Cidade de Santos is more than 450 years old. A 1 hour drive by car from the metropole São Paulo. Santos is situated 800 meters lower than São Paulo, it has almost half a million inhabitants and it can be only reached by 4 main roads like Anchieta, Imigrantes , by Praia Grande or by a ferry via the city Guarujá. Santos is in fact an island, it lies in a beautiful bay at the Atlantic Ocean with just outside the city the 'Mata Atlântica' type of nature. On the Guarujá site of Santos is the side where the port is located. Santos has the biggest port of South America.
The port is used for im-export of goods, mostly by containers, other products like soya, orange-juice and the huge windmill-blades made in Sorocaba find their way to other countries by the Santos port. Besides goods also people transport takes place at the port site, from the cruise-terminal huge Cruiseships leave the port every day in summertime.
The port provides the city it's dynamics and gives it also an international character. Ships from the USA, Europe and Asia go on and off, same counts also for the trains and trucks who are entering and leaving the city 24 hours round the clock. The port is the most important financial source for Santos and the state of São Paulo, it was that already hundreds of years ago when the coffee was shipped from the same port. For me it is a home coming because when i enter the city, the big tanks of the Dutch company VOPAK cannot be missed.
Coffee... 'Café do Brasil' is how they call it here. Santos had an important influence at the time that oil was not the main subject of trading on the world market of economics. At that time the coffee price was the most important number for economics. The decision what the world coffee price would be was made in Santos at that time. Nowadays you can still smell and taste this history in the Coffee Museum located in the old centre of Santos, 'Centro Comercial'. Till today some coffee companies have their offices located around this coffee museum. The museum itselfs is just great, it shows the history in a very nice way and after your tour you can try the coffee yourself or even bring fresh burned Brazillian coffee to home. It is nice to walk around in this area of Santos where you can see old portuguese type of buildings. Try a very good 'pastel' with a nice 'chopp' on the corner near the main square at a bar called Café Carioca. There you can start to taste Brazil already. Beware that everything is closed after 20:00 hours or so, and on sunday the places mostly open after 13:00 hours.
Santos has an old tram track thru the old historic centre, when you are here you 'have' to take a ride on one of the three different trams. The tourist guides will tell a lot about the history of Santos. They will show the port side, the old 'Centro Comercial' and the place where the slaves did hide run when they escape hundreds of years ago.
You can go by a cabletrack train to the top of the mountain Monte Serrat where you find a very old building, formerly used as a casino. Gambling is illegal in Brazil so as a casino the building history, but it takes you back in time . On the same mountain you find also a little church but the best is the 360 degrees view over Santos, it is just astonishing. See also the video at the bottom at this article, because they race every year a downhill competition from this mountain.
The second big thing in history what made Santos famous is a man, a man called Pelé. This former player of the Santos Futebol club is known all over the globe. Pelé shows Brazil, it's people and it's soccer in a very special way ..... by his personality. He made Santos FC in what it is today, a very well know soccer club in which plays on a world level. And Santistas show the importance of Pelé in Santos with his own statue near a bar where Santos fans can be found every day. Also his own star at the walk-of-fame at the Roxy cinema on Rua Ana Costa, because he also was an actor! Not a very good one he said himself :)
For years there are plans to make a Pelé museum, the last i heard about it was in 2010 with even Oscar Niemeyer involved. We will see :) But till today we have to do it with a tour you can get in the soccer stadium of Santos FC, there you can feel a great atmosphere of this impressive soccer club. At the moment their nowadays talents Neymar and Ganso are preparing for the worldcup in 2014... in which takes place in Brazil by winning championships for Santos every year.
Than we have here a very nice beach, Lucky me :) Great for a walk or for a swim. The beach locations are easy to find, by the channels,numbered from 1 to 7. On this more than 10 km long beach you can find a lot of special places, like the surf school at channel 1.... the nice pier with the surf museum is also very nice to take a look. Near channel 2 you find a tiny cinema at the beach in which shows only rare and foreign movies .... there is even a library near channel 5. On the far end near channel 6 you find the sea aquarium (Aquario). Nearby this aquarium there is a place where you can rent a Kayak or Standup board for a very nice price.
On the beach it selfs try a fruitdrink from Isa (near Channel 3), or a Pastel and Caipirinha at one of those little rolling shops on wheels. In the morning you can stay for the tambourel games in which are taken place all over the beach, this sport is even invented in Santos. In the late afternoon the beach is free for beachsoccer and beachvolleybal, mostly played by the locals. But with their build-in Brazilian 'special moves' you can for sure enjoy this competitions at the sideline.
