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I have decided to sit still in my boat..which means I will keep my Eclipse.
Even though it seem that the Pure 2 have better specs, from what I understand, pure 2 have the same DAC design as Eclipse with the difference  that the pure 2 have dual DAC, one per channel. Anyway, the prices have been listed,and just to tell you, this is very good value, probably unbeatable value for what you are getting.. Their agressive price setting for their latest products is really making changes in the market for sure.
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Seaboard Piano
« Last post by Ekstasis on Today at 12:04:25 PM »
good idea..but I wish I could have the same technology but in standard keyboad, I have always been wanting to wiggle the keys just like it was string to do vibratos..
This is a pretty well known article, on studio forums, there is usually two parties, one for and one against bitrates.
If this article was made so that the opposite side could respond to each argument in the article I am sure the opposite side would
sound just  reasonable.  we do choose what HiFi philosophies  to believe of course as I said there will always be different parties.

I think it is a mistake to generalize this, for me it depends on more WHAT you use this high sample rate for,  and also what DAC design is used, to say that high sample rates is useless for all designs ,  the main argument with higher sample rate is to reduce processing in the DAC,  to reduce the need for upsampling in the interpolator component in the DAC, the DACs today are working in 5 bit audio, which needs  audio that comes into the DAC needs to be upsampled up to 30 times of the audio you feed the DAC with.  In a perfect world you would not need any upsampling within the DAC, but all DACs today need it (besides DSD format DACs) since the DAC chips today is working in 5 bit audio. So the argument of high sample rate seem to be mostly about the internal processing and not about the actual human/physical abilities to hear the difference of the high sample rate, it is more about internal signal processing, and how the DAC is responding to a higher sample rate and having a less need for upsampling,

In the real world however,  problems such as CPU power is a bigger problem, I am still using 44khz myself because of limited CPU power, and this problem will most likely remain for a long time too, because intel has a slow progression and within the small steps of cpu power progression software developers are also fast to respond with more cpu hungry plugins, so I do not seem myself going over to 96k in the next 5 years to be honest. The other problem is that all music today is downsampled to 44khz anyway,  even though lossless services do exist they are still using the CD format often, 16bit/44khz. To record something in high sample rate  and down sample it later just seem like a big hassle for nothing.

High sample rate is simply something for the future,  from a sonic quality perspective there is only benefits,  but the drawbacks with higher sample rate are bigger,   cpu power is one of them, but also file size and also in the age of audio streaming the network bandwidth, which drains much battery from people with mobile devices etc,   we need more headroom in both processing power in computers, network speeds and also power in mobile devices until we are mature to change to a higher sample rate standard.  I do hope however that more music is released in higher bit resolution/sample rate.  I myself find always that when I downsample my projects to 16 bit there is a big difference in sound quality,  and from wav to mp3 is even omre noticeable, I would not have heard the difference before, but with the more sensitive equipment i hear now it is more obvious,  with that said.. 99% of the music I listen to is MP3,  but the reason why is because of the problems I mentioned earlier,  file size is a one of them, and availability is another, to have a big archive of flac music takes just a lot of space.. but it is only when you compare the mp3 and flac version side by side you know what you are missing.. Spotify shold be illegal, they are the biggest threat to music, they are like a weapon of mass destruction against music, their OGG music sounds just terrible..destroys all what makes music good.
The jury still out for me on this one.  I've seen similar articles.  Robert mastered my recent recording at a 24-bit level and it seems to have more definition to me than the 16-bit version.  It don't think it's a placebo effect because I experienced the same thing within my own software.  We'll see.

'Music for Bats' ?

Of course 24/192 is the way forward - but more for our canine friends than us :)

Specta Ciera + The Circular Ruins "Middle Distance" CDr

Specta Ciera is Devin Underwood (Boston, MA), while behind The Circular Ruins is hidden no one else but Anthony Paul Kerby aka APK (London, Ontario), the leading mastermind behind DataObscura label and several other projects. His extensive discography since 2002 needs no bigger introduction here (also Nunc Stans, Lammergeyer, The Winterhouse), but Specta Ciera is a rather newer name on the map, although I came across Devin Underwood's name for the first time in the summer of 2011, when focusing on his collaboration "The Vivid Unmapped" with Jacob Newman, released on DataObscura the same year in May. "Middle Distance" (CDr), was released the end of March 2014 and is packaged, as usual for all releases on this sympathetic Canadian label, in a slim poly case. Featured are also subtly elegant graphics by Angela Weiser.

