..:: Ed Starink - The FANterview ::..
the new interview with the fan's questions!
In October 2013 the fans had the opportunity to ask questions - the campaign has been supported via the Facebook group and the e-mail newsletter.
We collected more than 40 questions and finally sent about 30 questions to Ed Starink who was so kind and answered them and therewith shares his thoughts.
And here it is... the FANterview with your questions!
FANterview: Ed, what are you doing nowadays?
Ed Starink: I am working on the second part of my Universe, namely the Universe Orchestral Works. Imagine a big orchestra, directed live with four synthesizer players.
FANterview: Was it your goal, your vision, to introduce electronic music to the novices?
Ed Starink: No, when I started with my first synthesizers it was purely for my own discovery of this new phenomena and I had no idea that it would lead to Synthesizer Greatest.
FANterview: Is there anything you miss from the Netherlands now you've been in France for so long?
Ed Starink: No, not really.
FANterview: Do you still speak Dutch or is that faded away since you moved to France?
Ed Starink: Yes, I still speak Dutch, it didn't fade away.
FANterview: How often do you visit Holland?
Ed Starink: Once a year, mainly for family reasons.
FANterview: What music do you like to listen to personally, not professionally?
Ed Starink: For me there is no difference listening to music personally or professionally. When I hear music, no matter what kind of music, I am automatically analysing chords, rhythm, melody etc. Bach and Strawinsky are my two sources of inspiration.
FANterview: What do you think about todays modern electronic music styles, like Dub-step?
Ed Starink: I like that everyone with a direction in mind can make music without the necessity to study years for mastering any instrument. The drawback of this is that without this suffering and knowlegde, a lot of electronic music styles, like Dub-step, are more a collection of putting together good sounding loops.
FANterview: What do you think of the fansites made for you including StarinkWorld, EdStarink.info and the Facebook group? Wouldn't you like to see more of your fans be active on those sites?
Ed Starink: I am really pleased that people are still busy with sound-exploration and that they still are interested in my synthesizer music.
FANterview: Which art painters or any form of art do you like?
Ed Starink: I am interested in all kind of artforms. In painting I like the "magical realism" style.
FANterview: When I mention the name Ed Starink (outside the Facebook Group), the response is almost exclusively: "Who?". Yet, when I explain about all the Ed Starink works, more than half of those responders have at least at some point owned (or still own) one or multiple "Synthesizer Greatest" CD's or albums by Star Inc., London Starlight Orchestra, etc. Almost everybody has at least -heard- about the "Synthesizer Greatest" series. How do you feel about being so "anonymously famous"? Do you prefer to stay relatively unknown as an artist or would you have preferred to be a little more in the spotlight so that people would at least know your name and who is responsible for all these great covers they have been listening to?
Ed Starink: A long question with a simple answer: no, I like the fact that I am "anonymously famous" because that has given and still gives me the freedom of changing musical directions in my life.
FANterview: What do you think about the today's way how music is marketed to the masses (casting shows, heavy rotation on the radio, ...) and do you think that today's music consumers don't esteem music as art which is worth to pay money for it (illegal or at least cheap downloads instead of buying the album in a store)?
Ed Starink: A good question, and not simple to answer because it is an evolution and in one person's life you can't get a clear picture from where this is leading to. No, it does not feel good that people don't have to pay for any creative effort, but... who is not downloading?!
FANterview: What is your opinion of a good cover? A close to perfect recreation of the original? The same song structure with some newly added and improved elements? Or an almost new composition with only some of the most recognisable elements of the original in it?
Ed Starink: I have been asked this question a lot of times, and my answer was always this: in my opinion, specially with everybody's own synthesizer-sound pallet, it is easier to create a new song and/or arrangement than diving into the sound-world of someone else. I loved the challenge to arrive with my equipment to the same or a better result than the original.
FANterview: When will you be releasing new music? What happened to your plans for implementing surround effects to your compositions?
Ed Starink: When Dolby Surround came out I tried to convince Arcade and Sony to be one of the first to re-release Synthesizer Greatest in Dolby Surround, but they were too busy doing other things and I was already planning to move to France. So it did not work out.
