PRODUCER's BIO BJ BAARTMANS
Dutch multi talented musician/producer BJ Baartmans was born in 1965.
In the early 80’s, as he began writing and performing his songs, he also developed a strong desire to record and capture this original music on tape. Armed with two cassette decks, a hi-fi and a radio shack microphone the possibilities to overdub guitar, vocal or drum parts to a simple song form opened up a fascinating world of sound for him.
With his finger nail, he would tap out bass parts on the neck pickup of his Japanese Strat with all the treble rolled off, or construct rhythm parts with his mom’s frying pans (great cowbellsound) and salt shakers (shake it baby!), playing the part on one speaker, while recording a new instrument on the other. School days were soon to end....
Within a couple of years he managed to get his hands on a real Tascam four track cassette recorder, making man and machine a perfect match. Soon he added a budget Lexicon reverb and a real AKG mike and an endless stream of home made demos, with wild sound experiments and freaky little guitar symphonies began to appear.
In the meantime, gigging, rehearsing and writing turned his love of rock, jazz, folk and blues music into a real job, with recording being still mostly a side project. But more and more, musician friends would ask BJ to help them make demos or self-released tapes.
The art of production slowly revealed itself, as he learned to make better use of microphones and studio equipment and the manipulation sound. By 1993 his small, but musician friendly home studio contained a budget 16/8 Soundcraft board, an 8 track Tascam 38, a collection of inexpensive, but solid working microphones, plus a few funky effect units, in tandem with his growing stash of stringed instruments. Some of BJ’s recordings began to make their way onto real albums and not just as bonus tracks.
BJ Baartmans has not yet become a high profile commercial record producer. But then, it has never been his intention. To try and combine it with an average of 100 concerts a year as a singer/songwriter/guitarplayer, would be a tall order, but not impossible.
Nevertheless, his productions, or albums he’s participated on as a session player, have found their way around the world, via retail and radio. Reaching music fans of Americana, blues and folk music alike.
His work is naturally crafted, well recorded and tastefully mixed, ask any of his clients!. Baartmans has the character and ability to coach a great performance out of any player or singer.
In 2001 he began recording in an old rented farmhouse, just outside the town of Venlo. Occasionally assisted by sound wunderkind/engineer and co-studio owner Leon Bartels. That ‘home studio’ set-up was soon upgraded and some very cool production jobs began to appear, providing for a couple of additional great tube mics, some classy preamps and the much needed high end outboard gear. The farm’s huge loft turned out to be a beautifully sounding room and the easy country vibe of the location made for a very inspiring recording environment. Musicians loved it the minute they walked in.
Right there, at Leon's Farm, but also in other well equipped studio's there have been quite a few well-known musicians in front of a microphone with BJ behind the desk. His production skills, often combined with his outstanding playing, can be found on recordings by folk rock icon Iain Matthews, British song writing collective Plainsong, New York singer/songwriter Eugene Ruffolo, Canadian singer songwriter Shannon Lyon, Nashville’s Billie Joyce, and Irish mandolin virtuoso Ray Barron. Coupled with a list of some of the finest established Dutch musicians and bands, such as JW Roy , Arno Adams, Frans Pollux, Bart de Win, BJ also somehow manages to find the time to record and coach new promising acts like Johnny Blackthorn White, Etan Huijs, Clean Pete, David Savage just to name a few.
And then there's BJ’s own music ofcourse, as his playing and writing is still the fuel behind it all... And his love for genuine instruments, vintage or new, electrified or acoustic. BJ has maybe never been much of an authority on equipment, but knows more than a thing or two about microphones, preamps and compressors and in the meantime he has build up a pretty decent collection. Added to that there's all kinds of stringed instruments, keyboards and drums at hand where BJ's working right now, all in good working order and usually very appealing to who ever drops by. Since 2008 BJ's working mostly in his small homestudio, Studio Wild Verband. An incredibly busy schedule so far failed to quieten a very creative soul..
