Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year

Have a great new year you all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Live from the London Eurostar terminal

Arrived at something past 6, I gotta say, I wasn't the only one.
These english people really know how to queue..

Got out of the tube, and was directed to the waiting-line, which started outside of the station, went down from the escalators, back into the tube-tubes, back up the escalators, filled up the whole arrival and departure-hall, went on to the eurostar departure-hall and filled it up. That was about it. I'm now facing another 3-hour wait. But it could have been much worse.

Although I had to start waiting outside, the line grew at a steady pace behind me. Don't think I'm of too bad.

As I managed to get a spot at the laptop-desk I can even do some useful things such as translating talks for TED (official TED-translator, it might even get me live-streaming from the real San Fransisco TED conference !!). Yes, I know, most of my former Dutch/English-teachers would start feeling sick if they knew I was doing those things, but that doesn't really matter, does it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas etc

Travelling back to Belgium for Christmas and new year,

by eurostar offcourse, they are now trying to clear there backlog, providing service on a first-come first-serve basis. Yesterday thousands of people waited inside and outside of St. Pancras station to get on.

Promises to be a challenging day..

I'm going in. Early
See you all back in Belgium.

It snowed (again), so now traffic is suffering again in London, but at least it's a pretty view.

Monday, December 21, 2009


So I was expecting some people to come and enjoy the atmosphere of London in Christmas mode.

But ofcourse:

Eurostar staff was going to go on a strike, luckily they postponed this 'till after Christmas.

You are probably aware of further developments:
- snow/ice-water condensed from the eurostar train onto the electronics when it entered the eurotunnel (where the temperature is at a constant 25 degrees)
- 5 trains broke down inside the tunnel
- hundreds of people where stuck inside the tunnel, some for 16 hours
- water ran out, all electricity was shut down, the train crew didn't do it's job, temperatures raised inside the cabins
- random people in the trains who happened to be police officers set up the evacuation
- the executive manager had a lot of explaining to do, but didn't do a very good job.
- no eurostar service has been available since Friday

Nobody is going to be able to make it to London. Talk about things going wrong on precise timing.

Fingers crossed on getting home for Christmas.

Update on where things went wrong:
- eurostar had absolutely no contact with the trains in the tunnel
- no or little communication with passengers during breakdown
- manager of eurostar tells of passenger witnesses as telling 'anecdotal stories'
- manager of eurostar up untill now still hasn't debriefed with the crew on what really happened in the trains, thus as a result almost knowing less than the passengers
- stranded passengers, still no service

Sure, it is easy to criticize eurostar by just summing up all things that went wrong. But than again, I'm in a bad mood, and this is my blog.

Empty studios no more

One of my current practical assignments is to record and mix a multi-track recording with drums in them. This can be your own music with someone playing drums over it, but I tought the experience would be much more realistic if I brought in a band.

So I posted ads, went to some shows and got me some contacts.
After a lot of mailing I got "the david vegas project" into my practical night-session, they are a two-piece band, so that seemed a nice way to get into it.

We recorded 4 songs in 2 8-hour sessions, this may not seem a lot, but believe me, it is.
(consider having to solve all the technical problems, trying to get them to play in time, dealing with the band in general, doing guitar and vocal overdubs, setting up all mics and channels, setting up headphone mixes, patching everything in, setting up pro tools, etc etc)

There where some minor problems with the headphones due to interference inside the amplifier (not really our fault, the headphone amp is just rubbish), and some channels broke down on the mixing desk itself, but we managed pretty easily (it's all a matter of running down all 10 possible faulty elements in the signal path :) ).

(action picture, a lot on my head)

(miced-up drums)

(guitarplayer/singer's area and inevitable spaghetti of cabling near connection point)

(guitar cabinet in separate booth to avoid spill)

(sontronics helios valve condensor for vocal overdubbing)

(patchbay to send all signals to the desk and headphones)

On another note,
It's very cold in London at the moment.
(personal ice-walk of death at my doorstep)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


They've been on it for years,
failed demos, massive amounts of gossip, debunking etc.

Wonder whether they will soon be unmasked..
Maybe this time they will actually make something work.

We'll see.
Still fascinating stuff.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Maybe a bit outdated, sometimes a bit manipulated.
But still striking..



