Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Cubase 7.0.x Hiding and Finding Hidden Tracks

Posted by Anonymous on February 7, 2014

cubaseDivideTrackListIn 7.0.6 my arranger, tempo and signature tracks were not visible.

Project -> Add Track -> Arranger = “This project already contains an arranger track!”

Well, fine, show it to me then! Clicking the “find tracks” icon (hourglass) shows the tracks listed and they show up in the Inspector on the left, but there are no track with my actual arranger events visible, etc. The arranger track was there once. I drew three events on it. I unfolded all tracks. Zoomed tracks Full. Still not there.

I then noticed that “Toggle track list” makes tracks disappear and searched the manual for that. See “Dividing the track list” on p100 of the Operation Manual.

You can click the Divide Track List button in the top right corner of the project window just below the ruler. (Looks like a “/” and says “Divide Track List” if you mouse over it.) Clicking that, then scrolling brought back my missing lanes.

Very useful feature for dividing tracks into groups that you can independently zoom!

If you have Divide Track List active, you can select lanes and click Toggle Track List to move the selected tracks to the other pane.

*** If you have one pane sized to be so small that it is not visible,   Toggle Track List will seem to make tracks disappear! ***

To resize the non-visible pane, turn on the Divide Track List feature (click the “/”) then click on the down facing solid triangle (near the bottom on the right) and select “Zoom Tracks Full”

Bingo!

Posted in Music, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Industrial Band Bills DoJ For Using Its Music as a Torture Device

Posted by Anonymous on February 6, 2014

20140206-135549.jpg“What really bothers us is that they played our songs at an intolerable volume for hours on end” …

Industrial band Skinny Puppy is billing the U.S. Justice Department after finding out their tunes were used as a means of torturing detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.

The band recently invoiced the DoJ for $666,000, requesting royalties be paid for unauthorized use of their music. “We thought we would invoice them properly, so we hit them with the evil numbers of $666,000,” keyboardist and founder CeVin Key told the Tampa Tribune. “We gave them a breakdown of the bill.”

Members of the Canadian experimental electro-industrial group say they’re not only aggravated their music was used without permission, but that they’re also against torture in general.

“We never supported those types of scenarios,” Key said. “Because we make unsettling music, we can see it being used in a weird way. But it doesn’t sit right with us.”

In an interview with the Phoenix New Times last month, Key said the news made him feel “not too good.” “We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people,” Key said.

“What really bothers us is that they played our songs at an intolerable volume for hours on end. The guards would ridicule the detainees when they defecated or urinated themselves. How can there be a torture camp there? It’s wrong. We’ve found out all about this over a year ago and it just ticked us off,” Key told the Tribune…

http://www.infowars.com/industrial-band-bills-doj-for-using-its-music-as-a-torture-device/

Posted in human rights, Music, Politics, War | Leave a Comment »

Man can play back four symphonies in his head… At once!

Posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2014

Bob Milne is one of the best ragtime piano players in the world, but his talents go further than that – right into the land of amazing. Bob’s brain works a little differently to the rest of us, as he can compartmentalise various functions, which allows him to play complex piano pieces while carrying on a conversation. But when Penn State neuroscientist Kerstin Betterman decided to investigate Bob’s incredible ability, she discovered something even more amazing: he can ‘play back’ four different symphonies at the same time in his head, and what’s more, he says he ‘sees’ these symphonies being played in his head in three dimensions, and can fly around within this audio-visual space and listen to the music change from different perspectives. Here’s an NPR Radiolab feature on Bob Milne and Kerstin Betterman from a couple of years ago that tells the story…

http://www.dailygrail.com/Mind-Mysteries/2014/1/Man-Can-Listen-Four-Symphonies-his-Head-Simultaneously.

Audio here.

Awesome. I can carry on a conversation and play one of my songs at the same time. This is something that comes in handy when you are leading a band.

