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                                                            ascii by: ZXPKNOBB
--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Table Of Contents
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     Opening:
           Message From the Editor
           Letters From Our Readers
     Columns:
           In Tune -- Krop3rom's "Metal Grinding on Metal"
           The Zen of Tracking -- Leave of Abscence
           Screen Lit Vertigo -- "Sign Off" by Superstition (party version)
     Features:
           New Positions Open
           Commentary on Demo-Parties
           Feedback -- Proposal for a New Group
           See the Sines -- Basics of Sound
     Closing:
           Credits

--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Message From the Editor
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their patience.
  This  issue is NOT late.  It is on our website right on time.  However,
  the  Kosmic Free Music Foundation (the provider of this listserve) just
  got  a wonderful new server.  So...we got put on the back burner while
  they  configured their new server.  I feel a congratulations is in order
  of  Kosmic.

     Moveing on, this issue will hopefully mark the last of the "word of
  mouth" advertising.  I have published a few messages on the
  alt.music.mods and the alt.binaries.sounds.mods newsgroups as per
  recomendation of Glen Warner.  You can read his message to us in the
  "Letters" section.  Meanwhile, I have also started placing advertisments
  and the like on several websites.  Hopefully we'll increase our reader
  base, and more importantly, our writer base.

     There are now a few columns up for grabs.  If you want to write for
  us,  and havn't been able to think of an original column...feel free to
  grab  one of the ones that's up for grabs.  More details to follow in an
  article appropriately called "New Positions Available."

     We have a lot for you to read this month.  In Tune: SiN and I  review
  an unusual song by Krop3rom titled "Metal Grinding on Metal."   Another
  current review from Seven as he reviews a demo by Superstition  titled
  "Sign Off."  This is the prize-winner from Ambience '99.  Setec  is back
  with two articles, one is a proposal for a new tracking  society/group
  of sorts, the other deals with some principals of sound.   Read
  both...especially the proposal.  Seems interesting to me.  Finally,  we
  have a guest article from Ntropy, who shares with us a little
  commentary on demoparties.  Thanks Ntropy!

     We'll see you next month with the next issue of Static Line.  With
  that  new server at Kosmic...it'll be on time too.  =)

                --Coplan
                   coplan@thunder.temple.edu

--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Letters From Our Readers
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
  -=- Letter from Glen Warner -=-
     Just a quick note to let you know that your 'zine is being read. You
  might consider posting a couple copies of Static Line to
  alt.binaries.sounds.mods and alt.music.mods, though; there's apparently
  a suprising amount of readers that have never heard of your magazine.

     As for contributions/issue size ... well, here's something that may
  (and I must stress: MAY) materialize in the future: I have a 100
  question interview with Necros. It was supposed to be published in the
  British magazine "Computer Music" in their special issue on mods.
  Unfortunately, the 'special issue' had about two pages worth of
  coverage, and the editor has not been very forthcoming in response to my
  several e-mails.

     As such, I have offered the interview to the US magazine "Electronic
  Musician". They seem interested, but they want an article on mods to
  accompany it. I'm working on that now.

     Since I am writing this article 'on spec', they may not use it. Should
  this be the case, I will e-mail you again and attach the interview (EM
  is rather fanatic about using stuff that has appeared elsewhere).

     Would that help?

                --Glen
                    gdwarner@ricochet.net

  -=> Reply from Coplan:
     First of all, thanks for the tip about the newsgroups.  Being that I
  don't check out the newsgroups that often, I am not accustomed to useing
  it as a tool for advertisement.  I have posted a message to both
  newsgroups, and I hope to see some response from that.  I have also
  begun looking for related web pages that might allow a link to us.

     As for your hopeful article, lets just say I have my fingers crossed.
  I hope you are able to write for us in the future, but I would surely
  not be upset if for some reason you couldn't.  Thanks for the feedback.
  It's good to know we have good readers.

                -- Coplan


--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  In Tune
    Krop3rom's "Metal Grinding on Metal"
  By:  Coplan and SiN
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     This month, we are going to be reviewing the music of Krop3rom.  This
  may be a difficult tune to get a hold of, so we have made it available
  on our web page for a short time.  It will be listed with current
  articles.  In the  future, we may start doing this with all of our
  reviews.  Let us know what you think.

