A few years ago, I interviewed Arjen Lucassen about his wonderful music and how he makes it; obviously, I am a big fan! Recently, his Ayreon universe was performed live on stage and I was blown away. I decided I had to talk the the guy behind the live shows, Joost van den Broek. Luckily he agreed. So I visited him in his studios and we talked about music production and arrangement in general, and specifically for the Ayreon live shows.
Effects devices are essential for electric guitars and keyboards because they shape sound and make it interesting; many classic devices exist. However, those are rare and/or expensive, plus, even if they are not, carrying them around on a tour costs money. This is why these hardware devices are simulated in software, and distributed as plugins for audio software. Native Instruments is a manufacturer of such software analog effects packages. In this episode I chat with one of their engineers, Julian Parker, about how this software simulation of the electronic hardware is done.
Late 2016, during a trip to the Netherlands, I visted Rutger Vlek of River Creative Technology in his home studio to record an episode about synthesizers. We talked about the basics of sound generation, various enveloping and filtering techniques, sound design, the different fundamental approaches of sound synthesis, as well as a couple of classic synths. Rutger illustrated lots of approaches with samples from some of his many synthesizers.
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.
In this episode we investigate the physics of the violin in a conversation with Jim Woodhouse of Cambridge University. We discuss the way the bow interacts with the strings, the different vibration modes of the body and how they influence the sound and the playability of the violin as well as how scientific methods (can) help with understanding existing and creating new violins.