I can also listen to conversations of audience members if they happen to be talking while I’m playing. This should not be surprising as playing well in a band is about listening to what everyone else is doing and then very quickly adjusting or signaling them to adjust.

I can play back a symphony in my head, but like the conductor in the MRI test, only one at a time.

Posted in Mind, Music | Leave a Comment »

Piano Sound Shoot out + Pedrito Martinez Group – “Que Palo” Live at Guantanamera

Posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2014

Tonight I was looking for the best sounding piano plug-in for my songs. I’m currently using Piano One which is free.

There is a great shootout here: http://purgatorycreek.com/documents/25.html and I decided that I like the RD700GX Expressive Grand sound, but I don’t think there is a VST plug in.

I ran across this as an example of the sound. I don’t speak the language so I have no idea what this is about, but they have a great sound:

¡Qué palo! (idiom, slang) = How embarrasing!

¡Qué palo si ocurre! = What a real bummer…

¡Qué palo! (literal) = What a (wooden) stick!

Posted in - Video, Music | Leave a Comment »

2014 Grammy Winner: Best Rock Song

Posted by Anonymous on January 27, 2014

Interesting. I wanted more chord changes. This doesn’t touch songs like “Live and Let Die” but they have a nice line up and the sound is great. This song needs a chorus or more contrast or interesting lyrics that are about something. Perhaps the lack of all that is what makes it a great rock song. I wish I liked it more.

“Cut Me Some Slack” which won best Rock Song for 2014 at the Grammy Awards featured Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, plus Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and guitarist Pat Smear.

Posted in Music | Leave a Comment »

Holophonic Sound: Get a virtual haircut

Posted by Anonymous on January 6, 2014

Check out the link below (.mp3). With that the effect was even more pronounced, in fact, the sound actually went around my head behind me! Really amazing.

Hugo Zuccarelli, an Argentine who dabbled in various sound experimentations in the 1980s, believed the human auditory system not only hears sound but emits sounds as well.

The combination of these heard and emitted sounds form a reference pattern from which the brain can determine the direction a sound is coming from. Zucarella based Holophonic Sound on this theory. In this recording technique, sound samples played through stereo speakers or headphones sound three-dimensional, as though they are not being amplified but actually occurring all around us. It’s very odd.

Holophonic Sound is based on binaural recording, a technique in which stereo microphones are fixed within a prosthetic head—replete with ears and sinus cavities—to mimic the complex auditory system of the human head. Doing this makes binaural and Holophonic recordings sound more natural and more realistic than normal stereo recordings because we hear the recordings with the same nuances we would hear sounds in real life within our own heads.

When played in stereo, Holophonic sound is so realistic and three-dimensional that it can often arouse other senses—smell, taste, and touch—within most people who listen to it.

Allegedly, Holophonic Sounds can stimulate areas of the ear that normal recording or real life sounds cannot. For this reason, some people with hearing impairments whose brains cannot process other sounds can hear Holophonic Sound. HighLab found Holophonic Sound to be visceral, tactile, and altogether head-shakingly neat. Hear for yourself.

This Holographic Audio (.mp3) … example was created by http://www.holophonic.ch/. …

via Holophonic Sound.

Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Hugo Zuccarelli in the 1970s (photo courtesy of Hugo Zuccarelli)

Hugo Zuccarelli is an Argentine inventor who dedicated his whole life to understanding the complex human hearing mechanism. During his studies in Milan, Italy, he postulated that human hearing analyses sound in a holographic manner. Taking that idea, he invented the HolophonicTM speakers, which provide the audio equivalent of 3D.

His speakers have four interesting characteristics: one source (instead of a sub-woofer, mid-range and tweeter as with regular speakers), a very low level of distorsion, the ability to hear music at a very high volume without damaging your ears, and lastly, for its three-dimensionality and unique wavelength, which apparently means the old lady downstairs won’t be disturbed when you are listening to good quality music at 3am.

