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NO GHOSTS. JUST FEAR. - 5 Original Dark Ambient Synthetic Soundscapes

No Ghosts Just Fear cover

New Dark Ambient Album

I’m happy to announce the release of my new album No Ghosts. Just Fear. It’s an EP with five original horror soundscapes. The album is only available as an album download from Bandcamp.com as they supports the high-resolution formats required for proper listening :^)

Here is a link http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/album/no-ghosts-just-fear

Go for the High-Rez Download :^)
The dark ambient sounds and music within these arrangements was created and performed on various virtual instruments (see notes below). In some cases original audio recordings were used as sources then re-shaped with granular synthesis to turn these recordings into playable expressive instruments with huge sonic range and motion.

The album was mastered by the wonderful Gannon Kashiwa who is the Director of Digital Media at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science  - so you'll hear the incredible sonic range and detail of these pieces if you go for the downloads. The streaming versions just don’t do the tracks justice.

With this in mind I’m making the entire album (14 minutes of horror in 5 soundscapes) available for only $3. I hope this is a no brainer price that makes you want to go for the lossless CD Quality FLAC or at least MP3 320 (click here if you have questions about format). A lot of work went into the sonic detail so it’s worth it to take the time to listen on good system with a sub – or with great headphones. No earbuds please – lol.

Liner Notes +

The Liner notes pasted in below with the addition of “Synths Used” for you Modulate This! readers. Note tracks 2-4 each use a single synth and single deep performance preset programmed from INIT.

I hope hearing these tracks inspires you to dig deeper into programming from INIT with a smaller number of synths in your rig. Going deep allows you to create expressive patches and presets with performance in mind and transcend these synths making them true instruments.

I’ll also add that the entire album was produced and mixed with Ableton Live. Gannon Mastered in Pro Tools.

Thanks for your support and If you enjoy the album please pass it on. Happy Halloween!

Mark Mosher
Synthesist & Composer, Boulder, CO
http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com


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DSCN4970ABOUT THE ALBUM
This album contains five original instrumental horror soundscapes by Boulder-based synthesist and composer Mark Mosher. Listen in the dark on a great sound system with a sub-woofer or with good headphones (not ear buds) and let your imagination run wild! Then remember, it’s all in your head :^) 

 

 

CREDITS
© 2011-2012 (CC-BY-NC) Mark J. Mosher www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Composed, Arranged, Programmed, Performed, and Produced by Mark Mosher
Mastered by Gannon Kashiwa
Cover Design by Dave Weed
Cover Photo by Mark Mosher

TRACK NOTES

1 Primeval
Amygdala kicks in as you enter the fear zone. Remember, it's all in your head!

I use hand crafted synthetic sounds (subtractive and additive synthesis) to create strange tones, textures. and rhythms to build tension. Fast note-runs, and radical tempo changes will creep you out. This piece was performed using Percussa AudioCubes. Note I released this as a single in 2011. Even if you've heard it before I recommend you buy the album to get this new high-resolution remix. For this remix I reprogrammed some of the effects, remixed the track a bit, and then re-rendered with highest quality synth settings. Plus this track and all others were mastered by Gannon Kashiwa and it sounds simply incredible!

Synths Used: Waldorf Largo, 4 Instances of Image-Line Harmless. I also used Percussa Improvisor with original sequences controlled from AudioCubes which got fed into Live to drive the virtual synths. Further editing and production was done in Live.

2 Alone in the Dark
When you are alone in the dark your mind will play tricks.

Over the last year I've been spending time listening to the tone. harmonics, overtones, and distortion created by expressive electric guitar greats like David Gilmour. "Alone in the Dark" is my exploration of expressive manipulation of harmonics and distortion with a single synthesizer patch custom programmed. As a result you'll hear me go beyond the sonic range of guitars into the sub-harmonic realm.

Synths Used: Waldorf Largo


3 Fight or Flight
Your brain is on overload as you run for your life through a dark building searching for the exit.

I broke a long complex original audio recording into small chunks called "grains" with a custom patch in a virtual instrument called Absynth. My patch allows me to traverse, manipulate and perform with this massive sample as if it's an expressive instrument with a very unique harmonic palette.


4 Under the Spider’s Web
There is a dim golden light ahead in the dark. Between you and the light, there is a spider and of course a large web blocking your path. Was that something crawling down the back of your neck?

Like the last track, this is custom granular synth performance.

Synths Used: Native Instruments Absynth 5, Rob Papen Predator FX

5 Orbiting Miranda
Inspired by the film Serenity.

I used a variety of custom programmed virtual synths and effects to create this lush but dark ambient piece. Note I released this as a single in 2011. Even if you've heard it before I recommend you buy the album to get this new high-resolution remix re-mastered by Gannon Kashiwa.

