30 December 2008

Synth.nl on Spanish ArticMist podcast

Recently I was played on the Spanish Radio show ArticMist. I listened to it live, but later found out that it is also available as a podcast. The show is hosted by Jorge Sergio who is a musician playing synthesizers himself as well. And he has a good taste in music. If you do understand Spanish you can download and listen to the show here:


24 December 2008

Synth.nl Christmas surprise on Syndae special

Today a very special Syndae podcast was put online. It is a Christmas special with Christmas tracks from several artists especially made for this show. A great idea by the shows host Stefan Schulze. I also made a track for this special. I'm proud to actually open the show :)

This track is also my way to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

I hope you will like it. You can download the special as MP3 or listen online on the Syndae website: http://www.syndae.de/

22 December 2008

AeroDynamics Fan Video

I got this very nice video sent to my by someone that obviously liked my 'AeroDynamics' title track. I love the Aerodynamic pictures he used. Give the guy some credits :)

You can use this link for better quality audio:


Synth.nl Airplay last week

Last week I was played on a very well known US radio show called 'Alien Air Music'. It has been running since 1984 and has a lot of listeners in the Los Angeles area. You can find the website here: http://www.alienairmusic.com/. It is broadcasted over the internet but also through the ether on XKLU. I got a heads up notice in the morning and luckily was able to record it since I couldn't listen to it live. I just ended up with a 500 Mbyte Mp3 file the day after that I could open for edit. Today I found a nice tool to split the MP3 in smaller portions and I could cut out my piece for my radio archive. I also got some airplay last week on Spanish radio show 'A Ultima Fronteira' and German podcast 'Syndae'. These are both podcasts and you can still download them to listen whenever you like. Next week Syndae will do a very nice Christmas special with a nice surprise from me by the way. So be sure not to miss that one :)

19 December 2008

MC Honert and AtmoSphere

Last year I visited an Electronic Music festival in Wuppertal. It was actually the first time I visited an event like that. I was quite surprised that I was immediately recognized by someone there. That someone was a very nice German guy called Holger who also makes music himself under the name MC Honert. He seems to like my music a lot and I gave him a T-shirt back then. We had a nice chat and later on we went to a bar and we seemed to sleep in the same hotel. We ended up in the hotel bar and when we were kicked out there we took some beers up to the room. It was a very nice time. Since then we have contact over the E-mail. Recently he send me this very nice picture after he bought my new 'AtmoSphere' album. He seems to like it a lot. Holger wrote this very nice review on his own blog:

New album AtmoSphere from SYNTH.NL

Hello all! Now I have the new album AtmoSphere from SYNTH.NL and I will like to give an opinion to this:

The design of the cover is “atmospheric” and in the booklet you will find a description of the spheres, clouds and weather around our planet, which in this album the song-titles are. Great idea! You can find also some specifications about SYNTH.NL and this album.

I hear this album in my car and in my living room at the dolby-surround-system. The sound of the album is great, but you must hear this album with a good headphone, because SYNTH.NL hid many details in the songs, that you can hear much better with headphones. I hear it now to fourth time and I think I did not find any detail anymore now.

The synths and the self sampled sounds that SYNTH.NL use in the songs are fantastic. The wide Pads, the Leads, Basses and Drums carry me from the earth's surface. The songs are very good arranged and they have very much alternation.

My result about this album:
If you like electronic music, like Jean Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze and so on, and if you want to dive into a relaxed world, you must buy this album.

Apollo Studio Cabling (Part 1)

Last week we did a lot of cabling. I decided to make a series of postings on this as well since it will be quite some work ;) All cabling from the power cabinet upstairs to the server room are in place now. The most important for me was to get network downstairs so I could start moving and installing servers in the rack. Here you see the top part of the rack with two 19'' UTP patch panels on top. From the top panel 10 UTP cables go upstairs and the remaining 14 are going to my studio desk. This way I can easily patch stuff back and forth. You see different colors of patch cables. I do this to seperate different signals. I use blue for network, yellow for ISDN, white for PSTN and green for serial cabling. Below the patch panels you see a 24 port Cisco Gigabit switch and below that a power distributor that also has and Volt and Amp meter integrated. In total my rack uses 3 Ampere and the moment. Below that is an 8 port KVM switch and under that you see three NAS devices that each hold about a Terebyte of storage.