I made a few synth-albums in Dolby-Surround which have been released on my own label. The Universe on which I am working now is in real Surround 5.1.
FANterview: Even though most covers are already released on multiple different albums, why has there never been a "Best of Ed Starink" compilation?
Ed Starink: The thought never crossed my mind at that time.
FANterview: The first two volumes of the Synthesizer Spectacular series were very different. While volume one had some nice medleys of various songs, volume 2 was a collection of mainly pop song covers. Why are the two volumes so different and why did the series stop?
Ed Starink: It was a company policy.
FANterview: Why didn't you make more medleys or cover more basic popsongs?
Ed Starink: Again, a question of marketing.
FANterview: Are there any songs or artists you would have loved to cover, but weren't allow to? And if so, are there any unreleased covers left in your private collection because of this reason?
Ed Starink: I can't think of any song or artist.
FANterview: Would you have wished to continue "Synthesizer Greatest - The Original Tapes" (Sheet Music) as a sort of compilation series?
Ed Starink: For everything is a time and it was time to move on.
FANterview: Which record of yours are you the most satisfied with, and which the least (and why)?
Ed Starink: That is a difficult one for several reasons. I made more than 200 Albums in that time. After so many years doing other things most of my memory about this has been replaced. I liked making Cristallin with just the simple Korg's and also the Science-Fiction themes and my other solo projects.
FANterview: Did you ever receive personal praise or dislike from artists you covered?
Ed Starink: No praise, no dislike. Don't forget with every new release of Synthesizer Greatest all the composers received royalties.
FANterview: Did you ever release anything of which you (maybe later) thought: "Maybe I shouldn't have done that"?
Ed Starink: No, when I worked on whatever project, I liked the process of being busy and in control of everything. After a project was finished, other people took over and I directly moved on to the next project.
FANterview: Is there anything of which you regret you never covered or composed it?
Ed Starink: Covers, no. Composing? Maybe starting earlier with my Universe project.
FANterview: Is there any artist you would like to do some project with today?
Ed Starink: To be honest I like working alone at my Universe project in this period of my life.
FANterview: During the years, you worked with a lot of different equipment. What was your favorite synth?
Ed Starink: Roland JP8.
FANterview: How is your switch from a hardware based studio to software working out? Does it make things easier or are you missing certain things that could only have been achieved using hardware?
Ed Starink: On the contrary: I wished I had Logic Pro X, the fast Macs and all the welknown plugins in those days. That would have speed up the working process enormously. All the control you have now is amazing and I use all of it. No regrets for not having the Fairlight, Synclavier, SSL or all the nostalgic stuff anymore!
FANterview: Many of your fans are into (amateur) music making themselves. A lot of those can come up with nice melodies and covers, but many have a hard time in finding the right balance in the final mix, eventually lacking that professional sound found on most commercial CD's. Do or did you mix all your creations up to the final mastering version yourself or did you have professional engineers do that for you? If you did it yourself, where did you learn this trade which seems to be one of the most difficult parts of delivering a press-ready piece of music?
Ed Starink: Very interesting question.
I recorded everything myself and then I hired the best engineers of that time and we mixed together without anyone else around. I think it was wise to have an engineer with good ears who was looking different and fresh to all my tracks. At the end I was responsible for the final mix. Basically we did one song per day. Later on I did it all by myself.
I learned engineering the hard way, from the age of 16, being in the most famous studios, saying nothing, using my ears and eyes.
FANterview: You once owned a mixing desk by the famous manufacturer Solid State Logic. Especially the one you've owned (SL 4000 G) was and still is in use in many music studios all over the world and it's also responsible for a certain sound quality in many music productions. Do you miss this particular sound and do you use plugins to simulate the SSL SL 4000 G?
Ed Starink: No, I don't miss the SSL and for the moment I'm not using any SSL plugins.
De FANterview in het Nederlands.
We would like to thank Ed that he took the time and answered all our questions which we were dying to ask for... and we also would like to thank the fans for posting/mailing their questions to us.
If you asked a question and you are missing that particular one, this might have several reasons. One reason could be that your question were already answered with the other interviews. Another reason could be that a similar question is part of the above-mentioned interview... and finally: Ed did not answer this question! :-)