29 March 2011

Nachtwacht on Elektroland #125

My Nachtwacht track from the compilation CD 'Dutch Masters' that was recenly released was played on the Danish radio show Elektroland. There is also a podcast available that you can download on this URL: http://www.nattefrost.dk/elektroland/playlist.htm

More information on the Dutch Masters CD can be found here: http://www.synth.nl/DutchMasters. You can also listen to my entire track there. Please not the the album is a limited edition. So you can buy it as long as stock exists. Only 400 copies are sold and I know a lot have been sold already.

And don't miss the promo video I made for this album on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntYls-DAMGI&hd=1

Eventide 2016

I recently sold some stuff from the studio to buy an effects processor that I recently heard and fell in love with instantly. It is an Eventide Reverb 2016. It is the reincarnation of the famous and very rare SP2016. You can see it in the picture just above the Eventide 4000DSP in the bottom. Today I hooked it up and gave it a spin. And it lived up to the expectations :) What a sound! If you are curious what it sounds like go to this URL: http://www.retrosynth.com/~analoguediehard/studio/effects/eventide_2016/ and listen to the demo's. I was sold when I heard them. I especially love the preset #5 called  'Deep Reverb'. It is so alive. Can't wait to use it in a track, but I don't think I'm going to use it any more on Apollo since I'm too far with the tracks already. And yes I'm still working on the album. I'll post an update soon.

23 March 2011

Synth.nl Contribution on New Remy Album Coming Soon!

There will be a new CD released at the E-day festival in Oirschot (NL) on the 16th of April by Remy Stroomer from The Netherlands who released under his artist name Remy. We have first met on several occasions, mostly electronic music related events. We have become good friends since then and are in regular contact over the Internet. Remy has visited my studio several times and we already did some music together. When Remy asked my to do a contribution for his new CD I gladly said yes. His new album is called 'i-Dentity' and especially the title track is something very special. It is a 24 minutes long track, but very varied. It features several guest artist like Francis Rimbert (who playes on stage with Jean Michel Jarre), Erik Wollo, Gert Emmens and also by Synth.nl. I play a solo on top of Remy's music for about two minutes. right after Gert Emmens. I'm very honored to be on this CD together with all these great artists.  This is the first Remy and Synth.nl collaboration and I'm sure more will follow in the future. I'm glad to have been able to contribute to Remy's new CD in this way. The album is up for pre-sale already. It costs only 10 euros ! More information on the album at http://www.synth.nl/Remy. You can also listen to an excerpt of the track here. It starts with part of the solo by Gert Emmens and after 43 seconds my solo starts.

20 March 2011

Soleil Levant Fan Video

Rob Hamertink aka 'bellerob' made another great video from the track 'Soleil Levant' that Ron Boots and me did together on our 'Refuge en Verre' album. Thanks Rob!

Apollo 3D Project (Part 3)

In the mean time I'm also still working on the promo video for the Apollo project. At least I can rest my ears when I'm working on that. I just made another scene for the video project. Here you can see a render a made of the Apollo rocket on the launchpad in a night view. It is a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. This 3D work also involves a lot of waiting by the way. Rendering a picture like this alone takes about 45 minutes on my notebook. I have to get more CPU power to do this work soon.

If I'm going to do animations like this I can't even get it done in time :) For your idea: PAL video is 25 frames per second. So that is 25 * 60 = 1500 frames per minute. Make a 10 minute video and that is 15000 frames! And then take the 45 minutes per frame. Then you are rendering 675,000 minutes and that equals 11,250 hours and that is 468 days :/ So I guess I'll be building a little rendering farm here soon, so that I can do the calculations on several PC's at the same time. But then I'll have to buy the most expensive license for the 3D software I'm using to be able to do that. So this project will involve some investments :/ I do hope to earn them back in the long run though by doing some paid 3D jobs some day. We'll see :)

On the right above you see a day time picture I made of a scene where the Apollo rocket on its mobile launch platform is towed on the launch pad by the crawler transporter. I still have to work on the back ground of the scene, but I think the whole things looks quite OK. For your reference I included this picture on the left. That is an actual picture from that time of course in black and white even :) I'll work some more on the scenes and of course eventually animate them. I'm so excited on this project. I can't wait to put my music under it eventually. More soon!

