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The Sinking of the 'Scharnhorst' - new mix and more bass
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: The Sinking of the 'Scharnhorst' - new mix and more bass Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a new mix of this piece. This version is more like how I imagined this should sound when I originally wrote the first draft. This version is however not quite friendly to smaller loudspeakers. Of course this MP3 file does not quite play like the 32 bit master or the 16 bit file.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/scharnhorst_01.shtml

http://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/scharnhorst/gallery/gallscharnsurvivors.html

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

( December 26, 1943 )


The 32,700 ton German battleship, commanded by Admiral Erich Bey, was attacked by the British battleship Duke of York and destroyers Savage and Saumarez while attempting to intercept an Allied convoy sailing to the port of Murmansk in Russia. Damaged by the 14-inch shells from the Duke of York and hit by torpedoes from the British and Norwegian destroyers, she was then attacked by the cruisers Jamaica, Belfast and Norfolk. After a battle lasting thirty-six minutes, the mighty ship rolled over and sank bows first at 1945hrs about 75 miles off the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe. The 36 survivors of the 1,969 crew were picked up from the sea....1,933 men had died. (all of the Scharnhorst’s 51 officers were lost) Altogether a total of fifty-five torpedoes were fired at the Scharnhorst, but only 11 struck the ship. Losses from the British ships were eighteen killed and sixteen wounded. The battle of North Cape was the last conflict between British and German capital ships in World War II. The wreck of Scharnhorst was found by a Norwegian team in September 2000. It lies just under 1,000 feet of water.

This piece was originally written in 1987. The recording was done over the last few weeks and concluded on 03-21-2004. It is a part of the Utmost Savagery series.

It has been calculated that the 32,000 ton Scharnhorst hit the seabed at 30 km/hour.

Track link has been removed. A CD is in the works

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Last edited by elektro80 on Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lars



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80

Wow, I'm really impressed. Well, the first two minutes didn't sound too promising, but then, at around 2:45, when the (amazing) pads fade in, you got me right into the sinking shipwreck. You sense coldness, lifelessness and fear, but there also is the fascination of a beautiful underwater world yet unexplored.

Didn't listen to the old version, but this one definitely will become part of my ambient-section Very Happy Great one!
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THX Lars. Somewhere in the end of the thread for previous version you might find me mentioning some of the underwater sounds. I had to clean and process them a bit.. but these constitutes much of the low end submerged sounds. Those sounds were recorded in the Oslo fjord.. not that far from the wreck of the german battleship Blûcher.


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Lars



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just listened to the old version of the track, which sounds even a bit better to me, because there is more "going on" in the beginning. And I'm not such a huge fan of dominant bass.
In my opinion you should find a balance between these two versions, then it's perfect Smile

I thought these underwater sounds are always created with synthesizers (although I don't know how to actually create them Rolling Eyes ). Well, you proved me wrong, hehe. And you made the right choice using 'real' underwater sounds. It really benefits the atmosphere.
I'm curious about where you got the sounds from. Did you ask for them at some kind of institute or research station? Or can they be found in the web?
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The underwater sounds? Well.. the sub bass noises were recorded by me.. but they have been processed a bit .. and pitched down etc.
I borrowed a pair of kit built hydrophones from a friend of mine and did the recordings .. again with some help from friends. See the end of that other thread .. I think I have a description there..

The recordings contained some amazing sounds .. and many of these have been messed up and used all over.. but all this comes from an oldmultitrack to DAT transfer.

This mix does not really work on ordinary bass reflex cabinets. The reflex design is usually set up to boost the lowest tnes.. often at 35-80 hertz.. we are really talking about a controlled resonance here. Lesser designs will just go floppityflop and booooom. I guess I will have to test this more before I make the final version. I just played this mix on various high end monster speakers and there the bass control is tight and very deep.. I tested the 32 bit files played back using the motu 828 interface and a laptop.

Hydrophone recordings will not always give you what you think you will get.. so for music purposes.. some serious manipulation and processing is called for. I tried to make this in stereo.. which did not quite work. But after planning the processing.. I split the signal into 5 bands.. sending the deepest sounds into mono.. the rest to 2 pairs of stereo tracks.
Some of the PPG waveforms have been sampled from some of these sounds and edited on the Waveterm.