The album unfolds with the title track "Middle Distance", a soothingly floating and meandering drone piece, carefully enriched by various, constantly emerging embellishments, always richly colored, some breathy, some rather ear-tickling, some nearly intangible, but always appearing in authentic harmony with scenic expansions. Calmly immersing intro!!! The 3-minute "Promontory" is intenser, heavily percolated with shoreline sounds and crossing through gorgeously evocative archipelagos. Brief, but very effective. On "Solitary Window", which reaches only one and a half minutes, distant sea waves can be heard and observed, but the center stage is stolen by deeply pensive piano and glitchy reminiscences. Very short, but long forgotten memories are immediately unlocked and hauntingly expressive ambience fills the room. "Falling Into Place" quickly slips into more eclectic terrains, sculpted with assorted peculiarly sounding emergences, although some relieving glimpses can be caught when children's voice samples permeate here and there. The middle part is slightly calmer, while toward the end the piece moves back to noisier soundfields, albeit continuously decreasing into murmured undulations. "Depth Perception" returns to drone terrains, but reinforced by an array of sonic accompaniments, ranging from lushly twinkling to high-tech piercing. Uniquely yearning and reverberating. "Past Tense" incorporates a slightly cavernous feel, but soon harsher drones invade, again augmented by various fragments like tinkles, sparks, groans, stringed tensions or noisy swells. 10 minutes of quite bizarre soundsculpting. "Virtual Image" opens with windy restless drones bridged with trickily arising sonic subtleties and nostalgically permeating picturesqueness. "Gathering Evidence" dives into soothingly floating realms, but too ephemeral, because diverse voice fragments step in along with piano morsels and various, nearly ear-splitting tinkles. But the closing part returns again into pure tranquility, and is hauntingly embracing. "Tesla", with 10-plus minutes the longest piece, opens with cavernous drone, progressing and creating resonating spirals, perforated by crystalline tinkles, enigmatic echoes, dissonant circuits and jarring outbursts. Weirdly mindscaping!!! "Empty Verandah" closes this album and it's another, slightly longing composition precisely merging background monochromatic drift with touching crescendos.

"Middle Distance", nearly one hour long, is certainly an amply flavored joint release requiring deeply perceptive listening, so plug in your headphones and explore this unconventional soundcarving. Always fully ingenious with many rewarding entrances into uncharted drone ambient territories. Immersing, disturbing, transcending!!! Together with this physical CDr album was released at the same time on Bandcamp a digital download only EP featuring 6 additional tracks from the same sessions, entitled "Different Perspectives". And last but not least, both artists have now in the pipeline their new releases. The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr has been announced already by DataObscura, release date in November 2014. And Devin Underwood will return too, with his second collaboration with Jacob Newman, "Sending The Past", on Carpe Sonum Records. So stay tuned, but in the meantime make sure to discover treasured "Middle Distance" recording!!!

Richard Gürtler (Oct 20, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)
There is a lot going on Pete in a very good way.  The diversity really works.  It flows, comes and goes, disappears, resurfaces.  Looking forward to Iris!
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« Last post by thirdsystem on Today at 04:19:55 AM »
A good few things posted in this thread recently I need to check out urgently, especially that Winged Victory for the Sullen.

Currently listening to.....

Pete Namlook/ Tetsu Inoue - 2350 Broadway 3. I think, for me, the Broadway albums are the definitive ambient series on FAX if not ever. Just wonderful.
Independent Music Reviews / Robert Scott Thompson - Arcana
« Last post by Morpheus Music on Today at 03:20:48 AM »
Electroacoustic ambient.
Robert Scott Thompson releases here an album that is both full of enigmatic ambient space and elegantly understated melodic forms. The drone textures are intricate and multi-layered, employed in masterfully intangible motion, elements of familiarity and peculiarity within constantly rising into focus and dispersing once more. The melodies at their best are truly sublime: sometimes simple patterns that hang within the ambience, sometimes auditory lattice-works that balance the drone forms, then unexpectedly developing into climactic flushes of emotion that really touch something important inside. The tracks ebb and flow between uncomplicated hovering atmospheres and uncluttered tuneful motifs with a pleasant balance that keeps the attention hooked from start to finish.
IN DEPTH         
Arcana is one of those precious few albums that truly deserves to be referred to as deeply immersive. The complex layers of involvement of this album will both send you into wistful abstraction and draw the mind into attentive examination of constantly evolving detail. Promotional material explains that "the Hartmann Neuron is strongly featured on this recording, as is the prepared piano, acoustic percussion of various types and also extended percussion techniques." Guest percussionist Stuart Gerber is credited with percussion samples and performances, most evident on Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight where his studio performance is further enhanced by Robert's own treatments and modifications. Presented with a professionalism and musical sensibility rarely experienced, Arcana unfurls climactic moments of aching beauty with delightful subtlety. That said, this is not an overly emotional creation: often minimal in structure and form, Arcana at times reveals barely-lit voids that suggest nuances as much as describe them.

