At the moment I'm working hard on the mixing and production of the album that I'm collaborating on with Remy Stroomer. It is always more work than you think. Remy is coming over this weekend so that we can make some decisions together on the mix and production of some tracks. We are both very busy at the moment and sometimes it takes a while to get tracks back and forth over the internet. Sitting together with time dedicated to the music will help the progress of this project I guess. I'm looking forward to working with Remy again this weekend. I'll let you know how it went after the weekend.
Last weekend I visited Ron Boots and his family for a BBQ and we talked a bit about social media. I asked if maybe it was a good idea to start a weblog for Groove Unlimited and he was enthusiastic right away. So that is what we did. The blog will be about Groove Unlimited's releases, artists and also about Ron Boots personal stuff and his own music of course. We are going to ask the other Groove Unlimited artists to join in as well, so you can expect some articles by me as well I guess :) You can find the new blog on this URL: http://groovenl.blogspot.com
Some of you know that I'm a big car enthousiast. I like anything that goes fast :) When we were planning our trip to the USA I started looking if there was any racing going on near the places we were going to visit and it turned out there was. We were going to drive right past Indianapolis and there was a Nascar race there with still enough tickets available. So we decided to plan our trip to Detroid around this date. I never saw any American racing before and was very exited to go there.
When we finally got there we found out immediately that we actually didn't know much about Nascar at all. There are two main competitions at the same time. The Nation Wide Cup and the Sprint Cup. Same idea but different engines. Qualifying is about the highest speed. The noise is very very different for European racing. It was great to be at the Indy Speedway. You can feel the historic atmosphere at this circuit and the Americans do know how to make a show of course. In the picture on the right you can see a lot of press gathering around Danica Patrick, a female driver that later crashed her car. We had great seats and even the wife and kids seem to enjoy them selves after they got some ear protection.
After the visit to Nascar we drove on to our friends in Michigan. They live in a small city called Brighton and it turns out that during the summer they have their own local car show EVERY Sunday. The whole center of the town is filled with special cars. Most of them are custom build with very proud owners showing them of. Most of them don't only have done a lot of work on the exterior and interior of the car but also the engines. A lot of them were totally chromed! Amazing. And most of them also installed engine tuning to get the engine power to amazing numbers. The whole atmosphere was so relaxed there with even live music and a lot of stalls to eat. Amazing they do that EVERY Sunday :)
But they had an even bigger surprise in stock for us. Our friend works in the car industry and know a lot of people. One of them has a very big car collection called the 'Lingenfelter Collection' and we got a private tour there. There are about 150 cars there and they are all very special. Some custom build, but also my two favorite Ferrari super cars were standing next to each other there :) I knew most of the European cars in there especially the Italian ones. But we learned a lot about the early Corvettes, Camaros, Fords etc. The nice thing was also that the guy that did the tour knew every detail about all those cars and it was a joy to listen to a real enthusiast like that. Well that was it for now. I took a lot of pictures of course, but we also filmed a bit, so maybe you'll see some clips on YouTube in the future as well.
I promised some more about our holiday, well one of my highlights was another visit to the Kennedy Space Center. We were there last year, but I forgot to film some things so we decided to go back and also do another tour. When we finally arrived I realized though that I forgot my camera! How stupid is that? It was an 1,5 drive so too far to go back for it and we had a tour planned that left right when we got there. Fortunately we had an Iphone 4S with us that has quite a good camera so we used that, but I was quite upset when we arrived. Well that was the only negative thing so let's go on. Here is a picture of me standing in the rocket garden. A really nice place where you can see some real size models of the Gemini and Mercury rockets.
Another reason I wanted to go back is that they had a new tour that was only available for a limited time. We could visit the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) that NASA used to assemble the Saturn V rockets during the Apollo program and also all the Space Shuttles. We had seen the building from far away a couple of times but never up close. It is not difficult to spot it by the way since it is 160 meters high. The whole Saturn V rocket could stand in it straight up on its mobile launch pad with the crawler vehicle beneath it. So we booked this tour and went on our way.
The size of the VAB is amazing. You can't even take a picture of it up close. I tried it, but couldn't get far enough away. The picture you see above was taken from the bus. Around the VAB is also a lot of nice stuff. One of the crawlers was out there and also the mobile launch platform and parts of the tower. But the nicest part of this tour was that we could not only watch on the outside, but we could also go INSIDE! That was very special for me. There was a lot of security, but we understood later why. There were already parts in there from the new Orion rocket NASA is developing. In 5 years this rocket must be ready and will be about the size of the Saturn V. It will take us back to the Moon and it will go to Mars (hopefully).
Inside the VAB was another big surprise. The actual Atlantis Space Shuttle that made the last flight when we were in Florida last year was there! We saw it land and now we could see it up close and inside the VAB :) A sight not many people will ever see again I guess. The Atlantis Space Shuttle will stay at Kennedy Space Center and will be on display in the future in a special building that are creating now, but for the time being it will be here. Also the van that they have used since the Apollo program to transport the astronauts to the launch pad was in there.
After the VAB visit we went on to the famous Launch Pads 39A and 39B where all the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions launched from. The whole Space Shuttle tower was still there from the last mission. We were really close there, but I chose this picture because I liked it with the train tracks in front of it. All in all it was a great tour. Last night when we were home we watched the movie Apollo 13 again with the kids so that they could put it all in perspective. Well I also have enough film material now to make a nice video from our two visits. So keep your eye our on YouTube.
