31 May 2008

More studio changes

I'm still moving around some stuff in my studio. I found a nice spot for the Juno 60 in my analog corner. I moved the JX-8P that was in that spot somewhere else. The Kenton DCB to midi convertor is on the Juno 106 that is directly on the right of the Juno 60 now. Two brothers next to each other :) As you can see I also found a spot for the Poly 800 reversed keys just behind it. I ofter get the question if everything is connected so I can play. The answer is yes. Everything is connected with midi and audio to play right away.

I also put another table top rack on my desk on the right in my digital corner. I moved the Access Virus B and Novation Supernova 2 to this rack. These synthesizer were in my big rack, but since these synthesizers have a lot of knobs I like to turn, I wanted to have them closer to my work spot. On the bottom of the rack you see a Roland UM550 midi interface that I actually use as a patch bay to connect these synthesizers to the midi in and out of the Virus TI Polar. This way I can easily jam on them from the Polar keyboard. Also the Blofeld and plugiator are connected to this patchbay. This way I can also stack them easily for a very thick sound.

The last thing it did is add two small keyboard stands to put the Roland SH201 and Oberheim/Viscount OB12 near to me. I put them on the right of my digital corner. I can play 6 keyboards at the same time now from this work spot, well 2 at a time off course ;) Very nice for jamming, but also when I'm recording. I like some keyboards more for playing chords and others more for soloing, even depending on the kind of sound I use. For pitch bending for example I love the Roland joystick, and for modulation sometimes a modulation wheel is easier, because it stays in the position you put it and the Roland joystick doesn't. Well I'm sure I'm not done moving yet. Still trying to achieve some optimal situation. I think soon will be time for new pictures for my website :)

Plugiator is cool

Last friday I went to I4 muzique in Eindhoven to chat a bit about some idea's I have for my studio. I'm struggling a bit with USB connections over longer distances so we looked at some USB over ethernet solutions. While waiting in the shop for other customers that were helped in between I played a bit with the Use Audio plugiator. I did't really know this machine, but I liked the concept. To begin with it is very cheap and it runs the Creamware ASB synthesizers like the Minimax, Pro-12, Prodyssey and B4000. I used to own a minimax and Pro-12 but sold them when I bought real Moogs and the Prophet '08. Off course the real analogs sound much better, but the minimax one acted as a polyphonic minimoog and I missed that sometimes so I was looking for this ASB again.

But now they put all of them in one box which is really cool and it doesn't take much space. You can see it in the picture on the right compared to my Virus Polar. Very small. It is an ugly box by the way. Too bad they didn't do a little designing on it. The software that comes with it is great. You plug it in your USB port and the software shows you the synthesizer layout on your screen. See the picture below for some examples. You have some knobs on the box you can tweak right away, which is nice. Unfortunately you can't assign them, but everything is CC based so you can assign some knobs on your own controller. You can only run one plug in at the time by the way.

Another nice thing is that the software has an online database with sounds where you can upload you own made patches. All the other users can use them as well them. And off course you can also use the patches that other people made. Very very well though of! It comes pre installed with the minimax and B4000 and two of their own synthesizers. The rest you have to buy. But they are very cheap. For only $129 you have them all! I discovered only one downside and that is (besides is it still just an emulation off course) that is a bit noisy. Not loud but in the background I measured about -80 dB of noise floor. You don't hear that in a mix, but I can't remember that the Creamware boxes did this.

ASM-2 (Part 4)

Yesterday I received another bunch of parts for my ASM-2. With this parts I finished the PCB. I only miss two 120 nF capacitors. The strange thing is that no manufacturer has those values anymore in their assortment. I will ask Elby Designs if they can supply them or maybe I can replace them with 100 nF or 150 nF. I don't know how critical the value is. Two other components are not fitted yet. The power regulators. I already have them, but the heat sinks that I got are not the right ones. So I'm going to look a bit further. The probably will work, but on the PCB are some mounting holes. The ones I got will be screwed onto the regulators but don't rest on the PCB. This means a lot of stress on the leads of the regulators. I'm afraid they will break from the weight of the heat sinks.

