What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That mastering can be done by the producer of the track. Mastering requires not to be biased.
Somebody who made the track can not be objective anymore. Therefore someone else needs to do this final and very important step. Someone who knows the genre of the track and can make it compatible with other commercially released tracks.
Analog or digital and why?
Although we have some analog equipment we prefer to work digital. Mostly because when working digital it's far more easy to make revisions and master radio edits afterwards without having to start over again. Clients sometimes say afterwards things like: "The master really sounds fat! I suppose you use a lot of analog equipment" Analog sound is just sound with a certain character that can be created using analog or digital equipment.
It's really a misconception that analog masters sound better than digital masters. That's all in the mind if you ask me. With both techniques it's possible to create great sounding masters these days.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That we will do everything in our power to give them the sound they want. Or at least advise them how to get there is their mixes are not good enough yet.
What do you like most about your job?
To be able to work with new (and old!) music. Making it sound better than it did and therefore making a difference in the history of music.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What they expect from us sound wise. Thats why we like to receive one or more reference tracks along with the track that needs to be mastered that show us what kind of sound a client is looking for.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't get blinded by impressive gear lists. The cook is more important than the kitchen. Having said that you will need to find a provider that has good monitoring and acoustics. Without this it's not possible to make a master that translate well.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I would definitely bring the loudspeakers. They were specially designed for mastering by a specialist according to my wishes. They are able to reveal every little detail in a mix and help me doing the job properly.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
In the beginning of the 90's I started making mixes for a radio show called the Soul Show. This was presented by the legendary Ferry Maat. To make the transitions between the records more flawless I started Eq-ing the records to make them sound more similar. Without knowing it I was mastering the records for my mixes. Because my mixes (including a few yearmixes) were broadcasted so often in the radio show i was noticed by record companies who wanted me to mix compilation albums. One thing led to another and I started to master compilations as well. Not long after that I started mastering new track as well. 25 years later I can look back on a so far great career. Working with a lot of big names and successful and creative artists.
How would you describe your style?
I like a solid and tight bottom end. The low frequencies are the foundation of a track. A wide and warm sounding mid low . A punchy sounding mid - high with lots of transients and details. And a silky soft high.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Mostly we work on all kinds of dance music. But we can also do magic with pop recordings.
In 2009 we mastered an album called "Beste van Twee Meter Sessies (1987-2009) – V.A. (2009)"
This album is a compilation of acoustical recordings of Pop Songs. The website hifi.nl made a list of best sounding albums ever. Hifi entousiastics voted for this list. This resulted in the 15th position on that list.
What's your strongest skill?
To listen to the customers wishes and make them come true. (if technically possible)
What do you bring to a song?
We try to bring punch, transients, dynamics and clarity into a master. Even if the level has to be very high
we feel It's important to always have some kind of dynamics. We always want to hear the tip of the kick drum to get that "in your face" sound.
What's your typical work process?
When people upload their tracks for mastering we always read their comments and listen to the reference tracks they send to us. We think the opinion of the producer or label is important. We don't feel ourselves superior to our clients. Sometimes we advise against a certain wish that a client has sound or level wise. But if the client has a certain wish we respect that and will always master it accordingly.
Tell us about your studio setup.
We have no public gear list. We want people to chose us based on our skills and not based on the equipment we use. Over the years we have created a set up that works for us. Sometimes we design our own equipment or procedures if we feel we need to. Because of this we can provide a unique service.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most of the work we do is related to mastering. But you can also find us at dance events like Defqon, Sensation, Qlimax e.t.c. At those events we make recordings and mixes for broadcast on Youtube and other platforms. To see and hear people respond at tracks we have mastered in our studios is a good feedback source. It makes me realize why we are doing this work in the first place.