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Messages - Scott M2

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Camel Audio stopped business
« on: Yesterday at 09:37:17 AM »
I've seen reports that Alchemy still runs well on Windows 10, so there's hope I can still use it once Win 7 is no longer supported.

Still... first Logic, now Alchemy...  :'(  complain, complain, complain... :o

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Michael Mantra RIP
« on: August 26, 2015, 12:56:38 PM »
Thanks Drone On, I had missed this sad news.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: That Audiophile thing again
« on: August 19, 2015, 12:40:27 PM »

I remember being thrilled to hear the Echoplex tape hiss on "side 2" of Phaedra when I first heard it on CD.  :)

I had a similar experience when I could hear cello players breathing as they played on CDs - often the timing fits the playing in some way or other. for me it added to the music rather than distracted  - though if they were snuffling with a cold and sneezing that would not be nice.

That's the sonic layer they leave out in sample libraries.  ;D

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: That Audiophile thing again
« on: August 18, 2015, 01:06:05 PM »
Now on the subject of audiophilia...yes it gets crazy. Many of these guys have playback systems better than the gear used to originally record the music.

Yep, so often people with very expensive gear are looking for qualities and subtleties in recordings that are simply not there.

I remember being thrilled to hear the Echoplex tape hiss on "side 2" of Phaedra when I first heard it on CD.  :)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach Etheric Imprints
« on: August 10, 2015, 05:11:28 PM »
Phobos, it's ok, you can say it sucks ;)

IMO, Steve writes his own press releases, as they are written the same way he discusses his music verbally.  Could be wrong though.  Pretty sure Ian Boddy writes all the press releases for his DIN label.

I'm guessing that Linda is an important part of the voice in Steve's press releases.

The comment by DSPAudio in this thread comparing Kyma, MAX & Nord Modular is pretty interesting/entertaining.

Best wishes for endless endurance and open hearted happiness on your journey Julio!

My wife and I have many albums by Canadian fiddler Oliver Schroer but our most loved and most played one is Camino, which he recorded in churches while walking the trail himself. I'm sure you'll connect too. Here's a link to a very good article about his journey with his friend photographer Peter Coffman and their wives.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Dieter Moebius passes
« on: July 26, 2015, 08:07:05 AM »
Another great electronic musician down, Dieter Moebius passed away last Monday.

Sorry I haven't returned to discuss more about iOS music making yet Pete, but I thought I'd point out for some other folks that the previously discussed Steel Guitar app is on sale today for free - though there is still a $12 IAP (In App Purchase) for all the rest of the FXs and such. I like it a lot but haven't devoted time to practicing on it yet. (I usually spend most of my music making time in iOS with AniMoog and, recently, iDensity.)

Nothing is as important as everything.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Modal Electronics 008
« on: July 20, 2015, 08:32:39 AM »
A handsome beast and I do like black (though I prefer wheels to a joystick and resent that my Novation controller uses a stick).

I just read a verry long thread yesterday on a modular group I'm on initiated by a member's purchase of a Schmidt - which would be another dream analog synth costing 20,000 dollars or Euros or whatever. Of course some people had to pipe in and state they could probably make the same sounds on their Volcas.  ;D

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: July 15, 2015, 09:23:41 PM »
I like what I'm hearing on soundcloud and the title suits the music well.

A four-minute trip into our infinite iAlbum/iPhone/iTouch/iPad app "dreamSTATE - Ephemeral City".

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 24, 2015, 12:46:21 PM »
Damn spacebirds!   :o

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CD vs. CDR
« on: May 19, 2015, 10:54:43 AM »
Hi, gang. Quick question from a novice's point of view:

I went to listen to my copy of Lost at Dunn's Lake (Johnson/Philips) last night, but it wouldn't read on my stereo. I loaded the CDr into my computer, and no luck there either.

Is there a solution you use when and old CDr appears to be giving up the ghost? I really like this album and was pining for it a bit last night. I'm sad to realize that the music might be lost to me forever.

I searched around the forum and found a great thread, but it is now locked:

I had the same problem with Dunn's Lake. I think the problem is actually rooted in the sticky labels James was using at that time more than the CDrs themselves - though I'd bet the CDrs are not of Taiyo Yuden quality either. Those were the early days of CDr releases and there was still a lot to learn the hard way. So far I have only had problems develop with CDrs with sticky labels.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl Reissues vs Originals
« on: April 24, 2015, 12:57:01 PM »
I tried a little googling on digitally cut vinyl and found some long discussions on the Steve Hoffman forum and such. Apparently some European pressing plants ask for the masters as Redbook CDrs. Also, when you think about it, for quite a while people were mixing to DAT tapes anyway, so while vinyl may "warm" the mix, it's still a 16bit 44.1 or 48 source.

This is just stuff I hadn't really thought about before - I'm not a vinyl nut - though I have a wall of it. I currently like to spend my money on SACDs, DVD-As or Blu-rays with surround mixes. That's my personal audio treat. BTW - I highly recommend Diatonis for excellent ambient music surround mixes.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: iOS - useful for an ambient musician ?
« on: April 20, 2015, 10:53:28 AM »
(People do amazing things on even an iPhone screen.

