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Alexcremers

The Amazing Electronic Music Thread

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Eno does seem to approach music on a very intellectual level so taking substances might probably help to get into his albums.

It's really the opposite of that I think. There's a great lecture somewhere on YouTube where he explains the genesis of his "ambient" philosophy and while the idea is on the intellectual side, the result is music that is just... there, and which you *don't* have to think about.

One of my absolute favourites for in the car:

Love the bass guitar, but wait for the part where Phil Collins comes in. Sublime electronica for me.

Quality choice. That's classic nighttime-sneak-around-campus music.

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Eno does seem to approach music on a very intellectual level so taking substances might probably help to get into his albums.

It's really the opposite of that I think. There's a great lecture somewhere on YouTube where he explains the genesis of his "ambient" philosophy and while the idea is on the intellectual side, the result is music that is just... there, and which you *don't* have to think about.

Hmm, I always thought Eno consciously conceives music on an intellectual basis (instead on an emotional one).

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I think it's this part of Eno's philosophy that Cremers is referring to.



"Eno's aversion to what he calls "the obsession with personality" might be thought contradictory from a man who was partly responsible for propelling Bono and co to world superstar status, but is deeply held. "This obsession has really held popular music back, in my opinion. Of course, I realise that it's the nature of what some people do. But I'm absolutely uninterested in the idea of using music as a vehicle for presenting the performer's personality. I don't want to say anything. I have a lot to say when you're asking me questions, but I don't want to use music as way of saying things. What I want to use music for is a way of making things happen to me. I want to make things that create emotional or mental conditions for me, and one of the most important conditions is surrender. My yardstick for what constitutes good music is that it changes me. Do I think 'Wow, that's a new conception of how things could be,' or 'That's a new set of feelings that I have never experienced before'?"



http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct05/articles/brianeno.htm


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Well, the thought of writing music that doesn't [unconsciously or not] express my personality in some shape of form sounds horrific, but then I guess I'm a debauched romantic at heart. I'm no ascetic.

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I only mean that the idea for a new piece doesn't come to me out of a desire to "express" anything. Anything creative will of course reveal something about its creator, but I don't set about to overtly do that. I'm more interested in making "spaces" that provoke a certain mindset or emotion, like he says.

I guess a way of putting it would be: I don't want to musically tell you that I feel melancholy and explain why. I want to musically give you a place where you can feel and explore that for yourself, for your own reasons. Does that make any sense?

It's a tough subject. There's not much music I don't enjoy, but what's closest to my heart is the stuff that isn't just a sonic object that you observe while it unfolds; the stuff that actually lets you inside and interacts with you. For me it's the difference between, say, Mozart's 35th and Debussy's Nuages. Williams' cello concerto and Heartwood. It's a bit like one is a painting with a clear subject, while the other is just a scene that you are the subject of when you look at it and take it in. Hard to put my finger on, and I'm not sure I even agree with or understand myself.

Actually, it's pretty much the difference between the "traditional" idea of concert music and film music. One describes, the other suggests. I don't know. Starting to be a windbag.

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Cheers for these first three (the game which I played).

It's been almost ten years since musical score has imprinted on my the brain the strange sense and feeling of isolation and wonder which Metroid's musical ambience succeeded in.

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Speaking of Eno. Some of Òlafur Arnalds' music has a similar sort of "mood," with a little less 70s and a little more modern sound.

The "Stare EP" is a pretty good intro to his electronic stuff. The whole album reminds me of the one time I saw microscopic life in action through a microscope.

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A question about electronics mixed with acoustic instruments in film scores. Do you prefer to have them mic'd and recorded live, in the room with the rest of the players, or do you think they sound better when overlayed onto the acoustic portion?

Alex? Sharky? Bueller?

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And if I'm correct, instead of putting their synthesizers and electronics straight into the 'line in' of a mixing console, many of the synth gods preferred to record their albums while using speakers and mics. The sound that travels through air is different than when it comes straight out of a mixing desk.

Alex

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I agree Alex, but I haven't always. I used to think that recording an amp/loudspeaker source was inferior to the unadulterated sound of a line-in approach. I wondered if my change of heart reflected the norm at all.

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I think it very much depends on how the synths are meant to be used. In a Goldsmith score, they are a part of the orchestra, working like any other instrument, so it makes sense for them to be recorded the same way. In other cases, they add a layer of effects (often with stereo or surround panning) to the orchestral fabric, and in those instances I imagine mixing them in separately without an analogue medium might make more sense.

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I've only ever used modeling synths to create new sounds, not to emulate other instruments. These seem good, but there's something unmistakably artificial about the sound. It's all too uniform across the whole range of the keyboard. There's a lot more work that has to be done towards such small details of realism that is eliminated by just sampling.

Weirdly, one of the best piano virtual instruments I've come across is the Steinway that is bundled with Logic. With a little tweaking to bring some more warmth to the tone, it's an excellent resource.

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You're right, there is indeed something artificial and too homogeneous about the sound, but I must say, physical modelling synthesis is getting better and better. I have downloaded the trial (the whole thing is just 26 MB) and the first piano, named 'D4', is a joy to play. The responsiveness is better than with sampled pianos. The second one 'K2' isn't bad either.

