Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 01, 2013 4 comments

In a recent Stereophile.com news item, John Marks informed readers about free online music production classes now offered from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. Seems like JM himself is taking up this opportunity. In this video assigment, JM shares his explanation of the ORTF microphone placement technique for stereo recording.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 28, 2013 6 comments
At the end of April, it will be time to renew the lease on my quaint Kensington duplex. Over the past three years, a cast of typical New Yorkers rotated residency within these plaster walls: stand-up comedians, chefs, and real-estate agents; art handlers and opera singers; venue managers and musicians. Claiming residential seniority over this home of interchanging misfits, it was time to stake claim on the room my system most deserved.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 20, 2013 2 comments
Advertising Manager Ed DiBenedetto models the Viper Head.

JA tapped my shoulder: “Do you like headphones?”

“You know I do!” I enthused.

“OK. Give me just a second.”

John Atkinson is never this mysterious. It must be something awesome.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 06, 2013 4 comments

Shlohmo! I had a Hebrew School teacher who went by Shlohmo. He smelled like fish skins and wore square, camel-toned, thick-rimmed glasses. Random gray strands of hair dangled from his chin as he tortured us with lessons on silent vowels and morality. His neck bounced when he talked, and he wore his armpit sweat stains like badges of honor. Not sexy, right?

That's why I'm always surprised to hear very sexy music from electronic beat maker Shlohmo.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 06, 2013 25 comments

You should know, I'm an absolute sucker for pop music. You should also know, I'm an absolute sucker for love. Or better put: "love".

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 01, 2013 4 comments
I remember my first real encounter with the Logitech|UE 900s noise-isolating earphones ($399.99). I broke them out riding the B35 to catch the Q to someplace I don’t remember.The UE 900s’ braided cables unraveled gracefully as I lifted them from their burnished black carrying case.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 28, 2013 10 comments
I would be ashamed of myself if I did not share this with you.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 22, 2013 3 comments

Have you heard enough about Matmos from the Stereophile boys yet? Probably. Truth be told, upon first listen I didn't really like their new record The Marriage of True Minds. I found it aimless (I prefer music with intent), but I'll let Stephen tell you how he grew to love it in our upcoming April issue. Meanwhile, this remix has me thinking I should give the record another listen.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 20, 2013 21 comments
No, this will not be another monologue where I profess my undying love for Larry, our house cat, the furry little monster with a taste for human flesh and a weird fascination with the refrigerator. Larry is a music lover too. Ever since he was a kitten, we surrounded him with the sounds of Yes, Flying Lotus, and Dvorak, and now his long legs fumble into any room where music is playing. Larry will then sprawl himself out, close his eyes, and listen along.

Alright. I've broken my promise already by talking too much about Larry.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 19, 2013 3 comments
On her debut album Ripely Pine, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper delivers a wandering collection of fantastical folk-pop songs with whimsical lyrics about love enveloped by orchestral arrangements rewarding the listener with an assortment of tones and a praise-worthy use of space.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 15, 2013 0 comments
It opens in a field or maybe an orchestra house. Pastoral and slow-moving strings set the stage. Written as a musical accompaniment to Sebastian Hartmann’s theater adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Apparat’s Krieg Und Frieden is desolate yet tinged with reflection and hope, like Wyeth’s Christina’s World or the ending to a Kurosawa film. Harmonies in continuous ascent intersect with subdued blasts of air and dirt. The occasional soulful vocal provides a lyrical back-story to the desolation: “Deserted hopes / Deserted eyes / Deserted souls / Deserted lies,” and then an alternative, “Turn a light on, Turn a light on.” Like Tolstoy’s work, the listener is never sure if the music is about suffering or the triumph within the pain.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 14, 2013 4 comments
In the second installation of this series, the Beast invites Wolverine to his listening room.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 11, 2013 1 comments
I'm running sound at a new DIY venue in Brooklyn called The LAB, and I snag some weird stuff. Here's a sample…

*******

Trevor Peterson arrived with a guitar and a bevy of pedals and samplers. With the help of adaptable computer music softwares like Ableton and Logic and popular hardware like the Roland SP-404SX or the Akai APC40, the combinations of technologies passing through the Lab morphs constantly.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 08, 2013 12 comments
Photo created by reddit user will_evans10199

This morning, I revisited Stereophile's office sample of Beats Studio headphones ($299.95).

At one point, my naive ears loved these headphones.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 07, 2013 13 comments
Stereophile's Assistant Editor Stephen Mejias models the fresh produce

Are you curious to hear J. Gordon Holt's lecture on "Why Hi-Fi Experts Disagree"? Maybe you are yearning for Sam Tellig, the "Audio Anarchist" as identified in the liner notes, to whisper sweet nothings into your ear with his radio-friendly baritone while checking a 1kHz reference tone at –20dB. Or how would you like a dog named Ralph to howl at you while configuring your left and right speakers? All this and more can be found on Stereophile's Test CD 1, now available in the Stereophile eCommerce Store.

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