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Great question, will give it some thought.
Hi Mike,

For me, trying to discover the best process for me to compose has been a moving target.  When I first starting making my own music, my pieces tended to sound more formal and composed, probably because I was trying too hard to apply what had learned without necessarily hearing what I was actually playing.  Now I'm more comfortable with a hybrid of both notation snd improvisation.  In hindsight, I think what has helped me is having played in amateur orchestras when I was much younger where I could heard my individual part played against the whole snd could hear how other parts interacted with it.  When I think of an idea now, it tends to be in individual layers and not as a whole piece.  That works well for me, because when I actually start playing, the performance of the idea tends to lead to other ideas that either modify or add to that idea.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Last post by Julio Di Benedetto on May 17, 2015, 05:30:24 AM »
Some may have read this elsewhere like rM several months ago and for some reason I did not post it here in a thread I actually started, so hear it is.

A Tale of 3 Headphones & an Amplifier

I had been thinking of upgrading my monitors but had realized that I recorded all my music using headphones and not monitors for a while.  There were times I had not turned the monitors on for months.  This made me think some more…. a monitor investment  to improve upon where Im at now was going to be very costly.  So what was all this fuss about headphones I had been hearing as a way to remove the room out of the mixing equation …..Im not an audiophiles though I do love great sound and you cant mix on cans…..well thats not true, many do with success. 

Then began a lot of reading and anytime someone said neutral sounding or microscopic detail that would suit audio pros for mixing and mastering I took note.  The one headphone that came up constantly in this context was the Sennheiser HD 800.  As I got further into this I discovered that the Sennheiser HD 800 had seemed to have become the standard that all other cans were judged.

Then the whole notion of open and closed cans came up so I wondered if there were any  closed cans that could compete with the HD 800 reputation… name kept coming up, Foster TH 900….more reading, pros cons etc and yet I had not heard anything, I was listening to words not sound.

I then come across a small ad on the side banner of some headphone forum that said “The headphone Lending Library...listen before you buy”.  It turns out thats what The Cable Company does, they sell and lend audiophile cables and also headphones.  Ok now I can hear what all these words I had read are trying to describe.

The name Audeze LCD X came up on radar….Planar Magnetic Headphones.

I contacted the Cable Co. and after several weeks the Sennheiser HD800, Foster TH900 and the Audeze LCD X arrived at my door for an auditioning period of about 10 days.

Headphones that I considered but for a reason or not decided against.  Beyerdynamics Tesla T1, AKG K 801 & Grado PS 1000e

The Amplifier

As I was researching my intention was to plug the headphones into my mixer which has a headphone amp…..I did not want an independent headphone amp and then when I do want to use the monitors I will need a passive switch which would mean the sources would be difference…...thats where the SPL Phoniter 2 came into the picture.  Firstly a headphone amp thats made for mixing with crossfade and angle capabilities and happens to have a pair of balance outputs designed to drive active monitors.  Sold!  To my astonishment the monitors came alive as I had never heard them before when fed by the Phonitor 2.  Ive had my monitors for 9 years….I know them but what I was hearing had some much more presence, detail and space….I was shocked and this was just the icing not the cake….the cake was for the headphones.  FYI my mixer and Metric Halo uln2 headphone amps drove these cans quite well but could not touch the sound coming through the Phoniter 2

As I write this Im in the middle of the audition period…..heres a selection of music thats being used with these headphones.  These recordings are great sonic examples of performance, recording, mixing and mastering and are reference cds I know.

Donald Fagan, The Nightfly & Morph the Cat
Diana Krall, The look of Love
Pat Metheny, Bright Sized Life
David Gilmore: On an Island
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
David Chesky, The Body Acoustic
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Peter Gabriel, Security
Beethoven Symphony No7, Academy of Ancient Music, Hogwood
Pieter Nooten / Michael Brooks, Sleeps with the Fishes
Ma Ja Le / James Johnson, Seed

Very little ambient except for Seed….a stunning recording, performance, mixing and these gentlemen put the mix in the hands of a very good mastering engineer. 

The Headphones.

