30 August 2008

Synth.nl on ReverbNation

I just opened an account on ReverbNation. This is a website where you can listen to music from all kind of artists, but you can also become their fan. It is also accessible from FaceBook. You can also become a promoter and help artists to promote their music. So visit the site, play some of my music and become my fan or promotor if you like :)

You can find the profile here:

AeroDynamics also available on Amazon.com now

My AeroDynamics album is also for sale now on Amazon.com. You can buy it as a regular CD but you can also buy it as high quality MP3. You can pay and download the album directly then in 256 Kbit quality which is quite OK in my opinion. You can even pay with Pepsi points (whatever they may be) :)

You can find it on this URL:

For other sales locations you can also check here: http://www.synth.nl/AeroDynamics

More AtmoSphere Artwork

Last week I got the last piece of artwork I needed for my upcoming 'AtmoSphere album'. You can see here on the left how the CD itself eventually will look like when you open CD case. Off course there will be a bit more text on it like the Groove Unlimited logo etc. But it already looks nice doesn't it? I think Kenny and Bart did a very nice job on this project and I certainly hope to work with them again on my next projects. The next thing for me now is to finish the arrangement of one last song. Then I will know the final play list and track lengths etc. And I can start writing the text for the inlay etc. Kees Aerts from Groove Unlimited will then make the final layout of all the artwork. So the work I still have a head of us is not only in the form of producing music. Well I did get a lot of very nice reactions on the texts I wrote on my AeroDynamics album. So I guess people like to read what they are listening too. So that though will give me much pleasure writing what I was inspired about on this album and each separate track.

Building Apollo Studio (Part 7)

There is still a lot noise here around the house. So it is still difficult for me to work on my album during the day. Quite annoying since I still need to do some more work on the last tracks. Thursday they even started to cut the poles and they are still digging the holes deeper. It is amazing to see how much clay and sand has already been transported away here. They did encounter a little problem. They found some ground water higher up than they expected. But the assured me that this would be no problem at all for the basement.

The poles turned out to be very strong. They actually needed to use a hydraulic hammer drill to cut them away. In the picture on the right you can see that. This noise was very loud and penetrating. So After an or so hour I decided to leave to my office at work and my wife left with the kids as well. I enjoyed the silence at work :) I was behind anyway with work, so I tried to catch up a bit there as well. I'm actually installing a new VMware based platform where my Synth.nl website and some new sites I have planned will run on later as well. So it was kind of Synth.nl related as well what I did that day.

Friday they had cut out all the poles. You can see them lying here to be transported. Actually this is the first two meters of the poles they needed to remove to be able to dig further. The need to go another meter deeper, so I guess next week they will have to shorten them again. I heard that the planning is that Tuesday the foundation will be created. So the concrete for the floors will be already in place then. That is always a special moment I know from the other building projects I have seen. It is kind of a first step in building things up again.

Friday evening they placed a pump that will run all weekend to drain out the water. They need to lower the ground water level to be able to dig the last meter. Fortunately this pump is very quite. My wife was worried that she wouldn't be able to sleep because of this pump. It does run on a diesel engine 24 hours a day, but they silenced it quite good. So we did sleep OK last night. It is a amazing to see how much water is being pumped out. So I guess it was really necessary. I'm more and more convinced that these guys really know what they are doing.

And this Saturday morning I expected to have a nice quiet morning, but I was wrong about that. They showed up to look how the pump did his work and decided it was OK to dig a bit more. So actually it will be just another working day today for them. Well it gave me some time to write this post and answer some MySpace mail. I guess I will wait to work on my album until they are gone since I'm still not able to concentrate on that with all the noise. In the picture on the left you see the other side of the house by the way. Our kitchen is now kind of becoming an island :) Well I'll update you again when thay start working on the foundation and floors. Enough poles for now I guess :)