Did another trip through London, this time with flatmate F.
We're the only ones left in flat 26 as B. has already left for the Christmas holiday.

Touched the big egg that's placed in the middle of london's bussines center, had another look at tate modern, did some markets, walked chinatown...

This time there actually was a camera that worked.
Makes quite a difference when trying to blog about it.

This one is for I. Ceulemans :)


(expecting visitors in t minus 7 days!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From the vaults

A photo I've been meaning to post for quite a while, but I never got to it.
It's from my weekend in Belgium, which dates from November (thank you very much(!), Hulldown).

I've left the Chiro behind, but nevertheless I still feel quite bonded with it, as is has been a part of my life for about 16 years or so..

Anyway, I got to do a bit of a 'guest-appearance', which was a very strange but nice thing to do actually.

So, I told the assembled Chiro from the Hei that nobody in London seems to know what Chiro is, or what it is all about. You could call it scouting, but that's a bit of a different thing. You could call it boy-scouting, but that has got quite a lot of negative meaning to it.
So, I asked to take a picture of Chiro Heikant so I would be able to show Londeners what Chiro is all about.

The result can be seen below.
Too bad my camera lens isn't of the best quality and not everybody that should be on there is on it. But you get the gesture.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Masters of war - Bob Dylan

Couldn't find the live version which is even better, but this will do.

It keeps on surprising me how much hate Dylan was able to put in this song.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So I got the chance to go to TEDxLondon!

And so I went, got there Just in time, pouring rain and extended diner times almost interfered.(not my photo)
Very nice organisation, very nice venue.
An inspirational talk by Ben Keene. He started his own 'tribe' on an island without anything to start with but the idea itself.
Chris Williams talked about the use of computers in engineering, and why they aren't always positive for creative thinking.
Rachel Wingfield spoke about how growing food in city environment can be a positive experience.
Michael McGrath talked about micro-loans that help poor women start up there own little businesses in Africa. Not the most sexy talk, but probably about the project with the most practical results.

I could go into depth about there talks, but that probably wouldn't be much fun to read. Here you can find more info if interested.

Anyhow, I felt privileged to be able to attend the evening as it had the whole TED atmosphere going on. That and the fact that the whole TEDx-movement will only keep on growing. Tickets where very hard to get (sold out minutes afte being available), hope I will be able to get hold of some again in the future.

On another topic,
As a lot of people probably have heard of by now, I've recently had the unpleasant experience of been robbed (cell phone, mp3-player, some money). I was somehow able to talk the robbing duo into returning my wallet as my ID (and other cards) where in there. I normally never carry my ID but I needed it the day before.
Anyway, no real harm done. It did leave me a bit shaky though, you don't expect knives to show up, especially as it happened just outside my college-pub. But I do think I'll be alright, it makes you more suspicious about others in public places though. In a strange way I actually feel kind of sorry for the duo. Cheers to all the people who got my mind of things.

I was going to post the whole story on how the pub owner got in touch with the police afterwards and on how it took me several trips down-town to get hold of somebody from the robbery-squad. But that's not really the point so I left it out.
The real point being the fact they (very likely) arrested the robbers (because of the fact robbing girl-boy-duos are very rare). So, thumbs up to the Islington Robbery squad. It doesn't really solve problems, but it surely ain't a bad thing either.

On another note,
I made pizza, there's no such thing as too much cheeze.

On yet another note,
It feels like it's freezing cold these days, walking around London.

On another note,
I'm of for another practical session night-shift.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


-this post has been delayed for quite a while due to too much stuff going on, but here it is at last-

(feltham church)

After an anonymous tip from somebody from HQ of Heikant's own Queen-base I decided to go on a trip to Feltham (it's not particularly close to South-Tottenham). Feltham is the birth-town of Brian May and the english home-town of Freddie Mercury.

The first permanent english memorial to Freddie was going to be revealed.
Offcourse, I had to be there (second row !).