     Anyhow, on with the review of "Metal Grinding on Metal" by Krop3rom.
  SiN is back for a short while, as he may be leaving the staff.  We  will
  miss him, but meanwhile...I'm forcing him to pick the song and  start us
  off.  I feel it's his turn.  =)

  -=- SiN -=-
     Wow.. this tune was a hard one to review...Not because it was bad,
  but because it is very, VERY, different from just about anything I have
  ever heard tracked before.  I would put this tune into the atmospheric
  genre, with some ambient influences as well.

     The first thing that I noticed when playing this song is that it
  isn't musical at all, it doesn't try to be .. and it never pretends to
  be... this may be somewhat off-putting to some of you, but I don't think
  it should be... you just need to approach the piece from another
  angle...

     [I cannot review this song in a conventional manner, but I'll do my
  best in any case]

  Samples:
     The samples are all good quality and completely suit the character of
  the piece.

  Techniques:
     Krop3rom make very good use of the "surround" effect available in
  impulse tracker to really thicken the pads and ambient textures.. he
  also makes good use of panning to keep on off balance and interested.

  Overall Impression:
     I think this piece is great - it is unique, it is interesting to
  listen to (just lie back and close your eyes and see where this song
  takes you), and it is perhaps the most aptly named tune I have ever
  listened to (though Skaven's "Catch That Goblin" is right up there for
  being well named)... but it is really hard to review... so I encourage
  you to listen to it! .. if you visit Efnet #trax Krop has shown no
  reluctance to dcc it to anyone who asks for it..

     Remember.. keep an open mind

                --SiN
                   sin_@netcom.ca

  -=- Coplan -=-
     First of all, while listening to this song, there are two things that
  one must have:  patience, and a passive additude.  Those of you who are
  music theory buffs, those of you who like chorus and molodies, those of
  you who like form in their music -- this song isn't for you.  In fact, I
  wouldn't even call this a "song."  It is truly an experimental peice
  that deals with sound depth and passive ambient sound.

     Since the first three orders consist of some sort of funky "clonk"
  sound and echos, I'm going to cut right to order 3 (there's logic here
  if you count order 0).  Anyhow...at order three, a second channel is
  dedicated to the clonk sample (my name).  While the first one is set in
  surround sound, the second shifts back and forth from the left side to
  the right. There's a slight problem here...most people don't have
  surround sound support.  For those of us who use a stereo system, this
  literally does nothing but make it sound in the center.  (I don't even
  know...is surround sound in Impulse Tracker true "surround sound?").
  When surround sound is played on a stereo system in this manner, and
  when the same instrument is played at the same pitch with a shifting
  panning, that panning is naturally amplified.  Therefore, the hard-left
  panned sample sounds really "left-heavy."  Again, beware of the GUS
  user. This  will make the sound different...be careful.  I like sample
  3 here...I assume that's where the song got the name from.  It really
  does sound like metal on metal.

     Next stop, order 6.  More percussion-like samples are introduced.
  The samples themselves leave something to be desired.  But, at least it
  breaks up some of the monotony of the song.  Order 7, rezer sweaps.
  Great samples, and great use of them here.  There isn't much variation
  it the samples use though.  This alone has a major aesthetically
  negative effect on  the rest of the song.

     As the song continues, I really don't know what to make of it.  I'm
  not at all about saving face, so I'll be blunt:  I don't agree with
  SiN's opinion of this being a great song.  I find it very very drawn
  out, and at times irritating.  On an up note, however, Krop3rom has
  gotten a good ear for when to introduce these unique samples.  I don't
  find any conflict between samples as far as how they are used, and how
  they affect the song.  The samples are all of very good quality, and I
  feel that their use is effective.  Though original, the song was not
  very pleasing to my ear.

     The best part of the song is the closing few orders.  Starting at
  order 21, a sample that so perfecty fits is introduced.  Though it is
  packaged  in an unfluctuating melody, I can't help but to shutter when
  that instrument comes in.  It sends a creepy chill up my spine, and I
  like that.  To bad, however, that this is order 21 out of 24...quite
  nearly the end of the song...in fact at about order 22, it will fade
  slowly to silence.  In the future, one might want to start a song here.

     I'm sorry that I don't share SiN's view on this song.  Perhaps its
  because of my stubborn need for some sort of dynamic lead instrument in
  music, or perhaps its because there wasn't enough change in this song.
  The song is definately worth a download.  It is unique in form, style
  and mood, and worth a listen.  If you like it, then it was worth the
  download.  If you dislike it...it was only a few minutes of your time.
  But if you don't grab it...you'll never know if you'll like it or not.

