30 October 2008

Building Apollo Studio (Part 17)

A lot has happened last week at the construction site, but I didn't have time before to report about it. The constructor is really working on finalizing things now. And it is starting to look really good. I'm getting more excited every day to put my equipment in there :) They are mainly working inside now, but on the outside still some things had to be done. On the roof of the basement a water proof layer is made so that no water can stand on it. Actually not very different from the way a normal roof would be made.

The only difference that on top of that they put another layer of isolation. you can see that in the picture on the right. This of course is meant to keep to cold outside. Well we noticed last weeks how much this isolation does for the temperature in side the house.
n top of this a layer of yellow sand will be put. About 6 centimeters we heard and on top of that there will be the tiles of our new terrace later. By then you wont be able to see anything anymore of the studio. Strange idea actually to sit on top of it later.

Since the outside is all ready now and closed they made the break through to our house. So now we have a big hole in the kitchen wall were the door to the new area will be later. Unfortunately this hole also brought back the cold in the house since the new area is not heated yet and the constructor leaves the door open all day. And also a lot of moisture is coming from downstairs where the concrete is drying. But this is only temporary and we will survive I'm sure ;)

It is nice now though that we can take people inside for a tour. Lots of friends and family come by now to look at the construction work.

On the inside all the walls are equalized now. Looks a lot better as well. All white and straight now in stead of the naked concrete. Everything is a lot lighter now. This week they will work on the floor heating and another layer of concrete will be put on top of that to for a nice equalized floor as well. I will try to update you on the in the end of the week. Today I'm very busy with the plumber and the guy that is working on our alarm system.

28 October 2008

Synth.nl interview in Dutch

Tonight I did my first interview in my own language. I did several in English and German, but this was nice for a change :) It was done for the local radio station in my home town. It was actually the first time for me to go to a radio studio to do an interview. So far I mainly did them over the phone. Well if you can understand Dutch and would like to listen then you can find a copy on my website on this URL:


26 October 2008

Synth.nl played at 'Sunday Synth' show

Today I was played with the tracks 'Cirrostratus' and 'Altostratus' on the 'Sunday Synth' show hosted my Bruce Gall on ARFM.

This show runs every Sunday from 10:00 - 12:00 GMT (UK time). It is a very nice show that plays synthesizer based music only. You can find more information on Bruce and the show on this URL:


25 October 2008

Synth.nl Website moved to a new Server

Last week I moved my website to a new server platform. I hope you didn't even notice it. My website was running on a very old Pentium machine running Debian Linux in the oldest datacenter of my work. Now I moved it to a very cool platform in our new datacenter. This platform is based on two SUN X4200 servers running VMware ESX. The data is stored on a NetApp based cluster that is separated over two datacenters. In this way I'm quite sure my data is safe and if some hardware fails it will be up and running very quickly again. I also installed a fresh Ubuntu Linux install on it so everything should be running as smoothly and safely as possible. If you encounter any problems, please let me know.

Synthmusicians.Com Profile

I just created a new profile on a very nice website that was suggested to me on MySpace. It is called Synthmusicians.com and it only features artists that make music with synthesizers. Of course that appealed a lot to me :) I uploaded some tracks there as well, from my new album, but also some older work. I hope in this way to get my music out to more people. You can also become a fan there if you like.

You can find the profile here:


AtmoSphere on TDFZ radio show podcast.

Today the title track from my new 'AtmoSphere' album was played on the TDFZ radio podcast show. A very nice show I can tell you. It is hosted by Chris Newman and it is intended for Tangerine Dream Fans and they play music by artists that are somehow inspired by Tangerine Dream.

Since it is a podcast you can still download all the episodes from the past as well. Chris did a very nice special on my previous album in August. And I heard from Chris it still is one of the most downloaded shows on his podcast site. In the picture on the left that is used to promote this weeks show, you can see that they are still referring to it themselves as well. This special also included a nice interview I did with Chris. Be sure to look it up. I hope we can do something like this again some day in the future on my new album.