At this level all cans are really very good and it would come down to personal taste, however the Foster Th 900 lacked the soundstage of the HD 800 and LCD X, understandable they are closed and considering they did really well.  The Audeze LCD X was a little disappointing, its hard to say why, perhaps they come across a little bloated by a dominant low end for my taste though I suspect its because of the stellar performance and resolution of the Sennheiser HD 800...everything that you may have read about the HD800, assuming your interested of course, is true.  The soundstage and placement of the music and instruments is breath taking...its not that the headphones disappear, its that you disappear into the music.  The main concern that I read was that the HD 800 is bright and can fatigue, perhaps for an audiophile who is used to listening to silk, cream and warmth they could be fatigued, but to someone who is used to a studio audio / neutral honesty then the Sennheiser HD 800’s are a sonic delight.

For more details and opinions on these headphones search the web….what most people say about them seems to pan out from my actual listening experience and if your in the market for headphone its really worth it to borrow a few from the Cable Co.

How all this will translate into my personal music production has yet to be determined but its sounding good….
While this isn't "tech talk", I figured here was the best place for this post.

Something I've been musing about recently is my process of creating music. I've found over the years that attempts to reproduce an idea I hear in my head often ends in failure. I can usually get it out of my head and into my DAW just fine, but in the process, the magic is lost.

There could be many reasons for this. The simplest answer is the soundsource. Either modifying or creating a patch from scratch just isn't cutting it. Another could be the fact I have no formal training in music theory, nor any training in playing an instrument.

In the end, what works best for me is to noodle on the keyboard. Once a seed has been created, the music often writes itself.

One last thought. I have no trouble creating a specific mood in my music. If I'm feeling sombre, I can sit down and produce something that reflects that feeling. I find it strange that I can reproduce something so nebulous into musical form, yet attempts to reproduce a melody or chord progression ends up falling flat.

Returning to my original question: Are you able to sit down with an concrete idea in your head and successfully turn it into a song?
Another way to put it: I'd like to hear your own findings regarding what your intent is when you sit down to create, and what the outcome is.
Beautiful album cover Julio, I will check this out tonight whilst partaking of a wee dram of Edradour  ;)

Looking forward to both already.

Single malt & ambient music...a perfect match!

The music will be on its way to you shortly....Many thanks!

Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "The End" CDr by SiJ
« Last post by richardgurtler on May 15, 2015, 10:36:18 PM »
Thanks a lot, thirdsystem, and keep on exploring!!! ;)

I worked for several years on this project and when that moment came when it was ready to be shared I had to wish it the best, say farewell and let it go in hope that the music would touch some people, one or two or many.  Its not something I can control.

The first response was critical and one that I understand because Tomas quickly picked up on what I was trying to achieve in production even though it was not to his taste. He clearly stated he likes the musical ideas. Enough said. 

We come here on this forum and others to share with each other our love for ambient so happens this is my music and I am open to any kind of discussion positive and otherwise. Its important that we can interact with on another and exchange ideas and inspire each other.

Take some time when you can an just listen to the music.  Its there...its finished...this part of my journey is over, perhaps the music may offer something towards your journey. 
Whats the timescale for the move John ? I've noticed the Ning is looking rather 'untended' of late (from a curatorial viewpoint).

Firstly, good on yer for finding an alternative to goggle's intrusive offerings, but I have to say Ello looks very different at present - are the behind-the-scenes really that bad with Ning ? If you knew West Yorkshire here in the UK, very few people use 'H' at the beginning of words, so towns such as 'alifax, 'uddersfield and 'eckmondwike are referred to as such. 'Ello' would go down right well there.

Things change and not everyone is comfortable with that, I remember when MySpace was king of the hill and look at that now !
Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "The End" CDr by SiJ
« Last post by thirdsystem on May 15, 2015, 03:37:00 AM »
I have not heard of this artist Richard. Thanks very much for the information.

Your interesting and enthusiastic review means I must check this out urgently !!!!

Beautiful album cover Julio, I will check this out tonight whilst partaking of a wee dram of Edradour  ;)

Looking forward to both already.
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