142 – Making Ayreon’s Music
In this episode we talk with Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the man behind Ayreon about his music. We discuss about composition, instruments, recording, editing, mastering, as well as about some other random relating to his music and the music business. The episode also contains some of his songs to give non-Ayreon fans the necessary background. We also included parts of those songs Arjen cited as influences or used as examples for classical sounds.
- Ayreon on the web
- The Theory of Everything (most recent album)
- Ayreon’s Youtube Channel
- Bodine (WP)
- Vengeance (WP)
- Star One
- Guilt Machine
- Stream of Passion
- Bruce Dickinson (WP)
- Abbey Road Studios
- Ed Warby (WP)
- John Bonham (WP)
- Minimoog (WP)
- Devin Townsend (WP)
- Bob Dylan (WP)
- Leonard Cohen (WP)
- Barry Hay (WP)
- Golden Earring (WP)
- Lenny Wolf (WP)
- Anneke van Giersbergen
- Marcela Bovio
- Perfecting Sound Forever (the audio book I mentioned)
- Ayreon’s Equipment
- MIDI (WP)
- Sequencer (WP)
- Kraftwerk: Autobahn (WP)
- Tangerine Dream (WP)
- Hammond Organ (WP)
- Leslie Speaker (WP)
- Native Instruments Hammond
- AXE-FX II
- Compression (WP)
- Loudness War (WP)
- Ibanez 7 and 8 String guitars
- Fender Guitars
- Schenker Flying V Guitar
- Gibson Guitars
- Single Coil Pickup (WP)
- Humbucker Pickup (WP)
- Avid ProTools
- Ribbon microphone (WP)
- Auto-Tune (WP)
- Click track (WP)
- Mixing (WP)
- Mastering (WP)
- Arranging (WP)
- The Making Of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
- Prophet-5 (WP)
- De-Esser (WP)
Thank you both for this great and interesting interview. I’ve been an Ayreon fan for a while (since the Actual Fantasy album, which is still one of my favorites), and it’s always nice to hear some more insights on how the music has been made.
Keep up the great work!
Thanks Chris, glad you liked it :-)
Thanks for this episode! I listen to music every day but never gave much thought on how a professional production differs from just a band playing with a tape recording it. Especially the little examples of dry vs. reverb’ed voices and the explanation of compression and de-esser were interesting.
Wow…thanks for all this insight, I just love Arjen’s music.
As soon as I have burned this great special on a CD I ll add it to my last AYREON discs :)
One thing I missed…….
I reda that the new album will betaken on stage in 2015?
Very nice podcast and very nice website. I think, i’ll come here more often. Found it because Arjen posted in on facebook. I enjoyed the entire talk very much. It is correct, that the details are the most interesting. I’ve been an fan of Arjen’s work for Years and i’ve never found such a detailled and extensive interview. Thank you very much! :-)
Now the criticism you wanted:
It is annyoing for the listener and maybe a little bit rude for the interviewed person, if you constantly say “yes, yeah, yap, uh hum, um, yeah, right, yeahyeahyeah” during the answers. You should break loose of that habit. I wanted to hear, what Arjen had to say and for me that was disturbing throughout the entire interview.;)
And you should use the microphone you used in the interview in the beginning and in the end, too. It sounds much better :-P
I think you have to ask Arjen, but I think he didn’t suggest that this will happen.
Thank you Kevin. The problem with the continuous “yes, yeah, yap, uh hum, um, yeah, right, yeahyeahyeah” is well known to me. And I have been trying to break that habit for a long time. As you can hear, I have not been very successful. In my defense, it is not meant to be rude. It’s just that I am engaged in the conversation, and it just bubbles out of me :-) Sorry – I’ll continue to try to get rid of it.
I really enjoyed this interview with Arjen. Thanks!!!
That was great!
I too came because of Arjen’s post in Facebook. But now that I see it, the podcast general theme is not even about music, it’s about science and technology which is even more interesting than music… instantly subscribed. And I’m lucky I also speak german so I won’t be missing any episode.
Fantastic interview with one of my all-time favorite artists. As a hobbyist musician myself I really enjoyed that you took the time to discuss his techniques and processes for writing and recording. I would love to be a proverbial fly on the wall at the Electric Garage just to see how he works his magic. What I assumed was also shown to be true in this interview. That is the fact that his “magic” does not come easily and that Arjen spends hours if not days getting just the results he is looking for. I am proud to be one of his dedicated fans who has that “deaf faith” in his works and am always happy to pre-order what I know will be a superb product both musically and package wise. Thank you both for taking the time to share this with us.
First time I hear your podcast and I loved it. I’ve heard/read many interviews with Arjen but I’ve found yours the most interesting, so far. You can notice, just by listening to his music, that Arjen is not only very talented but also a VERY meticulous and hard working musician; however, it’s only when you listen to an in-depth interview like this that you can fully understand the extent of his almost obsessive perfectionism. My favorite moment of the interview was when you asked him if he mixes different takes within a song and his answer was: “… I mix syllables”. I used to find it exaggerated and even a little bit pretentious when I’ve heard him saying that he can’t do two Ayreon albums in a row because of how much they drain him. But now I understand. His honesty about many things (his deals with singers, the use of auto-tune and compression) was also appreciated and speak well about you as an interviewer. And I’ve also loved to know about his almost scientific (blind) method to pick instrumental takes with different settings. Here’s some things I’ve missed: learning more about other things Arjen likes doing besides music, about his family and upbringing and about what he’s planning to do after “The Theory of Everything”.
Have fun, Nico, listening to all the old stuff :-)
Thanks Ed! I appreciate your taking the time to write the comment!
Thank you Chris for your extensive comments. At omega tau, I intentionally keep the (private) details about the guests out of the conversation. I want to focus on the topic. And I am pretty sure that at this time he has no idea what he’ll do next :-)
This was awesome – great detail into the mind of Arjen, plus a wonderful overview of the technical bits of recording and such. Loved it! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome :-)
Very nice interview!
As a fan of Arjen, its always good to know a little better about him, and his music production process ;)
Couldn’t it be longer? :P
Everything can always be longer :-)
I enjoyed this episode greatly. A really inspiring insight into Arjen’s musical creation and production process.
Markus….I just started listening to your podcasts via Science360 radio)……I knew you were uber cool….now you absolutely R O C K!!! I will purchase one of his cd’s for sure!
Thank you for all your compelling interviews like this one. I can listen to them 5 times and still not get bored. You help make my work day fly! ( Darn! I wish I had taken German in school instead of French so I could understand your other episodes.). Looking forward to hearing and learning more!
Thank you for these motivating words, Yolande :-)
That was a great episode.
Please what was the name of the track / artist for the compressed drum at 1:17:30? I couldn’t clearly hear the artist’s name. Thanks very much
Thanks Peter. It’s Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”.
Great episode again. Arjen comes over as a really nice guy, so honest and willing to explain even details. He is obviously impassioned about the music and the joy of creating it (though/because “nothing ever is easy”), instead of just caring about the money he earns with it.
Btw, I don’t find your “yes”, “uh hum” so out of place if you don’t overdo it. After all, these are interviews and not lectures. You can’t hide your geeky nature and it makes your geeky audience relate to you. It also gives the interviewee the feedback that we are not bored, that we understand and are really interested.
Thank you! Also for the comments on my “yes”, “uh hum” :-)
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