Getting you out of your comfort zone to excel the performance !
Produce your demo, EP or full album in a fully equipped studio: 40m² live room with a full equipped control room, a full equipped B studio. A great variety of classic mic preamps, a great mic collection and a well maintained back line. This results also in great quality mixes ! High quality converters, well clocked, combined with some great outboard and well chosen plugins is the key for a great sound. We make a point of taking the necessary time to give the mix the right automation, which is -for me- THE secret to a great mix.
You can also send your tracks for a mix/master.
My services go from recording, editing, mixing to mastering. I can offer you the full service tailor made to your demands.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Ivan Houben
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I first listen to the needs.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't look any further :-)
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Sylvia Massy. Due to her extended mic knowledge and recording experience. The fact she can go really crazy and "out of the box" to stay original and challenging. Mainly because her eyes glitter like a child in a new amusement parc each time she has a new piece of gear.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The right mic and the right preamp on the right sweet spot and pushing the performer to give his utter best in the best possible conditions. The right process and the right automation, track per track, to get the greatest result possible. Working quick and efficient. Being structured and efficient.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Studying the song before going in the recording studio, to be sure to have a vision to hold on, to keep the wind in the sails in the right direction. I'm really keen on quality recordings with a lot of emotion, yet tight. The more the recordings come close to the final vision, the easier it is to mix. If I am asked only to do the mix, I make sure the communication is flawless; how I'd like to receive the tracks, formats, etc etc etc. Once received I set up my mixing setup/templates and try to have the first result of the first song in four hours. Once the first mix is perfect for that song, I can provide a final deadline, extrapolating the mix time of the first song by the number of songs.Depends a bit project per project. Some have a lot of tracks, others not.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Working quick and efficient.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, Stoner, Metal, Death Metal, Blues Rock
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Boring debate. I use both.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A great choice of high quality preamps (Audient, Neve, API, UA,...) and a great mic collection (Neumann, Sure, AKG, Sennheiser, Nohype, Beyerdynamic, ...). Everything is routed to the SSL convertors straight into Cubase/Protools/SSL Soundscape. Some outboard; 1176 compressor, TLA compressor, DBX compressors, a few TC Electronic reverbs and delays and Harmonizer. A recording booth of 40m², well equiped; 2 drums, guita and bass cabs, a few amps (constantly evoving collection). Presonus monitor station and Dynaudio BM5 monitors. A Yamaha 02r96 as control interface, everything neatly installed in Argosy furniture. We like it neat and tidy at Blackout Studio. At home I have a homestudio with a Mac Pro, Protools/Logic/Cubase/Reaper, a MOTU 828, Audient ID22, Dynaudio BM5, a few pieces of equipment, mainly old samplers I emotionaly can't get rid off, dating from my Atari1040ST era.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Expanding our studio with a Studio B and expanding our services. Digging myself in AoIP and IT networking. I recently discovered the Dante protocol and I'm envisioning that everything will be interconnectable with ethernet cables.I'm also a teacher/lecturer at the SAE and I try to say on point with the latest technologies.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My first steps where on a small mixing console and a 4 track tape recorder with Cubase on Atari. I play the guitar myself but very quickly my main interest went to studio techniques, I clearly remember when and where I bought my very first condenser microphone and how my all studio setup evolved until today. I studied math and in combination with playing the guitar, it was quite easy to change theory into practice. The coolest about this job is that everyone is keen to help each other out, it's like a brotherhood. I'm doing this for 25 years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Out of the box mentality.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Never overdo things. The best things are in simple ideas but very well executed. Rehearse more and play more live and listen and criticize each other before going to the studio.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The right feeling and right intentions on the right moment, bar per bar. Bringing the song alive with a lot of dynamics.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Recording a whole ska band. The recording where really pure and honest and it was a challenge to schedule all the musicians and coach them.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Andres M. Algaba
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The fact I can live my passion all day long.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A knife, rope, bow and arrow, sunglasses and a tent :-)
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: So many to name. I like a variety of music styles so it's very hard to classify. Mainly rock bands.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Recording, mxing and mastering and coaching for demos, EP and full albums