Since 2008 BJ has been producing and mixing songs and albums (and been playing on tracks) at Studio Wild Verband for acts like Israel Nash Gripka, Pokey Lafarge, Jeff Finlin, Cara Luft, Amy Speace, Kendell Carson and Dustin Bentall, Matthews Southern Comfort, David Corley, Okieson, Shaza Hakim, Hidden Agenda Deluxe, Eric Devries. Lots of mainly Americana music but also Jazz, Gypsy Music, Acoustic Folk, World Music and Pop records
A PEEK INTO STUDIO WILD VERBAND
Steinberg Cubase Pro 8 (or optional Nuendo 3) multi track Windows7 PC set up: 24 bit/48 khz (opt 96 hz), 16 x in/out
Converters: RME ADI8 dd (2x), RME HDSPe Ray Dat
Plug ins: Nuendo UAD ultra DSP (ao Pullman EQ, SSL busscompressor, Abbey Road mastering suite, J73 tape echo, Neve 1073 EQ, UREI 1176, LA 2A, EMT Plate 140, UA dreamverb, Fairchild)
play back system:
Tannoy 600 active system
Beyer, Sony & AKG headsets
Neumann M 147 tube
Gonzo Audio U 67 style custom handbuild tubemicrophone (2x, matched), Gonzo Audio XL 15 (U47 model) , Gonzo Audio XL215 (telefunken model)
AEA 84 Ribbon
2 Golden Age Projects RI mk II
Octava MK 012/3 diff. capsules (2x, matched ), ML 53 Ribbon (2x, matched)
AKG D112, D 14, C 535 (2x), C 3000, C 1000 S, C 451 (omni), 330 BT, 214 (stereo set)
Electrovoice RM20, RE50
Shure SM 57 (3x), SM 58 (4x)
Zeck RE20 (EV RE15 clone)
Beyer and AKG handheld vocal mics
Sennheiser 441 (2x), E906 (2x), 855
Aphex Acoustic Exciter & Behringer active DI boxes
Universal Audio 110 single channel
Universal Audio 4110 four channel
Universal Audio 610 (tube) single channel
AEA TRP ribbon pre amp
Golden Age 73 mkII, Golden Age 73 mkIII (2)
TL Audio C1 tube compressor/pre amp, 2 channel
Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro mixer, 4 channel
ART dual pre tube
ART TP 2
Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster preamp/comp/eq, single channel strip
Joe Meek VC3 preamp/comp/eq, single channel strip
Line6 Bass POD
Roger Mayer RM58 handbuild compressorlimiters (2)
Burnie stereo compressor/limiter (Drawner solid state replica) Warm Audio WA76 Golden Age 54 (neve model)
Line 6 DDL 4 delayunit
Fender ‘70’s tube reverb unit (2x)
Various (vintage) guitar effects
Sonor ‘70’s drums (k,t,fl), Premier snaredrum, Paiste cymbals
Sonor Swinger 70s (k,t,t,fl), Sonor snaredrums
Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 , Yamaha Upright Piano, Hammond B3 organ plus Lesley 122 tubeamp, Yamaha G5, Grand Piano
Nord Stage Piano
Fender Champ (Harvard ’58 model), Fender ’62 Brown Deluxe, Fender ’72 Princeton, Fender Custom Shop Vibroking, Fender Pro Junior, Fender Rumble 30 watt bassamp, Fender Vibroking 2x12” speakercab
Marshall JTM 45 2x12” Celestion greenbacks, VOX 2x12” speakercab Celestion, VOX pathfinder 15, VOX AC15 (red), Fender Custom 68 Princeton, Matchless Tornado 15 watt, Silvertone ’62 Amp in Case, Pignose, Lab L2 100 watt Bass Amp & 15”Celestion
BQ Music Klon copy, Roger Mayer voodoo fuzz and univibe pedals, Boss Blues Driver, Boss DDL 4, Boss Compressor, Boss Chorus, MXR Dynacomp Compressor, Ibanez TS 9, Carl Martin Tremolo/vibe, Dunlop Cry Baby, Fulltone OCD, Xcotic RC Booster, Behringer vintage Phaser, Ernie Ball volume pedal, MXR carbon copy, EH Memory man deluxe, Small Stone Phaser, Ibanez WH 10 Wah, Carl Martin Wah Wah, Line 6 Verbzilla, various Xvive pedals (undulator, delay, chorus vibrato, sweet leo, dynarock).
things with strings:
Various Fender Stratocasters, Kauffmann Telecaster, Stratocaster and Cozy models, Greco SA 800, Greco FA 700, Stanford Crossroads 330, Squier Baritone, Fender Jazzmaster, Custom build Patrick Koopman Telecaster, St.Blues 61 South, Gretsch 5122 DC with TV Jones PU's, Tokai Firebird, Hanson Chicagno, Cole Clark Lapsteel, Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson Les Paul DC, Gibson Melody Maker, Gibson SG, Yamaha SA 2100, Eastwood Classic 12, Duesenberg Starplayer, K.Yairi steelstring, K Yairi F-hole Jazzbox, Collings OM 1, Danelectro DANO ’59, Danelectro baritone longhorn guitar, Seagull S6, Silvertone ’62, Shergold Masquerador, SMOJO cigarbox guitar, Collings MT and Kentucky 600 Mandolins, Trinity College Bouzouki, Gold Tone Banjo, Regal Resonator tri cone, Aria Classical Guitar, Klein ¾ Classical Guitar, Cordoba Ukelele, Epiphone Beatle bass, Epiphone Jack Cassidy bass, Squier Classic Vibe Precision Basses (50s and 60s models), Fender Squire VI bass, Tom Launhardt Jazz Bass, Sitar, Suzuki mandocello and then some...;-)