After this discovering, Zuccarelli flew in the 80’s to England where he started an outstanding career recording as sound engineer with the likes of Pink Floyd, (on ‘The Final Cut’ album), Lionel Richie, Stewie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. However, his invention didn’t turn so well at a commercial level; none of the companies would accept these speakers in the production chain. Why? Well, that’s what I keep asking after listening to the amazing sound they produce.

Fortunately, in Buenos Aires, you can experience the holophonics at the “Teatro Ciego” which is a theatre operated in total darkness. And I’m not talking about shadows that you can distinguish after a few minutes when your iris adjusts: this is even darker than closing your eyes.

Getting into a pitch black theatre space is part of the fun. We set up in lines of six, each with the hand on the shoulder of the person in front, and entered to room in total darkness. Nobody could see anything and I was not able to imagine the dimensions of the place. It was like being in an odd dream.

In the darkness the only thing that you can do is listen. After we seated, Zuccarelli’s voice appeared once again presenting “Pink Floyd -The Wall”. Then silence, footsteps, a discman player opening, the disc going in, starting to run, and then I was listening to ‘In the Flesh’ for what felt like the first time. Even several days later, it’s really hard for me to describe that experience in words. In the darkness, the music is somehow painted in the air, like sound holograms.

If you pay enough attention and you know the album you will hear things you have never listened to. Track after track I thought I knew, but something new appeared over and over again. The drums of Nick Mason, the voice and the choirs added by Roger Waters, and the guitars of David Gilmour with riffs I had no idea even existed.

When the second disc was finished I was so thrilled I wanted to hear it again, even though at this point it was around 1.30am (if you have to get up early in the morning you might want to reconsider this).

Zuccarelli returned and announced that the lights will come on little by little. Finally, I could see the room, which was completely different from what I imagined during the session. Zuccarelli appears in front of us and asks if we liked the performance. You can tell that he is a really passionate person and he tell us about the story of the Holophonic Speakers, of how he invented them back in the 80’s and why everyone should use them (he needs to sell his product and I’m totally behind that!).

The night ended an hour later: Zuccarelli demonstrated some ‘sound experiments’ in a strange and funny way and concluded with two more songs by Pink Floyd, including ‘Alan’s psychedelic breakfast’. This is a totally new experience for all senses at a really low cost; one that you will never forget.

via http://www.argentinaindependent.com/the-arts/music/relearning-to-listen-with-hugo-zuccarelli/

There are more sound samples and information about Hugo Zuccarelli and his inventions at the link below, but none of them are as amazing through my studio monitors as the matchbook example which made the sound seem to come from a few feet behind my head with my speakers in front of me. I think conditions have to be just right for the illusion to jump out. Perhaps the mic distance used must be the same as your own particular ear spacing.

http://www.acousticintegrity.com/acousticintegrity/Sound_Samples/Sound_Samples.html

Posted in Music, Strange, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Elvis Reincarnated in Canada! Now speaks French!

Posted by Anonymous on January 3, 2014

Just in time for Elvis’ birthday next week! Thibault’s gotten better with time, closer to Elvis. His low notes are best. In older videos his higher notes don’t sound as much like Elvis. Voices are as unique as fingerprints and some are just randomly similar, but we do typically sound similar to our genetic same sex parent. Is Thibault related to Elvis? Yes, because everyone is related to Elvis … if you think about it. (See below)

Researcher uses DNA to demonstrate just how closely everyone on Earth is related to everyone else

New research by Peter Ralph of USC Dornsife has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet. …

The assistant professor of ‘s background in math and statistics enables him to develop methods and models and perform data analysis on , which he applies to learn about evolution and .

His latest research, which he conducted with Graham Coop, a at University of California, Davis—his former postdoctoral advisor—provided DNA-based evidence to confirm the that everyone on Earth is related.

“The fact that everyone has two parents means that the number of ancestors for each individual doubles every generation,” Ralph said. “By using basic mathematics, we can calculate that ten generations ago each individual had a thousand ancestors, and 20 generations ago they had a million and so on.