Synths Used: Native Instruments Absynth 5, 3 Instances of Tone2 Saurus, Rob Pappen Predator FX & RP-Verb.


Music Monday: Mark Mosher's Set from Radio.Electro-Music.com Halloween 2011 Online Streaming Concert

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For this Music Monday I’m featuring my live set from yesterday’s Halloween 2011 Online Streaming Concert over at Radio.Electro-Music.com. The 29 minute recording (CC-BY-NC)  is a high-fidelity stereo capture from the stream in it’s entirety so get those studio headphones out or play on kick ass system!

You can listen on the embedded player below, on SoundCloud or download the mp3. Pass it on :^)

MarkMosher: Live Halloween 2011 Radio.Electro-Music.com Concert by MarkMosher 

Note that the intro was re-recorded later that day as I forgot to turn on the stream recorder till I was 45 seconds in – doh. The rest of the audio is from the actual stream with one edit to remove 30 seconds of dead air when I experienced a minor issue.

Set List:

1) "Welcome to the Inferno" Sound Design Cue from Inferno Haunted House (recording)
2) "Mad Carnival" Sound Design Cue from Inferno Haunted House (recording)
3) "Icy Caves" Sound Design Cue from Inferno Haunted House (recording)
4) "They Walk Among Us" from REBOOT (recording)
5) "I Can See Them" from the album I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS (performed live on Percussa AudioCubes)
6) "Before We Wake" from forthcoming album (performed ive on Theremin pitch-to-midi with AudioCube )
7) "Dark Signals" from I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS (performed live AudioCubes, keys, Theremin, Tenori-On)
8) "Celebration and Voices" from I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS (performed live on Launchpad grid)
9) "Infected" from REBOOT (recording)
10) "Intercept Transmission" structured improvisation (performed live on Launchpad grid)

Thanks

  • Paul Harriman from Electro-Music who encouraged me to get involved with their online community and also pointed me in the right direction for tools in this regard. Paul you don’t know what you started – lol.
  • Jack Hertz for organizing the concert, creating a cool poster, for helping me to test my rig and for taking the time to teach me how to manage connections and hand-offs to electro-music’s ports.
  • Gregg Cannady who was kind enough to loan me a Theremin for the show as I broke mine just before the show (long story)

Notes on Studio Modifications for Live Streaming

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On a technical note, this concert, and my audio/video broadcast  from Boulder to the Pacific Northwest Synth Fest  (talk and performance on Percussa AudioCubes) is the culmination of about 4 elapsed weeks of work to reorganize my studio space to accommodate this sort of performance. Part of that is investing the time to become very comfortable adding another layer of elements to manage while I perform live – so lots of rehearsal.

I’ve learned a lot about using a second system to push high-fidelity video through Skype, USTREAM, and a Shoutcast client. This includes ways to monitor my rig and the conversation in the same set of headphones. I’ll do a post on this in the future which should save you time if you want to get into this sort of thing.

For now, checkout this sound check video I did live to USTREAM. Watch the embedded video below or watch the video on USTREAM. I really get the lights going at 3:16 :^)  I plan on doing a lot more live online performances so if you want to get notified sign up for my newsletter. I’m thinking about doing some behind-the-scenes videos for those who “Join the Crowd”

Happy Halloween!

With all that I’ll just wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Beaming Into the Pacific Northwest Synth Fest in Seattle October 29th

Synthfest_2011_poster

The Pacific Northwest Synth Fest 2011 is this Saturday October 29th from 10-5 PST. Click the poster to see the mega size version or visit http://www.mostlymodular.com/ or the event page on Facebook.

I’ll be telepresently performing and doing a talk on AudioCubes on 1:00-1:30PST. I’ll also be generally floating around Max Headroom style on a laptop throughout the event so he can virtually mingle.

markmosher_remote_concert_01

In this talk I’ll present an overview of the Percussa AudioCubes hardware, discuss mapping the AudioCubes to control Ableton Live and Virtual Synthesizers in real-time. I’ll also perform with the cubes, deconstruct a Live song, and discuss his free template for “9 Box Method for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light” based on AudioCubes. Lastly, I will take questions via interactive video chat.

So if your in Seattle, come find the box I’ll be hosted out and say hi :^).

 

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog: http://modulatethis.com/
Artist Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com


I Made Featured Artist of the Week on ReverbNation

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Each week 10 Featured Artists are picked and 4 rotate every few minutes on the Home Page of ReverbNation all week long. I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected as a Featured Artists for this week (which means I’m also Featured on a huge number of Facebook Applications that are out there on the internet). Thanks ReverbNation!