We just got back from a 4 week holiday in the USA. We did quite a tour starting and ending in Florida. We stayed in the Florida area for 2 weeks, then we drove all the way up to the Detroit area in Michigan to visit some friends who live there were we stayed for a couple of days and drove back again. We crossed 11 States in total and did a LOT of nice things during this holiday. Too much for one post and I only want to share the special stuff with you, but even then it won't fit in one post, so more will follow after this.
It all started with the flight from Amsterdam to Orlando. 10 hours of flight, seems boring, but it always gives me some time to listen to some music. Normally I hardly ever have time for that. Arriving in Orlando we picked up a car we rented for the whole stay and drove it to the house we rented for the whole stay. A very nice house I must say with a pool in the garden and also a pool table in the garage :) This would be our permanent base for the whole holiday even though we knew we were going on a road trip for a couple of days. We didn't know exactly how long though and this way we could leave some stuff behind so that we didn't have to bring all of our luggage on the road trip where we would hop from hotel to hotel.
We did a lot in the Florida area like Sea World (yes again) the kids just love that, but we also visited Disney's Animal Kingdom, Gator Land Kennedy Space Center. We had lots of nice lunches and dinners and yes we gained a few pounds. The US is not a good place to go on a diet I guess ;) At least not for us. On the road trip we also visited some nice places like Dinosaur World, the Shanadoah Caverns, The Indianapolis Speedway, and of course our good friends Jay and Michelle who also took us on some nice trips. I'll go into more details on some of this stuff in the follow up posts :) It was all too much to remember even.
The last picture for this post that I wanted to share with you is the one on the right. This is what happens if you put 4 computer nerds on a road trip and they arrive in a hotel. Yes batteries flat on all the nerd devices. So in immediate power surge and then you can go to sleep until the batteries are charged again. My daughters missed their grand parents a lot, so they skyped with them almost every day. Even from the car. They even had internet in the car through a mobile WiFi hotspot we got with a prepaid 4G mobile card. But the little nerds complaint from time to time of course that it was too slow ;) A well I'm glad that we are back home again, but we had a great holiday. And I'll tell you some more about at least my highlights in some follow up posts.
Since I want to differentiate more between my different activities and the fact that I'll start even more in the future (more information will follow), I just started a new Blog for my 3D and Design activities that I do under the name 'Van Osenbruggen Productions'. So if you are interested in these activities do follow me on those other pages. I just started a new Facebook page as well and opened a new Twitter account that I will use for this in the future. You can find everything here:
I had to be creative here and there with login names and URLs since some were already taken. I hope you will follow my 3D work in the future as well. Thanks! I will keep on posting the Synth.nl videos of course on here as well.
Recently I was pointed out to this review from Hypnagogue of my latest solo album Apollo from 2011. I thought it would be nice to share it with you:
Synth.NL's well-honed mastery of classic analog/Berlin music gets an extra dose of theme on his 2011 release, Apollo.
This rocket-fueled joyride whooshes through a dozen sequencer-based
scenarios, abetted by soundbites taken from Mission Control recordings.
Michel van Osenbruggen neatly captures the feel of our early jaunts into
space, from the rush of takeoff to the grace of zero-G to the
expectation of splashdown. Many of the tracks here are powered by deep,
rich bass lines, a solid and funky bedrock that perfectly supports his
higher-end flights. This is at its best in the patient movement of
"Docking." The bass tiptoes along like the subtle and deliberate
manipulations of the docking craft. At the same time, van Osenbruggen
manages to pipe in a feeling of suspense. Apollo truly hits its
stride when it's going full-speed. "Apollo 11" catches me with a moment
of sudden acceleration that puts me in mind of the 80s New Romantic
band Classix Nouveaux--a burst of dance-worthy electro-pop groove that's
pure fun. Appropriately, "Reentry" is uptempo and energetic, but also
carries a great hopeful feel--the sense of heading toward victory. The
gentler pieces also excel in conveying the theme. "Earthrise" coasts
along on a flute-like sequencer. Plucked notes reminiscent of the work
of Ray Lynch carry the melody and paint a picture of the big blue marble
coming into view in the distance. "Apollo 8" is a perfect floating
spacemusic construct with Berlin influences at the edges. Electronic
twiddles dance in the space around van Osenbruggen's graceful melody.
The overall atmosphere of Apollo, if you'll pardon the pun, is
wonderfully amplified by the voice samples. They create a real sense of
narrative. van Osenbruggen is telling a story he's very passionate
about, and he puts that straight into the music. Apollo is a lot of fun to listen to, particularly at volume. (Drive with this on and you may likely exceed all local speed limits.) Kudos
also to van Osenbruggen for his detailed liner notes. He gives a bit of
history about the flight or mission aspect that each track is named.
Again, it's one more bit of effort that makes the disc stand out.
And another animation I did in Cinema 4D. This is an old Wooden Pinball machine that kids used to play with made from just some wood and nails. Everything is calculated by the physics engine of Cinema 4D and rendered with the new Physical Render engine including the motion blur.
I recently did this animation in Cinema 4D. A lot of balls bouncing down some stairs. Everything is calculated by the physics engine of Cinema 4D and rendered with the new Physical Render engine including the motion blur.
Please buy my music if you like what you read or hear on this blog. You will find the sales links for my music when you click an album below. You will support me and my record label so that I can release more music in the future.