30 April 2011

Don Quixote track selected by the Schallwende Jury!

I have some good news. The track I made about Don Quixote a while ago was selected by the Jury. It will be released on the Schallplatte CD that is released by the German Electronic Music Club Schallwende every year. It is distributed to the members only and is not for sale. It is the 13th sampler CD released by them already and I'm very proud to be on there again. The theme of this sampler CD was literature this time. I don't know yet who else will be on it. The CD will be released on the 4th of June during the Grill Fest in Essen. If you'd like a copy of the CD I guess you will have to become a member. You can find more information on their website http://www.schallwen.de. I will be present during the Grill Fest to pick up my copy for sure :) When the CD is released I will put a copy of the track on my website so that you can listen to it. The mastering of this track was done by my good friend Hans Landman again. Last week we did the final version in his studio together. My other friend Ron Boots will be responsible for the mastering of the whole CD. So I'm sure it will sound just fine :)

20 April 2011

Dutch Masters Review by Bert Strolenberg

Bert Strolenberg from the website Sonic Immersion did a very nice review of the Dutch Masters album that was recently released.

You can read the whole review here: http://www.sonicimmersion.org/review.php?letter=V&review=72214

More info on the Dutch Masters CD here: http://www.synth.nl/DutchMasters

Modena on KlangArten Podcast #14

I was quite happy when I saw that a track of my first album 'AeroDynamics' from 2007 got some airplay again. Even I didn't hear this one for a while. The host Brammi played the track 'Modena' on his latest podcast KlangArten.

You can find the podcast on this URL: http://www.klangarten.de

More info on AeroDynamics here: http://www.synth.nl/AeroDynamics

18 April 2011

Korg Poly 800 Repair

As you might have noticed I'm currently selling some of my synthesizers. I had some synths where I just couldn't find a nice spot for anymore and after the Musik Messe I really want to buy the Roland Jupiter 80 and Korg Kronos. So I need even more room now and money. One of the synths I wanted to sell was the Korg Poly 800 that I hardly ever use anymore. But when I tested it some of the knobs on the front panel didn't work that well. So this morning I decided to open it up and investigate what was wrong with it.

I actually expected that some of the switches would be the problem so I started by disconnecting all the wiring from the PCB that holds the knobs and took my multimeter to test all the individual switches. But after doing that they all seemed to work. Then I started to see how the knobs are interfaced and I saw quite quickly that they were arranged in a scan matrix with some diodes on the PCB. So after that I measured all the individual diodes and they turned out OK as well.

So then I started to look on the main PCB where the scan lines were going. And I decided to go and see what happened there with the oscilloscope. So I rewired everything back and starting pressing some knobs. And to my surprise all the knobs worked again. So probably there were just some loose connections on the inter PCB wiring. That was the easiest fix ever I think :) Well at least now you know what a Poly 800 looks like on the inside.

And here it is on the outside. As you can see it is a reversed keys version. At the time I thought it was cool, but now all I can think is that it doesn't fit my other synths :) And since I have enough analog poly synths now I have no need for it any longer. And in the mean time I also have a buyer for it already so it will leave my studio soon. In the mean time I also sold my Alesis Andromeda A6, Roland RS-09 and Roland SH-09. And more is going soon, as said before to make room for nicer new machines. If you like a list of what else I'm selling just let me know, but I have to warn you up front: I don't ship anything so local pickup in The Netherlands only.

17 April 2011

E-day 2011 Dutch Masters Promo Video

A new version of the Dutch Masters Promo Video. This one was made for the official presentation at the E-live Festival 2001 in Oirschot The Netherlands.

E-day 2011 Report

Last Saturday I was present at the E-day festival in Oirschot (NL). I really had a great time talking to a  lot of people and I even sold quite some CD's at my stall. I didn't really count on that so much because I didn't really have that much newly released material. I did bring the Apollo sneak preview too as I promised. It played it in a CD player with some headphones attached. About 10 visitors listened to it. Luckily they were all very positive even though it isn't really finished yet, so that gives me good motivation to finish it and release it as soon as possible :) Thanks to my friend Chris by the way for taking these nice pictures!