On the right you see another picture of my PCB from another angle. On the bottom you see a nice picture that is on the website of Elby Designs. I used this one to check the result of my own PCB as well. On this picture below you see the heat sinks attached to the PCB. This looks very solid. The next thing to do is to start working on the front panel. I still need to order it as well as all the jack connectors and the pot meters with knobs , but I have been just too busy so far. So far it has been fun building this unit, but I'm still far from getting some sounds from it. Well patience is a virtue they say. I don't have much of that though ;) As you can see below my work looks quite OK. Even still it will be an exciting moment when I connect power to the PCB.

I hope Elby Dedigns doesn't mind me using this picture on my blog, but it is a way better picture than I could take. In the end I'm promoting their project so probably they wont mind :) I'm not such a good photographer and wanted to give you a good idea how it looks like ;) When you click the image you can see it up close. You will notice that some components are not installed. This is intentional. Some components are optional, so you have some choices on the functionality while building. When I continue I will update you off course.

AtmoSphere Album coming 11th of October 2008!

I have exciting news: Last week I signed a new record contract with Groove Unlimited!! They will also release my second album on their label. I'm very happy about this. It is scheduled to be released on the 11th of October 2008. It will be released during E-live, a very nice Electronic Music event that Groove organizes every year. My new album will be called 'AtmoSphere'. I'm still working very hard on this album, but it will be finished in time for sure. My inspiration for this album came by the atmosphere around our beloved planet earth. The songs are inspired by the different layers of air around the world, the different clouds that are encountered in these layers and the sounds of different weather phenomena. You will travel through these layers of air starting on the surface of the earth and ending up in space :) I sampled a lot of things like thunder storms, rain, wind etc that started my inspiration for many of the songs that you will hear.

At the moment I'm working on the cover art with a friend of mine. I will update you soon on this project. Here you can see it is already announced on the Groove website as well. You can find more information on this project on my main website on this URL:


There is already a track on this page to give you some idea. But please note that this track is not a finished version yet. It is just a teaser. I will add more information soon. I hope you will all like this album when it is done. I'm back to work now ;)

29 May 2008

Juno 60 is back with Kenton

This morning I picked up my Juno 60 from the guy that repaired it. It is completely mint now. He did quite some work on it. He completely cleaned it, opened some sliders, switches and the volume potmeter. The arpeggiator switch was broken when I got it from Canada. He replaced it with a new one that we bought on E-bay. That switch came from a Juno 60 that was sold as spare parts. So it is a truely original Juno 60 switch. The last thing that was done is a power conversion from 110 to 220 Volts. I don't need to buy a power convertor now.

I also bought his old Kenton Pro DCB MK2 converter. It needed one because the Juno 60 has no midi. It was build in the pre-midi era. Roland did put a DCB port on this synthesizer toghether with some other CV based external inputs. In the picture on the down left, you see the DCB port. In combination with this converter I can use Juno 60 in my midi based setup now. It even syncs the arpeggiator to midi clock, which is very cool off course :)

I also left something behind for repair. The Ensoniq ESQ-1 that I bought recently has an empty battery. In this way it doesn't hold any parameters and that is very annoying. The battery is soldered on the PCB and I didn't want to change it myself. The Ensoniq also has very old software in it. Version 2.0 to be precise and I found ROM images of the latest version on the internet which is 3.5. We will put this version in it. He has an Eprom programmer so he can burn the ROM's and put them in when the synthesizer is open any way.

28 May 2008

All FM live radio interview

I did a very nice live radio interview at an English radio station called All FM. The interview was part of a show called Night Moves. It was broad casted live on Tuesday Night the 27th/28th of May. I phoned in to the studio from my studio. I was a bit nervous up front but when the interview started I forgot all about it. I recorded the interview from the live internet stream which clipped here and there unfortunately, but it was a very nice interview. Thank you very much for that Vicky. I saved a copy on my website so that you can listen to it if you missed it. You can find it here:
http://www.synth.nl/interviews.php. I hope you will enjoy it. Well I did at least :)

25 May 2008

I bought a Jupiter 8

Only recently I almost got scammed on a Jupiter 8 on E-bay. After that I decided not to look for one anymore on E-bay and started looking somewhere else. I posted on the Dutch Synthforum.nl website that I was looking for one and actually did expect much response. To my big surprise I had even two E-mails about it the next morning. One guy actually wasn't planning to sell his, but was curious what the market value was, but the other guy was actually someone that offered me one. We E-mailed a bit up and down and it seemed to be a trustworthy person. And eventually we came to an agreement. So I actually bough a Jupiter 8 this week!!