You can find the TDFZ radio show on this URL:


First Apollo Studio Video Tour

Last week we went down in the basement for the first time. My friend Chris was with me and filmed it. As you can see it was still quite dark and moist. But it is nice to get a feel for the space for the first time. As you can hear from the audio there is quite some natural reverb down there. Now I'm sure we will have to work on the acoustics in the new studio.

24 October 2008

Synth.nl on RoboCast Radio Postcast #28

Today my track 'Altostratus' was featured on the RoboCast Radio podcast. This is a very nice show that is presented by two robots with voice synthesizers :) How cool is that :) This was eposide 28 today called 'Rythm of the Robots'. Since it is a podcast you can listen to it when you have time. You can find the website of the show here:


and you can download the podcast here:


23 October 2008

Roland Juno 6 in my Collection

Last night I picked up a Roland Juno 6 for my collection. As you probably know I collect synthesizers for a hobby next to the fact that I make music with them. Normally I try to find machines that are very different, but for Roland I have a soft spot. I'm trying to find as much nice Roland machines as I can. I already had A Juno 106 and a Juno 60, so with this Juno 6 (the oldest brother of the family) I have them complete. I'll pick up some more stuff the coming weeks by the way. Luckily with the new studio starting to get finished I will have more room to put them in. This Juno 6 only lacks midi. But I already found a retro midi kit from Kenton. They have it also for the Juno 60. I still use an external DCB to Midi convertor on it, but I'm considering to put the Kenton kit in both machines later.

Synth.nl with 5 tracks on Codos Traumreisen

Last night Cristoph Cech played 5 tracks from my new album 'AtmoSphere' on his radio show 'Codos Traumreisen' on Eldoradio. I was home late so I missed part of the show myself. It was a very nice show. Nice thing is also is that they have an IRC chat channel for the radio station. I logged in there and talked to some other artists I know from the Electronic Music events I visited. They asked me to install Skype as well and we did a nice long chat. You can find more information on Christophs show on: http://www.eldoradio.uni-dortmund.de/codo/onair and you can find the radio station here: http://www.eldoradio.de/webradio/. The show plays every Wednesnight from 22:00-0:00 CET (Germany).

19 October 2008

Great Korg M3 Soundset by QR

One of my friends is a great sound designer. I used numerous sounds from him on my albums. He releases these sounds under the name 'Qui Robinez' or short 'QR'. If you ever see a preset with these letters behind them you'll know he made it. Sometimes he makes some sounds publicly available. Now he made a bank with 65 combos for the Korg M3. I played a little with them last night and this afternoon and they are great. Two I actually fell in love with :) I couldn't stop playing. Great inspiration! If you own a Korg M3, be sure to download it. You can find it on this URL:

18 October 2008

Apollo Studio Furniture (Part 1)

In an earlier post about my studio construction I talked about studio furniture. I looked at several options ranging from standard furniture to custom build. I decided to go for the last option since I could not find exactly what I was looking for. After that I talked to several furniture builders and finally found one that really understood my idea's. Actually he is a musician too, so he knew what I was talking about when I mentioned 19" equipment in our first meeting. In the second meeting he already brought a scale model of his first ideas to make the conversation easier. This was one of the things I liked about him. He put in a lot of effort before he even got the assignment.

After looking at all the offers I decided to go for this guy. He had the best idea and besides that he has a passion for wood and was really enthusiastic about this job. We are now in sort of a brain storming session exchanging ideas about the practical use for me and the looks. We were actually using cardboard during this session to take the ideas further. As you can see the desk will get an 'U' shape just like I have in my current studio. I'm actually quite happy with that. This desk will hold much more 19" equipment though. As well on top as below the work surface as you can see in the pictures.

This model is still very rough and needs much more work. In the end we agreed that he is actually going to build two desks for me. On the other side of the room only the middle part will be copied and on top of that my modular setup will be integrated in the desk. That will be very cool :) We also talked about material and it looks like he going to use some MDF but also some real Mahony wood :) I'm starting to get very excited about this. He already started to order the material. I'll ask him to make pictures regulary so I can put them on here.