Here you can see the backside of this rack. As you can see the on the backside of the KVM switch two sets of keyboard and monitors can be attached. Through a key combination you can select any machines from the remote location. I will later on extend these console to the studio. For this reason we also put in a lot of UTP cabling because you an transport a lot of stuff like video, audio, USB, KVM over UTP and this makes it very flexible in this way. I already bought two KVM over UTP extenders that will take these consoles to my main studio desk later on. On of them also has a local remote switch so I can add another set of keyboard and monitor in the rack itself. Of course that is very convinient when I'm working in the server room.

All these cables run through the cabling guiding system that we installed before. I'm already very happy with it. A lot of cabling already is in there and there is still plenty of room for more :) Next to the blue UTP cabling you also see some gray cabling. These are power cables. One is coming from the server room and hold a separate power group for the studio and the other ones go back to all the power outlets that will be installed in the cable guiding system. In this way I can switch all these outlets separately from my main studio desk and also everything has one central earth to prevent ground loops. So basicly it is a star topology. We did the same for UTP. In the cabling guiding system are also 4 UTP outlets with every of the 5 power outlets in there. So in total 20 UTP outlets. When the studio desk is in place we will also put everything on 19" patch panels on that side.

The last thing I want to show you is the sub power cabinet that is also in the server room. This cabinet holds all the power groups for downstairs. There is a seperate group for all lights, the studio, the cinema, the 19" rack in the server room and also some extra airco groups. There is also some room to expand if necessary. From here a very big cable runs to the power cabinet upstairs. It will be more than sufficient for sure. The splitter you see left from the power cabinet is for cable TV and radio. So it is a passive CAI splitter. This way we can also watch TV and listen to radio downstairs. For the cinema I also put a Satellite cable downstairs to watch the HD channels on the Astra satellites later on :) And I'm planning to also watch the Formula 1 races next season down there :) OK enough for now. I will update you with more later

Apollo Studio Furniture (Part 4)

I received another update from my furniture builder Gerrit. Here you can see more 19" modules that are already finished. Currently he is applying multiple layers of lack on they and that has to dry, so that is a lengthy process. It will ensure though later that the furniture will be very rigid. I still like this combination of black and mahony a lot. I'm sure it will look great later on. I heard yesterday that he is planning to bring the first pieces between Christmas and New Year. I'm excited about that, because then I can finally see the stuff in place and I can finish the cabling job in the studio.

Here you can see two of the modules that will go on top of the desk. There will be six of those in total. Three on the left and three on the right. As you can see the equipment will hang placed in it in an angle that will make it easier to use in my opinion. It is all about ergonomics. But I'll have to see how it works later on in practice. But for sure it looks better than the 19" desk racks I have now. We still had some discussion yesterday about the exact placements of these units to make sure there will be as much room as possible. But the racks that will be on the far left and right sides will have to be sawed of because of the wall. So I will have to make sure I put equipment there that isn't too deep.

This last picture show some of Gerrit's workshop. He told me yesterday that the black finish layet is glued onto the wood with a glue that smelled quite bad. He got some kind of gas mask to make sure he didn't inhale all that bad fumes. He also didn't dare to light up his oil heater because he thought these fumes would be flamable. It is nice to hear that he is as enthousiastic about this project as I am. And I'm getting more and more impatient to see the final result :) The last weeks I only got these pictures and that is always a bit different than the real stuff. But in a few weeks hopefully I can show you some pictures coming from the studio itself :)

UAD-2 in new Studio PC

I recently ordered a new Studio PC to function as the main recording machine in my new Apollo Studio. It is a Quad Core Intel machine with 4 Gbyte of RAM that will be running Vista. I decided to switch to Vista since Cakewalk is supporting this very well. And in the mean time I sold most of the stuff that didn't run on Vista. I also ordered a UAD2 duo card to go into this PC right away, and I will transfer my current UAD1 to this PC as well since not all UAD plugins are ported yet to the new UAD2 card. There are some pretty amazing new plugins though that use much more power than the old plugins like the new Moog Filter. I'm very curious about that. I also got a nice voucher with the card to buy some new plugins. I just have to transfer my excisting plugins to the new card before the end of the year and it is still very busy here, so I didn't do that yet.

Here you can see the interface itself. I chose the Duo Flexi variant that holds 2 Sharc DSP's. It has a lot more power than the UAD1 that I started using more and more. I love especially the Roland plugins that I used a lot on my AtmoSphere album, like the Space Echo emulation and the Dimension D. The nice thing about using them in this way is that you can run multiple instances at once and on the Space Echo the tapes don't break ;) And it actually sounds quite authentic in my opinion. If you never heard it I can recommend you to check it out.