“But when we get to 40 generations ago, in the time of Charlemagne, we arrive at a trillion ancestors and that is a problem because we now have more ancestors than there were people. Thus one can deduce that a lot of those ancestors must be the same person.”

To visualize this concept, Ralph suggests drawing an imaginary family tree.

“At first it does look like a tree, with the branches doubling every generation, but then pretty soon the branches start running into one another and it begins to resemble more of a web-like tapestry as distant cousins marry and share a set of distant grandparents,” he said. “That means that although hardly anyone marries their cousin in Western Europe, many people are unwittingly marrying their 30th cousin.”

A paper published in 1999 by Joseph Chang, a at Yale University, analyzed this tapestry mathematically and concluded that we all share a . Indeed as we move back in time, the number of common ancestors of the living population increases until the point where “all individuals who have any descendants among the present-day individuals are actually ancestors of all present-day individuals.” …

http://phys.org/news/2013-08-dna-earth.html

Posted in Humor, Music | 2 Comments »

How to Record a Track into Cubase using another Track in Cubase as the Source with RME TotalMix

Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2013

http://www.doppler-sa.com/articulos/gr/01330.jpghttp://www.sweetwater.com/images/closeup/350-Babyface_detail1.jpgI’m taking my customary break from blogging about strange news of the world to work on my CD project.

I recently obtained a Neve 1073DPA preamp and wanted to experiment with running an existing vocal track through it for sonic color. I also made the mistake of recording with two different mics and while it is sometimes a cool effect, I’m getting phase cancellation that is just distracting and sounds unprofessional. With this technique I will grab just one side of the stereo recording.
Before starting make notes on your current TotalMix and Cubase settings as they can be a pain to set back right.

Here’s how I ran tracks from Cubase 7 with a Babyface interface through an external preamp and back into a new Cubase track using RME TotalMix software.

  1.  In Cubase, solo the track you want to process through your external preamp. (You may want to chain a compressor as well, but all I have right now of pro quality is the preamp.)
  2. Pan the channel to the side of the stereo pair you want to keep if you just want one side.
  3. Bypass all effects under Inserts in Cubase and make sure you are sending to just Stereo out. You can add effects later, you want to send the dry signal, just as it came from the microphone.
  4. In Cubase under the Devices menu, Device Setup, click ASIO Fireface USB device and under the “In” ports, name “Analog 2″ show as “1073” (or whatever you want to call your external system).
  5. Cubase | Devices | VST Connections | Add Bus: Create a new mono input channel using device port “1073”
  6. In TotalMix under Software Playback for the channel “AN 1/2″, click the tool icon and deselect “Stereo” so you have two channels.
  7. Press play in Cubase and make sure you have signal coming in to the analog channel you panned in step 2.
  8. Once you have the 1073DPA racked, be sure to label on the front what the connectors are in the back. When facing the unit from the front, they are, from left to right
    (Line out 1, Line in 1, Mic in 1, Mic in 2, Line in 2, Line out 2, ADC in 2.)Normally I’d run a mic in to Mic in 1 on the 1073, set the Low Z switch and set the mic input to 55 dB, then run Line out 1 from the 1073 into Line in 1 on the Babyface. For this operation, however, I ran “Line out R” from the Babyface (because I’m panning the source stereo channel right in Cubase) into Line in 1 on the 1073 and unplugged the mic from Mic in 1. The 1073 is still has Line out 1 into Line in 1 on to the Babyface. Can you feed the speaker output back into the input on the Babyface? Yes, if you are careful to avoid feedback loops by following these directions!
  9. Set the 1073 to HI Z, trim to -10, line in to +5.
  10. In TotalMix, click the bottom of the Software Playback channel with the signal from Cubase and select an output channel that is not being used. My input channel is AN2 and I selected AN2 as my hardware output channel. Raise the volume on the Software Playback channel you are sending to AN2 (hardware output). Realize in TotalMix that the one fader for a channel can be set at different levels for each output. Outputs selected are indicated by a “>” and the current one is bold.
  11. Under hardware outputs, click the tool icon (wrench) for “AN 1/2″ and deselect Stereo.
  12. Click the tool icon for AN2 and click “Loopback”. This allows you to send signal back to Cubase from Cubase. Cool!
  13. Under Cubase | VST Connections | Outputs check that you have ASIO Fireface USB as your audio device and Analog 1 (left channel), Analog 2 (right channel).
  14. Create a new input track in Cubase, mono, and set the source to the mono 1073 input you created previously in Cubase.
  15. In the Cubase mixer, (Device menu | Mix Console) add the input channel and check the levels. After listening back I decided to add a noise gate to the output channel to clean up the low level noise during silences.
  16. Record your new track!

