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Messages - Scott M2

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Guitars picking up noise from PC
« on: September 17, 2009, 08:41:59 AM »
Agree - External soundcards can definitely help - and well-shielded cables.

Can you record to another device (MD or DAT or Handheld digital or whatever)
in your studio and compare the sound with your computer turned on and off?

In general - wherever I record guitar, I look for the quietest spot in the room
and the magic compass-direction to hold the guitar and try to place the remote
or the keyboard there when recording. You know, the voodoo stuff.

Thanks for watching and for the comments guys.

Yes - "The Great Gig in the Sky" is my favourite piece from "Dark Side".
I'd declare "Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Parts 1-9" as my personal favourite song of all time.
Rick was a huge contributer to this beautiful and emotional creation.

A year ago today, on September 15th, 2008, Richard Wright, keyboard and synth player for Pink Floyd passed away.

dreamSTATE was scheduled to play an AMBiENT PiNG concert later that week (with Eric Hopper & General Chaos Visuals).
I suggested that we play our opening piece as an homage to Rick, who had been an important early inspiration for us,
and all agreed. I fashioned a ping on my Korg Kaossilator to begin and we winged it from there.

The concert was filmed by Jeff Howard & additional footage was later taped of the moon & water (Rick loved to sail),
so that in the last week I was able to create a video in honour of this anniversary of Rick's passing.

We hope that you enjoy the piece and that it may inspire reveries or memories of Richard Wright,
a wonderful and sensitive musician who was, perhaps, not fully appreciated in his time.

Here is the direct link: 

Scott M2

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: Upcoming Hypnos releases?
« on: September 03, 2009, 04:29:57 AM »
We haven't dropped releasing CDs, just having a slow re-start after re-assessing how we will package our Hypnos CDs going forward.

We've released a couple of Hypnos Secret Sounds albums in recent months and we're about to start a Seren Ffordd series on HSS as well.

I should have something more to report on upcoming Hypnos-proper releases very soon.  First will be Viridian Sun - Infinite In All Directions and we'll catch up on other pending releases soon after.  Then once things are rolling forward again we'll start adding items to the "coming soon" queue again.

Thanks for your patience, everybody!  The good news is, we'll be able to sell our upcoming releases at a slightly lower price due to the simplified "green" packaging.

I'm praying that there's some sort of printable/readable spine on the simplified "green" packaging. 

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Korg M3 Xpanded 61 key synth
« on: September 02, 2009, 09:19:03 AM »
guess I'll have to wait a bit on the M3. Need to really get back to work before I get it or just go with a good midi keyboard (Akai for use w/Ableton Live comes to mind). Lord knows I got enough VSTi's from NI and freebies to mess with.

Now seems to be a perfect time to work on some self-generating "systems-music" patches for your VSTi's.

The interview with Chuck van Zyl was very interesting.
All those hours he spends putting all his endeavors together!
I still don't think I can pronounce his name correctly though.   ;)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now watching...
« on: August 14, 2009, 08:23:56 PM »
I think they spread shows over more discs than required (HBO, Showcase...)
to justify a higher price. A 13 episode season could fit on 3 or 4 discs max
and not 5 or 6. Then you add fat packaging that makes it look bigger.

The new Buffy/Angel re-releases are super slim and won't take up a whole shelf.
Nice - but I already have the old ones.

That's a very smart way to expand the results of all the time you spend on your programming. Good for Darrell!
BTW - Thanks for including some dreamSTATE in the flow...   8)

Ah yes, Structures from Silence - one of the finest damn ambient pieces ever made IMHO.

I thought Eno's Music for Airports was the first piece to be called ambient because he invented the term.  Never heard that about Satie.

Yes - Satie called his ambient works "Furniture Music" and Eno coined the term "Ambient Music" much later but with a nod to Satie.
Discreet Music notes -
Music For Airports notes -

just listened to all of these and though I enjoyed them, for the live pieces would have much prefered to hear the full sets

any chance of these being released at all?

Thanks so much for the feedback gentlemen! As for releasing full sets - our OM CD was an hour release
from a 2 hour performance (with the groove pieces we play to break up our sets edited out, along with
some less inspired improvisations) but it's currently out-of-print. I can't see us releasing full concerts
without at least some editing - that's just the way I like to hear releases - as opposed to the actual concerts.

Stay tuned for a new dreamSTATE album next month of pieces extracted from AMBiENT PiNG performances
throughout the last decade to help celebrate the PiNG's tenth anniversary next month. I'm quite happy with
the soundscapes I've been discovering.

Here's a photo I rediscovered of dreamSTATE at the PiNG with cheryl o on cello.
It was taken about a year after The Storm Within was recorded - but has some cool analog projections
by General Chaos Visuals.

Lynn & I live in a magical forest of precarious piles of CDs,
populated by amicable unicorns, solemn synthesizers,
dust bunnies & a small black dog.

Hi Carl! Welcome to the H. Forum. You give Buffalo a good name.   8)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Omnivore's Dilemma & Local Food
« on: June 30, 2009, 03:13:15 PM »
There's a big city-workers strike on here in Toronto.
All the main attention is on the lack of garbage pickup
but many farmers markets on city property have to close
and this could be a long one...   :'(

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: June 30, 2009, 01:06:26 PM »
Ah yes - Al Reynolds!

Thanks, Scott.  I listened to your links that you posted.  Very, very nice. I agree with Modulator.  I would love to play the Ping someday.