The album opener Liminal Worlds is a lazy, gravity-free piece of meandering charm that spirals in the shadows of beguiling possibilities. Near-percussive, ascending phrases repeatedly climb up from a lush, textural bed lured by ethereal voices that move back and forth between the electro/organic divide. The listener is invited in, to cross the sensory threshold...

A searing swirl of layered tone sweeps us into Imagination is Memory. The sombre low-light obscurity that opened Arcana gathers here whilst similar ponderous phrases shift slightly in their upward motion - a little more buoyant, warm and restful. The notes seem comprised of multiple voices: effected piano, struck strings, oriental metallic bowls - it's hard to tell where the ears are working and where the imagination takes over. At just over three minutes, this piece quickly passes...

The air of mystery that wafted through the first two tracks thickens at the introduction of this track as shaken particles fall across discordant piano and cow-bell tinkles. As the great ambient drone bed of this composition wells up a huge sense of depth falls open, yet instead of tumbling in, sonic light beams seem to keep the listener afloat. These gentle, inviting synth strains of heavenly elegance are cast into the air creating a delightful interplay of melancholy beauty and uplifting luminance that seems apt to last forever.

The title track - the longest track at eleven minutes forty eight seconds - retains the radiant beauty of its predecessor. The darkness that surrounds everything is by now a familiar friend perfectly suited to perception of the nuances of gossamer tone that float and drift in shifting flux. Now the strongly-effected melodic patterns seem deep within the mix; piano-like/guitar-like embellished with chimes, peculiar disturbances and snaking air movements. An echoing rhythm sets in as the track progresses propelling the piece onward with an easy, nodding motion that finally fades once more into the expanse.

Whirling winds drop the listening temperature as a weave of harsh metal fibres and atonal threads push through dangling chimes into a night-time emptiness that carries a sense of disquiet and anticipation. Still the sonorous note patterns of previous tracks remain - muted strikings, woody at times, then more like large, thick metal bowls - barely melodic, wandering.

The title is an ancient Greek term describing the theoretical moment where judgment regarding the existence of the external world is suspended. It suggests the act of refraining from any conclusion for or against anything including that of judging whether anything exists or can exist. Robert Scott Thompson chooses this concept as a doorway to a build up of warmth and tranquillity: airy synth breaths and weightless strains floating freely in graceful simplicity.

This is perhaps the most overtly beautiful track on the whole album. Opening with light finger-cymbal, gamelan bell, splashing bowl tones the mood is quite exotic and mystical - swaying rhythmically. But then at about the one-minute fifteen-second mark there is a delightfully climactic release followed immediately by a welling harmonious build toward further such moments. Lustrous, aglow amid the enveloping darkness, this meditative nocturne hypnotically teases the senses conjuring colours and faint fluorescence into meandering spirals that finally fall away into obscurity.

Less percussive than its predecessor, In Situ is a vapourous wafting of fine layers that ponderously heave in slow-motion undulations of pitch and intensity. Very much retaining the uneasy mix of introspective serenity and enshrouding gloom, this track seems to loop and cycle in endless reverie.

The set finale looks back to the melodic approach taken in Arcana and The Last Hours of Sunlight: uplifting, dulcet phrases dreamily wandering through a heady ambient fog. Again the sonic sources are hard to identify, calling to mind struck or plucked notes with Eastern timbre often prominent. The eventual final fade to silence is one of pleasing consonance - aptly titled.
Arcana is delivered in an elegant, tactile two-panel digipack. The front and back covers show details of a painting by Victoria Bearden that is revealed in full within. Brush marks, paint scrapes and sharp expressive movements curve and roll across the surface in almost metallic shades of grey and blue. A classical white border frames the front panel wherein sits the title; on the rear the white ground becomes a central panel holding track titles each with running time alongside. Here too are credits and label logos. When opened out, the inner cover reveals a powerful painting of a female figure that spans the whole spread: brightly lit, yet surrounded by darkness into which the face turns, this enigmatic character physically embodies the album's themes.
California's Robert Scott Thompson delivers his latest release through the Relaxed Machinery label. Taking around two years to complete, the music explores the composer's interests in quantum physics and recent discoveries that are shaping our views regarding the nature of reality: infinite parallel universes, the power of thought, dreams and memory. Infusing his ambient arrangements with a wealth of electro-acoustic instrumentation; software synthesis/signal processing and hardware synthesizers form the backbone of Arcana. Robert explains, "I collect sounds and use them in a variety of ways, from placing them in samplers for compositional use to using analysis based techniques for modification and extrapolation. The nine tracks of the CD release are complimented by "several exclusive bonus tracks" found only on the digital release including the immersive 24-minute ambient track "Zero Point Field". These bonus tracks were recorded during the making of the album. You can explore the music for yourself at Robert's Bandcamp page or via the Relaxed Machinery website both of which provide images, audio and additional information.
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