                --Coplan / Immortal Coil
                   coplan@thunder.temple.edu


  Listening Info:
     Coplan: IT 2.14 useing default Interwave drivers; Koss Mixing
       Headphones and his home stereo.
     SiN: IT 2.15 useing MMX PNP drivers; volume ramping (@48kHz); MikIT;
       Senheiser Studio-Reference Headphones and his home stereo.

  Song Information:
     Title: "Metal on Metal"
     Author: Krop3rom
     Filename (zipped/unzipped): kr-metal.zip / kr-metal.it
     File Size:  604k
     Source:  http://www.ic.l7.net/statline/kr-metal.zip (temporary)

     "In Tune" is a regular column dedicated to the review of original and
  singular works by fellow trackers.  It is to be used as a tool to expand
  your listening and writing horizons, but should not be used as a general
  rating system.  SiN and Coplan's opinions are not the opinions of the
  Static Line Staff.

     If you have heard a song you would like to recommend (either your
  own, or another person's), we can be contacted through e-mail useing the
  addresses found in the closing notes.  Please do not send files attached
  to e-mail without first contacting us.  Thank you!


--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  The Zen of Tracking
    Leave of abscence
  By:  Dilvish (spoken for by Coplan)
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     Fear not everyone, the column has not died.  It will return in due
  time.  So as not to sacrifice the quality of the column, Dilvish has
  taken a leave of abscence.  He is currently working in his fairly new
  job, and has recently been married (Congratulations from all at Static
  Line).  Meanwhile, until his company is able to afford new computers,
  Dilvish has taken his own computer into work -- what a workoholic.
  Therefore, he isn't able to carry out his column until further notice.

     We at Static Line thank you for your patience as we await the return
  of "The Zen of Tracking."


--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Screen Lit Vertigo
    "Sign Off" by Superstition (party-version)
  By:  Seven
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
  Found at ftp.scene.org
  1st place at Ambience'99

  System requirements:
     Hmm, the party version has no nfo file, but I think you need at
  least a P2 to run this smooth. Maybe a Pentium with MMX will do too, as
  there are lots of different layers merged together. Vesa2 is needed; a
  soundcard and 4.5 MB HD can be useful too.

  Test Machine: P2 350 64MB SB16, Win98 in dos-mode (BOOTGUI = 0)
     Dos: EMM: crashes almost at the end, after the metaballs.
     XMS & clean: runs perfectly.
     Windows: Exits immediately with a paging-error.

  The demo:
     At Ambience'99, Superstition competed in the demo, 64k-intro, wild and
  pixeled gfx compos (maybe I forgot some others), and they ranked first
  in almost all of them. One might think this would result in a loss of
  quality, but looking at Sign Off, the winner (yes, they had 2 demos,
  which reached first AND second), you see the opposite is true. The first
  word that comes to my mind when watching this is: "Layers". There are
  always 2 or 3 layers with different effects visible, which gives an
  overwhelming amount of things to look at. It's just impossible to see
  every detail at once, so you really want to see it again and again.
  There are few really impressive effects (although the combination of the
  two tunnels is breath-taking). Pictures are more important in this demo.
  The backgrounds are impressive and often colorful, some smaller pictures
  are superimposed over every effect, and there are some very good
  full-screen pictures with a very soft and blurred look.

  The music:
     Rhythm is more important than melody here, with lots of drums and noise.
  There are a few breaks, during the full-screen pictures and the
  greetings, when there are only a few instruments playing. Without this
  variation, the tune would become boring at the end. Some things like the
  flashing pictures are really synchronized to the beats, the rest of the
  demo just follows the music at equal speed.

  Overall:
     This demo is a good mix of everything: 3D, 2D-effects, full-screen
  pictures, smaller pictures, ... Although there is no real theme, there
  are some small design-touches that add much to the overall "feel", e.g.
  several pictures of people under water, or the omni-present raster over
  the effects.  According to the credits, only three people made this
  (Magicboy, Deadline and G-day/Quad). If you look at everything Magicboy
  and Deadline released at Ambience'99, they must be some of the most
  active sceners at the moment. Let's hope they keep making things with
  this quality.

                --Seven
                    Stefaan.VanNieuwenhuyze@rug.ac.be

--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  New Positions Open
  By:  Coplan
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     Staff positions are now open within Static Line.  If you would like
  to write columns for Static Line, but your column of choice has already
  been taken, here's your chance.  The following column positions are now
  available:

     -Monthly Software Review
     -Monthly Interview
     -Humor
     -Song Review (as a partner with Coplan)

     If you have any interest in filling any of these positions, please
  contact me at the address listed below.  Perhaps you have your own ideas
  in mind.

