22 February 2009

AtmoSphere now on CD Baby (CD and mp3)

My latest album 'AtmoSphere' is now available on CD Baby.com!!

You can order it there as physical CD, but also as MP3 download. The MP3 quality is very good and you even get the artwork included in the file you can download instantly after paying.

For US fans buying from CD Baby is also interesting since the dollar price here is lower than when ordering from Europe and also shipping costs are much lower, since they are shipping from within the US. They also deliver World Wide too if you are not in the US. Ordering from this website is safe of course as well.

Usually CD Baby has CDs in stock, but be quick because they might be sold out quickly! If they do, leave your E-mail address and they will tell you when the CDs are back in stock. You can find my CD on this URL: http://cdbaby.com/cd/synthnl2

And if you don't have my first album 'AeroDynamics' yet. You can find it on CDbaby too!! on this URL: http://cdbaby.com/cd/synthnl.

As always thank you very much for your support!!

OceanoGraphy Inspiration

Last week we spend a very nice holiday with the family at sea. We started our trip in Miami and visited George Town in the Cayman Islands and Cozumel on and Island of Mexico. I can tell you it was very relaxing and also very inspirational. Some of you might have heard in the last interviews I did, that I'm working on several new musical projects at the moment. One of projects is an album that will be about the Earth's oceans. This album will be called OceanoGraphy and I hope to release it in the end of 2009. I spend many hours just looking at the sea at views just like the one here. I think there is nothing more relaxing than the sound of the water and looking at the sea.

In the Cayman Islands we did a very cool thing. We went on a real submarine! It holds 48 people that all have their own seat and window, providing a spectacular view. We went down to a depth of about 103 feet (31 meters). The cabin of the submarine was pressurized so we didn't really noticed the depth, but I can tell you this is quite deep. We were down there for about 45 minutes and saw some amazing things, a lot of fish of course, but also sea turtles, a ship wreck and an under water statue of a mermaid. What I didn't know is that under water the colors are different. Some colors are filtered out earlier than others from the suns light spectrum. On the depth we were at the color red was almost gone, so everything looked kind off blue and green. This was a truly very inspiring trip not to be forgotten.

As you know I record a lot of sounds for my music myself. Especially on holidays like this I always take my mobile recorder with me. I did a lot of sampling on the boat but also when we were of. We visited a marina park especially for this reason. I talked to the management there and they allowed me to sample there. Here you can see me sampling the sounds of a dolphin that was specially singing for me there. You will hear these sounds for sure on the album when it is released. So look out for that later this year. But first I have to finish the studio. I think I need another two weeks of work and then I should be able to start working on my music again. Of course I will update you on the progress of this project and also the other projects I'm working on. Just keep reading this blog :)

Cinema Glimpse

It has been quiet on this blog for a while. The reason for this is that I went on a short holiday with the family. (I will tell you about this in a later post). I promised a while ago to show you a glimpse of the Home Cinema we build together with the new Apollo Studio. It is adjacent to the studio and will function as well as listen room for my music. And since I'm also planning to do some video/visuals in the future it will be a great place to show some of my work to other people. Here you see a picture of the chairs we bought for the cinema. As you can see two cup holders per chair :) Very nice.

There are 6 seats in total in the cinema. They are all build onto a special podium that raises the back seats about 22 centimeter so that the back row can easily look over the front row. In the podium we build a so called 'but kicker'. This is a device that is connected to the sub woofer output of the surround amplifier and makes the whole podium shake. Very cool I can tell you :) This but kicker has a lot of power there is a 1200 Watt amplifier to power this but kicker only. It really adds an extra dimension to a movie when there is an explosion for example or you see some dinosaurs passing by in Jurassic Park :)

Here is a picture of the screen. It is a special high contrast and high definition screen. It is 3 meters wide and it looks stunning :) You can also see some of the speakers. This is a 7.1 set that we previously had in our living room. The main and surround speakers are KEF speakers that sound really good in my opinion. The subwoofer I use is a REL quake. I'm still fiddling around with the sound in the cinema. Just like in the studio we are doing some acoustic measurements and treatment in there. At the moment I'm experimenting there with some bass traps. It already sounds very nice, but I'm sure it can get even better with some more work.

The last picture I'm going to show you is our beamer. We used to have a normal beamer in the living room, but this one is specially designed for home cinema use. It is full HD (1080p) and in combination with the high contrast screen it really looks stunning. To be honest I have never seen a picture as good as this, not even in the cinemas we use to visit. It is really addicting to look at the picture of this screen I can tell you. Once you start watching you cannot stop. This is really a dream come true here.

08 February 2009

Synth mounting done

Last week we did a lot of work in the house. We had to move a lot of stuff around so I haven't updated much. I did a lot of work in the studio as well. On Monday a specialist company came and drilled out the broken bolts from the wall. That went quite easy actually. The whole thing took less than an hour. After that I pulled out all the plugs from the holes and drilled all the wholes about 1 cm deeper. And then I remounted the synth mounts. In the picture on the left you can see the result. I used all new bolts just to be sure that I wouldn't have stressed them too much already. The guy that drilled out the holes advised me to drill them even with 11 mm in stead of 10 since the plugs had friction enough.

After that I started to move all the remaining synthesizers from my old studio and mounted them directly on the new synth mounts. In the picture on the right you can see the end result. Looks nice right? :) There is even room for one more I think on each stand, but for now that is not nessacary. I tried to mount synth that I play on more on the lower and and the ones that I only play with midi on top. Last week I also hooked up all these synths to the power distribution. So now I can easily switch them all on and off from the central panel.

