Friday, March 28, 2014

Amethystium - Transience available today

It has been a while again since the last time i posted something here on my blog. From my own music project i have nothing new to share with you yet. But however i have some other great news!

Amethystium has released a brand new album called Transience, six years after the last full album release Isabliss.


                                                      Cover artwork by Marceloa Bolivar

What makes this new album special is that Øystein Ramfjord, the mastermind behind the project, decided to leave is home in 2012 to combine music making with a long term solo travel. He ended up working on the music for Transience in fifteen different countries. On top of that the new album is a self-release with no label or marketing help which means we can help Øystein Ramfjord and his project by spreading the word about the new album.

I got in contact with Øystein Ramfjord somewhere in 2006 if i remember correct through Myspace, at some point we lost that contact but picked it up again last year on Facebook. Since i'm a huge fan of his music i want to help my good friend with this blog-post.

Here's a preview of Transience that was uploaded by Amethystium yesterday:

                                          Copyright owned by Øystein Ramfjord/ Records

The album is available now on the shopiTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify and other digital stores and services around the world.

If you can, buy yourself a copy to support Amethystium and spread the word about this new masterpiece. Put on your headphones, close your eyes, relax and enjoy.

Info Sources:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Back Into Business

After all the testing and getting to know Ubuntu Studio a bit better during the testing-weeks, it's of course time to relax a bit. And what's the best way to do this...? Exactly... getting back into business with music creation on Ubuntu Studio 13.04, figuring out how some applications work, what effects to use, how to record etc..

As the most of you know it has been a very long time since i have done something music related. The last time was on my iMac, somewhere in 2008, when i created a Tomb Raider title track for The Skribblerz Stonez 3 custom built community game. It was my way of saying 'thank you' for the games they built at that time and i was able to play them which i enjoyed for countless hours.
This track was inspired by the original Tomb Raider main theme and you can have a listen below:

So after 5 years i kinda need to get back into things and learn to find my way in creating music but this time on Linux.
A few days ago i came up with a simple tune while playing around with Zynaddsubfx and my midi-keyboard that i have connected to my laptop. The next day i played on and came up with a melody that would fit in and got a idea of how the pad should sound like. I started to create Midi files in Qtractor that i later imported in LMMS to export them to a WAV file so i could work with them on Ardour 2 and add some royalty free samples from my sample library.

I know there are various other ways to get this done much easier but i still need to figure out how to do that. It will take some time but i will get there at some point. There's so much to learn and discover but the most important thing is that i really enjoy working with the open source tools that come installed by default on Ubuntu Studio.

                                         Work in progress on Ubuntu Studio 13.04 with Ardour 2

The song that is shown in the screenshot above is the one i'm working on now. It's still just a small piece but i am convinced that i can turn this into a whole track over time and when it's ready i will release it on SoundCloud. The track being a work in progress means that still a lot can change. Samples, may it be from the sample library or the ones i create myself, could be added or deleted, re-arranged, effects plugins can be added and so on. After that it's just a progress of mixing it together and learn to master the track until i am satisfied with the result and it sounds as it should.

Of course a screenshot can't let you hear how it sounds like. So i decided, with the great support from my closest friends, to share a rough demo with all of you. In that way you can listen to what i came up with after a few hours of work, spread over the last three days. Enjoy:

Friday, April 26, 2013

The time has come.... It's finally here!

The time has come.... It's finally here!:

Today, among the other Ubuntu releases, the brand new Ubuntu Studio 13.04 has been released as final and is available for everyone to download in 32 and 64 bit.

Biggest change and what's new:

The biggest change from this release on is that it will only be supported for 9 months with updates. This doesn't only affect the standard (non-LTS) releases of Ubuntu Studio but also Ubuntu itself and the other derivatives as was announced not too long ago by Ubuntu and Canonical.
If you don't like to re-install that often then there is always a option to install the Ubuntu Studio LTS releases which, for now, are supported for 3 years with updates. The choice is up to you.

What else is new in this release is that the interface has been improved. It has a new wallpaper 'Rock' which is set as default for the 13.04 release, comes with the 3.8 lowlatency-kernel and there are some other new menu items as well.
In the Audio Production menu section we find that LMMS is installed by default, under the Video section you'll find Kdenlive and recordmydesktop have been added and in the graphics section we see that Krita has also been added.

jackd2 has been upgraded to 1.9.9 which fixed a bug that caused jackdbus to crash on stop and pulseaudio has been upgraded to version 3.0 that fixes a bug that caused a fail to release card to jack.

