It’s about music

I don’t know the first thing about music. I can’t read notes. The 88 keys of a piano are a complete mystery. Flute, guitar, drums, sorry guys, it is not my dada.

There are a few things I do get. I seem to have a sense of rhythm. I feel the music too. It is kind of an emotional thing. No colors that match notes, just a basic feeling in the gut.

Being in this kind of eternal but necessary lockdown, I became, out of boredom, kind of bold.

So I ordered a few cheap MIDI-keyboards, downloaded Reaper, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), and then turned to Youtube for a few necessary tutorials.

I’ve been experimenting for weeks now, sending work to some of my closest friends for evaluation, for useful comments.

This is my first one. My baby, my newborn and it is far from perfect. It may not be your kind of music, that’s ok. But some useful and motivating comment would be more than welcome.

Thoughts – January 10, 2019

Those who have been following my blog regularly now I have to coop with ups and downs. These affect my photography leading to, short or longer, periods of inactivity. Sometimes this leads to other horizons, new discoveries, new passions. Yet, inevitably, I’ll be led back to photography in one way or another.

I enjoy listening to music and like most of us today, digitally.
Last November I bought a Sony Walkman NW-A45. It plays MP3 but is mainly designed as a High-Resolution Audio player for FLAC, DSD, …  I am using this player for lossless FLAC’s.

A few days later I added a Sennheiser HD 6 Mix over-ear headphone. They don’t come cheap but I found a pair for almost nothing on a second-hand site.

Since Little A., my youngest (18+) daughter lives full-time with me, I sometimes retreat to my bedroom for some privacy or if she wants to watch her topics on Netflix.

I have a screen in my room and watch movies using Kodi on a Rasperry Pi. It has a Hifi Berry Dac+ plugged onto it. Sound output goes through an old battered Pioneer A-103 stereo integrated amplifier (1994-96) and some cheap 3-way speakers. Movie sound quality is okay though.

Shortly after buying the High-Resolution Sony Walkman I got an Akai X-210D stereo reel-to-reel tape recorder (1973-77).

I wrote about the Sony Walkman and the Akai in one of my previous posts, Don’t Look Back.

The Akai was great fun while it lasted which wasn’t long. Not even a week later the reel-to-reel died.

I started searching the Internet for information and found a few HiFi dealers selling old but refurbished material.
Most of the stuff comes relatively cheap.
I met quite some interesting people who shared their knowledge with me. It was thus how I found out the very old and worn rubber belts made the Akai die. I found a repair manual and one of these days I am going to try to repair it.

The first thing I got was another reel-to-reel recorder. An Aristona EW5512 (or Philips N4512) from 1976.
I love the sound quality very much and I enjoy simply watching the reels turn. It makes me kind of feel zen.

Since I expanded my vintage audio and in the next few posts I’ll tell more about it.

Philips N4512 or Aristona EW5512

From old to new…

The year is almost over.

For many a new year means a new start, getting rid of a nasty habit, promises and all kinds of intentions.

I think this is the perfect moment to announce the end and a new start of my blogging.
Rest assured, I am not stopping with photography, film or digital. I’m adding more. Digital photography obviously but I have expanded my interest in “old” stuff to audio also.

Over the past few months, I’ve been collecting and adding to my stereo system. A turntable, a cassette deck, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and some other stuff.
This new world that is opening is something I want to share with you, with other bloggers.

Dear readers, dear friends, I wish you all a grand, healthy, creative and fascinating 2019.

Gas station, Zeeuw Vlaanderen.
Ricoh GRII with 1024 ND filter.

 

Don’t Look Back

I’m in a near crash collision course with being sixty. When there is a lot of noise I find it hard to pick up the words that are being said to me.

When Sweetheart and I go out for a walk during the summer she loves to tell me how she adores the sound of the crickets.
To paraphrase Red Butler “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”. I simply don’t hear them anymore.
My hearing isn’t what it should be but there is good news. The problem goes for both my ears. For some reason, I don’t like the idea that one side hears better than the other.

I can’t stand listening to music when I write. When I hike, work in my studio, I choose a carefully composed playlist to push my buttons. On the train to and from work I read or listen to music. I can’t do both.

A few days ago, I bought a Sony Walkman NW-A45. It plays mp3 and the likes but also Apple Lossless, DSD, FLAC. Yes, I hear, or I think to hear the difference between the compressed MP3 and FLAC or DSD.
I need some very good but not too expensive headphones.

The first 13 years of my life I lived in Brussels. I was a child and when my father and I took a tram I noticed there were loops fixed to the ceiling. I was too small to grab them. But then I thought, one day I’ll be tall enough. Then those trams did not exist anymore and my father had passed away.

In the mid-seventies, I liked the Peugeots I saw in the French Louis De Funes movies. I liked the line of that car. When I was 18 that model did not exist anymore. But today I still drive a Peugeot.

Later, when I was sixteen, I fell in love with the tape recorders of that time. Those huge wheels with magnetic tape.
When I was 17 I often visited a, now long gone, an Irish pub in my hometown.

They had a Revox and I found the movement of the tape mesmerizing.

By the time I could afford such a tape recorder they did not exist anymore.

Today I finally got my reel-to-reel tape recorder. An Akai X-201D in mint condition. Hell, I got even the manual with it. Mint.
And 14 tapes of music. It is a trip back in the past.
I got this one for half the price they sell on eBay.

The past should be the past.
But sometimes looking back, getting that analog stuff you once dreamt of…

Yep. I am mesmerized. And with it 14 tapes of unknown music.