Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How do you listen to music?

My blogs are often creative & technical centric. They often revolve around concerns of the musician, industry, and technology of music.

Today, and hopefully more often in the future, i'm focusing on the listener. For this blog, i have twelve questions i'm curious about. Don't over-think the answers, just answer them however you see fit.

1- What was the last thing you listened to? I don't care if it was a fluke or a song you listen to every day. I want to know the last song that you specifically listened to.

2- In the past week or so, what are the 3 artists you find yourself listening to most often?

3- Arrange your iTunes (or media player of choice) by play-count. What are some of the artists at the top of the list?

4- Where do you find the music you listen to?

5- Do you actively seek out new music or do you wait for recommendations from reliable sources?

6- How often and where do you listen to music?

7- If you're under 21, how often do you go to see live music, and where do you go?

8- Do you mostly go to see big name acts, or “lesser known”/local artists?

9- What do you think is a reasonable price to pay at the door for a show?

10- How large is your music collection?

11- Do your friends listen to the same music as you?

12- In general, what do you think about music, the music industry, and musicians?

And to be fair, i'll answer the questions so that everyone knows where i'm at.

1- The last thing i listened to is a recently mixed down version of one of my new tracks. I'm actually listening to it right now.

2- Aside from all the time i hear my own music in production & post production, I just loaded my iPod with an 80s heavy playlist. That happens. I have an unhealthy relationship with 80s music.

3- Bill Withers, Wyclef, Peter Gabriel, Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, Whale, Etta James, Tori Amos, Talking Heads, Sade, Skream, Nina Simone, Al Green, Chacka Khan, Tina Turner, Outkast,
Otis Redding

4- A lot of what i find i've discovered through my musical training. Either in studying music, from other musicians, or from friends, who are usually involved in music. There was a portion of my life where i'd find new music while in altered states of reality from friends who enjoyed the same type of recreations.

5- If i wasn't so involved in making music, i would actively seek out new and exciting music. But, since i spend the entirety of my time making music and listening to and learning from the classics, i rarely have time to search out on my own. Therefor, most of what i find come recommended to me.

6- Music is on almost all the time in my world. Wether i'm making it, practicing, playing live, driving, eating, cleaning the house, working on the computer, at work, doing live sound... pretty much, any time, anywhere i have control of filling the silence with music, i do.

7- I'm over 21, but i almost never go to shows unless i'm playing or doing sound. The thing about being a music professional is A)I usually can't afford to got to shows unless i'm comped. And B)I'm usually working on the weekend at shows.

8- When i do go, i usually see local or lesser name acts. I have a rule about paying more than $6 for a show, and maybe – maybe – maybe $15 for a touring act that i love... if i have the extra money. (No, i'm not cheap, just poor)

9- I think $5 is a reasonable price. I'd prefer not to pay at all. I'd also prefer not to charge for my own shows and just take a split of the bar or a guarantee from the venue, but that's another story.

10- Surprisingly, only 30 Gigs. But that goes back to me tending towards creating music, not consuming, for better or for worse.

11- I have a peculiar and broad reaching range of music. There's plenty in there that different friends can relate to, and a lot they can't. How much overlap and the style of the music depends on the person. So, for the most part, no.

12- I'm going to plead the 5th on this question... for now.

This week's song is Binaural Gesticulation. Binaural Beats are 'hidden' in this song. They only really work (if they actually work at all is to be disputed) with good isolating headphones (not crappy little earbuds) so that each ear gets a direct injection of the different frequencies, causing your brain to create the inaudible super-sub frequency and then sync up to it.

True or false, headphones or not, i just think it causes a cool disorienting effect. Enjoy.

Also, if anyone knows of a way to convert a specific frequency of light to its corresponding color (ie: i put in the frequency and the program spits out the specific color onto the screen or in hex,) please let me know. It will help me greatly.

And for anyone using Reason to make music, i posted a tutorial on YouTube on How to get True Stereo Effects from the effects units that sum the stereo input signals. It's not the most difficult tutorial, but it definitely can be useful, especially to help clean up some of your mixes.

<3 Noise!

Prophetnoise full length: Godless Music for a Free Mind CDBaby and iTunes.
Prophetnoise EP Orange & Silver on CDBaby and iTunes
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yay, going into the deep end!

Some upcoming projects i'm working on:

-Some Reason 4 tutorials on YouTube and Vimeo.

-A D.I.Y. music video.

-Design and build my own lighting scheme for stage.

-Producing some dance songs for Katie Jean Arnold.

-Rework some of Noir City's songs to incorporate computrixing for a more trip-hop sound.

-Help ready AudiCinema for the upcoming AC/VC event. At which, i'll be doing sound and performing a Prophetnoise set.