13 December 2008

Synth.nl Special and Interview on TDFZ radio

Today there was another Synth.nl special on TDFZ radio. TDFZ stands for Tangerine Dream FanZone Radio and this show is hosted by Chris Newman. He played several tracks from my brand new AtmoSphere album and he also did an interview with me in between those tracks. We talked about my current AtmoSphere album, my new Apollo Studio but also about forthcoming projects. The show lasts about an hour.

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

And if you read this later and you can't find it on the homepage, just go back in the archive for it. This one you can find in December 2008 and there is also a special still available from August 2008.

Here are the direct links:

December: http://www.mypodcast.com/fsaudio/tdfz_20081212_1754-346985.mp3

August: http://www.mypodcast.com/fsaudio/tdfz_20080808_1611-274488.mp3

I'll also put a copy on my own website in case these won't work anymore in the future. Please enjoy them :)

12 December 2008

Apollo Studio Acoustics (Part 4)

Last week we had another very busy week. To start with we though last weekend we were finished painting, but when we looked closer not everything was covered entirely. So we actually had to paint everything again which was kind off a set back. But now it looks all nice and tidy. As you can see all the walls are black. And in the picture you can also see that the carpet has been laid. This worked out nicely in terms of color and acoustics. I looks and sounds really nice already in the studio now. Actually all echo is gone already. So that is a good basis to work with later on. My wife picked the carpet by the way and at first I was quite skeptical about it, but now I'm glad she did this after all.

In this picture you see the studio from a different angle. I can't really capture the feel in a picture. You should really see it in real live. It looks much better then. I also started to move some more stuff downstairs already that was standing in the way on other places in the house. I can't bring to much down yet though since my furniture builder will need room too to assemble the studio furniture on the spot as well. I'll be so glad when I finally can put stuff on their final position. But I'm afraid it will be January the earliest.

I also started moving the first computers into the server room. The first thing I put on the bottom in the rack was a UPS. These machines will hold critical data for me and I don't want to loose data over a power problem. And we had our share of those during construction for all kinds of reasons, but I have learned from that. Not all computers will go in here by the way. My main recording machine will be in the studio itself, because otherwise it would result in a cabling nightmare. This computer is super silent so probably I won't even notice it too much. But the machines that go in here make plenty of noise and I'm glad that there are here. So eventually I will have to place a UPS too in the studio to hook up the recording PC.

Since the server room is actually quite big (4 by 1,5 meters) I placed a storage rack in this room as well. I can hold a lot of things that I have laying around in the studio now, like cables, PC spare parts, electronic components for my DIY projects, software boxes and CD's and books etc. This way I can keep the studio nice and tidy. As you can see on top of the shelves I already unpacked the acoustic panels that we will place later on in this acoustics project. I'm glad we chose to use massive wooden doors downstairs. When you are in the server room now it is already quite noisy (and not even everything is there yet), but when the door closes you hear absolutely nothing on the outside! And there is another door like that in the studio itself, so I guess this was a good idea :)

Apollo Studio Furniture (Part 3)

While we are very busy working in the studio my furniture builder is also very busy on his side. We have regular contact over the project and he E-mails me some pictures once in a while. It is nice to see the progress in this way. In the picture on the left you see some of the wood that is roughly sawed to the right size. All the material arrived in his workshop by now. In this workshop some modules will be build together that will be transported to my studio and there the whole thing will be assembled on the spot eventually. Hopefully just before the end of the year.

A lot of the work on the furniture is done by hand and it is a very precise job I can tell you. What I loved right away from the first time we talked is the passion that Gerrit (my furniture builder) has for his work. He already had in his head as well how it should look eventually, but for me that is still hard to imagine. We did the 3D drawings of course, but that still is not very touchable. I can't wait until I can see the final result. But I trust it will be great. I will try to update more often with pictures on this blog, but the problem is that last week we were so busy that I didn't really have time to write on here.

