31 October 2011

Korg Kronos and Roland Jupiter-80 in the Studio

When I visited the Musik Messe in Frankfurt last year, there were two new synths being presented: the Korg Kronos and Roland Jupiter-80. I saw and heard the potential of these two monster synths directly and ordered them right away on the way back home. It has taken a while and I had to sell some stuff beforehand to make room in both the physical and financial sense, but finally they arrived. Never did I wait so long for something to arrive, but I'm sure I won't regret it. I'm still busy with a release that needs to be done in a week, so I haven't gotten much time yet to play with them, but looking through the menus is very promising. Both synthesizers have one thing in common though: The factory presets are very bad. I really don't get why manufacturers do that. Always the same standard sounds :( Well that does leave room for creativity I guess. I already wrote a little review about the Jupiter-80 before on my blog, but now I can finally compare it to the Kronos as well.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on the Kronos is that it has a noisy fan :( I don't like that at all. Another thing is the build quality: compared to the Jupiter-80 the Kronos feels like a toy. The knobs are very cheap. The keyboard of the Jupiter-80 on the otehr hand plays like a dream and it feels like a tank. I can't say the Kronos keyboard is bad, but the Roland is more my thing. In terms of sound they both are fat, but the Kronos is obviously more versatile with it's 9 different sound engines and much more modulation options. The Jupiter sounds a bit bigger though in my opinion, but I have always preferred the Roland sound so I'm biased I guess. I really can't wait to start programming my own sounds on both of them, because the possibilities are there for sure. I'm very sure you will hear the both of them on future albums :) I'll write a bit more about them in the future when I have more hands on experience.

30 October 2011

Live Radio Interview with Terry Hawke

Last night I did a very nice interview with Terry Hawke during his weekly Hawkes Chill Out Sessions at Harbourough FM

We especially talked about my new 'Apollo' album and what it means to me, but of course some other stuff as well. You can find a copy here:

Next week I'll do another interview with Bruce Gall on his Sunday Synth radio show. I'll try to record that as well, but you can also tune in live on Sunday 6th of November from 10-12 AM (UK time) at http://www.arfm.co.uk
I hope you enjoy it! At least I did :)

22 October 2011

Synth.nl on Sound Cloud

Since yesterday I also put my music on Sound Cloud. You can find all the samples I also have on my website there. But still some people can't use the flash player I have on there apparently. This seems to work on Apple Ipads as well and so on. You can also comment on certain pieces of a track if you want. I think this is a very nice new way to share music and interact with the artist. I also put the new Apollo sound clips on Last.FM, ReverbNation, iLike, MySpace and Hyves. So all of you should have a good chance to listen to my music now. I hope you like it and buy the CD when you like what you hear. You can find my SoundCloud profile here: http://www.soundcloud.com/synthnl

16 October 2011

Synth.nl - Apollo Promo Video 2011

Here is a video I made for the promotion of my newly released Apollo album. I made all the 3D animations myself with Cinema 4D. This video was shown during the E-live festival that my record label Groove Unlimited organized on the 15th of October 2011. You can watch it full screen in 1080p (Full HD).

07 October 2011

Synth.nl visits Electronic Circus 2011

Last weekend I visited the Electronic Circus Festival (EC) in Gutersloh Germany. I went there this time together with fellow musician and friend Remy Stroomer. Every year the EC team organizes a nice pre-festival dinner with the artists and we decided to go there this year as well, so we already arrived on Friday. We had a very nice dinner at a Greek restaurant were I met some familiar faces but also some new ones. Next to the EC team (Hans Herman Hess in the picture with me on the left) I had some time to talk Glenn Main Hendriksen, Bernard Poulard and Steen Chorchendorff Jørgensen. After the dinner I went to a small pub together with Remy Stroomer and we concluded this nice evening.