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Yep! Works for 20 min. and then you have to restart the plugin again. A few (black) keys are missing but you can easily improvise around them. I'm going to play with it for a week or so and then decide if I want it or not. Check out that D4, Who?!

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I'm playing around with this now. Sounds much better in person than on Youtube, definitely. The non-piano instruments included are nothing special, but the pianos are nice enough that I'll keep this one. It'll be useful even in demo mode.

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When you hit the keys, there's another (important) factor at play, it really reacts like a real instrument. There's more synergy between the player and the instrument. You can control it better. It let's you be more nuanced. Some sampled pianos might a have more realistic tone but they are also more static. I really like the D4 (Steinway). Sound wise, it's only somewhat problematic for me in the third octave. But hey, real or not, it's fun to play.

The 'Classical Recording' presets of the D4 already sound very soundtrack-ish right out of the box.

Alex

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I like a fair bit of psyambient, though I'm more of a progressive house, DnB, deep house, post-dubstep, trip-hop, UK garage and future garage kind of guy.

Yeah, some of that is cool too; a bit more 'gritty'. But I prefer the relentless, dramatic music of goa with those tribal beats -- gives me the goosebumps every time. Juno Reactor, Infected Mushroom, Filteria etc.

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Like you say it's mostly older stylings for me. I need to get up to date with all of this stuff, beyond just the occasional Daft Punk.

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I like a fair bit of psyambient, though I'm more of a progressive house, DnB, deep house, post-dubstep, trip-hop, UK garage and future garage kind of guy.

Yeah, some of that is cool too; a bit more 'gritty'. But I prefer the relentless, dramatic music of goa with those tribal beats -- gives me the goosebumps every time. Juno Reactor, Infected Mushroom, Filteria etc.

Oh I love Juno Reactor. Not aware his stuff was called Goa, although I'm familiar with the term.

Re: Mike. Me and Thor could help you with that. Any other EDM fans here?

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When you hit the keys, there's another (important) factor at play, it really reacts like a real instrument. There's more synergy between the player and the instrument. You can control it better. It let's you be more nuanced. Some sampled pianos might a have more realistic tone but they are also more static. I really like the D4 (Steinway). Sound wise, it's only somewhat problematic for me in the third octave. But hey, real or not, it's fun to play.

The 'Classical Recording' presets of the D4 already sound very soundtrack-ish right out of the box.

Alex

I quite like the D4 "Impressionist" preset, especially when paired with a good IR like Todd-AO.

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Impulse Response. Basically, you record something like a sine wave or a gunshot in the desired space, and digitally capture/model the way the room reacts to it. Then you can apply that model to anything you want through reverb plugins. Even amateur attempts can yield really satisfying results, and the professional stuff like Altiverb is a godsend for the mockup-bound composer. Take it even further by using something like Virtual Sound Stage, which goes beyond just a left-right stereo pan and accounts for 3 dimensions of sound, to position your samples, and you're in business.

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You guys are WAY too technical for me, but I stand ready in case anyone wants some good recommendations of contemporary, beat-based electronica (or Electronic Dance Music -- EDM -- as Sharky mentions).

Currently listening to Underworld's classic SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS (and a whole bunch of bonus tracks). Smooth.

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I quite like the D4 "Impressionist" preset, ...

I quite like it too though I'm not familiar with the IR you suggested.

Alex - proud owner of Pianoteq 5.0

It's included with Altiverb, but is also available elsewhere on its own. Todd-AO was a legendary, now defunct, scoring stage in LA, in case you didn't know.

And Thor, I'd love to check out any recommendations you might have. The Jean Michel Jarre that was posted earlier in the thread is right up my alley.

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I'd like to hear yours too!

Obviously, I'm a big fan of most of the pioneers from the 70s onwards that have already been mentioned in this thread.

But after a brief "flirt" with the rave scene in the 90s, I really only discovered the musical qualities in the early 2000s, after the rave wave had subsided.

My pathway into EDM was Paul Oakenfold (who continued to impress me as a composer and producer on BUNKKA), Paul van Dyk, Max Graham, even some Tiesto and other super-DJs. These ran the gamut from straight-out house to trance.

Then I delved into the niches, and found my particular love in psytrance/goa and similar variants. The hard, primal beat combined with lush melodies -- somewhat film music-like. I've already mentioned Juno Reactor (I'm a completist here), Infected Mushroom, Filteria. There's also some good stuff by Astral Projection (although the trancey strings are a bit too much at times), The Man With No Name, Shpongle (which is more ambient), The Infinity Project, Hallucinogen etc.

Or more gritty/ambient/poppy affairs like Future Sound of London, Underworld, Orbital, Chemical Bros., The Orb etc. Or Röyksopp from my own country. Röyksopp's collaboration with Susanne Sundfør and now recently Robin have been bloody brilliant! And another big one from my own country, Ugress, who I know personally.

I feel like I'm still on a journey of discovery.

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Of all of those, I'm familiar with Juno Reactor and Orbital. It seems like these will compliment my own tastes nicely, which run more towards the smooth ambient sound of the Eno/Tangerine Dream heritage.

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