27 August 2008

First AtmoSphere Mixing and Mastering session

Today I did the first remixing and mastering session for my 'AtmoSphere' album together with Ron Boots from Groove Unlimited in his studio. We did four tracks in total and that is quite a lot for one day. It all went quite smoothly. Ron was quite satisfied with my sound and mixing levels so he used only my bus renders. It is always scary the first time to hear my tracks on his monitors. It sounds so different from what I'm used to on my headphones. That is why I always bring my own headphones as well to his studio to do a sound check on them when Ron is done with a track. I took the mastered version with me so I can listen to them some more at home. When I hear something strange we can still correct that in time. We will do the next session next week and go for some more tracks. I brought 5 new ones with me today for Ron. I will also ask my friend Hanz to judge the mastered tracks we did today. I guess when all three of us are satisfied in the end it must be OK :)

26 August 2008

Building Apollo Studio (Part 6)

On Monday they finally started digging in the garden. They were supposed to start on Friday, but since it had rained a lot they decided to let the poles harden out a bit more over the weekend. They came late in the afternoon to set up the equipment and dug a little. bit. In the picture on the left you can see how far they got. As you can see they are digging quite close to the house. It is a scary sight, but the house is on 15 meter poles as well, so it should be no problem at all they told me. And today they continued to dig a lot further.

They will do the digging in two phases they also explained to me. The first two meters they encounter is clay. They use a bigger machine to get that out. You can see how deep the hole is now from the guy that is standing in it. You can also see the poles sticking out of the ground. They look quite solid now. But as I said before they will have to be shortened later. It all is a bit scary I was working up stairs today and I could feel the house moving. Like little earth quake from time to time. We have experienced this before when they were building houses across the street.

In the picture on the left you can see the crane they are using now and also see part of the existing foundation of our house. Very strange to see this. You see also that already 4 of the 12 poles are exposed now. They explained to me that they will use a smaller digging machine later to do the last meter after the poles are shortened first. In the end they will dig until about 3 meters and 20 centimeters deep. So still a lot of work to do for them. It is quite noisy here as well. I did do some work on my album, but could not really concentrate. So took a break and wrote this :)

This machine is also in our garden past our house all day long. It picks up the dirt that is dug out right away so they can transport it away. All very efficient. I must compliment the constructor for that. As you can see they also brought their own Dixi toilet and a caravan they take their breaks in. Well seeing the rate they are going I think they will be digging here for another day or three at least. Maybe even the whole week. We will see. I'm glad that I will be away tomorrow to Groove Unlimited to start the remixing and mastering with Ron. I'll update you on that tomorrow night as well I hope.

23 August 2008

AtmoSphere Studio Video Tour (Part 3)

This is the last video series we did on my current 'AtmoSphere' studio. It shows the back of my racks and some more of the synthesizers in the back of my studio. It was nice to do this video series. Maybe we will do some more videos in the future. I hope you enjoy them.

AtmoSphere Album Update

Album progress is still slowly but surely. I'm still working day and night on the album. Also on some tracks I thought were finished before, but when I listened again I decided to change some details. 8 of 12 tracks are really done now. And from the 4 remaining 2 are almost done. I'm currently also considering to maybe skip one track, but I haven't decided yet. The album should not be too long either I guess. I already have more than an hour of music now. Mixing last week didn't happen unfortunately. We had to postpone it again. I hope we can finally start the coming week. I still have enough work on my side, but the deadline is nearing and also the remixing and mastering takes a lot of time. Well I'm still a bit stressed but not that much anymore. I'm quite sure I'll make the deadline now. My friend Hanz still helps me out a lot and he also cares about the end result a lot. That really feels nicer, like it is not only me against the clock :)

I already got a remark about the picture in this post and the loud levels of the tracks. Don't worry. This is not the final material at all. I normally do some maximizing on my tracks myself just to hear if nothing goes wrong with the track and it sounds better on my ipod ;) Groove Unlimited will do my mastering eventually and they know what they are doing ;)

20 August 2008

AtmoSphere Studio Video Tour (Part 2)

Here you see another video that my good friend Chris took in my 'AtmoSphere' studio. This video is a bit lighter and shows a better overview of the whole studio than the first one I uploaded. It also shows some of the synthesizers that are in the back of my studio.