AtmoSphere music on Dreamscape Radio

Today my music was also played on Dreamscape Radio. This is an Electronic Music podcast show that is hosted by Ron Boots who is a very well known Dutch EM artist himself. He played my track 'Thermosphere'. He also played some very nice music from other artists. I'm actually enjoying the show while I'm typing this post. If you want to listen to this show download it right away since they only stay online for about one week. No archive of old shows. You can find it here: http://dreamscape.groove.nl/

First AtmoSphere Review

Today I received the first review of my new album. This review was done by Bert Strolenberg a well know reviewer of synthesizer music. The review was very positive and of course I'm very happy with that. Bert runs a very nice website called 'Sonic Immersion' where you can read a lot of reviews and interviews. You can find my review and the rest of the website on this URL:


I will place it also on my own website where you can also find more reviews on my first album and I will post future reviews on AtmoSphere there as well of course.

Building Apollo Studio (Part 16)

I have been very busy last week with the promotion of my new album so I didn't update you much, but a lot of work has been done by the constructor. The outside work is all done now. In the picture on the left you see the part that they build next to our house. Here also the stairs that lead down to the new studio will come. Since everything is closed now they also started to clean up. There was still a lot of dirt and water on the inside. The door to our house still has to be made, they will do that next week and then we can enter here through our kitchen.

On the inside also a lot of work has been done. All the inside walls are standing already and luckily the isolation is back. It had been quite cold in the house since they tore down the side wall, but now it is nice and warm again. Amazing how that stuff works. The electrician also put all the pipes in the wall already. Next week they will put another later on top of the walls to smooth everything out and they will also put another layer of cement on the floor. It is nice to see they are really finishing up now.

In the picture on the left you see a ladder standing in the whole that will later hold the stairs to the studio. The hole is actually a bit smaller than I imagined. It is fine for normal usage but a lot of stuff has to go down there. Also some bigger stuff like a 19'' rack that is 2 meters high and 60 x 80 centimeters wide to go into the computer room later. We did some measuring and it should all fit, but we agreed with the constructor that it would be wise to lift that rack down before the stairs are fitted. That will make things a lot easier.

In this picture you can see the ventilation and heating pipes I showed in an earlier posts. As you can see they are actually on the inside now. You can also see some of the piping for the electricity and the isolation layer. What you see here is part of the outside walls. Also another layer will be put on top of this that will form the inside wall later. I will try to update you again next week, with hopefully a door that leads to this new part of the house :)

AtmoSphere tracks on Syndae #7 and #8

The German podcast Syndae has played to track of my 'AtmoSphere' album that are not on my MySpace page or the player on my main website. Since it is a podcast the tracks are still online for you to listen to. It is a nice podcast with very varied music, but only Electronic synthesizer music. It only lasts for half an hour and it is hosted by Stefan Schulz. He played my tracks 'Thermosphere' on show #8 and 'Altocumulus' on show #7. Before that he had the radio debut of my album on show #5. You can find the podcast on this website: http://www.syndae.de/

14 October 2008

Anywhere Instruments Semtex XL

On my AtmoSphere album I used a lot of synthesizers, but I also had two machines on lone. This Anywhere Instruments Semtex XL belonged to my friend Hanz. We made some very nice sound effects for the album on this machine. For this reason I thought it would be nice to give it permanent residence in my studio. So I bought it from Hanz. It is a semi-modular analog synthesizer. That means that some signal-paths are pre-patched, but you can alter the path by patching in cables. You can make very freaky sounds with this machine. We sometimes even had to filter of unusably high frequencies in the music (like 21 Khz and above). It has very nice LFO's that you can switch to low, medium and high frequencies.

12 October 2008

AtmoSphere Album Released!

[Release] Synth.nl - AtmoSphere

During a very successful E-live festival in Eindhoven my second album 'AtmoSphere' was released.

The inspiration for this album came from the atmosphere around our beloved planet Earth. The songs are inspired by the different layers of air around our world, the different cloud formations that are encountered in these layers and the sounds of different weather phenomena. While listening to this

album 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 sounds myself actually from thunder storms, rain and wind. I used these sounds as an inspiration for many of the songs that you will hear.