Apollo Preview on E-day no Release yet!

The last months I have been working almost day and night on my new album. My target was to release it at the E-day festival on the 16th of April in Oirschot (NL). I had a lot of personal and technical problems the last periods though and that has slowed my progress down a lot. By now I'm sure that I won't be able to make the deadline unfortunately. I'm 95% done and the album really stands on its own now, but I'm just not satisfied yet and I don't want to release a product that doesn't feel right under pressure like this. I haven't been working with fun any more on  it the last weeks either. So I think it is best for me to take a short break from the project now. And then start finishing it of with a more relaxed state of mind. I will set a new release date when I know when I can have it done. I hope it will be somewhere in June as it looks now. I hope you all understand. I guess you will get a better album in the end by waiting a little bit longer. I will have a preview version with me though on the E-day festival where I will have a stall. So you can listen to the album as it is there if you like for a 95% impression. You can read more about the E-day festival on this URL: http://e-day.groove.nl. Hope to see you there!

16 March 2011

Apollo 3D Project (Part 2)

In the breaks I take from working on my Apollo album I'm still working on my 3D project as well. I have learned a lot in the mean time by doing and watching tutorials. I also created a lot of models already. One of the things I want to do eventually is make a promo video for Apollo and in this video I will be showing some original NASA video footage, but since those images are old and low resolution it won't look nice if you watch them on full HD. So I came up with the idea to create an old fashion living room with an old TV where I will project the videos on when necessary. I have worked on this model for quite some time and I'm quite proud on it so I wanted to give you a sneak preview of it. On the TV you can see the black and white version of an intro (and kind of video logo) I'm working on for the Apollo video as well. I made this picture in 1680 x 1050 resolution btw because it is the resolution of the screen of my notebook. I have this image as the background image for my desktop now. If you click it you can see a high-res version. Let me know if you would like this picture in another resolution to use it yourself on your desktop background :) OK enough for now. More later. I need to go back and work on my album again.

14 March 2011

Synth.nl Contribution on I-dentity album by Remy

Over time I have become good friends with Remy Stroomer who releases music under the name 'REMY'. We already played a bit together in my studio recently, but when Remy asked me if I wanted to contribute something to his new album I was happy to say yes. His upcoming album will be released at the E-day festival in Oirschot (NL) on the 16th of April and will be called 'I-Dentity'. It hold 4 long tracks and on the last track there is a solo by me that lasts about one minute. In that same track also Gert Emmens, Erik Wollo and Francis Rimbert (band member of Jean-Michel Jarre) play along next to Remy himself of course. It is a very interesting track in my opinion. With Remy's permission I will put a sound clip of my part online on my website soon. I'll keep you posted when that happens!

08 March 2011

Don Quixote submitted to the Schallplatte 13 Jury

I just sent in the Don Quixote track that I made a while ago to the jury of the upcoming Schallplatte 13 sampler CD. The Schallplatte CD is published every year for the members only of the German Electronic Music club Schallwende EV. I have been on the last three CD's as well and it is always nice to do something like this in between my own projects. Now I can only wait and see if they will select it. The track I made is not a very typical Electronic Music piece so we'll see. It will take a while before I hear back but I'll keep you posted. I'm afraid I will have to keep you waiting until it is either releases or rejected before you can listen to it. You can listen to last years track on this URL: http://www.synth.nl/SchallplatteXII My good friend Hans did the mastering on both tracks by the way.