The next day we went to the circus early and we arrived about the same time as Ron Boots from Groove Unlimited. We helped Ron unloading all his stuff and started to build up the stall from where both Groove and myself sold CD's during the day. In the picture you see Ron in the middle, his wife Monique on the left and myself on the Right. When the stall was ready I had the pleasure to meet Michel Huygen who is also known as Neuronium. We had some very nice talks during the day and we are still in touch even after the festival now. It is always great to meet a lot of interesting people during a day like this. Also Gandalf was present and I did meet him, but there was not much time to talk for me. Later on the day I agreed to play a little video I made for the promotion of my album and I wanted to test this on the beamer that the Wave World guys brought a long.

It was nice to meet these guys as well and the funny thing is that Gert van Santen actually lives a few hundred meters from my house and I met him there for the first time. I had a lot of trouble to get the beamer working and in the end it turned out that the HDMI cable was broken. Luckily the Wave World guys brought their own cable and we could fix it. Glenn Main Hendriksen didn't have anything with him with HDMI though so we agreed that I would play his video and backing track from my notebook. He gave a great concert I think and luckily my notebook didn't give any trouble. I must admit that I was quite nervous for that. I also saw part of the Wave World concert later on. Great to see how these guys go all the way with costumes and make-up and everything. Great show.

Then it was time for my video. Unfortunately the timing was not great for that. People already had to wait a long time before the Picture Palace Music concert was starting. Also they build up a big modular wall in front of the screen. Ah well. I was happy that it played and I hope someone will look up my album because of it. I even did sell some CD's after the concerts were over which is quite unusual. I will play it again at the E-live festival on a better moment I hope. But the disaster stroke for me. I agreed with Thorsten Quaeschning to start their video on the laptop that was next to mine. And then something awful happened. After switching over the HDMI cable to their laptop, it all looked fine, but when I pressed play after Thorsten did his count down the video player just crashed and the video froze. :( I felt very bad at the moment, but we just could't get it to work anymore. We rebooted the notebook and there was even a password on there. Luckily Thorsten was cool about it and came down from the podium to fix it himself and they just played on like nothing happened. So this last hour was a bit stressful for me to be honest. Luckily the concert was great and there was an after party with some beers to relax again.

All in all I had a really great day. Thanks a lot to everyone involved in the organization of this marvelous event and to all the nice people I talked to during both the dinner and the event itself. It is surely a day to remember. Too bad these days always fly by. I'll be back for sure next year! Now I'm looking forward to the E-live festival on the 15th of October! Maybe I'll see you there?

06 October 2011

Apollo 9 and 11 on KlangArten Podcast #34

This week my Apollo album is also featured on the German KlangArten podcast #34. Brammi played two tracks: Apollo 11 and Apollo 9. This last track is not on my own website so you can listen to it by listening the podcast online or download it and listen to it later.

You can find KlangArten on this URL:


05 October 2011

EarthRise on Elektroland #133

Slowly but surely I'm sending out Apollo promos to radio stations and it is getting some airplay. This week the song 'EarthRise' was played by Bjorn Jeppessen on his radio show Elektroland. It is also available as a podcast so you can still listen to it or download the show and listen at a more convenient time. You can find his radio show including my song on this URL:


02 October 2011

Synth.nl - Apollo Released on CD!

Yesterday I released my fourth solo CD. For this album, I was inspired by the Apollo Moon missions, undertaken by NASA during the 60’s and 70’s of the previous century. Since I was born in 1969, the same year that Neil Amstrong set foot on the Moon, I have always felt a very strong connection to this event. Listening to this album will take you on a voyage from the Earth to the Moon and back again. Many of the astronauts that actually took this journey have stated that they went up there to discover the Moon, yet really discovered Earth. Before Apollo, no-one had ever traveled far enough away to actually see the whole planet in one view. Pictures of that beautiful blue marble floating in space have become famous the world over and have made mankind feel more interconnected than ever before. In my opinion, the Moon landings represent human’s greatest technological achievement up to date. I really hope to live the day that we will be able to return there.The album was released by Groove Unlimited at the Electronic Circus Festival in Gütersloh Germany on the 1st of October 2011. You can find more information, sales links and sound clips on this URL: http://www.synth.nl/Apollo