I still can't believe it. I have been looking so long for a good one already and it has been on my wish list for a long time. It was a bit more expensive than I planned, but it is supposed to be in mint condition and it has the encore midi kit build in. Judging from the pictures it looks great. I hope its electronics are in the same shape, but the seller assured me that. So I guess it is worth it. I still have to pick it up. They guy I bought it from lives in Belgium. About 1,5 hours driving from where I live. I hope to pick it up somewhere next week. The 7th of June I'm going to a synthesizer meeting. Off couse I would like to bring the Jupiter 8 to that meeting. So I will try to pick it up before that. I'll keep you posted :)

Meeting with Bjorn Jeppesen

One of the reasons I went to the Ambient Experience in Wuppertal recently was because my good friend and colleague musician Bjorn Jeppesen was performing live there. We are both on the same label (Groove Unlimited) and we talk a lot on the internet about a lot of stuff. He played together with Claus Holm Lynglund in the band Carboneids and later he performed solo as Nattefrost. We met backstage and had a good time there. Also Claus was there. It was nice to meet him too.
The concerts were very cool to look at and listen to. I really enjoyed them. Robert Schroeder was a special guest and performed with Bjorn on the last 2 Nattefrost tracks.

Bjorn played some tracks from his previous albums 'Absorbed in dreams and yearning' and 'Underneath the Nightsky' and some tracks of his new album 'Transformation'. I like them both. So if you don't know his music yet. Listen to it. You can find his main website here: http://www.nattefrost.dk/ and he is also on MySpace here: http://www.myspace.com/nattefrostmusic

Also the Carboneids tracks sounded very nice to me. You can find them on myspace as well: http://www.myspace.com/carboneids.

24 May 2008

Sonar 7 demonstration at Live Music

Today I was at Live Music in Arnhem (one of my favorite synth suppliers) for a Sonar 7 demonstration. I have been working with Sonar already for a long time, but last time that I attended a demonstration like this I did learn some new stuff. So I decided to go again today. The demonstration was combined with a demonstration of some new products from East-West as well. The demonstration was given by Tim Hüfken. He is a very experienced music producer that has been working with my big synth hero Jean-Michel Jarre on his last album Teo and Tea. He is a very nice guy as well by the way. Tim started out with the East-West products. All great sounding sampled instruments. I use their Symphonic Choirs myself and I love it. What I heard sounded great and the new player that were promoting looks very promising. The Sonar demonstration was even more interesting. Off course I already knew 90% of what Tim showed, but he also demonstrated the very powerful audio snap feature that I haven't used yet. And I found out that there is a lot of new plugins that came with the upgrade from 6 to 7 that I never even saw before :) I really need to read a manual sometimes ;)

before the demonstration and during the break I played a bit around on some synthesizers. I do that more often at Live Music, but I seem to have always skipped the SH-201. Because it is very cheap I thought it wasn't going to be much. But I was amazed. This little thing was great. I had so much fun with it. I always loved the Roland sound as you can probably tell from my gear list. And soon it will be even more ;) After the demo I played again on it and was sold. I bought the demonstration unit that was in the shop for a very low price. I didn't plan to buy something today at all, but well sometimes you just fall in love with something instantly. Love at first sight that is called. This little thing is a great performance / lead synthesizer. It is a VA but it sounds really analog. Now I have to find a spot for it.