Next to the whole length of the beach you can find an impressive garden, it seams to be the longest garden of the world next to a beach... mentioned in the Guiness Book of Records. I walk here as often with my Adriana as i can. On saturday night you can find a nice market with handmade stuff and art at channel 4 inside that same garden. On this same market they also sell special snacks from all over Brazil.
The food in Santos is just incredible good. It is near the sea, so we have a lot of seafood restaurants. I did not like fish too much in Netherlands, but here i tried some and i can say that i really enjoyed the taste of it.. not too 'fischy' is my explanation. Other kinds of food can be found in almost every street , there are restaurants, bakeries and bar's al over the place. I will name some of my favourites. At channel 7 you find a nice churrascaria names Tertulia, they serve and endless loop of incredible types of meat. They never stop bringing just if you insist to stop. Than we have 2 places near channel 3, Paulistania Café ans a little bit further we have Bar Heinz, both have very good food and beer (chop). If you drive about 1 km in the direction of the 'centro comercial' by channel 3 you will find Beneditos, try there the Parmegiana. They cut the meat with 2 spoons! It is just the best i have tasted so far in Brazil. Pizza is also an amzing type of food in Brazil, and very populair. Till no the best is tasted in Santos is from Barão, located in my street where you can order a Pizza René ... yes really :)
Santos is nearby São Paulo so every weekend with a little bit of sun brings a lot of the so called 'Paulista's' to 'our' beach. They bring also their dogs, surfboards, bikes, skateboards, longboards and inline skates. Santos has bike paths in which is pretty unique in Brazil, one track next to the beach garden and several tracks thru the city what makes it very safe to bike here. I am dutch, so i am biking all the time. it stays pretty impressive if you bike thru a hague of Palm Trees. But stay focused because the people are not used to bikes too much, i have crashed into some people already :) Extreme sports likes inline skating, skateboarding and longboarding is happening all over the park side , but the best spot is the pier where they made special tracks and ramps for them.
So when you wants to visit Brazil and having doubts about Santos.. do not. It is just beautyfull, safe and there are lot's of things to do overhere. I will keep it updated with some other todo's, because there is even more. Last but not least, watch these four nice video's about Santos, they shown the best of 'my city'. It is in my plans to make a video myself about Santos, but till than you just can enjoy these:
Video Santos and some cities closeby:
Studio 1 setup: My UHER 2 Track tape recorder and BASF cassette deck
Around that time my remix maestro stood up, Ben Liebrand. The guy made incredible nice remixes (and he still does) of an hour at the program "In The Mix" on Radio Veronica. I had to wait with my finger on the pause button of my cassette deck till 11 o'clock at night... that was the time the radio program started. Every friday night i was waiting like that... sometime without success, i fell asleep before the program started. The next morning i did not have the recording i wanted. That was a waste, because i could not listen to the new tricks of the maestro himself. I started first with the so called "Pause Button Mixes", but when i got the grips on the Uher it was just cutting tapes and making loops.
Another great dutch radio program that time was "The Soul Show" on the TROS radio station with DJ Ferry Maat. Import 12 inches from the USA, special long versions, nice news with good interviews like with Earth Wind and Fire, SOS Band, 52nd Street and more. One part in the show was the "Bond van doorstarters". Here remixers did send their 10-15 minute remix to the Soul Show and maybe yours was transmitted. I send some of mine over the years and one of them was really transmitted OnAir. Wow, i was very proud and i knew i was on the right track. I also learned a lot from the DMC (Disco mix club) and "3 Maal Doordraai" on AVRO radio. But the most i stayed impressed by Ben Liebrand, he had this famous speaker "Know your buttons" in which he explains: It does not matter how much and how good your equipment is, the main thing must come from yourself.
In The Mix on radio Veronica and The Soul Show with Ferry Maat
Meanwhile on the age of 16 i bought a.... 'computer'. First a Commodore VIC20, later the Commodore 64 and the Amiga 2000. My mother did not understand why i put so much time in these kind of equipment. She said one day "René do not spend so much time on this, you never can earn you money with it" I remember her this nowadays to tease her sometimes :) On school i was seriously years in front of my teachers in knowledge about programming and systems. In those early computer days i programmed at home on my Commodores and on school we had MS-DOS and the Apple II. The knowledge i got at that time really helps me out till today while programming on websites and smartphone apps.
My computers thru the 80's .. The Commodore VIC20 ,Commodore 64 and the Amiga 2000A
I started to use these computers in my remixes and music productions. Next to that i had invested in a drum-computer (Yamaha RX11) a Synthesizer (Korg Poly 800) and a little mono sampler to add sounds from my records into my computer. I connected all the equipment by a MIDI (Musical Instrumental Digital Interface). I could now work on a production, sync my samples, synth and drums with a remix. The sequencing software on the Amiga 2000 i started with was called Music-X and was the centre of the setup. It was amazing what i could achieve with it.