More info can be found in a announcement that was posted by Ubuntu Studio lead zequence:
Ubuntu Studio 13.04 Released

Help Wanted:

The entire Ubuntu Studio team has been working hard to make this release a smooth and beautiful one.
As i mentioned before in my previous post, i just recently joined in as a tester and contributor when i made the decision to use Ubuntu Studio for my hobbies. Maybe more involvement will come in time and i'm very excited about that. Especially now we're going towards the 13.10 and 14.04 (which wil be a LTS) releases.

However our team is very small and we still could use some more volunteers, like us, that are willing to get involved and contribute to the Ubuntu Studio project and it's development.
Don't hesitate to jump in and feel free to join us. If you want to join in make sure to check the Contribute page on the Ubuntu Studio site to find out more.

A word of appreciation:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank zequence (Kaj Ailomaa), smartboyhw (Ho Wan Chan), Madeinkobaia, ttoine, holstein and len for letting me be a part of this experience. I really appreciate your patience and support while i was testing the Beta 2 and RC releases. I enjoyed doing this and it's been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to the next development cycles and hope to expand my knowledge to help you even more. You guys rock!

Now it's time for me to try to get back into music creation and other things using Ubuntu Studio.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Distro change, testing and more

Distro Change and testing:

Just recently i decided to change the distro i want to start using for music creation. I gave Dream Studio a honest try and it's not bad at all. But the downside is that Ubuntu's Unity desktop just doesn't perform very well on my laptop and takes up too much RAM memory.

So i took my time to think things over and looked at other possibilities. What i wanted was a more lightweight linux distribution that's pleasing to the eye and a team of developers that have been around in the multimedia creation scene for a longer time, people who know which way to go when it comes to find a more or less right balance in the audio settings.

Since the past few months i kept a closer eye on the development of Ubuntu Studio, joined in on the Ubuntu Studio Community on Google+ and watched the site for news updates. At some point i found myself downloading Ubuntu Studio 12.04.2 LTS (release notes with download link) which has found it's place on the main partition of the laptop i use.

                                                         Ubuntu Studio 12.04 LTS

When i read the news about the Ubuntu Studio leadership change, the future plans and what the new leader Kaj Ailooma (a.k.a. zequence) is aiming at, i got much more interested in Ubuntu Studio and the way it's heading.
This made me join in on their IRC channels, both support (#ubuntustudio) and development (#ubuntustudio-devel) on Freenode. After a while i decided to download Ubuntu Studio 13.04 Beta 2 and installed that one on a extra partition i made to help out testing and report bugs that i encountered. So i kinda jumped in as tester and contributor of the project and hope that, in time, i can get involved some more in the project next to my music hobby.

What excites me the most at this very moment is the final release of Ubuntu Studio 13.04 that's coming up on the 25th of April this week. It's going to be a beauty, that's for sure and will let you all know here when it available for download.

                                                    The upcoming Ubuntu Studio 13.04

I have added some links on my blog that will forward you to the Ubuntu Studio website, forum and wiki. If you are interested then feel free to check them out.

                                          Custom wallpaper created for and with Ubuntu Studio

Other news:

I know i said it a few times before in my previous posts that i would work on some short stories that would explain what's behind the creation of the older tracks i made. I didn't come to that part because i had some other things going on the last few months and as i stated above one of the things was finding another distro for my needs.

I'm not going to promise anything yet considering the short stories but i might pick that part up at some point though.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Small Blog Changes

Currently i'm changing some things on my blog like the header and the background. Both were created by Dick MacInnis who offered his help when i asked if someone could create a copyright free or say opensource background because the one i used before had to go from my point of view. I grabbed it from the web a few years ago but forgot the name who created the wallpaper, so it was hard for me to find out and ask permission to use it.

I seem to find my way more and more in Gimp now and i'm trying to re-work the logo/header until it fits in well. I also need to adjust the background a bit to fit in.

A big thank you goes out to Dick MacInnis for taking his time to help me out.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blog features added

Hi all,

I added some Blog features that will show links to Music Production and editing software plus i added a second gadget that shows links to other sites and sites from my friends out there on the world wide web.

More links will be added from time to time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Closer to the end of the search

Hello everyone, yep... it's me again.

At the moment i am testing and playing around a bit with Dream Studio. To me it seems that it fits more and a bit better in my needs. I needed a Linux distro that i just had to install and get's me going after pulling in the updates straight away, i didn't feel like going through all the hassle to figure out what needs to be installed and configured.

Dream Studio gives me that what i need and more, it comes with a lot of multimedia creation programs pre-installed, has a low latency kernel on board and tweaks have been applied to let it all work smoother.

So.... this brings me closer to the end of my search or maybe i should say: the search is over.... To be honest, i like this distro a lot and think i just leave it where it is now..... Installed on my laptop.

When i have some more time left i might try and put something together as a demo track and work again on the background stories of the 'Back Then' EP tracks.

Until next time. ;)