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Posts posted by zircon

  1. True that piano is a commonly sampled instrument. However much like how there are many guitars out there, it comes down to:

    * The sound of the piano itself

    * The hall

    * Micing

    * Editing

    * Scripting

    We really pushed to make something great in all 5 areas there. The piano sounds wonderful. No ringing frequencies. The note attacks 'feel' right - they're not chopped off. The dynamic curve is very carefully tweaked to perfection. The script gives you a lot of control while staying simple. Lots of built-in convolution. There are 4 mic perspectives that *dramatically* change the sound.

    I wanted to create a piano that would retire all my other pianos, and that's what we've done here. Plus at $99 for Kontakt Player it is one of the most, if not the most, affordable piano libraries out there given the amount of content.

  2. Fresh off the presses!

    We're very pleased to announce the release of PEARL Concert Grand for KONTAKT and KONTKAT PLAYER!


    This lovely instrument features a beautifully-recorded Yamaha C7 with four microphone perspectives, each offering a unique and lush sound. The library is designed to be a joy to play, use, and edit - it's mixed to perfection and suitable for most any style of composition, from warm and emotional film scores to jazz, classical & romantic music and more.

    Why make another piano library? Simply put - we fell in love with this piano & hall, and wanted to make a timeless, eminently playable instrument. Like many composers I have a ton of piano libraries, but now, I only reach for Pearl. It has the ideal 'touch' and creamy tone that inspires me every time I press a key. I could not be happier with how it came out!


    * 14,000+ samples in both 16 and 24 bit fidelity

    * 8 dynamic layers

    * 2 round robins

    * Pedal on & off samples

    * Chromatically sampled w/ key and pedal release noises

    * Four mic positions: close, pedal, stage, hall

    * Elegant yet powerful script:

    * Per-channel routing, EQ, compression, width and volume

    * Global analog modeled FX including 30+ custom impulse responses

    * Custom velocity curve and (micro)tuning, plus master presets included



    Pricing & Availability

    Pearl is available NOW for Kontakt & Kontakt Player (5.3+) at the no-brainer intro price of $99 through April 21st. Visit the link below for more information, tech requirements, video and more:


  3. If you care about muscle growth, it makes sense to follow the techniques of pro weightlifters, powerlifters, and bodybuilders. The consensus is that you need to rest for a good minute between sets, maybe more if you're dealing with extremely heavy weight. The consensus is also that heavier weight at lower reps tends to be more effective than low weight at high reps. There are some studies backing up both these things but if you look at most any training guide you'll see the same thing.

  4. Err, I think you're leaving something out here. Taking a rest from what? Are you doing just 1 set of pullups total? What does the full routine look like?

    For example, if you're talking about doing some unrelated exercise and then immediately doing option #1 or #2, then I would say resting first and doing 15 is preferable. If you don't rest, then you might be winded from your previous exercise and not able to push yourself as hard. That is not optimal for muscle growth. In general, resting between sets is ideal unless you're specifically trying to do some weird cardio stuff but then we're not talking about muscle growth anymore.

  5. Awesome job RFB. Nice bench in particular!

    So, I'm almost three weeks into my first bulk, eating around 2500 cals a day. My weight has been fluctuating a LOT and I know some of the weight gain has strictly been water retention, now that I'm eating carbs again. Still, I can't help but grimace when I see that scale go up. Even though I know I'm not overweight anymore I still feel like I could get fat again at any moment. I worry that eating 2500 is actually too far over TDEE now that I'm not really doing cardio. But due to the weight fluctuation and water factor, it's hard to gauge what my actual weight gain is due to the increased calories.

    For example, on the day my cut ended (morning, when my pics were taken) I weighed in at 162. A few days ago I weighed in at 166.4, so roughly +4.4 pounds in two weeks @ 2500/day. I guess for that to be mass gains and not water, I would have needed +1100 over TDEE per day. And... I guess it's safe to say that my TDEE is probably not 1400, even with no cardio (I do lifts or bodyweight 5-6x a week).

    Still, so confusing. And I FEEL like I've put on a lot of weight which I guess is just bloating/water from the extra food... which is depressing... but on the other hand I get to eat real human food now instead of cutting food. Which makes up for it. :<

  6. Get the Patches:



    Tetralogy is a compilation of workhorse presets for the legendary u-he Zebra 2 synthesizer. I've been working on this for years, the original collection having been released in 2009! This revised version includes 23 brand-new patches bringing the total to over 350 versatile sounds in a wide range of styles. This is the ideal addition to your Zebra 2 library, whether you need a solid base of bread and butter sounds, or a treasure trove of useful sounds to fill in the gaps.

    Rather than focusing on far-out, esoteric sounds, Tetralogy is mainly oriented toward practical and instantly usable presets. There are tons of solid basses, leads, pads, poly synths, analog tones, emulations, and much more. Every patch comes equipped with X/Y controls as well allowing for instant variations and tweaking. Synthesis styles include subtractive (virtual analog) to FM, wavetable, and additive, making good use of Zebra 2's impressive capabilities.