Live radio interview on All FM Tuesday night

I will do a another live radio interview at an English radio station called All FM. The interview will part of a show called Night Moves. It is broad casted live on Tuesday Night the 27th/28th of May from 1 am until 3 am UK time (GMT). My interview will be on at around 1:25 am. It will last for about 15 minutes I was told by Vicky the presenter of the show. I have no idea yet what she will ask. It is completely live. It is a nice show, I have been played there before. I will try to record the interview for my archive off course, but try to tune in when you can. I'm looking forward to the interview and off course will let you know how it went. You can listen to it over the live stream on their website. You can find that here: http://www.allfm.org/

20 May 2008

Yusynth (Part 2)

Today I did some more drilling. First I finished the remaining PCB's with the 1 millimeter drill. After that I drilled the mounting holes on the PCB with a 3 millimeter drill. Those holes will eventually be used to fasten the PCB's to the front panels. After I drilled I checked all the PCB's if I didn't forget any holes, and I found some. After that my ex-colleague Marcel checked my work as well and found even more :) There are so many holes it is easy to overlook one or two. Luckily Marcel is very experienced in this work and sees this right away.

After that I cut the PCB's to the right size. In the picture on the right you see the big cutting tool I used for that. Normally it is used to cut metal plates, but works very well on epoxy of the PCB's as well. It is quite a precise job. The size of the PCB's doesn't matter too much off course, but I like to have it nice and tidy for the pictures ;) On some PCB's Yves (the designer) drew lines to cut by, very convenient. I wish everybody would do that. That would makes life a lot easier.

In the picture on the left you see the result. A nice track of PCB's. But it was not finished after that yet. On top of the copper tracks of the PCB is still the layer of photo sensitive material that was not lighted. It has to be washed off, because this way you can't solder them. We used thinner to clean them. We did this outside because of the fumes and off course it is quite flammable and I don't want to set my old company on fire :) As you can see it is quite a nice stack of PCB's. And this is even only half of the end result. Soon we will do another run of PCB's.

The last thing we did was to spray a layer of PCB spray on the PCB's to finish them of. This prevents the copper from corroding and will make the soldering easier. We also did this outside. Luckily it was very nice weather. The sun helped the drying process quite well. You can clearly see now that the dark layer of photo sensitive material is gone. Very shiny copper now :) It even hurt my eyes when the sun was reflecting in it. If I counted correctly we did 26 PCB's the last two days.

I did take another interesting picture today. Here on the left you see the transparent print foil I started out with and below you see the result after the cutting process. I took this one before the the photo sensitive layer was removed, but I forget to photograph this in the previous post. So what did I end up with? A quick summery:

2 x Sample and Hold and Noise module, 4 x LFO, 2 x ADSR, 2 x VCA, 4 x DC/AC mixer, 4 x VCO, 2 x Minimoog VCF, 2 x EMS VCF, 2 x Steiner VCF, 2 x ARP VCF.

Sound promising right? But still a long way from finished. First thing to do now is to find and order all the components and solder them on the PCB's. And I need to find a solution to make the front panels. I'll keep you posted on the progress as always :)

19 May 2008

Yusynth (Part 1)

Today I started yet another DIY modular project. Since the 70's I have been dreaming about a big Moog Modular system. To buy one is actually quite impossible or way too expensive, so I decided to look for clone modules and build a big system myself. I looked at a lot of ready to buy stuff on the internet like Synthesizers.com, MOTM and Oakley, but I also found the Yusynth project from Yves Usson. He designed a lot of modules and put all the instructions on his website. And since I love DIY stuff I will start of by building all of his modules at least once, but of some modules I will build more :) It looks all great and I can't wait to hear how it will sound. But this is going to be a big project. You can find more information on the this website: http://www.yusynth.net/Modular/index.html. I can hear you thinking. Are you not busy enough? You were also working on the ASM-2 right? Yes and yes, but still I'm going to do this as well. For the ASM-2 I'm still waiting for some parts so this project is a bit on hold, but I will finish that as soon as possible.

Today I went to my old Employer Jan from Bird Electronics. I worked there for about 8 years where I did everything that comes to building and repairing electronics. You can read more about this on my biography if you want. He made the first run of PCB's for me today. A process I didn't see for a long time. The first thing he did was to print out the PCB's designs on a special transparent foil with a photo printer. After that that is put on top of the PCB's
in a lighting device that shines UV light on the PCB. The top layer of the raw PCB is photo sensitive. The parts that are covered by the dark part of the foil print will not get lighted.