This picture I just saw when I opened my mail and that motivated my to write on here since it gives a nice picture of how it will eventually look. As you can see the sides are nicely done with real mahony wood. I think it looks just great :) It will be a bit darker eventually I understood because it will be lacked a couple of times like the ASM-2 cabinet he build for me. But now I'm starting to get a feel how it will look in the studio later on. What you see here by the way is one of the 19" modules that will be under my desk. In total 10 of these modules will be build. OK more later :)

08 December 2008

Musik Zirkus Magazine reviews AtmoSphere

The German online 'Musik Zirkus Magazine' did a review on my 'AtmoSphere album'. They were very positive about the CD and mentioned some tracks they really liked, but in the end note it seems they liked my first album 'AeroDynamics' a bit better. I don't hear this often, usually it is the other way around, but that is a matter of taste I guess. If you can read German you can find the whole review here:


04 December 2008

Apollo Studio Acoustics (Part 3)

Yesterday my friend Hanz came by and we went down in the new studio. He hadn't seen it at all. I noticed right away now that the acousticly treated ceiling was dry and we put a layer of Fiberglas coating and the first layer paint on the wall that a lot of the echoing was already gone. Probaly the ceiling had the most effect on this already. We decided to start doing an acoustics measurement in the studio for a first impression. I brought an active monitor downstairs, my notebook and the measurement microphone and we fired up the Room EQ software that we used before in my current studio.

In the diagram on the right you can see the results of that first measurement. We only measured from 20-500 Hz since that is where you can do the most compensation with acoustic treatment. As you can see there is a nasty peak at around 25 Hz, one at 50 Hz and two very close to each other between 80 and 90 Hz. These last two amplify each other and will be the most difficult to compensate. Probably some are harmonics of each other so when one is canceled out another will disappear as well. But that is difficult to predict.

Here you see another diagram showing also the dy-out time of the different frequencies. As you can see on the low frequencies they don't even fit in the graph which mean the dy-out time is over 1000 mS. On the higher frequencies it is more like 500 mS. For optimum result it would all have to go down to 200 mS or so. Not more because it will sound echo-like but not less because otherwise the room becomes to dead. But we are first going to focus on the problems in the low frequencies. We are going to put Bass traps in all 4 corners of the studio to see what happens after that. We decided to not try and fix everything at the same time but do it step by step. I just ordered the corner traps from AIX foam and took the largest one because of the peak in the very low frequencies. When they are in place we will do the next measurement.

We are also very busy painting at the moment. My wife did the most part in that actually, but as you can see in the picture our youngest daughter also 'helped' (ahum) a bit. The ceiling still isn't painted. The painter did arrive but left again, because we both agreed it would be better to spray paint the ceiling because of the very rough structure. Hopefully that will be done now on Friday. After that we can add the second layer on the walls ourselves and then on Monday finally the carpet can be laid (we hope). That will really be a relief since when the carpet is laid we can put more stuff downstairs that belongs there and it can stay there. Now I feel like we picked up everything already six times to much just to move it to another spot. But it feels good to get some things going again after a long period of waiting for the moisture to get out. Today we even removed the de-moisterizer.

Siel Kiwi

I just added quite a rare synthesizer to my collection: The Siel Kiwi. It is an Italian build 6 voice polyphonic analog synthesizer with two DCO's per voice. It has quite good filers with nice resonance. For that Siel used SSM chips. And it also has 3 LFO's. Actually quite a nice machine. It sounds a bit like a Roland JX3P only a bit better even I think. It is quite nice for bass sounds. And it looks quite different from what I have seen before as well.

My first impression from the looks of it was a bit Russian like actually. As you can see on the back it has Midi build in by default which is quite nice of course. And they made sure you would see what it is called since it has Kiwi written quite large on the front and on the back.

I was quite lucky to acquire this one. It was actually in repair for someone else that didn't want to get it repaired anymore. So I acquired it for a nice price and let the repair guy do its work. It took some time before I actually got it, but now it arrived. I haven't played much on it yet since we are a bit busy with the new studio now, but I will find a nice spot for it in the new studio later and try it out some more. I heard it is a lot similar to the Siel Opera 6 and the repair guy actually put the factory presets from that synthesizer in the Kiwi since he didn't have the Kiwi factory presets. If you know more about this synthesizer feel free to comment on this post then :)

01 December 2008

Apollo Studio Acoustics (Part 2)

Today the second layer of acoustic material was sprayed on the ceiling. It is drying now overnight and we just hired a painter that will paint it black tomorrow. I got some questions what material I used on the ceiling. Here you can see it in the picture. It is called Relius Hoeka Akoestikpleister. Don't expect miracles from this because this stuff on its own doesn't do much. And I don't want the room to be dead right away. But it will help better than the concrete ceiling I had before. And the structure makes it look nice as well. But that structure makes it also difficult to paint it over and that is why we decided to hire a painter to do this job. He thought he would need two layers of paint as well to get it covered.