-Work on collaborations with Bubbles, Mike Jedlicka, X24, among others.

-Convince a bunch of cats to collaborate on a satire album poking fun at the Portland music scene.

Also, X24 got a Digital Organics show on Portland Radio Authority. He'll be joining Mike Jedlicka, who also has a show on PRA, Optic Echo Presents.

This week i'm posting the song i wanted to post last week.
I fucking love this song. I hope you enjoy it.

Missing Somebody Beautiful

Until next time,

<3 Noise!

Prophetnoise CD Godless Music for a Free Mind
Prophetnoise EP Orange & Silver on CDBaby and iTunes
Prophetnoise on iLike
Prophetnoise on Facebook
Prophetnoise on Myspace

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Physical Boundaries of Music & a New Song

Wow. Just, wow. Today marks the day that I ran out of DSP (digital signal processing.) Normally that wouldn't seem so crazy, except for the fact that i'm producing on my Quad Core Xenon Mac Pro. I don't know if i should celebrate my ability to push software & hardware to its limits, or cry because i've pushed my software & hardware to its limits.

So, my questions to you out there in the Interworld:

-How hard do you push your gear?

-Are you always taking your gear to its limits, or does technology go far beyond your needs?

-If you are at the cusp of your limits, is the gear you're using relatively current?

-Any horror stories, live mishaps, or other bizarre stories due to your tendency to push your gear? I'm not talking faulty gear breaking at a show. I mean, your band sucked all the juice out of a venue & blew a main fuse; you bring 3 guitars and 2 amps to shows because strings and fuses break under your violent playing; your computer ran out of steam at a critical point in a session...

When i finished mixing down the track (and listened to the WAV to make sure no digital artifacts were in the final product,) i told myself that i'd have to compose some minimalist songs. That made me think about the music humans make and the seemingly non-musical parameters that define our music.

Obviously, technology plays a huge part in the music we make.

The earliest know musical instruments are bone flutes from at least 30,000 years ago. Even without empirical evidence, i'd find it safe to assume that early musicians were already using their voices when they invented the bone flute. Knowing that rhythm and percussion are both deeply connected to the most primitive parts of our brain and emotional centers, I might even take a jump to say they were using blunt objects percussively. No matter how creative those early musicians were, their creativity was limited to the sounds of voice, logs, and bone flutes.

Here we are 30,000 years later and we're still running into technological limitations of music creation.

A piano causes the pianist to play certain ways. You can change the sound of a piano through effects or electronics, but the layout of the keyboard and the human hand create certain limitations and tendencies.

Django Reinhardt is an amazing example of this. A man with a 'deformed' & paralyzed hand actually used it to his advantage and radically altered the way a standard guitar was played, thus, changing the way music sounds. I've been told that it actually took 5 guitarists to replace him after he died.

A computer, which seemingly destroys all music/technology boundaries, is yet another boundary that will define and limit how music of our era sounds. Thanks to computers, any analog or synthesized sound can be made and molded and affected into music. But, processing power is limited. Methods of audio synthesis are limited. Computers can only make sounds so many ways. Technologically, electronic signals can only do so many things to themselves and other electronic signals to make sounds.

There was an amazing shift in music when we switched to the tempered scale; again when the phonograph was invented; then we plugged in instruments to amplifiers; then came the microprocessor. The next major aural deviation from everything we know will come when the next technology allows music to do so. Perhaps quantum-computers will be able to create a sound we've never heard before? How amazing would that be? That would be akin to seeing a color we've never seen before.

I was going to post a different song, but since the entirety of this blog was inspired by the cut i just finished, here you go:

Morning Glory

Have a great week. Until next Tuesday,

<3 Noise!

Prophetnoise CD Godless Music for a Free Mind
Prophetnoise EP Orange & Silver on CDBaby and iTunes
Prophetnoise on iLike
Prophetnoise on Facebook
Prophetnoise on Myspace

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keeping up with new songs.

Hey there, Noise here again. I'm wondering why everything seems to go wrong at the same time? I swear, the past 3 days it was just one thing on top of another.

But, it's Tuesday, and that means another song for everyone. And since this has been such a bitch of a week, i'm going to post a bitch of a song. Hopefully, this will give you an uneasy feeling inside.

“In a Detrimental Mood”

Next blog will be filled with more stuff, i promise. I just don't want this to turn into Bitchfest 3000, and it will if i keep on going.

Until next week,


Prophetnoise CD Godless Music for a Free Mind
Prophetnoise EP Orange & Silver on CDBaby and iTunes
Prophetnoise on iLike
Prophetnoise on Facebook
Prophetnoise on Myspace