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Messages - petekelly

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I've had no MiniDisc problems myself and some of mine are 13 years old. Sturdy little beasts, they are.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: February 27, 2010, 01:00:20 PM »

'Hero Max' from 'Look at This! Ha Ha Ha!' by Kettel - Ingenium !

I've just found out that this track can be downloaded fer nowt on Lastfm, here:!+Ha+Ha+Ha!


Everything and Nothing / Re: Board Advice
« on: February 25, 2010, 01:14:48 PM »

Technical question:  Is 320 kBs the way to go on MP3s?

People may be interested to know that there are artists who have collaborated (recently) by sending 320 kbps mp3s back and forth to each other via Yousendit (and other such services)

I have platinum ears and can hear mice breaking wind in the Himalayas, but the '320's' are fine for me.


In my own opinion, as an addition to many of the superb observations that have already been stated, I believe that an enjoyment and appreciation for ambient music is partly reserved for those people who have a heightened sensitivity to this world, to its turbulance and its serenity. There is much evidence that countless people today live in a rather hurried and restless state, and turn to the television for their education and entertainment. How many do you suspect sit at the top of a forested hill, and quietly observe the sun sinking lower and lower on the horizon, observing the changes of the wind, the reflections of the light upon the clouds, or the sounds of birds? Those that can do the latter (circumstances permitting) and not be bored or impatient, but  in awe, are better suited to recognizing the power of ambient music. I don't want to suggest that ambient music can not be appreciated by a business-minded city dweller, always on the move. But I think that the committed listener to this genre is a special class of people, who can look inward and outward, can be silent in this noisy world, and are aware of things that others take no notice of.

I think that's very well put, actually.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:09:30 PM »

Curious to know the reasonings behind your analogy, a cassette release now or in the past ?
I can't see the comparisons.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 22, 2010, 08:09:36 AM »

I'd say that after being confident in the work and having spent a great deal of time and money to record and master, $1200 CDN to get 500 completed CDs, all in, is nothing

Yes, in the scheme of things, a pressed CD run is relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of things we procur/buy/own.

The point I was trying to make for an individual (or small label) its still a significant sum. When say, am artist releases 2 albums per year over a number of years. My point was more that I don't want to lose a lot of money along the way !

I should point out that it's not my primary goal in making money from my music. However, each release takes approximately 6-9 months of work, so I don't think its unreasonable to try to sell it.

Incidentally, My CD-Rs are made up by some fellers in Leeds who I know and trust. They use Tayoi Yuden/Sony blanks and Plextor drives. Since 2003, I've not heard about any failures.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Questions for artists and labels re: Piracy
« on: February 20, 2010, 03:33:30 PM »
Also, what's the deal with CD-r's?  I see them mentioned as a bad thing on this forum all the time; are they just CDs bought from Office Depot with a sticker on them to make them look better, or is it something different? [/quote}

You might be interested to view this thread:

Everything and Nothing / Pressed CDs and independent artists/labels
« on: February 20, 2010, 02:17:03 PM »

I find it frustrating when people say something along the lines of 'Oh do it properly and release a pressed CD - I don't trust CD-Rs etc'
Well, I'm sure if artists were able to they would release a pressed CD they would do, but here's some points to bear in mind:

A CD pressing of 500 discs would cost 650 or thereabouts in the UK (including printed artwork, booklets etc), factor in other costs such as
mastering engineering and artwork and it starts to become expensive (unless you're pretty well off). The primary consideration is, how many of these discs could an independent label/non 'big-timer' actually sell ? - is it worth their investment ? My feeling is that most artists are currently
re-evaluating whether to release CD-R's these days, let alone pressed CDs !

Regarding the 'known' established artists. even Steve Roach and Robert Rich are selling less CDs these days, compared to what they used to. I'm wondering who can afford to fund such a venture on a basis that sales are not an issue ? There's nothing worse than having loads of lovely looking pressed CDs lying around in boxes.

Say I want to release 2 albums a year. As pressed CDs I can't do it, as small numbers of CD-Rs, I can, as download only releases, I could release as many as I want to. I can see the advantages of download only releases from the artist's point of view. A digital release provides a revenue stream (well a trickle more like!) over time. I sell a lot more downloads now than I used to and all my albums apart (from my most recent ones) have sold out as CD-Rs and its unrealistic to get some more made up. The downloads will continue to sell in the future.
Look at Atmoworks, look at JKN's relaxed machinery label, look at Hypnos even, to see where the pressed CD / CD-R thing is going.
For an artist, IODA and CD Baby enable you to get onto to iTunes, Napster, emusic et al for very little.

On the point of diminishing CD sales meaning that the genre is less popular than it was, then I'm not so sure if this is the case. There's arguably
more people now hearing ambient music through the likes of Lastfm and streaming radio stations - hearing something on lastfm and then buying it there and then from iTunes or Amazon.

In my view, it's not being tight , or lacking in artistic vision, it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons of is it worth it ? and will it be
worth it in the future ?


A humorous thought...   My wife tells me that no one will ever notice my music until years after I'm dead.  So, now the problem for me is how do I make it so that it will be available in the 23rd century?

