Author: Jordy van Oostveen
I have been intrigued by sound for as long as I can remember. My parents told me the only way to stop me from crying as a baby was when there was music around me. I literally couldn’t fall asleep without music on in my room growing up, ‘till far in my high school years.
My first encounter with “manipulating” sound was on an Amiga500 with FastTracker II in the 90’s. With my very basic understanding of the English language, I started clicking around, trying to program my own beats. Besides playing video-games and listening to its soundtracks, I would listen to anything that was available to me, and I became a huge fan of Phil Collins and Genesis.
Papaya Club, Croatia, 2016 (photo by Goxmag)
I started drumming for few years, and spent all my pocket-money on CD’s and CD-singles. My dad eventually bought me a simple mixer for my 12th or 13th birthday. This mixer started putting things in motion, as I just knew and felt music was “the way to go” for me.
A few years later, at the very start of the internet-age and with limited sources (yay to 56kbps bleepy modems), I started playing around with Sonic Foundry’s Sound Forge which back then was a basic 2-channel audio editing tool. It gave me enough freedom to mess around with wave-files, cut samples, record sounds and create mixes. I made my own mixtapes, which I burned on CD’s and sold them to whoever wanted to buy them. Not long after I starting my DJ-career in a local bar when I was 15 years old. Eventually, after dropping out of school at age 18, I started playing more clubs and bars in hometown and got myself a job at dance music vinyl shop Freaky Records in Eindhoven (NL), where I was on the frontline of discovering new, awesome dance music. Another big perk of this job was meeting all the great Dutch DJ’s and people from within the industry.
I got more and more interested in producing music myself and with the help and knowledge of surrounded producers, I decided to quit my job after 5 years and just went for it. Now, 15 years later lots of things have happened since I lived life as a touring artist.
Tomorrowland, Belgium, 2015 (photo by Marc van der Aa)
Making music for 20 years now has also lead me to collaborate with awesome companies. I tested software and officially created patches for various plug-ins. Xfer’s Serum, LennarDigital’s Sylenth1, Native Instruments, Output, Kilohearts, MixedInKey / Captain Plugins, RevealSound’s Spire, and more. I have also teamed up with Splice and released a Sylenth1 soundbank, two sample packs and have another one in the works.
"The thing I love about sound, is when it’s organized in a certain way, it can become music. And music is the ultimate way to enhance and experience emotions, good and/or bad. Music has helped me get through life in my darkest moments, and I’m sure it has a healing effect on everyone in this world, now maybe even more than ever before."
After a short sabbatical, me and a friend started “LastBlast - Show Creations” in 2016. Besides designing shows for huge festivals, events and DJ’s / artists on a global scale, I have also been creating various types of custom show-audio for these projects. Since the soundtrack should match the festival’s vibe, tells its story or reflect its DNA, it is often a very cinematic approach of writing music, designing sound, and by selecting and arranging samples, creating the sonic atmosphere of the event. It has been super inspiring and has forced and triggered me to explore new ways and learn new techniques of music production.
LastBlast at Syndicate 2019, Germany (photo by Vincent van den Boogaard)
Obviously due to COVID-19, our business was hit hard. From a full agenda to zero shows has been quite the setback for the company. However, it also opened up a lot of time for me to start creating music from a new kind of “freedom”. I moved my studio inside my loft-apartment, which has a very inspirational vibe and amazing creative energy. It used to be a Philips lightbulb factory, so it has some great history and nostalgia too.
Home studio, 2021 (photo by Menno van der Veen)
Moving my studio from a sound-proof and sonically calculated space, to an open loft-apartment comes with some sonic obstacles. I have been working on my Genelec 8040’s for about 10 years now, so I know them inside out. But to really pinpoint problems, and to eventually finalize a project, they never stood a chance in a space like this. That’s why I started to look for some serious mixing/mastering headphones. After some extensive research I stumbled upon OLLO Audio, and decided to order the flagship S4X model. The 30-day trial period also helped making a decision like this.
S4X reference headphones (photo by Menno van der Veen)
My mouth literally fell open the first time I put some of my favorite music on, got multiple levels of goosebumps and even might have had a teary eye at one point. I couldn’t get myself a better pair of headphones. The level of detail is insane. I didn’t have any problem getting myself familiar with its sound, as it sounds like everything is right there in front of you, and it’s brutally honest. I get to my visions a lot quicker, as they are extremely transparent. You hear exactly what you are doing, instead of sometimes guessing if you’re shaping a sound the right way. Low-end is rich and deep, while the mids and highs are crips, clear and full of clarity.
Home studio, 2021 (photo by Menno van der Veen)
The thing I love about sound, is when it’s organized in a certain way, it can become music. And music is the ultimate way to enhance and experience emotions, good and/or bad. Music has helped me get through life in my darkest moments, and I’m sure it has a healing effect on everyone in this world, now maybe even more so than ever before.
To be able to experience that in an even more detailed way with the S4X, from home in these challenging times, is something that helps to hold my vision for the years ahead.