Others in the top 10 this week Suzanne Vega and Slayer - nice eclectic mix :^)

If you’d like to show support, swing by the home page and click through to my profile and checkout some tracks. Pass it on.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


:I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS" Announcement, Download Links, Fun Facts, Listening tips

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After eight months of work, I'm  very excited to announce that my latest album I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS is now available as a digital download.

LISTEN/DOWNLOAD/BUY

  1. BandCamp - available “name your price”. To download for FREE click the “Buy Now” Button and enter $0. I recommend downloading the album from here as you'll get a 4-panel digital booklet containing original photos and art and liner notes.
  2. I iTunes

  3. Amazon MP3
  4. ReverbNation

FUN FACTS

  1. The album contains 8 original songs composed and produced completely in the digital realm using state-of-the-art virtual synthesizers. Even the Theremin analog signal was converted back to digital so it could be used to drive virtual instruments.
  2. The album was composed and produced entirely on a laptop using Ableton Live 8 running Windows 7.
  3. The album was composed an arranged for live performance and was created using keyboards, matrix controllers, the exotic Theremin, and unique visual and tangible controllers such as the Tenori-On and Percussa AudioCubes. So, while I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS is a “studio album”, I rehearsed and could perform all the songs live prior to recording. For many songs, I recorded lead synth elements live in one pass (after rehearsing for many weeks). This gives the album a more live/ “jam-like” feel than my previous album. It also makes these songs great for live performance.
  4. A few songs like “Control Zone” are quite experimental and the notes and modulation of synth parameters was achieved with hand and finger movement in space and I never touched a physical key or button during recording.
  5. Some songs on the album are a retelling of some of the songs on REBOOT, but from a very different point of view. For example, “When Connected” is the same “story” as  REBOOT’s “Infected” but as viewed from the opposite point of view.
  6. While the songs are copyrighted, I’m making them available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License so you podcasters, bloggers, and hobbyists can safely use the music in your productions as long as you offer an attribution. Drop me an email if you use a track so I can check out your work.
  7. The images in the digital booklet/liner notes are all original and based on photographs taken by me and my children. I did the graphic design work.

LISTENING TIPS

  1. Both the REBOOT and I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS are albums in the sense that the songs played in sequence tell a story. If you can spare the time, spin them the albums at least once in one sitting.
  2. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole album try and eke out 5 minutes and listen to each track without skipping. These are instrumental compositions and not dance floor tracks so they have a beginning, middle and end:^).
  3. A lot of work went into the mix and there are dynamics, sounds, positioning of sounds you’ll miss on computer speakers. So listen with with some nice headphones or on a nice system with a sub-woofer.

I hope you’ve found this information more entertaining and fun than a stuffy old press release.  Drop me an email or leave comments on this post and let me know which songs you like best!

Thanks again for your support and please tell your friends about I HEAR YOUR SIGNALS.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com


Overview and Time-Lapse Video of My Ableton Live Laptop Music Rig + Controllers

2010-MarkMosher-Signals-Rig_01

Over the years I’ve played hundreds of shows as a keyboardist using my trusty Apex column with various hardware synths.  In late 2009 I had a vision to create a new Ableton Live laptop-centric rig using only virtual synths running in Live.

While I wanted to play some keys, I was really excited to add alternative visual, tangible, and spatial controllers and selected Percussa AudioCubes, Tenori-On, a Novation Launchpad. I went with my trusty Remote SL 25 for keys as it also doubles as a controller for Live. In the 11th hour I added a Moog Ehterwave Theremin which was clearly necessary to play “They Walk Among Us” live :^).

I’ve played enough shows to know that you can’t always count on basic lighting and P.A. to be adequate, so I added these elements to my requirements as well – just in case. My goal was to be able to run a room of 80 people if needed with just my rig. My other goal was 4 trips from the car load-in max with a 15 minute setup time or less.

The sketch above shows all this on paper (click the image to see a larger view). After months of slowly building up gear, the reality - sans lighting - is shown in the fun little time-laps video embedded video below.

Here is a list of what's in the rig:

  • Laptop: Windows 7 32-bit, HP DV6t-1200 Pavilion w/Core2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53 GHZ, 3G memory, 7200 RPM Drive (Update I now use an HP Envy 14 I5)
  • Soundcard: Novation NIO 2|4
  • DAW Software: Ableton Live 8 Suite
  • Primary Controllers: Novation Remote SL 25 (updated to MKII), Launchpad | Tenori-On | Percussa AudioCubes
  • Primary Virtual Synthesizers: Tone2 Gladiator 2| Native Instruments Absynth 5 | Camel Audio Alchemy | U-He Zebra 2, ACE | Ableton Sampler, Operator... | SonicCharge Synplant | Lennar Digital Sylenth1 | reFX Vanguard, Slayer2 | Image-Line Harmless, Toxic Biohazard | Cakewalk Dimension Pro | FAW Circle | DCAM: Synth Squad...
  • Hardware Synthesizers: Moog Etherwave Theremin, Waldorf Blofeld (not pictured)
  • PA: Bose L1 Compact
  • Stand: Odyssey ATT2 Table, Odyssey L2 Laptop Stand