After that it is put in a special bath with chemicals that will first peel of the photo sensitive layer where the light did hit the PCB. After that it is put in another bath that will remove the copper on these parts. What is left are the copper tracks as they where on the PCB design. Here on the left you see my old boss Jan wearing gloves. The chemicals used are quite aggressive and you don't want that on your clothes or hands. It dissolves copper! Can't be good right :) Jan is very experienced in this process and all the PCB's where OK in the first run. Which is nice because we made more than I actually wanted so I have a lot of spares now or I can build even more.

After that it was my turn to do some work. On the picture on the right you the stack of PCB's we made on the right and see a drill on the right and yes I have been drilling holes all day. I did this a lot when I worked at Bird Electronics, but it was a long time ago. But I still had it in me ;) The drill runs at 20.000 and it is easy to break a drilling bit, but I didn't break one. I drilled all the holes a 1 millimeter which is tricky sometimes because the is not much copper left so aiming well is important. And I can tell you there were a lot of holes. I couldn't even finish the job today so I will continue tomorrow and show you some more.

It was very nice to work with my old crew today. Very nostalgic :) It really felt like going back to my roots. In the picture here you see my ex-colleague Marcel who worked there as well when I was still employed. He even left the company for a few years, but now he is back. He is a real specialist in soldering and also very good and mechanical constructions. I'm very thankful that they are helping my out here (Jan, Marcel thank you big time!). But they will be seeing me more I guess. We still have another runs of PCB's to do and even more drilling for me :) I will keep you posted on this project off course. More tomorrow.

15 May 2008

Ensoniq ESQ-1

Don't you just love it when you get home and an E-bay packet is awaiting you in the hall? Well I do. I recently bid on an Ensoniq ESQ-1 on E-bay and I won it. It arrived today very quickly after the payment was made. So not all is scam on E-bay fortunately. On the left you see the box it came in and on the right the synthesizer after I unpacked it. I hooked it up right away after getting a power cord, because it didn't come with it. Probably the German guy I bought it from thought we have different power outlets here in the Netherlands, but actually they are exactly the same. But well I have about 50 powercords in spare here :) So no problem really. I knew from the auction text that the battery was empty, but did not realize that it didn't have any presets to play with. The first thing that has to be done is replace the battery now. I'm still doubting if I'm going to do that myself or leave that do the guy that is repairing my Juno 60 as well.

It turned out also that it has no headphones out. Normally the first thing I do is hook a pair of headphones up and fiddle around. Well I did put it anyway in audio out left/mono and got some sound, but only on one ear and quite soft. Not surprising off course, but at least I heard how it sounds. I played around with it for a little while. It sounds nice and digital like it is supposed to :) Editing on it is quite easy. The display is very big and you have a lot of knobs that go with the function you are editing. It has even a build in sequencer, but I'll probably never be using that, because I do everything in Sonar. It actually has very nice LFO's en very nice envelopes, much more parameters than on most synthesizers. That will mean that you can make complex sounds with it. Promises nice things :)

Well this is my first Ensoniq synthesizer and it sounds quite different from everything I already have, so it is a nice addition. I hope that I can use some nice sounds from it on future tracks. But first I'll take it to the studio and play around with it there and look on the internet what kind of battery I need. And well I don't have to backup the presets, because there are none :) Probably I'll put the factory default presets in it when it is finished. Oh and before I forget to mention it, Jean-Michel Jarre used this synthesizer as well, that was one of the reasons for me to buy it. You can find some more information on this synthesizer here if you like:


First go at Room EQ

Last week we had a first go at trying to improve the acoustics in my studio. As I stated before my friend Hanz heard some nasty peaks in the low end of the sound. I bought a Behringer FBQ2496 to solve these problems. The FBQ2496 is basically a very precise equalizer. You can set filters to lower the level of the problem frequencies.

We hooked up a Behringer measurement microphone to the fireface 800 on my mastering PC. This was the easiest way since this microphone needs phantom power. After that we downloaded the Room EQ Wizard software from: http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq. Surprisingly this software is free to use. And it is widely used by audiophiles and professionals around the world.