I also had the Apollo 3D work with me. I showed it on a separate screen on my stall. It did it's work alright it caught the attention of a lot of people and that gets you talking easy. It seems that they liked that too, some didn't even thought I made them myself. I told some people as well about my plans to do more with the combination of music, 3D animations and video and they liked that idea. I also brought another video that I made especially for the presentation of the Dutch Masters sampler CD that was going to be presented on the festival in the main hall. I was quite nervous for that actually. It took me quite some time to make.

Ron Boots though of something though that made me even more nervous he called all the musicians that contributed to the Dutch Masters album to the stage starting by me. I really don't like to be in the center of attention like that. We all had to tell why they chose our painting and how we transferred that in to music. I think it was a nice idea to get the attention, but I had been very busy synchronizing the audio to the video so I'd rather have not everyone talk through the video, but all right ;) It's Ron's party after all. During the talk even more of the artists walked in so eventually 8 of the 10 were on stage. Quite unique I think.

And here you can see a picture with the whole line up. I'll give you the names from left to right: Gert Emmens, Bas Broekhuis, Rene van der Wouden, Remy Stroomer, Michel van Osenbruggen, Eric van der Heijden, Rene Splinter and Ron Boots. Unfortunately Meesha and Void had to work that day so they couldn't come. I guess the whole presentation thing did it's work because quite some Dutch Masters CD's were sold. And as you can see it is a limited edition so if you are interested you should be quick. I have published the video we showed on my YouTube page by the way so you can listen to an excerpt of all the tracks too judge if you like it.

Another highlight for my that day was the release of the I-dentity album by Remy. He launched that by performing parts from it live on stage. In the title track there are four contributing artists, Gert Emmens, Erik Wollo, Francis Rimbert and Myself. Gert and Erik joined Remy on stage when he played the I-dentity title track. You can find more information about the album and this track on my website http://www.synth.nl/Remy and more information on the Dutch Masters sampler CD can be found here http://www.synth.nl/DutchMasters. I will post the YouTube video on my blog as well so you can easily find it. I hope you enjoy it :)

15 April 2011

Apollo 3D Project (Part 5)

I planned to work more on the music for Apollo last week, but I had to do another little job in between. I'll tell you more about that after the weekend. In the mean time I also did some more 3D animations for Apollo. I finished the whole parachute deploy sequence now with the three parachutes  attached to the capsule. I think it turned out quite OK. Now I need some nice camera movements and this scene is done.

A new scene I started will be just before the parachute scene. This is the part where the capsule enters the Earth's atmosphere as a burning asteroid. The capsule is designed as a blunt object to reduce speed through the resistance of the air molecules, but that friction results in a lot of heat. I used the pyro cluster functionality to create the effect of fire and smoke. It looks very cool when you see the animation. I'm also experimenting with the same pyro cluster to create the rocket engines I'll need later on. If you are at the E-day festival tomorrow in Oirschot (NL) you can see all my animated scenes on my stall.

12 April 2011

Synth.nl with Apollo Sneak Preview at E-day

Coming Saturday I will be present at the E-live festival in Oirschot (NL). I will have some nice stuff for you in stock. First of all I will bring a sneak preview of my upcoming Apollo album. You can listen to it on my stall. Please note it is not finished yet I'm still working on it, but you will get a very good impression of what it will sound like. I will also show some of my Apollo 3D animations at my stall. Also a sneak preview. And then there will be a nice surprise produced be me in the main hall, but I'm not going to tell you yet what it is :) So do come and pay this very nice festival a visit. It will be worth you visit. Nice concerts, nice people and new stuff too see and listen. More information on http://e-day.groove.nl

09 April 2011

Roland Jupiter 80 Preview

The last two day I was at the Musik Messe in Frankfurt Germany. I was there together with my friends Hans and Eugene and we had a great time. There were two new synths on the Messe that I was very interested in. The Korg Kronos and the Roland Jupiter 80. Unfortunately we didn't get to play on the Kronos, but Roland CE was so nice to give us a private demo of the Jupiter 80 and we even got to play with it ourselves. I had read a lot of things about it before we left. Most people start with comparing it with the Jupiter 8. Well I can tell you it has nothing to do with that classic. So forget that association right away! If you are looking for a Jupiter 8 buy a Jupiter 8 ;) Some people also call it a rompler. Well it is FAR from that either. Roland pushed the marketing especially though with their Super Natural technology. And I can tell you it does sound great. You get very realistic piano's, guitars etc. It also holds something that resembles the AP technology from the V-Synth GT. It plays a natural legato like effect in between notes when that make it sound very real. It is emulating the playing style on these acoustic instruments. I love that in the V-Synth GT, but there you can also combine it with the synth engine.