I hope someone finds this useful. I’ll definitely be referring to my own guide above as I sweeten old tracks by running them through my preamp.  TotalMix is a pain to learn and it is typical to have everything “working” without fully understanding your signal path, especially the virtual parts.

Example: Sure SM7B mic -> Neve 1073 preamp -> BabyFace Interface -> USB to Computer -> Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OS -> RME Babyface Software Sound Device -> ASIO Fireface USB driver -> RME TotalMix -> Cubase 7

Posted in Music | Leave a Comment »

Researchers: Pulse Rate Can Predict How Long You’ll Live + Free Sample 60 BPM Meditation Audio MP3

Posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2013

Faster heart rates in otherwise healthy men could be a harbinger of an earlier death, even among those who exercise, a new Danish study suggests.The finding provides more evidence of the potential danger lurking in the bodies of both men and women who have rapid pulses when they’re not exercising.Should you be worried if your heart rate is high? Maybe, said study author Dr. Magnus Thorsten Jensen, a cardiologist at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte. “A high heart rate does not necessarily mean disease,” he said. “But we know that there is a very strong and significant association between high heart rate and life expectancy.”

According to previous research by Jensen and his colleagues, people with resting pulses of 80 beats per minute die four to five years earlier than those with pulses of 65 beats per minute.

“To put that into perspective, it is the same difference in life expectancy, in the same individuals, as having a lifetime cancer diagnosis or not,” he said.

Researchers have known about a link between heart rate and life expectancy for more than a decade. Normally, physically fit people have lower heart rates and those who don’t exercise much have higher heart rates. That raises the issue of whether higher heart rates simply reflect the heart-unfriendly lifestyles of couch potatoes.The new study aimed to answer this question: Does a higher resting heart rate translate to an earlier death even among those who are healthy and exercise regularly?

The researchers found that the answer is yes, suggesting that “resting heart rate is not just a marker of fitness level, but an independent risk factor,” Jensen said.

The findings are based on an analysis of nearly 2,800 men who were followed for 16 years beginning in 1970, when they were middle-aged. The researchers adjusted their statistics so they wouldn’t be skewed by factors such as high or low numbers of men of certain ages or habits. After the adjustment, they found that the risk of death increased by 16 percent for each 10-beat-per-minute increase in resting heart rate.

The situation for women shouldn’t be much different since previous heartbeat research has included them and found similar findings, Jensen said.Jensen suspects that the higher heart rates are the first signs of underlying disease, such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said physicians are aware of the risk of higher heart rates, and monitor patients for them and make suggestions. “Increasing physical activity and decreasing periods of sitting can lower heart rate and lower cardiovascular risk,” he said. “Stopping smoking can lower heart rate.” And medication can help in some cases.

Popular heart drugs like beta blockers, however, “are generally reserved for those individuals with hypertension, arrhythmias or established cardiovascular disease,” said Fonarow, who was not involved in the study.

What’s next? Jensen said the normal range of heart rates at rest — 60 to 100 beats per minute — should be reconsidered, since the higher range appears to be a sign of poor health.

The study appears online April 15 in the journal Heart.

via Researchers: Your Pulse Rate Can Predict How Long You’ll Live.