The album was released on the 11th of October 2008 by Groove Unlimited (http://www.groove.nl). You can find more information on the album and listen to some demo tracks from the album on this URL:


The album holds 12 very varied tracks and is 71 minutes in total. The music is produced with synthesizers only. You can also listen to my other releases on my main website http://www.synth.nl/. And if you like what you hear then please note the sales links also on this page. Your support is highly appreciated.

11 October 2008

Building Apollo Studio (Part 15)

Lots has happened the last week. The constructor filled up the whole garden again with the clay the took out first. In the picture you see that they actually drove on the roof of my studio. Quite a scary idea, but it seems that the whole concrete construction is very strong. They are also starting to repair the damage to our neighbors garden. I hope that will be all OK soon. At least we can go out again in the back garden, but still some work has to be done. The will put some cover on top of the roof and over that another layer of yellow sand will come so that we can put the tiles of our terrace over that. Then you won't see a thing anymore of the studio.

I got some question about how I would be able to breath down in the studio. The constructor will put in a mechanical ventilation system. In this picture you see some pipes sticking out of the roof. Through here the fresh air will be put in. Also here are two pipes for the central heating system. The heating system will be fitted in the floor. That seemed like a nice solution since we won't have radiators fitted on the walls then. But it also poses some problems we found of when we went looking for a floor to put in the studio. We are still looking into a solution that can work with floor heating.

Last week the constructor also tore down more of the wall on the side of our house. At first I though they would only do that where the door would come but now we know they will take out this whole wall on the bottom floor. We could also notice last week that the insulation layer they took away actually works. It was very cold in the living room. It is amazing how much difference that makes. The reason they are taking out this wall it that it will make the room bigger that is build next to it. The difference is about 17 centimeters but still that is a lot since we are not allowed to build out as wide as we would like due to local government policies.

They also started to work on building on the first floor now. Here you see them making a wood construction that will hold the insulation of the new part. On both sides a wall will be made. If you look well you see a ladder sticking out in the middle of the pictures. This is were the stair will come that lead down to the studio. They also started working now on the inside of the studio. Still lots has to be done. I looked inside last week and they was still about 2 centimeters of water down there. I'm curious how they are going to get that out. Well we'll see about that next week. So far things are back on schedule and luckily the weather has improved again so I hope they can finish this part next week. So now I'm off to Eindhoven to release my new album :)

09 October 2008

Sonar 8 Upgrade

Yesterday my upgrade to Sonar 8 Producer version arrived. I use Cakewalk's Sonar as my main sequencer. All my music so far is produced in this software. I really love it. If you ever want to go and write your own music I can really recommend it. This new version has some new features that will make working for me again a bit easier. Besides that it came with some brand new software synthesizers like Dimension Pro and True Pianos, but also some new effects like a transient designer and a stereo width controller. I started working with version 4 of this software and upgraded every time. I never regretted it since upgrades are quite cheap with Sonar and every time you get a lot of new stuff. You can find more information on Cakewalk's main website http://www.cakewalk.com/

06 October 2008

Synth.nl at E-Live 2008 on Saturday

Next Saturday (11th of October) I will be present with a stall at the E-live festival in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. E-live is an Electronic Music festival that my label Groove Unlimited organizes yearly. There will be several concerts to see and in the main hall a lot of CD's are sold. Only Electronic music. On my stall I will sell my CD's, some T-shirts and of course my new album 'AtmoSphere' will be there for sale, since it will be released on this day. I'm really looking forward to this event. There are still tickets available, so if you want to pick up your copy of the album in person from me, come to Eindhoven on Saturday. You can find more information on the festival on this URL: http://e-live.groove.nl/. I hope to see you there.

04 October 2008

EMU Proteus 2500

I have been looking to buy an EMU Proteus synthesizer for my collection for a long time, but most of them are 1 rack space high and lack controls. Well until I found this one :) This is the most extensive of them all and they are quite rare. It is a Proteus 2500. Yesterday evening I tried it out. The sounds are quite OK, of course it is still a rompler, but especially the filters are very nice. And there are a lot of models to choose from. The internal effects are not so good in my opinion, but you can easily switch them of and use external ones. But the greatest thing is that it has a lots of nice controls on the front to edit the preset sounds into your own. I already made some cool soundscapes and pads. It also has a build in sequencer an arpeggiator, very nice to use. It is a nice machine to use for the basis of a nice jam. It also has SPDIF out. I like that on a synthesizer. No need for AD/DA convertors. I'll try to find a nice spot for it in the new Apollo studio later.