After setting up the software and adjusting the right position and input levels for the microphone, we did a couple of measurements. In the picture on the left you see the result. The blue line is the ideal situation, and the red line is the actual situation. As you can see we only focussed on the low end up to 200 Hertz.
As you can see there is a big dip around 100 Hertz and quite a big peek after that. This has to do with room resonances. Also between 40-50 and 80-90 there are some peeks. After measuring the software calculates the filters it has to set to compensate for the peaks. Unfortunately this is the only thing you can fix a bit. The dip is not fixable Hanz explained to me because it is caused by reflections that cancel each other out in the room. If you make them louder they still will cancel each other out and it will have the same result.

In the picture in the right you see some new lines. Again the same blue ideal line but now another light blue line is added. These are the actual filter calculations that the software did. One nice feature of room EQ is that you can transmit these values over midi to the FBQ2496. Unfortunately though this didn't seem to work. So we entered the values manually in the equalizer. Next time we will spend some more time figuring out why the midi transmit didn't work. The red dotted line you see in the picture now is the curve that Room EQ wizard now predicts to be actual in the room. We did not have time to measure again. So we will have another go somewhere in the future. We did do some listening tests with the FBQ2496 running and put it in bypass mode a couple of times and we could hear the difference. It was subtle but the low end definitely got more definition (less muddy). So the technical side works. Now we have to try to improve it a bit more. Off course the best way to solve these problems would be to treat the room with acoustic materials, but that is not going to happen anymore in this studio. I will be starting a very exiting new project that I will tell you about soon :)

10 May 2008

Midibox Sid Components

Recently I bought a stack of old Commodore SID chips. I'm still figuring out what to do with them. I got also some components to build a Midibox SID. But when studying this project on the internet I found out that these are Version 1 components and there is already a Version 2 as well with some improvements. But at least I will be able to test the chips with this project. I got it from the guy that I bought the SID chips from. He just didn't finish this project yet. So I'll have to figure out what he already did and what he didn't. As you can see in the picture on the right is a a bunch of wire with a display build in an old Commodore 64 case. Unfortunately no front panel was included. I used to love the old low-tech sound of the Commodore 64, so I guess it will be worth it. But again I need to find time for this project. I'm still very busy. This project is looking tempting though :) Ah well. We'll see. I have a lot of projects running at the same time, but since I took some pictures of this project I wanted to put this post up.

07 May 2008

Almost got scammed on Jupiter 8

One of the synthesizers that is on my wish list already for a long time is a Roland Jupiter 8. I found a nice one on E-bay and started bidding on it. I actually won the item, but then I started to get suspicious, because communication with the seller went weird and he said didn't accept Paypal, but the auction said he did. Also buyer protection was only $200 which is very low for an item like this. So I started looking on Google for the serial number of the Jupiter and found another E-bay auction right away that was about a month old. This auction was canceled so it looked like the item was not sold, but it was from another seller. I contacted this seller and asked him if he still had it, it turned out that he did sell it, but to someone in Canada. He contacted this person for me and this Canadian still had it and wasn't selling at all. So now I knew for sure it was a scam. I was very happy that I didn't pay yet. It seems that E-bay also found out it was a scam, because the auction is deleted now. I'll have to start looking all over again. So... If you have one and want to sell it ..... Contact me :) And to everybody else. Be careful!!

Ambient Experience was Nice

I would get back to you about the Ambient Experience I went to in Wuppertal. It was very nice. Especially to meet some great people that I met already on the Internet. But it is always so much nicer to meet people in real life. I even posed for some pictures and gave some autographs. Really funny that people start recognizing me. The picture on the left was taken by a very nice women I met called Mirandea (thank you for sending it). The concerts were very enjoyable too, but unfortunately the sound was way to loud and had only a lot of mid-high. Very annoying and tiresome to listen to, but the artists did a great job performing. The theater had a nice ambiance though and there was a small stall where they sold CD's. I went backstage a while to talk to my friend Bjorn Jepessen from Nattefrost and also met his friend that is in the band Carboneids with him together. After the concert we went to the hotel together with a very nice German guy I met earlier that day called Holger (MC-Honert). We all drank some beers and had a long talk afterwards. Very enjoyable. But I went to bed way too late, but what the heck. You need to have fun sometimes right?