06 March 2011

Apollo 3D Project (Part 1)

I recently decided that I want to do more with the combination of music and video. I'm actually planning to release a BluRay/DVD in the (not so near) future with some tracks from various albums mixed in surround sound and with video of course. So first I learned a bit about video editing, but I do like to make things from nothing and since I love computer graphics I decided it was time for me to learn how to do 3D graphics as well. I'm currently testing various 3D render applications and here is the first result. It is the Lunar Module from the Apollo program that they used to land on the Moon. So this is a still picture, but there will be moving stuff soon. I'm planning to start with a promotion video for my Apollo album with 3D animation in combination with real NASA footage of the Apollo space missions. As I do with my music I will keep you updated on the progress of that project on my blog. It is a completely new direction for me, but I'm so looking forward to it :) I love learning new things. Now my time is limited though because first the album has to finish. I only can play a bit with it when I'm not working and when I'm resting my ears. But when the album is done I'm going to throw myself on this new adventure.

CO2 Problem in the Studio

Besides the PC problem I had another nasty problem I had to deal with the last weeks. I'm make long hours in the studio now and during the day I started to feel bad. Normally I'm quite stressed out when a deadline is coming and that can cause some physical problems on me, but I didn't trust it so I went to the doctor. He couldn't find anything wrong on me. But I had a suspicion. I think because it didn't smell to fresh when I entered the studio. Of course I'm in a basement and I started to doubt the ventilation. So I bought this CO2 meter online. Now you see a value of 661 ppm which is kind of normal indoors, but when I switched it on it went in alarm right away. Over 800 it says you need to ventilate and it was over 1100! Well I guess that explained my issues. The ventilation from the hall into the studio seemed sufficient when we measured it, but after investigation with a specialist it turns out I'm breathing in the used air from the living room down stairs. I can actually see on this meter when there are people upstairs. So another problem I have to solve. There needs to come fresh air from outside now here downstairs :( I'll have to figure out now how to do that. Now I have some doors open and every fan is running on full power and now the CO2 level is normal. But it is not ideal and for sure not a permanent solution.

Apollo progress slow because of Sonar X1 Crashes

I have been a very happy Sonar Cakewalk user for the last few years. I started recording  my own music in 2005 and I have selected Sonar back then since I liked the work flow and intuitive layout. Since then I have upgraded on all versions coming after that. I never had any real problems so far. When Sonar X1 came out I was already working on my Apollo album and thought it would be wise to wait with the upgrade until the album was finished. But I could not resist downloading the demo and was very pleasantly surprised by the new layout. So I decided to upgrade anyway. At first everything looked OK, but now I'm working with heavier projects and I get a lot of unexpected and unexplainable crashes. I looks like a memory leak problem to me. My Roland contact told me an update was coming soon, but so far it still isn't there. I can still continue working, but I have to work around the bugs and the crashes slow me down a lot. If I don't make the deadline for the April 16th release it will be mainly due to these technical issues :( And I'm afraid to tell you that things are not looking good at the moment :( The chances I made release on E-day are not more than 50/50 at the moment. Just wanted to let you know. And I hope the Roland guys read this post too and hurry up a bit with that update ;)

05 March 2011

M-Audio Venom and Blofeld module

A while ago I sold myWaldorf Blofeld module to get a version with keys and now I did it the other way around again. It was a stupid move moneywise of course, because I lost some money in the sale twice, but I had to make room for something else and the Blofeld was the only synthesizer I could trade back again for a module version without losing those sounds. A well those things happen. In the back of the Blofeld you see the UltraNova by the way. I hope they will make a module version of that one too in the future. I can't seem to find a nice place for the keyboard version either.

Well and here is the synthesizer I wanted to make room for. It is the new M-Audio Venom. I just picked it up today and played for a very short while on it. I don't have much time unfortunately now, since I'm struggling to make the dead line for my new album. But skipping through the presets was pleasant. It sounds quite refreshing :) And new sounds mean new inspiration! That is always good news. OK now back to work ;) I'll try to send another update on Apollo soon.

Refuge en Verre now also on Itunes!

And now the Refuge en Verre album that I did together with Ron Boots is also available on Itunes. It will probably appear also on Amazon.com and maybe some more places. So do a search in your favorite online shop for 'Refuge en Verre' or 'Ron Boots & Synth.nl'. You should be able to find the album on Itunes by going to this link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/refuge-en-verre/id422901578. If it doesn't work let me know and I'll help you find it. Thank you very much for your support!