                --Coplan / Immortal Coil
                   coplan@thunder.temple.edu

--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Commentary on Demo-Parties
  By:  ntropy
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     What is it exactly that in the end attracts people to these
  "Demo-Parties", what is it that keeps them coming. It can't be the poor
  organizational talents of the Powers-That-Be, nor the sleep deprevation
  or intoxication with soda and sugar that wreak havoc on many a young
  bodies. It can't be the doorhandles of the toilets puked over by some
  idiot in distress, nor the excessive ambient booming of lamish crap
  "music", nor the cries of dying Quakers as they once again walk straight
  into the cold embrace of virtual death.

     Is it the scene-spirit that bonds them, that mythical thing spoken of
  with awe and respect or is it being able to do what they want to do,
  feeling yuckily sticky for 72 hours, coming home with a load of new
  warez and, perhaps most importantly, with the knowledge that they are
  not alone in their craving, that their passion is shared by others.
  Kindred spirits? Maybe, maybe not. But in the end we all collapse onto
  our beds with a mad grin of satisfaction on our faces...

     We were there.

                --ntropy


--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  Feedback
    Proposal for a New Group
  By:  Jesper Pedersen / Setec
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     I am one of those pathetic fools that craves feedback on my tunes.
  I am not romantic enough to claim that it is enough for me to be
  statisfied with what I put out, not caring whether people hear it or
  not. Hell no! I want some proper feedback, some criticism, comments,
  someone telling me to stop tracking, anything. I want to know that
  people actually listen to what I put out, and I want some ideas for
  improvements cause I damn well know there is room for some.

     So. Since I feel the scene in general doesn't provide me with
  feedback, I am taking matters in my own hands. I am hereby inviting
  anyone interested to join a new music group. The thing that will differ
  from how most groups work is that feedback on new releases by the other
  members is REQUIRED in order to stay in the group. In other words, if
  you do not grant the other members with comments you will be kicked. Of
  course, if you are practically unable to give comments, proper excuses
  will be accepted. But only for so long. Keep coming up with excuses and
  you will be asked to leave the group.

     I don't know whether this has been tried before, I don't know if I
  should have my head examined for proposing this, but I find the idea of
  the whole thing rather interesting. So. Anyone interested should contact
  me at :

     jesped@post.tele.dk

     Include a little info on yourself and a link to some of your stuff. If
  you are in, I will contact you with further info. I still haven't
  decided on a name for the group, I figured I might get no applications
  at all, so I did not bother. That is a detail we can always work out
  together.

    There. Who knows, maybe I am a bit of a romantic after all.

                --Setec / Immortal Coil
                    jesped@post.tele.dk


--=--=--
--=--=------=--=------=--=----
  See the Sines
    Basics of Sound
  By:  Jesper Pedersen / Setec
----=--=------=--=------=--=--
     A few days ago I was lucky enough to be involved in quite an
  interesting conversation with ShadowH, covering the subject of sound -
  how to synthesize analog instruments to be more exact. I will not go
  further into the actual contents of the debate, merely state that it
  made me want to dig further into the topic.

     So I figured the best way to learn is to try to teach others what you
  know. Thus in this article I will attempt to outline some basics of
  sound. It is my plan then, to try to learn more about the subject and
  return with an article from time to time.

     But why the hell should basics of sound interest you? Well, if you
  only want to dig through your library of Necros and Skaven tunes for
  sample sources, so be it. Skip this article, load up that fc-siner.smp
  and start doing your thing.

     If however, you would like to expand your ways of obtaining samples,
  this is one hell of a way to do it. Understanding sound will allow you
  to make samples completely from scratch, hardcoding it all from rock
  bottom. And even if coding samples isn't your thing, this will be a
  great help for anyone using softsynths or real synths as sample sources.
  By understanding sound you will find it easier to obtain the exact sound
  you want, rather than just twisting those knobs at random.

     Anyhow, here goes.


                      PART I - Elementary, my dear Watson


     Try to load up a sine sample in the sample editor of your choice.
  What you will probably get is some sort of graph representing the sine
  sample; a sine waveform. This is as simple as it can get. Keep this form
  in mind for the remainder of this section, I won't bother to draw
  asciis, I suck at it so it would probably just confuse you.

     When trying to describe a sound in general terms, there are three
  basic elements; pitch, brightness and volume.