After reading this I am creating an instrumental meditation CD with the tempo set to 60 beats per minute. The heart tends to synch up with music so the idea is: listen and live longer.

For a few days I had a test track at 60 bpm in Fm with a harmonic minor scale. It was tense melodically. It was a test to see if tense music at relaxing pace is relaxing. Verdict: The tones cancelled out the relaxing effect. The harmonic minor is a distraction. So, that first test is deleted (good think you downloaded it if you wanted it.)

Now posted is a second mellowed version in major keys:  Day 15 from “Meditate Daily for a Year (90 to 60)”

It starts out at 90 beats per minute and slows down for the first half until it reaches 60 beats per minute, where it stays. Feel free to download if you like it. Let me know if it makes you feel refreshed and relaxed. Might be useful during meditation, if turned down low. If not I may need mellower sounds, perhaps some rain or a creek in the background. Still experimenting.

For best heart rate and long life: Moderate weekly exercise and not sitting for too many hours each day is also of vital importance!

I just got a fitbit meter that keeps track of my daily steps and I have a current goal of 10,000 steps per day. That combined with other daily exercise, eating right (BIG topic), getting the right amount of sleep and daily meditation should make 2014 an interestingly healthful year.

Posted in Biology, Health, Mind, Music | 1 Comment »

The Microphone that got away

Posted by Anonymous on December 12, 2013

20131211-230233.jpg
I have lately been building a vocal booth in my home studio and I’m taking recording engineering lessons from a Grammy award winning engineer to get past some roadblocks.

After reading a slew of threads on gearslutz.com and then testing a bunch of microphones myself I’ve decided that I want a Neumann U87 mic and a pair of Neve 1084 preamps. The mic alone costs $3,500 new, so I’ve been trying to find one used to stretch my savings.

This weekend, after driving an hour, I was beaten to one in a pawnshop in Oakland by just minutes. They sold a working U87 for an absurd $1,499, a deal of a lifetime! I was quite put out. “Perhaps there is a good reason,” I kept telling myself… after my fiancé told me to keep telling myself that.

Sure enough, the next day I had an offer for the same model of mic, albeit for about $600 more, but this one had been used to record members of the legendary band Kiss (as well as Spongebob)! Well, I was a huge Kiss fan as a kid.

So, there I was, Kiss songs running through my head, very excited about the purchase of a lifetime, ready to take a day off and drive 6 hours to LA to do the deal. Then I got an email with those dreaded four little words…

“Dude, I sold it.”

My god, I don’t know if I can take it. The Gene Simmons mic!!! Almost mine… Now gone.

You may recall that I previously posted about renting a U87 mic from a friend. That mic had been owned by Pat Benatar and had been used to record Frank Sinatra. I don’t just want a great mic, I want a great mic with a great story!

For new readers, I’m a singer songwriter. My uncle was the bass player for the band Steppenwolf (that got me interested in music at an early age). I usually don’t like my singing voice but I do have some songs that are surprisingly interesting and I’ve played 100’s of shows. I even played several shows with the amazing Jason Mraz right before he became world famous.

Anyway, the only thing that could make me feel better now after losing two U87s in a row would be to score a microphone used by … Jeff Lynne of ELO. Well, that would be a tie with a microphone used by David Bowie, with whom Elvis Presley and I share a birthday (January 8).

So, you hundreds of new followers and 5,000+ daily lurkers, if any of you can make my Neumann or Neve Christmas wishes come true, let me know: Xeno735@yahoo.com

Who knows, if I had the right mic, I might record a song that saves the planet from aliens or human stupidity, whichever comes first.

Of course this covetous toy pursuit is not the soul of the season. My real joy is helping people in need, of which there are billions. I’ll be doing my part with donations of both time and money this year.

What do you do to get yourself into the spirit of peace and good will?

Happy Seasonings,

Xeno

Posted in Band, Music | 3 Comments »

 
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