05 May 2008

Waldorf Pulse

I just acquired a Waldorf Pulse. It is monophonic analog synthesizer with 3 analog Oscillators, 2 LFO's and an analog filter. It even has an arpeggiator on board. Especially the modulation routing possibilities are quite flexible. That can mean only some great sounds I think :) I heard it is great for analog bass and lead sounds, but I didn't hear it yet. Just picked it up. At least it doesn't take up a lot of space.

I think it is a nice addition to my Waldorf collection. But I'm still doubting if I will put it in the rack toghether with the MicroWave I and the MicroQ Phoenix edition or that I will put in in my analog corner. Where I actually think it belongs because it is analog and the other Waldorfs I have are not. So I'll see. First let's play with it :)

Review on Something Instrumental

A nice review about my AeroDynamics album was published in a new magazine specialized in instrumental music. The magazine is Canadian and is called 'Something Instrumental'. It is nice to be in the first issue because there will surely be a lot of efforts from them to get their new magazine in the picture. It is also very nice to be in a list of artists with Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze and Mike Oldfield.

Well you can read the review by clicking on the picture on the left and you can find the magazine here: http://www.somethinginstrumental.com/magazine/

03 May 2008

AtmoSphere Studio Tech Overview

Since a lot of people liked the series I did about the technical side of my current AtmoSphere studio, I decided to create one last post about this topic with an overview of all the previous articles. In this series I explained how everything works in my studio, beginning with the complete schematic overview of all the wiring you see here on the left and then leaving stuff out to make it easier to explain everything. The main reason I did this series is just that I hope it is helpful to others. Mainly because digital audio is a puzzle to many musicians I know. OK here are the articles:
So I hope you will enjoy this. If you have any questions, just send me an E-mail. I'd be happy to try and help you out.

01 May 2008

Korg Poly 800 reversed keys

As you have seen before from my Micro Korg purchase I just love reversed keys. A while ago I acquired a Korg Poly 800 with reversed keys as well. I found it by accident, but really loved the looks right away and the price was low so I decided to buy it without even knowing what it sounded like. It turned out to be a simple but lovely synthesizer actually. It is an analog 8 voice polyphonic synthesizer with just one handicap and that is just one filter for all the voices together. It is a true analog VCF filter though despite the oscillators being DCO's. It is great for basses I think. It really growls at you there and it really sounds very analog indeed.

I managed to find a place for it between my Alesis Andromeda and the Juno 106 in my analog corner. Sorry for the lousy picture quality of today by the way, but I took this pictures with my phone since my wife took the camera with here today. I didn't put it here by the way for it to be easy to play on, because it isn't ;) But it is close to the other analog stuff. And I like to keep that together. I don't know how long I can keep this up though since I've been collecting more and more analog stuff. I will have to make a DCO and VCO separation in the future I guess :)

In the spot I put the Poly 800 in there used to be my Elektro Harmonix Smallstone and Mistress. I moved them temporary to the floor now. This is really not ideal an ideal place off course. I'll have to find a new place for them soon. This way it is not easy to turn the knobs and that really is a delicate process on these machines. I really love them. These are the units that made the famous Jarre sound in combination with the Eminent 310 organ. My Eminent 310 still resides in my office by the way. I have no room for it at the moment :( But I can't wait to get it a decent place in the studio some day.

All set for Wuppertal

I'm all set to leave to Wuppertal saturday to visit the Ambient Experience concert. As you can see I already received my ticket so nothing can go wrong there. I have no idea what to expect there exactly but I've seen on several forums that more people will be there that I already met in cyberspace. Always nice to see a face going along with that. I will meet Bjorn from Nattefrost for sure. It turned out even that we booked the same hotel. I will also bring along some stuff he asked for that you can only buy in Holland. And I will bring the MS20 USB controller from Korg for him.

He sold it a while ago and regretted it, but I never used it at all. So I won't miss it. It was in my studio only for decoration purposes. I would rather have a real one some day. Unfortunately I could only find 3 patch cords that came with it. I'm sure I have more somewhere, but I have no idea where. A well they are quite easy to make I guess. I recently made some myself for the PAIA modular. Well I'm really looking forward to the concerts saturday night. I will let you know here how it was off course :)