Well I'm not an apple supporter, and I think making music on an ipad with my butt sitting on a coffee shop chair is a not a step forward, but if you think it makes you look cool, then go ahead :)

Hey Horizon, I'm with David L. and have never watched a TV program on my phone let alone a film. My wife enjoys watching Netflix on her iPad though. I'm not fond of Apple either but sure like many of  the instruments independent designers have created for iPads. And while "I" think it's cool that I can be working on sound-design for my next show while in a coffee shop waiting for my wife, I'm sure any outsiders assume I'm reading e-mail or playing video games. ;) 

This is bringing back a memory of when I travelled by bus from Ottawa to Toronto back in the seventies to buy a Synthi-AKS. I remember waiting in the lineup at the bus station to return to Ottawa, thrilled to be carrying my new modular synth home and knowing that outsiders saw only a young man with a briefcase. Cheers!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: iOS - useful for an ambient musician ?
« on: April 20, 2015, 10:35:34 AM »
That interface should work really well for your guitar Pete. I have their earlier iRig Stomp pedal and it does the job - but uses the headphone jack, which does not support 24 bit audio and (I've read) is prone to feedback at louder volumes.

I was fond of the JamUp amp/fx modeling app until (after recording a batch of parts for a (non-ambient) song) I discovered that the stereo tracks nulled completely in mono. I haven't done proper sleuthing to see if it was the interface/JamUp combo or just JamUp which displayed this behaviour - but neither AmpliTube or AmpKit+ displayed this problem. Besides the recording, it was disturbing to find that guitar played through JamUp would not loop in my Line6 Delay Pedal because the looper sums to mono. The other guitar apps worked fine.

Everything and Nothing / Vinyl Reissues vs Originals
« on: April 18, 2015, 05:23:36 PM »
An interesting tidbit gleaned from a Now Toronto article with tips from Paul Kehayas on buying vinyl...

"New reissued records aren't better than original records - especially when trumpeted as '180-gram audiophile' pressings," says the soundtrack composer and member of Hollow Earth. "This is a marketing ploy and basically bullshit."

According to Kehayas, the golden age of record-making was 1960-1972 for UK and U.S. releases. The majority of those "weigh approximately 130 grams and were analog-cut at the time. Most new records are digitally cut unless they state otherwise on the packaging (most trumpet this because it's so hard to pull off!) or a website."

Records don't sound like records when cut from digital, he says, citing labels to avoid: 4 Men with Beards, Scorpio (which puts the gold 180 gram sticker on its covers), Lilith, Plain Recordings, Simply Vinyl.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: iOS - useful for an ambient musician ?
« on: April 18, 2015, 12:39:40 PM »
I've been using iPad instruments to make ambient music for many years now (beginning with an iPad1) and I'll pop into this thread to discuss some of my personal favourite instruments later, but I thought I'd have to start by addressing Horizon's concerns.

"I feel that ambient made with these gadgets turns anything into disposable music."

OK, that's just a nice inflammatory/warm-blanket opener along the traditional lines of: "A synthesiser isn't a real instrument." or "You can't make real music with a computer" or "This Rock and Roll/Rap garbage will never last". Well done! I'm guessing you've never actually used one to try to make ambient music.

"1. No warmth, no nostalgia from old soundbanks (Why Steve Roach still utilizes the Emu, Oberheim, Nord Lead, Wavestation?) and not an ipad?"

No one is coming to take away your old nostagic instruments or stopping anyone from using them along with an iPad. In fact they go very well together. I'll also bet that Steve, who maintains an inquisitive mind about new technologies, might be interested in adding an iPad or two to his setup after exposure to some appropriate iPad instruments/techniques.

"2. Hardware is made as a whole, including the DAC character, I doubt anything software for ipad will survive 30 + years, back to 1. (repeat often)."

This is very true. Apple's continual updating of their operating system is creating very real problems for instrument designers, who have to try to update their instruments regularly so they work under a new OS. I'm currently keeping my iPad OS at iOS7 because it works well - though iOS8 is the current version. Apple has recently screwed up my future usage of Alchemy, my main laptop VST by buying the company and withdrawing support this summer. They did the same to me when they bought Logic and stopped supporting the PC version. In the hardware world, the issue is availability of parts as the decades pass. I've been able to replace old pots myself on my Modular Moog from time to time, but other instruments are not as simple and various ICs are no longer made. Readout screens are another tricky thing to replace. I'm lucky that many of my instruments are by Roland, who, so far, have been good at keeping old parts and I was able to replace the fading screen on my SuperJupiter about a decade ago.

The quality of the D/A from the headphone jack is, of course, far from perfect but is surprisingly good and useful. I imagine you don't use the headphone jack on your computer. There are excellent DAC interfaces which work well with iPads from Apogee, RME and many others. I love being able to work on sound-design, drum grooves and sequences in my living room, yard, on the bus or anywhere I go and then use it in live performances or into my main DAW later. I use iPads as instruments and not as DAWs so far but I understand that the quality can be very good in Auria or Cubasis. Depending on the app, the word can be 16 bit or 24 bit. I just bought an iConnectAudio4+ which will transfer MIDI and audio at 24 bit back and forth between my iPad and computer without any D/A or A/D conversion. (There are many excellent iPad F/X apps too.) It's just out of the box, so I haven't implemented it yet.

"3. Larger screen is 15 inches up, anything smaller for any kind of production is counterproductive."

I look forward to the rumoured larger iPad supposed to arrive this fall - but the current size is great for portability and is quite playable - depending on the instrument design. (People do amazing things on even an iPhone screen. Thumjam is brilliant as it also includes the use of the gyroscope for pitch-bending, vibrato or tonal shifts through wrist motion.) I like to use external hardware controllers to supplement the screen, just as I do for my laptop.

The new interface possibilities and the portabilty make them powerful new tools. They can be used as compact sequencers or control surfaces for old and new synths too.


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