Hydrophones:

http://www.dolphinear.com/pro/pro-specs.htm

http://www.cetaceanresearch.com/


I used to have links to 2 old companies making very good DIY kits with great specs.. but I have lost them. I have at least one catalog somewhere.. hmm.. where is that one??? Hmm

Some Hydrophone designs can also be used for other kinds of recordings. like burying them in deep holes in the ground or whatever. When I think of it.. stereo or surround recordings made from buried microphones can often be totally cool. but you must calculate the distances between them.. and do some testing in order to understand background noise from roads or whatever. If there is little background noise you can at times get recordings which kinda makes huge long wave sounds.. like on a beach.. but instead of water.. the sounds are more like.. ..clay? Well.. you get the drift I guess. The distance between the micrphones should often be a couple of hundred meters or so... it depends on what kind of signal you are getting and which effect you want.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Those German battleships had nice styling, if you're into that sort of thing. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the thing about your music which makes it so effective to me is how it seduces you into seeing the beauty of horror. this brings me into direct conflict with my moral judgments of war, and reopens the wounds which were formed when i first understood why wars happened, why murders happen. this is exactly how i felt when i first heard penderecki's "threnody for the victims of hiroshima." as a contrast, crumb's "black angels" proved a bit more impenetrable, maybe because i didn't grasp the programmatic structure.

this piece is one of my favorites of yours, because of the deep water noises. all the work you did crafting the depth pays off in a big way, and i really feel like i'm sinking, and can't pull myself out of the mix. it makes me feel like i'm at the bottom of the north sea, somehow watching the shipping patterns of the modern world.

as a criticism, some of the first higher pads that come in after the halfway point have some brightness in the high highs (12-15khz?) range which pulls me out of the water in a way which i thought was a bit too abrupt. right after that, it fades back into the water, and i don't know if it should leave. but it's your piece.

that hit that drops near the end is just brutal, like the sound of hitting the seafloor. sick! i don't know if it needs the upper pads so loud there, either.

overall just magnificent.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

astroid power-up! wrote:
the thing about your music which makes it so effective to me is how it seduces you into seeing the beauty of horror. this brings me into direct conflict with my moral judgments of war, and reopens the wounds which were formed when i first understood why wars happened, why murders happen. this is exactly how i felt when i first heard penderecki's "threnody for the victims of hiroshima." as a contrast, crumb's "black angels" proved a bit more impenetrable, maybe because i didn't grasp the programmatic structure..


This is interesting.. this beauty in the horror. I guess what this is about the we are able to see beauty in war and death. This is a common observation among soldiers that they indeed did experience a sense of beauty. I have heard this from people who have been in german and russian concentration camps too. However.. the factual side to war is simply death and suffering.. often at a scale which is hard to comprehend. Wars can create serious paradoxes too. There might be just causes worth a war or two.. but who can really tell? If World War 2 had been fought because the rest of the free world did not accept the moral issues of letting Nazi Germany kill jews, dissidents, homosexuals and the rest of the untermensch, then the world today might have been a better place. But WW2 was really not about this at all, even though the end of the Nazi regime ended the large scale medical euthanasia and the horror.

As of programmatic methods, I had to do some thinking before I decided to split the piece in two. I had a vision of the event: the ship is a tomb, long before the ship actually slips away from the surface and the takes the major part of the crew.. still living .. on a journey down to the seabed and certain death. In that sense the crew was already dead. So this is actually partly a vision about a tomb taking the living to their deaths. I guess this is a kind artistic approach which is more often used in painting and literature than music these days. If this had been a book you might read a section describing the ship dying, but by reading the text you would really have been made aware that the only dying here are human beings. The vessel itself is the very incarnation of death. And yes.. that hit at the end is something I think of as the ship hitting the bottom. The tonal constructs at the end is a interpretation of ..... ( translated to english): "There is nothing left"
The hit was actually shaped after a description given to me by an old sailor who experienced being sent to the bottom inside a ship. The depth was not more than like 30 meters and the hull broke and he was ..as he described it.. "being thrown to the surface in an explosion of air". He came into contact with water first after he surfaced. The sound of the ship hitting the bottom was however something like what I have tried to put in here. Moments after the impact, the hull started to ring and shake due to structural tension from the water and the way the ship rested on the seabed. In his case he was lucky because something in that old freighter went apart and he was as he decribed it.. thrown out and upwards.