Links to lots of the software I use here:
http://markmoshermusic.com/links.html

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
http://www.modulatethis.com
http://MarkMosherMusic.com


10 Insights for Improving Your Indie Music Artist Web Site

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I’ve been working away on new album and a new live show. In preparation for all this I’ve also been hard at work re-designing the entire web experience for my artist web site MarkMosherMusic.com. I redesigned the site from the ground up to introduce new branding, create a more fan-centric experience, and also reduce the time it takes for me to maintain my online presence. One of my other goals was to create a more efficient way to communicate so I could spend more time on music and less time on web updates.

Here are some insights that might help you with your online music marketing.

  1. Make it about the visitor by using the word “You”. Many artists I’ve talked to have mentioned it’s really hard for them to write about themselves and their work. They don’t want to sound like Enough about me – now what do think about me?” One way to overcome this is to remember your writing for the visitor. What’s in it for them? So, when possible write for the visitor and make it about them by working word “you” into your marketing copy.
  2. Accommodate strangers. Lots of people are blazing through web sites during their day. Many might stumble on your site. For this type of visitor, you’ve got about 15 seconds to engage them enough to buy another 30 seconds of ther attention. One way to do this is to create a very simple landing page for them to land on to get your current message across quickly. For my new site, users first stop is an non-flash based Entry page. I can toggle this on and off if I have newsy item I want to share. If your are running ads, route your ads to a targeted landing page just for that ad. If you decide not to use an entry page, I recommend a simple message on the first page they hit.
  3. Build relationship.
    MarkMosher_Live_First_Orbit_2010-03-14_fe
    Make it easy for your fans to show support and reward them for following along. Street teams, fan exclusives, and message boards are just a few ideas. Just make sure if you implement something you have time to manage it.
  4. One or two clear actions.
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    For most pages you should have one, maybe two clear actions you would like the visitor to take. Currently I’m building my email list so you’ll see “Join the Mailing List” clearly visible on most pages.
  5. Keep the good stuff “above the fold”.
    image 
    Many pages on your site might have enough information that they don’t fit forcing the user to scroll to read the whole page. Make sure you put the good stuff “above the fold”. In the example above I’ve placed a “What’s New” blurb, "Join the list" box, social links above the fold. You also get a partial view of content below which can compel readers to scroll.
  6. Post once, syndicate many. A lot of the elements of my site are actually content coming from another source and are syndicated into my site via Javascrpt snippets and widgets. The mailing list is from ReverbNation, the links page is build completely using “linkrolls” from delicious. In other words, I'm centralizing content management. For example, I add a bookmark via delicious, it automatically updates my site. One downside of this strategy is if the third-party provider goes away, you’ll need to find another, so backup your content from these systems. I also connected my artist blog to Facebook and Twitter so every time I post it auto-updates.
  7. Branding. Try to come up with some consistent branding elements like – typography, color palette, and graphic styling. If your not a designer, you might want to hire a freelancer. It’s important.
  8. Set integrated audio players to “pause”. I’m using an integrated player that acts as a jukebox as you surf from page to page. Rather than blow up someone's speakers and scare the crap out of them, I’ve configured it so the visitor has to take action to play music.
  9. Hosted service with integrated web content management. There are some pretty great hosted solutions out there that will allow you to quickly create a site, manage your content and integrate with social networks without having to make a call to a web developer. No need to get your buddy to build the site and host it in his basement. If you use a template try and tweak it out so it’s unique. There are freelancers that can help configure these systems as well. One the biggest advantages of many of these hosted systems is that they have tools that automatically do some search engine optimization to help you get found.
  10. Learn more about “Permission Marketing”. Internet marketing is about relationship building. You need to build your list and deepen relationships with your fans. As an indie musician it’s in your best interest to take some of this on and learn a little more about that dreaded topic - “Marketing”. I recommend you follow master marketer Seth Godin’s blog - http://sethgodin.typepad.com/. Two of his books - “Purple Cow”, and “Permission Marketing” – are quick reads that might change the way you think about marketing and make it easier for you to connect with your fans in this noisy internet world.

So, now I invite you to visit the site and have a walkabout at  http://www.markmoshermusic.com. If these tips end up helping you out, drop me a note with a link to your site or comment on this post. Happy marketing.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO
www.modulatethis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com