I help creatives to focus on what matters most and ditch all the tech overwhelm by providing you with the specific mixing services that you need to get the exact sound you are looking for.
Creativity matters. And I believe that technology is there to support it. In the last 30 years, I have been studying the development of recording and mixing technologies thoroughly and consistently. Today you don't have to spend a fortune on tech/equipment to create high-quality sound results. You don't have to collect vintage gear or high-class analogue equipment either. You absolutely can if you like - I like that stuff, too, and I especially admire the achievements of tech pioneers like Willi Studer.
To me, the optimal way to ignite creativity and support creatives best is to reduce gear and software to the minimum you're happy with (including all your favorite stuff that you just cannot let go of), and master and leverage all the features these pieces of gear provide you with. This way, you don't get lost in the overwhelm of having too many options so that in the end, none really suits your wanted outcome. Just think about the early rockstars of our time - The Beatles, Pink Floyd ... didn't have any of the equipment that is available to us now, and still - or even because of that - they created ground-breaking masterpieces of sound and music.
I choose my equipment wisely based on my experience so that optimal results can be created and to give free rein to creativity.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Olav Knies
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Reduce to maximize creativity: Cubase 11 Pro, Wavelab Pro 10, Spectrallayers 8 Pro iZotope RX8 Advanced EMES Black TV Audio Technica ATH R70x AKG 240DF Ollo Audio S4X audient NERO PC
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital, because it´s easy and offers all you need. Mixing ITB has become the standard production method. It´s comfortable and economic. Nevertheless I grew up with dreaming of big consoles and 24 track Studers (stiil dreaming). Of course there is a difference in working process and sound. Concerning sound it´s a matter of taste. I grew up with analog gear and I love the sound. So I respect very much people who run fully analog studios, but for me today the pragmatic and economic way is mixing ITB. It´s 2020, the digital producing has been grown up and opened doors that were closed to many artists in the past. Analog is great but its peak was in the 80ies. I don´t like treating this topic like a religion. Discussions about that are very emotional in the audio world and that´s really ok - because music is emotion! And the great thing today is: you can choose!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Conny Plank. Please have look at Wikipedia to get an impression of this past visionary. Steven Wilson. He is a creative genius and full of ideas.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Music und sound are my passion. I gained experience by self studying for mpore than 30 years. I was fascinated by the sound of many productions in the early 80ies and wanted to know how this sound was made. During school I had first encounter with synthesizers. I gathered lots of them and spent whole nights with developing sounds. In parallel I recognized my interest for recording and mixing. So I gained my experience and knowledge by self-studying for 30 years and mixed a lot of live music. In my opinion live experience is one of the most useful skills for mixing in the studio. As a live mixer it is my responsibilty to transport the bands mood to the audience. And I like to implement an similar feeling in my studio mixes.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: As I am launching my business right now please let your project be the first in long row that I will be especially proud of.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I recommend Aubrey Whitfield.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Getting the best individual sound of the artists tracks by analysing the individual requirements. I don´t use presets because I want to emphasize individuality and avoid uniformity.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: "You don´t have much gear in you studio, so you can´t achieve a professional sound."
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your desired result? What makes you smile while listening to music? Do you like to have an individual sound or a common radio ready sound?
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: As I am started my business right now theres is no project I am actually working. But maybe it could be your´s?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: As music is emotions my promise is to use all my experience and passion to deliver a professional sound result that makes you smile :-)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My preference is not to copy mainstream styles but rather to emphasize individual aspects on a professional level. I like it to produce a very natural sound but I also love to build individual soundscapes.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Listening to the artist´s work, incl. previously published music. Interviewing the artist concerning his requirements. Analyzing the delivered tracks and evaluate sound quality, timing, tuning, etc. Consulting the artist regarding efforts and economical aspects giving honest advices.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Emphasize the song´s character and integrate the artist´s wishes and requirements.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming that there would be a stable power supply ;-) : A powerful laptop with Cubase Pro and some Valhalla plugins A good audio interface A pair of excellent monitor speakers. A pair of Beyerdynamic M201 TG
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: As I am still have launched my business there aren´t questions yet.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing Mastering Design special sound FX Cleaning tracks
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Conny Plank Steven Wilson Devin Townsend
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Practice in reducing equipment. You don´t need hundreds of EQ and compressor plugins.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: In my experience more than 50 % of sound quality are the musicians themselves, about 30 percent skills of the engineer, the rest is equipment. If the artists are perfectly prepared before recording (knowing the songs by heart, mastering their instruments, paying attention to tuning and timing, being in a good mood) you get the best basis for a great sound. Even the best equiment can´t heal a recording that is performed half-hearted.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Prog Rock, Folk/Acoustic, Metal,
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: My passion is my profession.