OK Cool thing with the acoustic instruments, but to be honest I was not interested in that so much. When you know my music you know I don't use much acoustic sounds. So I was especially interested in the VA synth engine. And I was very pleasantly surprised by that. The VA engine is much like the one in the Roland GAIA. And I already liked that sound a lot and also the layout of it. In the GAIA you have 3 one oscillator synths that you can stack all with their own LFO, Filter, VCA, two envelopes and an effects sections. Well you can stack 8 of those in the Jupiter 80 without any polyphonic restrictions. So that gives you 27 one oscillator synthesizers in a stack :P I can tell you the sound power coming from that is amazing. You can also create sounds that are so incredibly alive. I just loved it. The GAIA has some restrictions when you use oscillator sync for example the synth goes monophonic. Well you don't have these restrictions in the Jupiter 80 we were told.

You can also chose to combine the VA sounds with wave sounds or the super natural technology. The synth has four sections. Drums, Solo, Upper and Lower. In both upper and lower you can stack 4 tones. And a tone is like a GAIA or super natural sound. In solo you can use one. You can stack them or make keyboard splits to play those sections on different parts of your keyboard. A very cool feature is that you can use the highest not you play always on the solo section. You don't need to set a split point for the lead sound then. It is not a workstation by the way like the Fantom and we heard this synthesizer doesn't share any technology with the Fantom either. Everything is newly developed. I must say it sounds great and I was really impressed. I will buy one for sure. I just think it was badly marketed so far by Roland. The Jupiter name gets a lot of discussion going and I'm sure Roland did that on purpose. Even negative attention is good marketing because everybody talks about you. Analog synth purists won't like this machine for sure, but I don't care. I liked it a lot :) Thanks again Roland for the demo!

i-Dentity on Syndae #126

The title track called i-Dentity from the upcoming album from Remy was played on Syndae podcast #126. It is the last track in this set. It is an excerpt, but quite long. You can hear all contributing artists too. It starts with a piece that Remy played and then on top first Gert Emmens plays a solo, them it is my turn, then Erik Wollo and finally Francis Rimbert. The album will be released next week on the E-day festival that is organized by Groove Unlimited. I will be there too with a stall.

05 April 2011

Synth.nl at Musik Messe 2011

On Thursday afternoon and Friday the whole day I will be at the Musik Messe in Frankfurt. So if you are there there is a good chance you will pop into me somewhere. I will be mostly in the synth hall I guess, but I'm going to do a quick tour of the other halls as well. There it lots of new to see. I'm looking forward to the Korg Kronos, Roland Jupiter 80 and a new maybe a new Clavia synth as well. I'm going together with two friends and I'm sure we will have a good time there like always. Maybe I'll see you there.

01 April 2011

Apollo 3D Project (Part 4)

I'm still working on my 3D project. As usual I'm having new idea's all the time for my movie. Since it is a lot of work though I decided that I'll split it up in two parts. First a teaser movie before the album is released. This movie will be a lot shorter but will give you an impression. Later when the album is released there will be a longer promo video. In the left you can see a splashdown scene I'm working on. The ocean and the sky in the scene are actually animated :) It looks very cool I think.
I'm now working an animating the opening of the parachutes. That is by far the most complex thing I have done so far. I bought a model for this, but it was originally in Lightwave and I'm working in Cinema 4D. All the animations and morphs didn't translate unfortunately. So I had to redo all of them. That cost me a day to figure out only how the morphing works. Well now I know ;) I'm now working optimizing the timing for the whole sequence. It consists of 6 animations and morphs in total all stitched together. When that is done I have to make three of them and see how they work and interact together. I'm still enjoying this stuff a lot, but it does take up a lot of time to figure out and then wait for the rendering each time before you can make an adjustment again. OK enough for now. After the weekend I'm getting back to the music of Apollo as well. I guess I had enough of a break now.