The pads are really just a mass of separate instrumental voices and I do have some codes and themes going on in there too.



I might be able to do the mix even better, but first I guess I will have to test this one on different sets of speakers and see what happens. I might have to reduce the volume a bit for some of the voices around 90-150 Hz. The MP3 sounds slightly weird compared to the 16 bit master file. One main issue is that the many voices above 1-2 khz are losing definition, the stereoimage gets mixed up and the timbres are getting sharper and more .. what should I say.. ? messy? However, I haven´t used multiband compression. I wanted to check the piece on different loudspeakers before I decided how to set the multiband compression parameters.

I am a little in shock after getting these very nice and thoughtful responses. Shocked Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi electro80, nice stuff!

I have been listening to "Funeral Pyre - Berlin" and "The sinking of the Scharnhorst" on my reference system and in both cases the bass is awesome--yet plays well with others. It's very clean and to my ear well balanced with the content in the rest of the spectrum.

No offence Lars, but I wonder if, perhaps, you are hearing and objecting to harmonics (that are artifacts of your sound system) rather than the fundamentals--yes/no?

In any case I think the audio fanatics will find these pieces extremely interesting. Wink And I certainly look forward to hearing the 16 bit versions.

Some comments on imaging later...
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A very beautiful peace.
I think it is sounds (almost?) like a requiem.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A requiem? Yes.. you are right of sorts. My intention is partly to remember the dead. On the other hand, none of these conforms to any of the usual requiem structures. The way I am thining of these are as orchestral lyrical pieces written to work as one huge requiem when put together. That is why some codes and themes and small stuff is spread across all these pieces. Orchestral is not meant literally, but rather as how I think of the use of synths here.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
... That is why some codes and themes and small stuff is spread across all these pieces...


The Ms. and I were listening to the "Funeral Pyre Berlin" the other night. She made the remark that the two part structure seemed not to work for her. And I noted that the second section seemed to have a strong motivic connection to another piece in this series that I had downloaded. But I can't remember the title. As I recall it also had voice over, bombardiers I think. Anyway, the gist is that I don't think these can be fully appreciated out of context. Not a criticism, just an observation. I very much look forward to hearing the completed piece.

She also said that she had some problem with the unrelenting constancy of the bass figure in that second section. I too find it a bit uncomfortable but I wonder if that is not intentional "conceptual" content? Otherwise I think some slow modulation of it in the mix might be helpful.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Those concepts.. yes.. and the conceptual approach..
Making deciions is hard, but when you start to build ideas some things kinda get set in stone early on.

I have discussed with myself the nature of death. Does time stop? One might think of it as the end of the world. I often imagine all of us as passengers on the same journey, but we get on the train and leave the train at different times. The end is the same but then again the trainstops are different for each of us.

In that specific section of Funeral Pyre Berlin the bass stands still, but it does create a room for movement and is letting other events create the illusion of forward movement. Well.. that is why I do not modulate the bass further.


Many of the rythmic structures were taken out of that last radio broadcast made by Adolf Hitler. I have tried to grab significant breathing patterns and phrasing rythms. I picked out some I thought read well and used those. What he tried to say in that speech was probably to announce.. this is the end.. but using his usual.. well.. you know.. to create a directional myth and a lie that would live on.

In that sense his speech is just absolute rubbish and a completely senseless act. One might say he wanted to create an illusion of forward movement and hope.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I have tried to grab significant breathing patterns and phrasing rythms

Shocked what Question head banging monitor no no behead

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes.. listening to the recording.. then dumping it into an audio editor.. then trying to read the accents and the envelopes.. and trying to get some sort of rythmical event structure out of it. Pretty interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think thats' a very interesting and worthwhile approach. I am eger to here the whole thing. Can I "pre-order" Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Of course.. my first "sale" Very Happy
I cannot promise a date for the final release.. but I will get there eventually
The next step is of course to find a label that thinks this is wortwhile too.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A very beautiful piece - interesting textures and a melancholic sad memory of greatness...
Good work!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you, Mr. Decline Very Happy
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