The Van Allen Belt // a review [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-05-2004, 08:25 AM
First off, this is a little late, seems how most of you got yours months ago (I searched and couldn't really find any reviews). Gee, I hope Troy doesn't mind me panning his work on the board;-) but here it goes...

First off, there are SIX very good tracks on this comp; tracks 1, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11 present what sounds like competant, complete ideas from start to finish, with pretty good bridge structure, which usually will make or break an instrumental piece. (tracks 4 & 5 are my faves) The rest ranges from over-mixed meandering to chessy Casio keyboard loops, somewhat like, but slightly better than, '80s and early '90s video game soundtracks (which might sound like an insult, but I was quite fond of the first few Sonic The Hedgehog game soundtracks). The 6 tracks I mentioned though are as good or better than most anything you'll here on a David Gruisen CD from the '80s, even with the limitations of the Apple program. And a few other of the tracks might have been better sound (to my ears) with different (or real) instrumentation, which at times, was a distraction. If the six tracks I mentioned ever make to print, I suspect they could really sound superb with better (different) equipment or in the hands of more experienced session musicians; they are very well written pieces.

Well Troy, it will be interesting to see where you go from here. First, your own computer design business, then a book deal (how's that doing by the way?), and now a music producer/composer. You make me sick.

Good luck and send me your next comp.


11-05-2004, 10:20 AM
Thanks 3. Yeah "Cheesy Casio Loops". I love it. AND totally agree.

Your picks on faves are pretty consistent with most other people that have commented on it. "2 of 3" seems to a favorite with everybody else tho. Everybody, to a one, likes "Surf Sunset" the most which is interesting to me because it's the simplest song on the disc by far. Some of the solos are cool, but the song's kinda dull AFAIC.

The hardest part is getting rid of the quantization cause by every note happening at he same instant. That's what give it the "Casio" artificiality. of course that means a helluva lot of time consuming individual note manipulation. One of your favorites "Dangling Ganglia" suffered horribly from this (because of the hard and repetitive chord structure) until I spent an hour moving more than half the notes slightly off time.

Yeah, I'd love to hear some of this performed by live human beings. I KNOW it'd be a lot better.

The next disc I send out will be virtually all vocal tracks. Me and Julie belting out out utterly ridiculous lyrics like a couple of retards. People that have heard them tell me that these new songs are much better than the instrumental stuff. They sense the tongue-in-cheek aspect a lot easier. Personally, I think people just respond more favorably to singing. they can relate to it better. Also, by concentrating on the vocals, they don't notice the imperfections in the music itself.

It's a freekin gargantuan learning curve and the process is interesting to watch. I find some tracks on the first one I did (creatively called "Garageband") to be virtually unlistenable. I suspect some of VAB headingthat way for me too.

thanks for your compliments. Sales of the book have dropped off considerably as to be expected. Design biz is good, could be better. The music is just fun. No intention of making $ with it.

I can pretty much guarantee that I make less money than everybody else on this board though. No lie. But I have a lot more free time than anybody else I know too. Priorities.

Thanks for the comments. Good and bad.