In the picture on the right you see the material being sprayed on. It is a nasty job I can tell you. The smell is not so nice and down in the basement there is not much ventilation yet. The second layer still was not as thick as we thought it would be. It seems that the 1.5 centimeters we anticipated actually was based on a different kind of material than was initially planned. Ah well we will see how things turn out. We can't change it anymore now that it is already applied. The sprayer had a little set back this morning. It turned out that the plastic he put on the wall to prevent the material to get on the wall had fallen down. So he needed to put new plastic on in the studio before he could get to work. This took him about an hour extra I think. Ah well I'm glad this is done now. I think this is the last time you will see a white color on the walls and ceiling :)

I already bought some acoustic panels as well that we can use to filter out reflections in the studio. I bought these panels from a German company named AIXFOAM. You can find their website here if you are interested:
http://www.aixfoam.de/. You can get this stuff in a lot of different sizes, colors and structure. I chose grey because I think it will look good on the black walls and ceiling. But I don't know yet if I will have enough. We will have to measure and put them in several places on trial and error basis to get the optimal result I guess. Luckily my friend Hanz know a lot about acoustics and this will be his little project. But I'm very curious on the end result later on in the process. The acoustics in my current studio are very bad, that is why I work a lot on headphones and I hope I can use them less in the future.

Another thing you might have seen in the movie I recently uploaded is the separate server room located next to the studio. It is about 1.5 by 4 meters and holds the power distribution, but also a 19" cabinet that will hold the noisy equipment later on. Most PC's and switches have fans that make a lot of noise and I want to try and keep them out of the studio as much as possible. So in this way the server room is a bit related to this acoustics thread as well by keeping the noise level lower in the studio. But it wont return anymore in this thread of posts since I will be opening a new one soon about the cabling project of the new studio. That will be a completely different story all togheter. OK enough for today. We are going to prepare for some days of painting.

Electroambient Space reviews AtmoSphere

I was pointed to another nice review about my AtmoSphere album on the website Electro Ambient Space Here is the full review:

AtmoSphere is more playful upbeat melodious synth music from Michel van Osenbruggen. Whereas AeroDynamics was based on the theme of motion, this time van Osenbruggen has his head in the clouds, quite literally, going through the many levels of earth’s atmosphere. Starting in the “Troposphere” the music is appropriately, uh, atmospheric of course. Though it is floaty it is also thoroughly electronic, with just the right tribal touches as well. It progresses smoothly from a mellow to a more upbeat sound, with solid sequencing and melodic synth leads. “Cumulonimbus” starts appropriately with distant thunder and an ominous mood, though it turns light and bouncy as well. There is a Jarre-like playfulness here and on the next track “Stratosphere,” but Osenbruggen carves out his own sound and style within the genre. Sometimes there is a more majestic tone, often right in the middle of otherwise toe-tapping tracks, but transitions are deftly handled. I sometimes found his debut a little too playful and light, but AtmoSphere shows more restraint and maturity in the compositions which works to its advantage. Even when tracks do get a little sweeter, as on “Stratocumulus” and “Altocumulus,” it seldom if ever carries things too far on the cute or cheesy scale. When I’m in the mood for the lighter melodic side of EM, AtmoSphere will be a disc I will reach for often.

PAIA 9700S (Overview)

I know that some of you are following my blog for my DIY electronics projects. Not much is happening at this moment since I'm very busy with the new studio, so I though it would be nice to do an overview post of the PAIA 9700S project I did a while ago.

In the picture on top you see the finished result. It is quite a nice but simple modular synthesizer. It is pretty straight forward. It was a lot of fun building and it was actually my first experience with a modular at all. And after building this I just wanted to build more. The kit supplied by PAIA is very complete and the instructions in the manual are very clear. I do think though that you need a bit of electronics experience to build this one. Below the 9700S in the picture you see the Fatman. Maybe it is better to start with that when you are new to DIY.

OK. Here are all the posts I did on this project in the right order:

PAIA 9700S (Part 1)
PAIA 9700S (Part 2)
PAIA 9700S (Part 3)
PAIA 9700S (Part 4)
PAIA 9700S (Part 5)
PAIA 9700S (Part 6)
PAIA 9700S (Part 7)
PAIA 9700S (Part 8)
PAIA 9700S (Part 9)

I can tell you it feels great when you build something like this yourself and there is actually coming usable sound from it :) As you probably know I'm building a lot of stuff at this moment and I can't wait to hear that in action later. When you want to try some DIY project I can recommend a PAIA to start with. You can find more information on their projects here: