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How I got rid of high pitched USB noise – once and for all

December 3, 2016  |  Blog, Hardware, Music production, Studio

Something I have been trying to fix for a long time is the annoying high pitched noise that I would hear in the background when recording sounds from my external gear. I guess it has been there more or less since I got my expensive Asus motherboard for the PC. That was years ago but it wasn’t really until I started building and using my modular synth that I started noticing the noise. Somehow it was enhanced by the modular to a degree where I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

I tried a lot of things to solve the issue including buying two kinds of audio ground isolators. They did work. Well sort of… First of all I had to use a lot of them, because I have a big selection of external gear I want to record. Secondly the isolators capped a good part of the lower end spectrum, so a bass sound or kick drum would sound very week. I could compensate with an EQ but it was just too much hassle and I would never get it to sound exactly like it did without the isolators.

Hi-speed USB IsolatorThere is this thing called an USB isolator which you can buy on the cheap from Amazon or from China, or whatever. And they really do work as promised, by removing just the USB noise and keeping everything else. The problem is, until now if you wanted an USB isolator that could be used for Hi-speed USB, meaning it should be able to shuffle enough data for more than two audio channels, they would cost in the range of $250-300. But luckily, technology tends to evolve and today a hi-speed USB Isolator is finally affordable.

HiFImeDIY is now selling a Hi-speed USB Isolator with a price tag of $79. I got mine a few weeks ago and I’m super happy with it. All USB noise is gone and I’ve had no problems like dropouts etc running 16 channels in 24 bit and 96 kHz sample rate.
So.. yeah I’m super happy. One less problem to worry about. 🙂

I now have 10 tracks finished for my next album

October 24, 2016  |  Blog, Music

Haven’t decided yet if that is enough or if I should aim for a couple more tracks until I’m done. The ten tracks I have now totals in at 65 minutes. Hmm.. I guess there’s truly not something called a full length album anymore. When I released my last real CD album in 1999 a full lengther meant around 72 minutes. I’m not sure there’s a limit anymore, as long as it’s a digital release. I should get around to start the search for a label now though.

Björn Fogelberg – Deep Strategy

October 16, 2016  |  Blog, Music, Music production

Here’s a better version of my new track called Deep Strategy. Now I just need one more track for my (full length) album. I’m starting to search for a suitable label, so please do hit me with any suggestion you might have. The style will mostly be electronic dance music on the deeper, more atmospheric side, with a mixture of progressive, deep house, modern techno and a dash of ambient. Think Lost and found, Bedrock, Sudbeat and Microcastle.

Just a little preview of my new track Deep Strategy

October 15, 2016  |  Blog, Music, Music production

Which will of course be part of my next album which now is aaaaalmost finished.

My tune is done. It's called Deep Strategy and here is a preview. I'll start looking for a label for my album soon so any good suggestions are welcome. #electronicdancemusic #electronicmusic #dancemusic #housemusic #housemusiclovers #progressivehouse #proghouse #guyj #deephouse #deephousemusic

A post shared by Björn Fogelberg (@bjorn_knatter_fogelberg) on

A treasure trove of old tape recordings

October 9, 2016  |  Blog, Music, Music production

Old tapes

I was digging around in some of my old boxes and came across a big bunch of cassette tapes. Most of them are more or less irrelevant today – they contain the normal stuff a young man would record from the radio and LP:s in the early 80s to mid 90s. But some actually have tunes that I produced in the early to mid 90s, when I was part of this company / band called Cyberpunk Development. That music was never released so it will be fun to listen to it again, some odd 20 years later. If it’s any good I will put it up on my Soundcloud page.

Oh, and there is also a DAT, but I don’t have any way of playing it, since I don’t have a DAT-player. Just had a look at Ebay and they are super expensive. Like 5000 SEK and upwards for a portable Sony DAT Walkman. What the hell?!

The Arturia Drum Brute

October 8, 2016  |  Blog, Music production

I might get another drum machine. Just wow Arturia. You just made a lot of producers salivate, all at once. Now where, in my tiny studio would I be able to fit this monster?

Dear Esther: Landmark edition for PS4 put me to sleep

October 2, 2016  |  Blog, Computer Games

Dear Esther
Grayness and depression.

Dear Esther: Landmark edition for PS4 could very well be the most boring game I have ever played. This narrative driven exploration game literally put me to sleep. Yes, after strolling around a grey and ugly island for about an hour, listening to a man reading from his letters to Esther, I fell asleep in my chair. Actually, calling this a game is a huge overstatement, because it doesn’t seem to have any interactions at all. There are no puzzles or mysteries to solve, except holding the joystick forward and and listening to the emerging story once you reach certain points on the map. Oh well it’s my own fault for not checking it out you Youtube before buying. Wasn’t really that expensive anyway.

Working on that new track

September 29, 2016  |  Blog, Music production

Many people seems to like the track I posted a preview of on Instagram the other day, so I’ve decided to finish it. Been working on it today and I think it’s turning out great. Still have to name it though…

Why I don’t do any more official remixes

September 24, 2016  |  Blog, Music production, Remix

Somebody asked my why I don’t do remixes anymore. Well I did a lot of them, for quite a while. You can listen to most of them here. I’ll try to explain why I stopped. When I started remixing other artists it was more or less just for fun. This was back in the early days of mp3.com, when independent artists actually could make a buck from their music by uploading it to the mp3.com web site. Think late 90s, before the first internet bubble. Through that site and a few other I got in contact with artists like Mystical Sun and Dimbodius. I would do “swap-remixes” which meant I would remix someone and they would remix me. No money involved and I only remixed tracks that I liked. Although I’m still waiting for my Mystical Sun remix, Richard. 😉

One thing led to another and suddenly I would get requests to do more high profile stuff, like cover “remixes” of Klaus Schulze and Jean-Michel Jarre. Then when I started to produce more dance oriented music I got requests to do those kinds of remixes, which I did.

But the thing is, it was always more or less for free. The deal was I would get 50% of the income, but there was always a floor of say $100. So I wouldn’t get any money until my remix made at least $100. Being this was remixes of usually lesser known artists on lesser known labels.. Guess what I made from remixing all these tracks from the mid 2000 onward. You guessed right. I made $0.

Please don’t misunderstand me. If you’ve produced electronic music for as long as I have, you’re not in it for the money. The green I’ve made from my music during all of these years are about the same amount that I make one month working with web design and development. But you get to the point where it’s not fun anymore to put all this time and effort into making these remixes. You get zero payment from it and once the remix has been delivered to the label, that’s that and you basically never hear anything else about it. No feedback, no nothing.

Still I thought if I keep doing this long enough someone important will notice and I will get that brake, that chance to do a remix that really matters. Well that didn’t happen. When I started thinking about how I instead could have produced a couple of my own albums, the decision to stop doing remixes wasn’t that hard to make.

So there you have it. I quit remixing other artists because it didn’t lead anywhere. I rarely got any feedback and it took away time and inspiration that I could have used for my own music.