Yes Wayne,

In the 23rd century, I believe we will be looked upon as pioneers - but alas, at present, we are in the realms of the wildly esoteric :)
Saying that though, I believe ambient music will gain a larger and certainly more diverse audience over time.


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« on: February 17, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »

Great question John :)
Ah, the mythical rules of ye olde ambient.

Here's some keywords which initially spring to mind (all just my opinions, mind you):

Ignorable yet Listenable
Tonal (debateable)

As for rules, I don't know if they are any or should there be any...


Everything and Nothing / Re: New interview with Eno
« on: February 17, 2010, 01:22:33 PM »

Yes it was 1996, not 1986.

It's an interesting point you make Mark, I think most artists would like to see their best work before them, but I'm sure that some also realise that their best work was in the past - a certain release/time period that can't be repeated/recreated.

Strange thing when you think about it, the artists need to create. I used to work in the arts and saw a lot of highly motivated artists who had an almost religious zeal for their work. Most of them would never 'make it' but they were undeterred. They were in it 'for life', so to speak.

I don't know how relevant this is to ambient music, but I wonder who will be making ambient music in 5, 10 or 20 years on from now ?


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« on: February 17, 2010, 01:21:16 PM »

This is a really interesting thread - or it could be when some serious replies occur.

I'm very interested to hear what people have to say on this one.



Thanks Tobias,

Glad you liked it !


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 16, 2010, 02:43:21 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

I get hacked off when people on forums attempt to pass opinions off as facts - its misleading and unhelpful. Your opinions on percieved reverb
quality are irrelevant to this topic and take the focus away from the more salient points brought to this discussion.

I think that for a newer artist, it would be instructive to listen to the opinions of the likes of Paul Vnuk, Loren Inerell and APK (amongst others)
who have been part of the ambient scene (certainly on this forum) for some time, rather than voice your own opinions incessantly. Opinions are like noses and (on the internet) everyone has them. Its what you do - the music you make, that's the important thing.   

Don't get me wrong, I have a more 'maverick' take on things and don't always agree with conventional wisdom, but I do respect people who have paid their dues/know their onions and have released their own material. I agree with the point about trusting your own artistic vision, but that comes with experience and craftsmanship - a skill which takes years to develop.

Everything and Nothing / Re: New interview with Eno
« on: February 15, 2010, 01:53:59 PM »

'Thursday Afternoon' came out in 1985 Mark, so 30 years is a bit out.

Am re-reading Eno's 'A year with swollen appendices' diary and even then (1986) there's a feeling that Eno was working too much and too disparately. There's a lot of times when he wishes he could be in his studio working on his own music, rather than producing the great and the good.

Saying that, at the age of him writing his diary (46), he had achieved an absolutely significant body of work.



Ambient : Emissions of Sonic Beauty

#10 Igneous Flame (special mix)

Niels Mark (Podcast presenter) got in touch with me regarding selecting some of my material for a 30 minute podcast. I decided to take excerpts from 3 or 4 tracks from each of my 7 albums and make a mini-mix of each album and then to montage them together to make the full mix. The excerpts I chose were my favourite selections of some of the tracks on each particular release, in reverse chronological order.

'Electra' (2009) montage
'Hydra''(2007) montage
'Astra' (2006) montage
'Satu' (2005) montage
'Oxana' (2004) montage
'Intox' (2003) montage
'Tolmon' (2003) montage

57.7 MB

The introductory voiceover is in Danish, so is pretty much lost on me !
On the site, there are also Podcasts hilighting the work of Oophoi and Sleep Research Facility amongst others.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« on: February 13, 2010, 02:00:33 PM »

I heard the clicks on the mp3 sample myself. (1:35 onwards)

Mastering Engineer to Glitch dude:
'Sorry mate, this mix is shot, there are clicks all over the place, not to mention the distortion and the hiss too'

Glitch dude:
'Thats how its meant to sound !' :)

I feel that with the required level of experience, the artist can do a perfectly good job on mastering their own material. A good ear and the
availability of affordable software tools are the combination to make this the case. In fact, being able to go back to the original multi-track session to fix problematic sounds in a composition can be advantageous - as opposed to working with a finished mix. Obviously mastering is a process as opposed to a creative aspect involved in the releasing of work, but the words ALWAYS and NEVER still need to looked at and questioned rather than simply accepted.


Tricky one,

My initial reaction was to think 'yeah, its lame', but on reflection it really does depend on how much extra work was done with the library sounds.

I worked with a feller who used ACID loop libraries to create soundtracks for Hypnotherapy CDs (which sold very well). I always felt that this was a 'fake' way of creating ambient music. He wasn't sufficiently skilled to create original material.
In my opinion, I felt this had little artistic merit. Particularly with atonal droney textures, its very east to create material - not so easy with
harmonic/tonal material or rhythmic stuff, where you need some knowledge to create work.

I worked on one project in which library loops were used (in parts) and I was very uncomfortable about it, so I did a lot to them to add something of myself to them.

Personally, I like to create my own sounds.


Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: Spiegels
« on: February 07, 2010, 06:17:25 AM »

Listening to 'Spiegels' now Matthew - great track !


Everything and Nothing / Re: RQ009: Your desert island instrument.
« on: January 26, 2010, 01:05:53 PM »

A classical guitar.

I never learned to play it properly, but I still love its sound.

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