Sunday, June 26, 2011

Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

Geogaddi is Boards of Canada's second full length album since Music Has the Right to Children, it was suddenly released in 2002 with very little promotion. The record made its official debut in six churces all over the world.
Many people have described Geogaddi as a very eerie album, I personally didn't experience it this way at first and thought it was a nice and relaxed album. Those people have definitely got a point though, the theme to Geogaddi could be considered Satanism. The tracks do sound quite eerie, but there's a lot more awesome details underneath the surface.

Let's start out by quoting the artists themselves.

"...all the mystery and magic and all this kind of nonsense that built up around the last record [Geogaddi] got to a point where it was just silly. People were understanding things from our music that we didn't put in there and were saying there was an evil undercurrent to everything. And we are not like that at all. It was a theme that we wanted to pursue on that record but people have understood from that that we always put secret, dark, sinister, and satanic things in our music. And that became more important than the music itself."

This doens't take away how fascinating this album is in any way, it just shows that they aren't actually evil satanists themselves. They just add "hidden messages" in their music because they feel like it. 

When listening to Geogaddi whilst paying close attention to the music, you can easily make out reversed vocals and little strange samples. But there's way more easter eggs they put in their music, stuff that you can't really expect people to actually find by themselves (which apparently happened). We recommend you listen to Geogaddi while paying attention to the facts these articles on point out.

  1. "Ready Lets Go" – 0.59
  2. "Music Is Math" – 5.21
  3. "Beware The Friendly Stranger" – 0.38
  4. "Gyroscope" – 3.35
  5. "Dandelion" – 1.15
  6. "Sunshine Recorder" – 6.13
  7. "In The Annexe" – 1.22
  8. "Julie And Candy" – 5.30
  9. "The Smallest Weird Number" – 1.17
  10. "1969" – 4.21
  11. "Energy Warning" – 0.35
  12. "The Beach At Redpoint" – 4.19
  13. "Opening The Mouth" – 1.11
  14. "Alpha And Omega" – 7.03
  15. "I Saw Drones" – 0.27
  16. "The Devil Is In The Details" – 3.53
  17. "A Is To B As B Is To C" – 1.41
  18. "Over The Horizon Radar" – 1.09
  19. "Dawn Chorus" – 3.55
  20. "Diving Station" – 1.27
  21. "You Could Feel the Sky" – 5.14
  22. "Corsair" – 2.52
  23. "Magic Window" – 1.46
  24. "From One Source All Things Depend" – 2:10 (Japanese release only)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Higher music or audio education

First of all, there has been a big lack of updates lately. Both of us have been very busy and our writer's block (both musically and for actual post-writing) is not really helping either. We can say however that as the summer holidays are approaching, our inspiration is returning too. Cyprinid(Æz) is working on a new dubstep track with that dungeon-sound. And pan-flutes. pH-14 some decent ideas too, but is currently unable to get them from his brain to his pc. Apart from these new tracks we will try to write some more posts as well!
Highschool is coming to an end, and choices have to be made. Like almost everyone our age, at first we didn't have a clue what to study after college. Pretty much everything seemed boring at first, but we found some interesting stuff on the website of the HKU in Utrecht. The studies available here range from Conservatory to Audio Design, which basically means building synthesizers and speakers. Composition Electronic Music and Composition for the Media focus more on composition and music production, which is interesting too, but doesn't offer a lot of career opportunities. Sound Design, not to be confused with Audio Design, seems to be the best choice for us, and covers the most topics. Technology, composition, some physics and even how the human brain responds to certain frequencies and how to use this to your advantage. 
Behold, Sound Design
An alternative for the HKU would be the AHK in Amsterdam. The only audio-related study is Sound Design,  which looks fine too. The only problem is, the admission is ridiculously harsh; out of 500 applying students, only 80 will be allowed, based on a small portfolio of 5 soundscapes/recordings.

We don't think there's a lot of people that consider the fact that there's actual studies for creating sounds, while it's quite an amazing art!

Monday, June 6, 2011

pH-14: Studio equipment and gear

Back in the days, you would need a shitload of equipment to make decent electronic music. Drumcomputers, samplers, synthesizers, fx modules, the list goes on. Sequencer, DAW and VST software made the whole process a lot easier (and cheaper). Modern EDM production is almost entirely virtual!

It looks so awesome though.

I, being an average guy from a middle-class family, don't have the money to build an awesome-as-shit studio full of hardware. However, just a PC (or mac if you are a hipster) is not enough. Producers/audiophiles want to hear their audio as "honest" as possible, without any additional or missing frequencies. For this, I got myself 2 Alesis M1Active 620 studio monitors, and a M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. If you are a beginning producer and you are willing to invest money in your hobby, monitors and maybe a soundcard are the ideal starting point. It is essential. 

M-audio Audiophile 2496

Other than that, a strong computer with some decent RAM is not a bad idea either. DAWs, and especially projects using many heavy synths and effects such as quality reverb are heavy to run. 

Not really essential, but still fun is a microphone. I got myself a small mic for field recording and fooling around. It's great for ambient and experimental musicians!

Finally, some MIDI-controllers might help if you can play the keyboard, or just to stimulate your creativity! Look for some reviews and don't pick obscure brands, stick with the most popular products, these are usually the best too. As for myself, I use the ESI KeyControl 49.