Building Apollo Studio (Part 5)

I was right about the next truck that would come. It only took three hours before the concrete arrived. The guys that were waiting were quite unhappy with that. They couldn't do anything else in the mean time. Eventually three trucks with concrete arrived for these 12 poles. That is a lot of concrete and it shows how deep and wide the poles are to hold the whole construction. In the picture on the left you see the concrete truck dumping its load in the track that hold the crane with the concrete pump .

After the concrete is put in a steel construction is inserted for reinforcement. You can see that here in the picture on the right. You only see the ends sticking out of the ground. Now the poles have to harden for a few days and then they will be shortened. Since we will be building a basement eventually the foundation will be about 2.5 meters lower. Since the poles are 10 meters, they will still be long enough and we understood from the guys that did the drilling that already after 2 meters of clay they hit sand. And the most important thing is that the poles are in the sand.

Well as you can see our garden is now officially ruined :) We knew that would happen of course, but it is still a shame to see. After drilling a lot of concrete left overs were in the garden. They cleaned the mess a bit up with a small digging machine. Friday the work will continue. Then they will start digging the big holes for the basement. I'm very curious about that. They predicted it would take them about three days to complete this. Well for now we have a few days rest. Back to the music :)

18 August 2008

AtmoSphere SFX on MS20

Here is a quick video my good friend Chris made during the creation of some wind sound effects on his Korg MS20 for my AtmoSphere album. You can see it running through the Boss RE-20 Space Echo simulation that we only used only for the live situation. Eventually I recorded the SFX in Cakewalk Sonar without it so I could add reverb and delay afterwards to fit the track it would go in. You can also see it is attached to the PAIA 9700S and the Cwejman S1 MK2. I used those for some triggering and modulation. These systems are not fully compatible since the Korg is V/Hz scaled and the other two V/Octave. But for a bit of triggering and modulation of sound effecs that doesn't matter to much. We made lots more, but did not film that.

Building Apollo Studio (Part 4)

Studio construction has started. The first thing we did it clear out the garden. All the plants and trees had to be moved in order to save them for later. Also we had to take out the wiring and pipes of the watering system and garden lights. After that we had to remove a lot of the terrace and path that was in the garden. This was a lot of work and we did most of that ourselves. Even the kids helped. In the picture on the left you see the stones piled up. We had these all in our hands. After this a path was laid with steel plates so the heavy machinery could drive around the house.

The first machine to arrive at the building site is a huge drill. It will drill big holes that will be filled with concrete and steel to form poles. These poles will keep the whole construction stable and in place. The ground our house is build on is clay and that is quite soft. A few meters lower there is sand and these poles will be stuck in this sand eventually. It is really weird to see a machine like this in your garden. And as you can see. Not much is left of our grass. Well this are will be build on anyway later so it had to go anyway.

Here you see the big drill and the pipe on top that leads the fluid concrete in the hole. They explained to me that they first put the drill down. And when they pull the drill back up the concrete is pumped in. After that the steel is put in to make it really strong. And they it has to dry for a few days. Since there will be a basement later, the poles will be sawed to length I guess, because the floor will be lower than they stand now. We will see. It is all a big surprise for us as well.

In the picture on the right you see a truck that holds a crane and pump to get the concrete to the drill. Since the drill is in the back garden and this machine is in front of the house they have to go over the house with the concrete. Quite a challenging project all in all. But I'm sure they all know what they are doing. I guess another machine will arrive with the concrete later. I haven't seen this one yet. I post post another update later. For now I'm going to have a look outside. It is very interesting to see this. It is also quite noisy all in all. So I'm happy I already did a lot of work on the album because at this moment it is to noisy to make music. I can't concentrate. So tonight I will continue my work on the album.

