Sonicsmiths The Foundry Instrument (Kontakt)

For anyone interested in sound design and creation not much can better using a fully configurable synthesizer be it either hardware or software based. Software synths such as Serum, Diva and even overlooked synths like Audjoo Helix have almost infinite sound sculpting possibilities. However such tools can be difficult to learn and use for someone new to synthesis and if you want to get fast results many then turn to preset romplers like Refx Nexus or sample libraries in Kontakt which have useful patches that sound good. However you then run the risk of everyone else using the same tired old patches without any modifications.

Sonicsmiths The Foundry Synth (Kontakt)

DASK - Electron Utopia (Syngate Records) Berlin School

This album is an exclusive release on Syngate records in Mechernich Germany. The bonus track was added just before release which is also available separately on other sites. It is Berlin school electronica with a morphing atmospheric or cinematic ambient structure. The bonus track is a little more trance like. The theme of the album is the electron and if you have an electronics background the theme and titles should make sense.

01. Electron Utopia
02. Lorentz Force
03. Desert Synchrotron
04. Electron Transfer
05. Electron Transfer - Station Remix

 

Mastering

It was mastered by myself and a key unit I recently found very useful on the master bus in the DAW was Tone Boosters ReelBus.

DASK - Electron Utopia (Berlin School Tangerine Dream Cinematic Atmospheric Ambient)

DASK - Electron Transfer (Station Remix)

This is a remix bonus track from the Exclusive Syngate records release 'Electron Utopia'. It is more up-tempo and a little more trance orientated but still has strong berlin school electronica roots. It was mostly mastered on HD800 headphones and tested on other sources by myself and Kilian (CabGuy) over at Syngate Records.

 

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DASK - Electron Transfer (Berlin School Tangerine Dream Klaus Schulze)

DASK - Abiogenesis (Atmospheric Berlin School)

I never considered myself a musician since my background is electronic engineering with a specialisation in sound and audio but having experimented with Hi-Fi, synths, audio recording, sound creation and manipulation for several years I decided to stop throwing audio material away and complete an album. It was recorded over 6 months and mastered with minimal compression for high quality Hi-Fi or headphones in mind. A number of headphones were used in the mastering process including the original HD800 which are ultra transparent and cheap ear buds to check worst case listening via streaming.

DASK - Abiogenesis (Ambient Atmospheric Berlin School Tangerine Dream Klaus Schulze Space Music Stranger Things)

Air Music Tech Loom Synthesizer

Loom is an additive synthesizer from Air Music Tech that takes a module style approach to synthesis. The various modules can be combined in any order to generate and manipulate sound. It is a different style to most other synths that take a traditional approach and layout so this can take a little time to get used to the way sound creation and manipulation works. Once you master this it has some interesting possibilities and can make really unique sounds. I like working in this synth since this extra dimension of work flow and creation becomes easy once you learn the basics.

Loom Synth Engine

Audjoo Helix Synthesizer

Audjoo Helix is a wave-table shaping, virtual analogue, hybrid soft synthesizer with a deep rich high sound quality that makes it suited to pads and textures with motion and depth, although it is quite capable of bass and leads etc. Some of the pads and textures possible in this synth remind me a little of other older synth engines such as Native Instruments Absynth for example but this is not a typical thin sounding old school VSTi.

Audjoo Helix VSTi Synth

LM3886 Gain Clone Amplifier DIY

In 1999 a manufacturer called 47 labs released a 3000 USD amplifier called a gaincard. Although it got good reviews it caused a great deal of controversy because it was based around a pair of 5 USD LM series power amplifier IC's with a basic power supply. So a 3000 USD product had about 100 USD of parts inside. It is not unusual to find any audio equipment selling for at least 10x the parts cost today. Coming from an electronics background I regularly see equipment I would not pay the retail price for based on the grounds the build cost being so low in comparison. In that instance it it best to go the 2nd hand eBay route or build something similar.

Gainclone DIY

Musical Fidelity M1 HPA Headphone Amplifier Review

I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with musical fidelity products in the past. They always seem to get good reviews in the Hi-Fi press but a few times after prolonged use I find that the immediate wow factor is eventually replaced with a feeling that the initial gloss is hiding a few problems. I found this particularly true with an A308 CD player I used for a while. This was advertised as being 95% equivalent to the Nuvista 3D CD Player at half the cost. When one came available second hand for a good price I took a chance. Again at first it had this immediate appeal with detail and extended bandwidth but after months of use I felt that it was shiny glossy Hi-Fi for the sake of it like many audio products. It lacked soul, timing and musicality when compared to other players.

Musical Fidelity M1HPA Headphone Amplifier

Sennheiser HD 800 Review (vs Grado and Stax)

The HD800 headphones are currently Sennheiser's top end set of headphones. They claim to have the largest transducers and the most advanced driver technology of any current headphone on the market at this time. These are reference class headphones and a benchmark to compare many other headphones against. Premium parts have gone into the build, the transducer being encased by precision machined stainless steel and the ear-pads are claimed to be hand crafted from a high-quality microfibre fabric.

Sennheiser HD800

Audio HiFi Mains Cable DIY

Nothing invokes more of a mixed response in Hi-Fi circles than the concept of 'audio-grade' Hi-Fi mains cables. The idea of spending up to £1000 for a mains cable for many, myself included, seems ludicrous. Audio grade mains cables are very much a Hi-Fi thing and not so much in the pro-audio world were the only time a slightly more expensive mains lead would be used is one that has screening to stop noise radiating out of the cable and inducing on other near-by more sensitive audio carrying cables. This does have some engineering sense behind it.

DIY Audio HiFi Mains Cable

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