Studio 2 setup: Music-X MIDI/Sample sequencer software on the Amiga 2000
Over the years i sold some equipment and bought more professional stuff. The Korg Poly 800 i keep on using as master keyboard. Besides that i bought a Roland D110 synth module, an EMU SP12 Drum sampler and an AKAI S950 sampler. My computer was still an Amiga. An Amiga 3000 with inside that little box an AD516 Multrack Harddisk recorder from Sunrize and an EMU Proteus 1 Synth card. it was a huge investment that time.
Studio 4 setup: Mackey Mixer, Amiga 300
A had a so called Tripple play MIDI interface with 48 MIDI channels , the EMU synth added 16 extra channels so i had a total of 64 MIDI channels. That setup just rocked. I could even sync my 8 track harddisk recorder software with my Bars & Pipes MIDI sequencing software. That was a very strong music production centre for that time.
Studio 4 setup: Amiga 300, Studio 16 and Bars & Pipes
I did a lot of audio productions with that setup and the biggest was a sound-design project for a 45 minute cartoon. I had to sync a video to my audio production setup. No money for a Betacam player ofcourse, so i did a trick. I recorded the whole cartoon to a VHS tape, on the right audio track i added smtp timecode. I connected the audio-out of that VHS to the SMTPE input on the Sunrize AD516..... when i played the video my Studio16 and Bars&Pipes also played in sync. It was easy to add audio fx on the spot that i wanted, it worked pretty precise.
Studio 5 setup: Amiga 3000/4000/1200, Studio 16 and Bars & Pipes, AKAI S950 , Roland D110, Mackey Mixer
By some luck i found myself at that time a job as Audio-Engineer for ENG TV work. The first week i even did not know exactly what to do, i played with the camera ENG set a little but before i realized they put me on a job and i was booming for a famous Dutch TV show (5 uurshow). With the ENG jobs i learned a lot about location recordings with a basic setup, just an audio-boom with a Senheisser MKH416 and a handmic, an ElectroVoice RE50. Sometimes a wireless solution, but i did not like that too much because of all the extra sounds you will get by air. To get a good result was sometimes not easy, but it is a fun job to do.
Sonotech ENG: 5 uur Show 'Natuurmonumenten'
Besides the ENG jobs my boss let me go with the EFP productions. The company Sonotech where i worked had 3 OB-vans at that time. First i did the gameshow "The price is right". There i met my friend and Audio-Guru Warner Groeneveld. This guy is till today my 'Guru for sound'. I learned a lot with him, like how to use a compressor/limiter in a live situation. But also how to control your cables on location and solve a lot of technical problem on the go :) After some weeks he put me at the mixing desk when we did rehearsing. I cannot explain how it felt, but i know it was one of those moments in life. Besides Warner also my other collueages Frank Mosch and Peter Westbroek teached me the things i needed and give me the chance to grow in Audio. Thank you guys !!! Besides the EFP stuff i worked also in the studio, as an audio-boom operator for several comedies and i also used my AKAI S950 sampler at some studio jobs, to do applause and live sound effects. Amazing times , Sonotech was the best school i could wish.
Sonotech EFP: Rad van Fortuin for the VTP. Broadcaster VTM, Londerzeel - Belgium
Since that time i worked for a lot of TV and Webcast productions worldwide like all Dutch and Belgium broadcasters/TV stations but also Eurosport, BBC , Formula 1, NOS Studio Sports & News, FOX USA, ZDF Germany. Nowadays in Brazil i worked also for Globo and Band. Too much to remember all.
This all did come together in a crossmedia company in which i run with Michiel Overeem for more than 10 years now. The basics of this company named Connecting Media is build on audio & music. We put a lot of time in Audio, Music & Sound-design for our video/game & mobile productions, and..... we still make music. We have a little professional Audio Studio inside our office in Baarn. In Santos i am planning to build my room again. It is more easy to have a full blown setup with the computer power, plug-ins of expensive equipment available nowadays, but it still needs the brain to make something special. That's why i still love to make music, do sounddesign and freak on some new loops and sounds to make... hours and hours long. At the moment i use Logic and Reason for my music and remixing stuff. Also broadcast audio on location i still do. In Brazil i can perform this at the huge UFC live TV shows with another great engineer Daniel Littwin. And still i am learning every time i do a job. I am also working every year at the Formula 1 at Interlagos, São Paulo... great to work there with all top of the bill equipment.
I made my love and passion for Audio, Remixing & SoundDesign into my job and that made me very proud and happy.
It started with this little portable radio.... and it did not end yet :)
Connecting Media: Leadership summit Brazil live webcast, for the FGV. São Paulo - Brazil