idea why someone would say 'sounds like X' or 'if you're a fan of Y', you'll love this release' but each to their own.
Lastly, I don't why some artists write things like 'expertly crafted' or whatever - surely that's what samples are there for ?
A continual reference to words such as 'classic' and 'Amazing', can diminish the value of those words in the context of the press release. 


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Press Releases
« on: May 04, 2010, 08:38:59 AM »

Was wondering what people think about press releases ?

I know that the majority of ambient artists (myself included) have some kind of press release/verbage on their website to accompany the release of a new album. Sometimes descriptive, sometimes to try to convey the intent of the work / what inspired the artist or whatever.

I have to say the amount of times I've seen something like "destined to be an all time classic in the ambient world" is far too often...


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Seeking guitar recs/advice...
« on: May 01, 2010, 01:15:00 AM »

A set neck doesn't make a huge difference to sustain in my experience - the wood used in the body is more significant. Big lumps of mahogany or maple will create more sustain than alder. However, the guitar will weigh a lot more. I had a Les Paul DeLuxe and a Yamaha SG 1000 and they weighed a ton !
If you want infinite sustain get an ebow :)

I've found the strat type bodies to be the most comfortable for me. Then there's the neck to consider (size / the type of wood used in the
fingerboard), the action etc. A tremelo arm is another consideration. There's a lot of 'snake-oil' attached to guitar tone in general, you've got to
make your own choices. For example, there's a ton of amplifier / cabinet modelling software out there and I've heard great reviews of some of them and tried them out and thought they were awful.

In terms of pedals, I would personally recommend a volume pedal, particularly for 'ambient guitar'. 


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Igneous 2010 releases
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:33:45 AM »
Thanks for the interest and comments fellers,

David, I'm not sure about the release format at present. The 'synth album' may turn out to be a double album release at the rate its going !


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 26, 2010, 07:28:55 AM »

I very rarely listen to my own work. I always hear things I'd do differently now. In fact, if I'm listening to 'Drone Zone' or 'Stillstream' and one of my tracks comes on, I usually pause the player a few seconds into the track and wait for it to finish.

However, I focus on the work very intently when I'm creating it. When its finished, I release the work for other people to hear.
I'm happy with it at the time. 


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Igneous 2010 releases
« on: April 22, 2010, 08:37:55 AM »

For anyone interested, I'm currently working on 3 albums at present:

1) An album consisting of tracks made exclusively of sounds made from virtual synths. I wanted to get away from just using the guitar as a sound source and to work with new (to me) instrumentation. So far, its pretty ethereal/sonorous and is far from complete ! I currently have about 90 minutes of raw mixes to work with. Plan to get it released in the summer.

2) A very dark album made from processed binaural recordings/synth textures. Very heavy going - think 'outerstellar-industrial'. Plan to release this this year.

3) A collaboration with 'Achromus' which is more of an instrumental 'song' album. Very different to anything we've released to date. Again, planned to be released this year.

I've spent a lot of time recently working with a vst program called 'Nebula'. This is a program that 'samples' hardware such as reverb units, tape, valve channels. plate reverbs, compressors etc. It really is fantastic, I'II be posting more about this at some point.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Chemtrail free skies
« on: April 20, 2010, 01:05:38 PM »
Any comments on this from UK / european folk ?

This a real once 'in a lifetime' thing we are experiencing - or maybe not, if the volcano keeps on erupting.

There's a lot of stories in the media about people living near Heathrow and hearing birdsong /being able to sleep properly for the first time in years. Its prompting some debate on the increasingly noise-ridden world we live in and is unlimited flying a totally positive thing in our lives ?

Everything and Nothing / Chemtrail free skies
« on: April 17, 2010, 08:25:23 AM »

The UK's (and most of Europe's) airspace has been shut down since Thursday due to the ash cloud coming from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

On a human level it must be very frustrating being stranded away from home, but to be able to see the skies completely free of chemitrails and planes is almost surreal in its beauty. I'm now looking up to the sky just seeing birds and quite unusual cloud formations.

The situation appears to be impossible to predict, so who knows how long it'll go on for. Quite unprecedented...


Everything and Nothing / Re: Cleo 1997-2010
« on: April 07, 2010, 12:09:36 PM »
Wayne, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. These canine critters really are special beasts.


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