     Pitch is probably obvious to most of you, it is determined by the
  speed at which the wave repeats. If you look at your sine waveform you
  will see how at first it is at zero, then gradually rising, falling
  below zero and then once again rising to zero. This segment is called a
  period. The pitch is determined by how many times the wave competes a
  period during a single second; the frequency of the wave. Naturally,
  this is measured in Hertz (Hz), 440 Hz being the middle A. Each time you
  double the frequency you go up one octave. Simple as that.

     Volume. Another thing that is obvious to most, but still deserves
  just a little explanation to let you all know exactly what we are
  talking about. When describing waveforms, the amplitude of the waveform
  corresponds to the "height" of the thing. The farther the peak of the
  waveform is from zero, the greater the amplitude and the louder the
  volume.

    Brightness can be a bit more tricky to understand. To simplify it
  greatly it corresponds to the complexity of the waveform. If you look at
  the sine wave it is as simple as it can be, but if you try to load a
  string sample it is far more complicated. This change in complexity is
  heard as change in brightness. Partials - or overtones - is also related
  to the brightness of the sound. And this leads us into the next part.
  What the hell are partials?

     Well. To explain this, we need to get one thing clear first. The sine
  bass is the mother of all sounds; so treat the little fella with
  respect! What this means is that all waveforms are made up of several
  sine waves; the fundamental (or basis), and multiples of that base
  frequency. These others are what we call partials. Any integer multiples
  are called harmonic partials, all others are inharmonic.

    Now - like I mentioned earlier - these partials have a great thing to
  say when it comes to the brightness of the sound. The more
  high-frequency par- tials the sound includes the brighter the sound. You
  might also say that such a sample contained a lot of "overtones".

    So what would you do if you wanted to make a specific sound more
  mellow, less bright. Naturally you would need to get rid of some of the
  partials with high frequencies. Filter them out, so to speak. And this
  is where that synthesizer all time favourite comes in place; the LPF -
  Low Pass Filter. This filter simply allows you to specify a cutoff
  frequency and then removes any partials with frequencies above that
  level, hence creating a less bright sound. A very simple filter, not
  difficult to understand at all unless you do not grasp the concept of
  partials. You need to understand how sounds consist of more than one
  frequency.

    By the way - while we are at it - in case you are wondering what the
  resonance setting in the LPF actually does, this is quite simple as
  well. It simply amplifies the partials in the area of the cutoff
  frecuency.

    Well. There is a little basic sound theory for you. I will probably
  return with more articles on the subject. In case I have any of this
  theory messed up, correct me.

                --Setec / Immortal Coil
                    jesped@post.tele.dk

--=--=--
----=--=------=--=------=--=------=--=------=--=------=--=------=--=------
  Editor:             Coplan / D. Travis North / coplan@thunder.temple.edu
  Assistant Editors:  Ranger Rick / Ben Reed / ranger@ironweb.com
                       Subliminal / Matt Friedly / sub@plazma.net
  Web Manager:        Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / dilvie@kosmic.org
  Columnists:         Coplan / D. Travis North / coplan@thunder.temple.edu
                       Calvin French / frenchc@cadvision.com
                       Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / dilvie@kosmic.org
                       Louis Gorenfeld / gorenfeld@vrone.net
                       Setec / Jesper Pederson / jesped@post.tele.dk
                       Seven / Stefaan / Stefaan.VanNieuwenhuyze@rug.ac.be
                       SiN / Ian Haskin / sin_@netcom.ca
  Staff Writers:      Acell / Jamie LeSouef / jlesouef@melbpc.org.au
                       Darkheart / Zach Heitling / darkhart@san.rr.com
                       Psychic Symphony / psychic@esoterica.pt
                       Setec / Jesper Pederson / jesped@post.tele.dk
  Technical Support:  Draggy / Nicolas St. Pierre / draggy@kosmic.org

  Static Line on the Web:  http://www.ic.i7.net/statline
                           ftp://demo.dyn.ml.org/scene/DiskMag/StaticLine

     To subscribe to the Static Line mailing list, send an e-mail message to
  "majordomo@kosmic.org" with "subscribe static_line" in the message text.
  You will then be asked to confirm your addition to the mailing list.
     To unsubscribe from the mailing list, send an e-mail message to
  "majordomo@kosmic.org" with "unsubscribe static_line" in the message text.
  Your subscription will then be removed.

     If you would like to contribute an article to Static Line, be aware
  that we will format your article with two spaces at the beginning and one
  space at the end of each line.  Please void foul language and high ascii
  characters.  Contributions should be mailed to Coplan
  (coplan@thunder.temple.edu).

     See you next month!

-eof---=------=--=------=--=--