Honoured guests: Freddie's mother, family and Brain May.
Also, Mercury, world's most renowned Queen tribute-band, played a free gig (only saw one song because I wanted to get a nice spot at the unveiling)

Funny thing: The security people told everybody to go to the parking lot where Mercury was playing, there was a large video screen set up, so everybody could follow the ceremony from there. Spots at the unveiling-site itself where scarce.
But then again, if I wanted to see the event on a screen, I could just as well have stayed at home and watched on my laptop.. So I stood my ground and waited, with some very pleasing results.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

(Freddie's mother giving a speech)

(Freddie's memorial star)

(Brian M, crowd close-ups don't get much better than this)

(Yes, it was kind of a upheaval)

(What it was all about. Freddie Mercury, "Lover of live, singer of songs")

Freshly restocked fridge, I'm calling mtv cribs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Were just passing by

Actually went to mc donalds today. Time crunch, fast and easy.
Wasn't bad either.
Cheese burger, fries and ketchup for £ 1.98. I can't even buy meat at tesco's for that.

Makes you think

Also went to see "Enemy Planet", nice show.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Swine Flu

(and that's without general poverty) via

Crazy Korea

now that's just sad. (period)


yes, I know, angry feelings huh?


TEDx London Logo

You are invited to register for the next TEDx London.

If you would like to attend, please register for your ticket by clicking "Respond here" below and fill in your details in the registration form.

I just got an email from TEDxLondon! I couldn't be more happy. Fingers crossed I won't be having anything else to do.

If you got 20 minutes to spare, this might be interesting:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So I've been wondering arroud a little bit more down-town.

Went to Trafalgar square (you know, the famous square with the pilon and the lions), spent an afternoon in the national gallery (saw paintings of Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeers, Van Gogh, Monet, Seurat, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, ..) Actually, I think a saw too many painings in one day. But I don't complain, the admission was completely free.

Afterwards I passed by Oxford street, one of the best known and biggest shopping streets in the world, with stores like selfridges etc. Not that I had anything to spend there, but still nice to pass by. They just reopened Oxford circus, and made it the first diagonally-passable circus in london. I walked it, diagonally offcourse, it was funny because people weren't used to it and kept bumping into eachother.
Ofxord street ends into west end, where all the big theatres are, including the dominion where queen's "we will rock you" has been playing for 8 years. Hope to go and see it one day.

On a school related note,
I had a practical session on Sunday morning at 6am (I must say I like late-night sessions a lot more), had some time to spare, set up some mics, recorded some guitars and vocals. Lots of fun.

For the more tech-geeky people, the vocal mic is a Neumann TLM 103 (which costs a small grand! But I didn't knew that at the time), the guitar mics are a Calrec cc01, a Neuman km84 and something from dpa. Yes I know, you'd be scared just to pick them up.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I had been indoors for quite some time, due to two cancelled lectures.
So I got out to see some more london.

Direction: westminster

Also went to the movieum housed in londen county hall (the blue lit building), bit of a confusing place with identical corridors in all directions, but a lot of interesting stuff there. Plus a temporary Beatles exposition.
(original flash gordon script)

(original nimbus 2000)

(the original used spongebob background)

All good fun, then, offcourse, typical london weather set in..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Taking water

This was hanging on the door across the hall, luckily our kitchen didn't take any water.

On the other hand,
my window was tilted during the night, so normally the window should have still been reasonably waterproof.
When I got up I noticed a wet spot under my desk, and literally a pool of water on my desk.

How come?
Water entered through the split of the window, onto the window-ledge, onto the corner of my desk. It then spread about a meter on my desk, so this was what I found:My laptop was positioned directly in the middle of the puddle.. (removed on photo for obvious reasons)

Bit of a panic, removed everything, dried, cleaned, opened up laptop to check for water.

The amount of water removed, only by scraping it from the desk with my hand:

Eventually, everything still seems to be working.
I now reinforced the window-tile with towels, just in case.

On a positive note: finally got my hands on a masher, so much for making 'pekesstoemp' with a fork, fiew.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Practical session II

-catched bus-

Ended up getting home arround 5, wasn't planned for, but fun eitherway.

Some Pictures of the past week:

Otari Tapemachine

Mr T. from kazakhstan, great accent, shown in 'a picture to impress the girls'. We're still trying to figure out if he's royal of oil. Incredible mixing skills.

Mr TP, posing in front of soundcraft 1624 (build in 1979, crackling, but still working) at 5.30am, acting as if still able to see straight.

Quote of the day:
" When in doubt, go for it"