Here is the stand I mounted on the other side above my Eminent 310. All synthesizers on that side of the room are Analog machines by the way. On top of the Eminent I also put the EHX Mistress and Smallstone. I can't wait to finally play on that again, but first I have to finish the work. In case you are wondering why this move is taking me so long (I had some questions about that). I can't work on this full time. I also have a job, a family and we completely renovated our home, so there is more work on other places of the home as well. You already know about the Cinema and Server Room but we also build a new work room for my wife, a new place for the washing machine and dryer and an extra garage. Besides that I'm also turning my old studio into a game room for the kids (and papa). So lots of work to be done.

So by now every piece of equipment is in the new studio. The last thing I moved was the old Elektor Formant synthesizer that I'm renovating. I put it on top of the smaller desk next to the ASM-2. Two projects I can't wait to start working on as well. But unfortunately I only have two hands. I could use some more, and also 48 hours in a day would be nice :) Well I'm also still cabling in the studio. Last week I hooked up all the digital synths with SPDIF. Today I'm taking some rest and next week I'm continuing with the cabling job. I'll keep you updates as usual of course :)

01 February 2009

Schallwelle Preis 2009 (please vote for me)

In March there will be a new prize awarded for Electronic Music in Germany. It is called the 'Schallwelle' (soundwave). There are several prized there and you as an audience can vote on the website. So if you like my music please help me to vote on my new 'Atmosphere' album under 'best CD of 2008' and vote on Synth.nl under 'favorite artist'. Thank you very much for you support :)

You can place you votes here: http://www.schallwelle-preis.de/

There is both a German and English version of the website. If you have any questions let me know. I'll let you know the 21st of March 2009 if I did win something ;)

Apollo Studio Furniture (Part 11)

I talked a couple of times before about the smaller desk that Gerrit was building for my studio. Well last week he finished the installation of this desk. You can see it in the picture on the left. This will be my new electronics DIY corner. As you can see in the middle there is space for all my measuring equipment. On the left there is a TFT screen on a flexible arm mount. I can pull it towards me or completely turn it away. It is good to have a PC on there since usually I need to look at schematics etc and usually I have them stored somewhere digitally. Also all the Yusynth documentation is online so I just look on the website to see where everything needs to go. On top there is room for the modular synthesizer I'm currently building. There is lots of room for modules as you can see.

In the picture on the right on top you can see how the modules will be mounted. I haven't got any modules completely finished yet, but what you see here are the front panels that I already constructed. Next to the desk I put another flexible 19 inch rack that now holds my Cwejman S1 MKII and the Anywhere Instruments Semtex XL. I put them there because they are both 5 HE and that didn't fit in the upper cabinets. And of course I want to be able to easily reach them to turn the knobs. So I decided not to put them into the lower cabinets. On the desk you also see three new Mooger Froogers that I recently acquired. They are the Murf, 12 stage phaser and the analog delay units. I'm sure they will be helpful there in building some nice sounds.

Here is another close-up of the middle part. On the left is my oscilloscope, then right to that on top a lab multi meter that has RS-232 and can store data on the PC, below that a frequency counter and then two lab power supplies. Below the right power supply is my soldering iron. This is the equipment I use to build, test and calibrate the modular synthesizer. This will not me an overnight project by the way. It will probably takes some years before it is completely like I have it in my mind. But it is nice to have this equipment right in front of me now and also have a decent workspace to work on my DIY projects. Before I did this sitting on the floor by the way ;)

On top of the whole thing is the ASM-2 cabinet that Gerrit also build for me from the same wood as the desks. It looks very nice, but the whole thing has become a bit higher than I anticipated :) So I'm not sure they if it will stay on top. But I'll see about that later. I have more work to be done now first. In this new desk all the power is already connected as well, but I'm not done fitting equipment in the lower cabinets. In the first picture you can see by the way that in the left lower cabinet I mouted three 19 inch drawers that are very convinient. I can store tools and part in there. I'll probably do the same on the right side. In this way I won't have any loose stuff laying on my workspace. All in all I'm very happy with this new desk and place to work and it combines great with the main desk. Unfortunately it is impossible to get them both in one picture, but I'm sure you can imagine that yourself :)

Synth mounting problem

Last week we also did another session of synth mounting. My friend Chris came along to help me since I burned up my own drill last time he brought his. Actually a much better one. Chris is also very precise with measuring and determined the correct positions for all the synth mounts. He also drilled all the 10 mm holes while I was holding the vacuum cleaner. After wards I mounted the synth mounts with the 8 mm bolts. At first glimpse this looked to go alright.

And in the picture on the right you can see the result. We installed four mounts in total. 1 short one just above my Eminent 310 and three long ones on the wall adjacent. When I inspected my work closer I saw that two of the bolts were not completely screwed in. So I applied some more force and unfortunately broke a bolt :( We figured how we could fix this and tried to use a metal drill to get the bolt out, but no luck at all. At that moment we decided to leave it this way. This bolt was on the bottem of the mount where the least force is applied to the bolts. When Chris left I looked again and unfortunately discovered another bolt that was broken :( This time on top.

The day after I called my constructor and asked him for advice. They are coming tomorrow to find a solution. I will keep you posted on this. A little setback but I'm sure we'll find a way to solve this. The cause by the way is that we probably didn't drill the holes deep enough and the bolts were screwed into the concrete.

Synth.nl Featured Artist on Bohemio Radio

I just received a very nice E-mail saying that I'm going to be the 'featured artist' the whole month on Bohemio Radio. That means they will play my music regularly in their rotation schema. Also my picture is on the front page the whole month. This is very nice promotion of course :)

You can find the website of Bohemia Radio on this URL if you want to listen:


Do enjoy :)