02 October 2008

Building Apollo Studio (Part 14)

Finally the rain stopped for a moment, so construction continued. Here you see another shot of how things look like now. You can see that the basements are ready. Again we took pictures from the roof of our neighbors for the nicer angle. At least on the outside it looks finishes now, but on the inside still a lot of work still has to be done, but I still haven't seen that. Today they also stopped pumping the water out and removed the whole draining installation. So lets hope the whole thing is waterproof indeed :)

The constructor also started to put the sand/clay back where it came from. I'm very happy that they started on the side where the garden of our neighbors collapsed so that at least it wont be able to collapse any further now. They are using a very small digging machine now and they actually drive the thing on the roof of our basement. I'm sure it is strong enough, but it is still a strange idea. The whole basement is packed now in isolation material by the way to keep the cold out later.

Another thing that stopped today, besides the rain, is the silence we enjoyed the last days. As you can see in the picture on the left the constructor (or should I say destructor) started to tear down a part of the wall on the side of our house today. Some of you wondered where the door would come. Well here it is :) You can probably imagine that this operation is quite noisy and at the moment I'm at home with a flu. This doesn't really help to stop my headache I'm afraid :( I'll be very happy when they stop working today.

And to make the feast complete this is our front door entrance on the inside. There is a whole there to go under our house. At the moment they are also drilling holes there. They are taking water and electricity etc. from under here and bringing it to the new basement. Ah well let's keep the thought that it is all for a good cause :) Our dog doesn't like it very much either by the way. She is going nuts here from the noise. My wife just rang the kennel if they had a spot and they did. So we decided to give her a couple of days rest there. OK I think that was enough update for a day :) I'm going to put my headphones back on and make some noise of my own.

01 October 2008

AtmoSphere music on TDFZ radio

Chris Newman from TDFZ Radio (Tangerine Dream Fanzone Radio) introduced my new album 'AtmoSphere' on his show this Saturday. It is a podcast so don't worry that you missed anything. It will be up for download for some time. I hope you will enjoy the show, lots of nice other music was be played as well. Chris played two of my new tracks. Thanks a lot Chris!

You can find the podcast from on this URL:

Chris also did a very nice one hour special recently on my previous album with also an interview. It is still online as well on this URL.


So be sure to listen to that one already then :)

AtmoSphere Pre-ordering from Groove Unlimited

It is now possible to pre-order my new album 'AtmoSphere' directly from my record label Groove Unlimited. They have their own webshop for this. You will be among the first people to receive it after the release date (11th of October). They do ship World Wide and accept all kind of payments including PayPal. And of course when you don't have it yet, look at my first album 'AeroDynamics' as well. It will save you shipping if you order them at the same time ;) I'm sure 'AtmoSphere' will be available from other places as well later, like 'AeroDynamics', but that will take some time. You can find it now on this URL: http://www.groove.nl/jump2.php?attnum=6001. If you have any questions just let me know. And thanks for your support!

Spectracsonics Omnisphere

I have always been a big fan of all Spectrasonics software. I got a very nice upgrade offer since I already had all their software. So I ordered it right away. Nice to see how their boxshot matches my CD cover by the way :) I tried it out right away. It comes on 9 DVD's and it takes about 45 minutes per DVD to instal. You should plan some time for that. The total installation will set you back 50 Gbytes on your harddisk. My first impression was quite good. I wasn't as blown away as I expected to be after watching the video's. But it is a very good successor to their 'Atmosphere' synth (nice name). Only much more sounds and sound sources and now you have the ability to create your own sounds as well. Either from the samples that some with it or using the included synthesizer engine. I'm sure I will be using this synthesizer in the future. I like especially the ever evolving moody sounds it can create.