    Tetralogy has been enjoyed by countless Zebra 2 users worldwide, and it's now more affordable and complete than ever. We know you'll find it useful and inspiring for your own productions!

    Patch Breakdown

    * 26 Analog Poly

    * 11 Arpeggios & Sequences

    * 46 Basses

    * 12 Digital Poly

    * 19 Distorted

    * 13 FX & Perc

    * 17 Keys

    * 54 Leads

    * 23 Newstuff (new in 2015 release)

    * 9 Organs

    * 30 Pads

    * 13 Plucked

    * 19 Sweeps & Gates

    * 65 XY Variations


    Available now for $25 here:




  7. Gotta say I am really impressed with D3 development overall. Bliz is doing a great job of keeping the game fresh and balanced. Currently handling T4 without much trouble on my HC Monk, who has almost 1m damage and 30m toughness :D

  8. Hahaha. Awesome, thanks guys. In all seriousness, what supplements is everyone taking here? (No, not "supplements", I mean like actual supplements.)

    * I've been eating about 1 scoop worth of protein powder per day. I usually buy Optimum Nutrition but honestly I've tried the Target brand which is cheaper and tastes just as good to me. Similar nutritional profile too.

    * Started taking multivitamins, because why not.

    * I take 200mg caffeine a day via pills.

    * Tried creatine for a little while but read that it can cause or accelerate hair loss, and I do so enjoy having a full head of hair, so I stopped.

    * I kinda count glucomannan (the stuff shirataki noodles are made from) as a supplement.

  9. No problem, happy to help & offer advice. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    By the way, today is...

    Progress pic day!

    I was going to wait until Monday, but I want to start eating now so I can have more energy for my next workout. So, I took pics today. Here's my transformation so far :-)

    (Warning: Shirtless hairy dude pics. Sorry.)


  10. Get the Patches:



    Interplanetary is the first synth patch library from Impact Soundworks, featuring 128 sounds for Native Instruments MASSIVE synthesizer. Created by sound designer and producer HISTIBE, this collection evokes the sound of futuristic, larger-than-life, cinematic science fiction.

    Inside you will find dark atmospheres, evolving pads, aggressive basses, mechanical sequences, and other sounds ranging from haunting and ethereal to electrifying and hyper-modern. Most sounds have some element of atmosphere and motion, making them ideal for arpeggiation, sequencing, and evolving sustains. Timbres from subtle and soft to colossal in-your-face are included.

    For practicality, everything has been tagged for your browsing pleasure, and macro knobs are available so you can create instant variations of any sound. We think you will find these presets exceptionally useful - either as an inspirational starting point for your music, or to fill in frequencies, textures, and sections of existing tracks.

    Patch Breakdown

    * 11 Atmospheres / Ambiences

    * 28 Basses

    * 8 Keys / Organs

    * 11 Pads (Tonal)

    * 26 Sequences / Rhythmic

    * 26 Sound Effects

    * 18 Synths (Poly / Mono)


    Available now for the intro price of $20 (list: $25) here:




  11. Brace yourself for a long post :-)

    First of all - you can do it. You can, and you will. It will take some hard work and willpower, but you can. Last year I weighed 193 pounds. I had tried tons of diets and workout routines. Nothing worked, but then last May I started counting calories and now I'm down over 30 pounds and look great.

    Calorie counting is the key. Write down and track everything you eat. Total up the calories. Forget MyFitnessPal or anything else, just do it in WHATEVER you can, like Google Docs or Excel or whatever. It's a lot easier if you cook for yourself - of course, you'll want a food scale like this.


    Weigh yourself every day, ideally in the morning before you eat. Now, do this for 2 weeks to get in the habit. Track your weight vs. your calorie intake and you can determine your total daily expenditure. Sound laborious? It isn't. Besides the fact that you internalize the numbers really fast (like I know the ratio of weight:calories for all the foods I eat by heart), just put your plate on the scale and look at it as you put stuff on. It adds virtually no extra work or time.

    Approximately 3500 calories are needed to gain or lose a pound of fat. Let's say you average eating 2500 a day (which you'll know, because you're writing it down and tracking it). Now let's say you gain 1 pound of fat after 2 weeks.

    Your total caloric intake was 2500x14 days = 35000 calories. You gained a pound, therefore your actually metabolic requirement was 31500 calories. Divide that by 14 = your expenditure is 2250 a day.

    In my experience, online calculators are frequently inaccurate. The only way to tell your TDEE for sure is to actually count calories + weigh yourself. For example, I work out 6 times a week. I'm 5'9 162 pounds. According to calculators online my TDEE is 3000 which is almost 800 calories more than my actual calculated TDEE of 2250.

    So what do you eat?

    This next part is just my opinion, but IMO, it is MUCH harder to diet when you're eating small quantities of "normal" food - better to enjoy large portions of healthy food. You will feel more full and if you have that urge to eat a lot, you'll satiate that urge. And hunger IS a part of caloric restriction, but it doesn't have to be a problem if you eat the right stuff.

    For example, you could go to Subway and get a "healthy" sandwich that ends up costing you 1000 calories. Or, you could have some deli meat at home on a pita with delicious sriracha and lite mayo for 300 calories. Which brings me to the next part - what are the best foods to eat when cutting?

    1. Poultry and Ham

    Specifically, you want boneless, skinless, grilled / baked / roasted chicken or turkey. No bacon, no fried chicken, no breaded chicken. Poultry is approximately 1.1 calories per gram, provided it isn't fried or cooked in oil. This means that you can eat a HALF POUND of chicken (226 grams) and only get about 250 calories from it. That's insane. Poultry is king, and ham has a similar nutritional profile. I prefer deli meats because while they ARE higher in sodium (which you can counteract by drinking more water), they're also prepared and require no cooking, oil, etc.

    2. Eggs and Egg Whites

    Eggs are a very healthy food in general, but for increasing mass+volume of food consumed, I like mixing them with egg whites. 3 eggs and about a half cup of egg whites is 270 calories, and yields a fairly large portion of scrambled eggs. Delicious.

    3. Most Fruits & Vegetables

    Fruit - NOT DRIED FRUIT - is great, because it's full of moisture. Moisture = weight = fills you up. It also satisfies the sweet tooth some of us have. You can eat a massive bowl of cantaloupe or a big, juicy apple for about 100-120 calories. Vegetables are even better in this department. Broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke hearts, peas, lettuce.. especially lettuce. I eat about a pound of veggies with dinner every night and it's easily <100 calories.

    4. Lean soup

    Again soup can be a bit high in sodium, but look at nutrition labels and pick the best stuff. Soup has a lot of moisture/water (obviously) and thus fills you up more and takes longer to eat. Light chicken & rice, italian wedding, minestrone, tomato, vegetable... you can find soups where a pound of food is fewer than 200 calories.

    5. Potatoes, rice, lavash, pita***

    It's very easy to overeat these things if you're not careful, but as far as sources of carbs go, I find these to be pretty smart choices - as long as you don't add any junk. For example, a baked potato has about 163 calories for 213g of food. Not too bad. On the other hand, a cup of macaroni is about twice the calories for half the food. I'm quite found of pita - there is a kind from my local grocery store that's high in fiber and protein and only 60 calories.

    6. Fish

    Fish is like poultry. Lean and good for you.

    7. Water

    Drink a lot of it. Don't drink other stuff.

    8. Yogurt

    Greek yogurt especially!

    9. Jello

    Sugar-free jello is basically empty calories.. no nutrition to speak of. But at the same time, a whole bowl is like 20 calories, so who cares. Eat it if you feel the urge to eat and don't have the calorie budget.

    10. Mushrooms

    I love 'em. Half a pound of baby bella is like 60-70 calories at most, a great way to add mass and volume to a meal. Season away!

    11. Shirataki noodles.

    Some people don't like these but I swear by them and eat about one package a day. These are basically 0-calorie noodles made from plant fiber. They're relatively tasteless. I eat them with simple tomato sauce (where one serving = 35 calories, enough for my whole plate), veggies, and meat.

    So what SHOULDN'T you eat?

    I'm not saying the foods below are not healthy. Many of them are. Many of them are also OK in moderation. But if you want to get lean, you need to cut calories. And in my opinion, if you want to cut calories, you need to avoid calorie-dense food.

    1. Bread, pasta, oats, most cereals

    I know there is healthy bread out there, and oats are great for you... but the caloric density is also VERY VERY high. Not good for cutting IMO.

    2. Desserts or anything with sugar

    Goes without saying. Gee, should I eat a Twix bar, which is like 30 grams, and gain almost 300 calories? Or eat 8x that much meat for the same caloric price?

    3. Nuts and oils

    Cooking with oil adds tons of calories to your food. Nuts are also very high in calories. OK in moderation if you can control yourself but you simply can't eat a lot of nuts without getting a lot of calories.

    4. Butter and cheese, including peanut butter

    Can be good for you, but these just have too many calories.

    5. Sodas, alcohol, juices

    Cut it all out.

    6. Restaurant food

    Unfortunately, there are basically no restaurants that will offer food as lean as the kind you can cook at home. Therefore, it's best to prepare as much food yourself as possible. A fast food salad can be ridiculously (and surprisingly) high in calories due to a myriad of factors.

    7. Beef, kind of

    It's possible to get lean cuts of beef, but the nutritional profile is almost always more calorie-dense than poultry or fish. It's not BAD for you by any means. It just so happens that more often than not, beef tends to have more calories, so I usually avoid it.

    8. Pizza

    Pizza = oil, bread, carbs, cheese... avoid.

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