Hi Mark - We'd love to have you at the PiNG someday. Since we're monthly now, contacting us at
(or me at as many months as you can in advance of your your window of opportunity will help ensure we
can fit you in. You can check this page to see what's already booked up.
Unfortunately we can't provide border support with the paperwork and fees - but most US artists seem to manage to flow through. ;)

After the previous discussion it seems appropriate to post another live recording and this track
has been previously edited and uploaded - so I can just describe it and post the link.

"The Storm Within" was recorded exactly 9 years ago today on June 13th 2000. dreamSTATE
was in the midst of a yearlong project called "The Drone Cycle 2000". Each month we improvised
an ambient/experimental concert with a special guest (or two) based around a drone note from
the chromatic scale. (January C with Wally Jericho, February C# with Kurt Swinghammer...).

The Drone Cycle shows had no "maps" - except the July (F#) performance with Steven Sauve where
all 3 of us were playing synched Nord Modulars and we'd actually had a prep session to ensure
that things would successfully work together. Audience members stated it was the best show yet -
so, of course, I'd pressed Play instead of Record and the ADATs were blank.

Our guest for June (F) was cellist/looper cheryl o with synthguy Steven Sauve (aka karmafarm)
who provided additional processing for cheryl from a station in the audience.

As for what I can remember about the editing (on a program (Logic) I no longer use - so I can't
just check the files) the main changes were adjusting the volumes of tracks to feature whomever
was creating the most interesting textures to advance the flow. I do remember that at the end of
this "piece" I was already introducing a new sound to continue the set (which was about an hour long)
and I mixed it right out, to end on cheryl's modulated cello - now "solo" with Jamie's thunder recordings
(from MiniDisc).

Hmmmm - This has turned into far too much text - so I think I'll skip all these extra production musings
in future mp3 postings. Here's the music...

The Storm Within - (cheryl o, Scott M2, Jamie Todd)

128k -
 64k -

* Please note - a remastered version of this track is now available on our "a decade dreaming" album available here:

Hi again - Thought I'd echo Matthew's description of "Erebus and Terror" now that I've listened a few times.
Although the underlying subject matter is bleak (the doomed Franklyn expedition) the music conveys the
expanse and solitude of the north without reducing it to just banshee wind sounds.

On my home front - my original copy of "Electronic Forest" has reappeared but Matthew's "Maalbeek"
seems to have immediately taken its hiding place. A surprise awaits me some day...

Hi Mark - I've been enjoying listening to your concert while writing a long response in a different thread. Thanks!

The problem with live recorded music is that it is no longer live when it is a recording. That must seem like an obvious thing to say and perhaps you completely disagree with me Scott, but listening to live music when it's not played live is a very different experience from listening to live music as it is being played.

There's something about being in a room with a lot of people, and experiencing a "performance" where musicians are able to interact with the group. Most bands have sets and play lists so the effect is minimal, but it's often still noticeable. With electronic, free form, abstracter music the effect is far greater though, almost like being outside in nature, part of a group wandering.

Yet, and having said that, I really do like listening to your work even if it's a recording. It's obvious you're also wandering while you where playing and not following a predefined path. I say obvious, but that's how it comes across, maybe you DID plan very well (and in that case, very good too).

Somehow, the tension of a live performance (where will they go next, where are we now?) comes across well in these samplings.

I also like how as one layer of attention and sounds goes away, there is a shimmer of sound behind it...often the point where you fade out the track and I think...ahhh...I wish I was there to hear where they go next. I especially like her_terrain, sounds modern and old at the same time, I really like it. 

Thanks for sharing these!

Thanks for your comments Jeff and Matthew and especially the deep thoughts about the difference in experiencing live music vs experiencing the recordings of live music. Sorry to take so long to respond but here it is...

Having experienced hundreds of ambient (and mainly improvised) performances at THE AMBiENT PiNG, I can only agree with you Matthew. Even the periods of probing and
uncertain wandering can make the areas where the music all comes together stand higher in the journey of the set. The sharing of the trip changes and charges the experience. Since most AMBiENT PiNG shows aren't in concert venues but in bars and clubs, the experience of each person in the room of the performance will also be different depending on their level of focus at any moment and if they're just letting the music be an environment vs a concert - as per Eno's original definition of ambient music.

When I release a dreamSTATE live recording - I don't hesitate to edit out the "periods of probing and uncertain wandering" if I can achieve it gracefully
and leave what I consider to be the more interesting or more feeling parts of a set. (This is why I usually describe such live excerpts as edits, extracts or ummm excerpts.)
Therefore, listening to the results is definitely a different experience from being at the performance and perhaps more like photos or videos from the journey.

On the setlist front - Jamie and I traditionally draw up what we call a "map" to help keep our set moving along (slowly but surely) so we don't get too trapped in a fog
of our own creation along the way or stuck in a key or drone forever!  A tempo indicator helps us set up delays/loopers/arpegiators to be synchrosonic and grooving.
Something along the lines of: 1) Dark intro (G#m) 10",  2) Atonal 5",  3) Pastoral (A) 10"  4) Groove (Em T80) 10" etc...   We'll nudge each other to move along, if required. Although the general "path" is predetermined, I know one hand will often be setting up a fresh sound anticipating a new twist in the flow and we'll end up traveling in a different direction altogether and the scape is abandoned before being birthed. You may not experience that aspect Matthew as my impression is that you might use a single instrument in live performance, while I like to have at least three - so that one can be setup while playing the other two.

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