17 August 2008

Schallplatte X Release

Yesterday at the Schallwende Grill Fest there was a nice surprise waiting. Schallwende organized a contest a while ago were musicians could sent in their Electronic impression of a song from a classical composer. There were 5 composers to choose from. There were many competitors I heard and the jury chose my track to be on the album. Of course I'm very proud of this :)

The track I did was based on a famous piece called 'Adagio in G Minor' by the classical composer Tomaso Albinoni. I didn't make a one to one cover but used some elements from the original composition and made it into my own version.

The album holds 10 tracks in total and is quite nice to listen to. Very varied in styles. I put it on my ipod this afternoon. In the picture on the right you can see the tracklist. This CD is not officially for sale. It will be given away to all the members of the Schallwende club. (If you really really want one. Contact me, maybe I can do something for you). But as for my own track. This track will be also on my 'Classical Project'. This is a project I'm working on that I will try to finish soon after my AtmoSphere album is released. I put my Albinoni track online on my website so you can listen to it even when you don't have the album. You can find it here:


I hope you will enjoy it. And off course if you like this track, keep your eyes out for the Classical Project. You can hear some more preview tracks on that as well on my website.

Schallwende Grill Fest 2008

Yesterday the German Electronic Music Club 'Schallwende' organized a very nice Grill Fest to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. It was an open air event held in the Grugapark in Essen Germany. We drove there with the whole family (wife, kids and dog). It was nice weather so we all had a great time there. There were also some mini concerts there in the middle in the park. All by Dutch artists that I happen to know, so that was for me one of the reasons to go and meet them and see them perform. In the picture on the left you see Ron Boots performing together with his two friends Harold van der Heijden and Henry Peters. As you can see all very cosy :)

The other two artists that performed were Rene van der Wouden and Remy. At the end they all did a jam together. Totally unprepared and spontanious. I think that really was the climax of the event. Really cool :) During the event there was a barbeque for everyone. The organisation estimated that about 120-150 people were there. After the event we checked into a hotel with the whole family and drove back the day after. I would like to thank Sylvia and the rest of the Schallwende people and of course Ron, Rene and Remy for a lovely day!

11 August 2008

AtmoSphere Studio Video Tour

Here you see a quick movie my good friend Chris took when we were making pictures in my current 'AtmoSphere' Studio. You can see a nice view of what I'm seeing here in my studio in the dark. I like to work in the dark, because I can better focus on the audio then. In the background you hear music coming from this setup. This is a rough version of one of the songs that will be on my new 'AtmoSphere' album to be released the 11th of October 2008. Of course audio quality is low because it is recorded from the internal microphone of the camera. A better preview of this track will be available soon on my website. So keep an eye out for that.

AtmoSphere Check Sessions

I thought it would be nice to do another update on the album progress. At the moment 7 tracks are finished. I did some 'check' sessions with my good friend Hanz. He has very good ears and helps me to fix little errors in the sounds or melodies on my tracks. Hanz listens to all me unfinished work in his own studio and usually gives me remarks over the internet, but sometimes it is just difficult to explain it over a chat session, because it is so detailed. Then he comes over to my studio and we listen to the individual tracks and make the necessary correction. I'm really grateful that he spends so much time to help me on my work. So far we did about four of these sessions. And we will probably do some more. Hanz you are the greatest! Next week I will go to Groove Unlimited to do the first remixing and mastering session with Ron Boots by the way. I'll try to update you on that too.

04 August 2008

Synth.nl Special on TDFZ Radio

Saturday the 9th of August there was a Synth.nl special on TDFZ radio. TDFZ stands for Tangerine Dream FanZone Radio. The show is hosted by Chris Newman. He played several tracks from me from different projects and he also did an interview with me in between those tracks. We talked a bit about my current AeroDynamics album but also about forthcoming projects. The show lasts about an hour.

It is available as a podcast on the web so you didn't miss it or anything. You can just listen to it on their website or download it from Saturday on. You can find the podcast on this URL: http://www.tdfz.mypodcast.com/. I hope you will enjoy it.