We’ve handpicked industry experts and academics from all areas of the recording and music business. They bring a wealth of experience, expertise, skills and insider knowledge. Their roles range from engineers, producers and musicians to A&R, marketing and management. They include multiple Grammy and other regional award winners. Please meet the team behind our Advanced Diploma in Music Production & Sound Engineering.
Welcome to our Abbey Road Institute academic team. Here you'll find more information about our regular lecturers and visiting industry experts.
Tobias Hess is a musician, music producer and audio engineer from Germany. After initiating his universal education as a classical guitar soloist in Berlin, he moved to Detmold to continue his guitar studies. Furthermore, Tobias started studying at the Erich-Thienhaus-Institute as a “Tonmeister”, which marked the start of his career as a music producer. Throughout his studies, he achieved multiple first prizes at international student competitions (such as AES and VdT) for his works as a sound engineer and producer.
During his freelance activities and 1-year employment at the renowned Galaxy Studios in Belgium, Tobias deepened his interests. He started blending classical orchestral instruments into modern music styles such as pop and film music. And since 2012 he has worked on over 60 scores for film, television and games as a music editor and engineer.
Currently, Tobias is mostly freelancing as a music producer and is focusing on his own musical projects. He lives in West-Germany at an international renowned concert venue (www.redhorndistrict.de). He is partly running the venue and working there as a in-house sound engineer. Besides all of that, he also teaches music theory at Abbey Road Institute.
MarcoAntonio Spaventi is a musician, producer and audio engineer from Rome, Italy. After graduating in electronic engineering in Rome, he moved to Amsterdam. He has spent the following years teaching and growing his technical skills in the studio and on stage.
Nowadays Marco is a full time producer and audio engineer in mixing, mastering, post production and sound design for picture. He works for several clients worldwide and regularly plays live gigs as MaSpaventi. He also gives lectures on Ableton, Synthesis and Sampling at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam.
Given his background as a musician, Marco collects the best in vintage and modern synthesisers and drum machines, such as a the Fender Rhodes and several modules in the eurorack format. His studio is located at the music centre Q-Factory in Amsterdam, working everyday with top gear, with the best in both the analogue and digital world.
Nick Ribbens started out as a drummer when he was 13. He studied drums at the Herman Brood Academy and graduated in 2013. After a short-lived career studying Composition & Music Production at the HKU, Nick moved on to working full-time as a co-/ghost producer & songwriter. Since then Nick has been steadily building his resume, working as a sound designer for VR-experiences and games. He also partnered up with EDM.com for his own projects INSTATIC & Giraff, and works on productions for Sony, Universal, and Cloud9. Besides being locked up in studios, Nick has embarked on multi-city tours as a DJ throughout China in 2016.
Huub Reijnders is an award-winning producer and mix engineer, who has worked with artists like Bløf, Acda & De Munnik, Jett Rebel, 3 Doors Down, Damian Marley, 50 Cent, U2, The Scorpions, The Kaiser Chiefs.
While enrolled in the music production program at Rotterdam Conservatory, Huub took an internship position at Wisseloord and worked his way up the ladder to assistant/in-house engineer.
Huub’s big break came in 2005 as engineer on Krezip’s hit-packed album “What Are You Waiting For.” His career as a free-lance engineer took off, and he worked in several studios in Belgium and Holland. He then settled into a room of his own, first in a postproduction facility, and later in Studio Zeezicht. In 2014, Huub had the opportunity to take on a room in the production wing at Wisseloord. Nowadays Huub works most of the time in his own studio in Haarlem.
At Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam, Huub teaches production, mixing and recording classes.
Jasper Derksen is a sound engineer and an expert in (analogue) audio equipment. His relationship with music goes way back, growing up in the recording studios of his parents. Besides playing the piano, he would always hang around and work in the studios. Since the family business moved to refurbishing professional audio equipment, Jasper has worked on projects fo the biggest studios in Europe, mainly deconstructing, refurbishing and installing consoles.
After a while, Jasper went on to work at Galaxy Studios for numerous years as dub-stage supervisor and became the technical go-to person in the studios. In 2016, Jasper co-founded the Amsterdam location of Abbey Road Institute. He took upon the role of Managing Director, is the head of tech within the studios and also teaches various classes in the curriculum.
Mark Derksen is a producer, sound engineer and expert in analog audio equipment. He is the founder of Markant Studios, Mark1 Pro Audio and co-founder of Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam. With more than 30 years of experience, Mark upholds the highest standard in the maintenance, repair and (de-)commissioning of large studio consoles. In particular of SSL, Neve and Studer recorders.
Over the years, Mark has build up quite a clientele, both as a producer/engineer and an expert in professional audio equipment. Artists with the likes of Bob Weston, Eddie Floyd, Coldplay, Simply Red, The White Stripes, Volumia!, Krezip, and Stevie Ann; and music studios including Miloco, Red Bull Studios, British Grove, Metropolis, Wisseloord Studios, Jim Abbis’s studio, Jett Rebel’s studio, our own studios here at the Amsterdam institute & many more.
Here at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam, Mark teaches Tape Machines and Recording to Tape.
“When I started, there weren’t many studios, analog technology was in full development. I had built a control room myself, but due to the lack of funds it was too expensive to always have someone come or the knowledge was not there at all, so I started repairing myself.
After receiving a master’s degree in Sound and Music Technology, Roel Verberk’s career began at Sony as an authoring engineer and technician in their SuperAudioCD division. Through his work there on cutting-edge high-resolution audio, his passion for music and sound led him to venture deeper into audio engineering, joining Galaxy Studios in Belgium as an assistant recording/mixing engineer. While honing his skills in the mix room, Roel also secured a large-scale tape archiving project for a major record label and, in the course of that work, became an expert on analog tape formats and restoration.
Roel is now an established engineer/producer and an experienced educator in Music Production & Sound Engineering. In the studio, he takes it as his responsibility to prepare thoroughly and anticipate the artist’s needs ahead of time, so the session itself can center around creating and capturing the performance. His client list includes Willie Nelson, Caro Emerald, Kane, Wende, Krezip, Alain Clark, Snoop Dogg, Moke, Echovox, Duffy, Orgelvreten, Enrique Iglesias, 3Js, Live, Ramon Valle and many others.
Roel is the Amsterdam Institute’s Academic Director and will also cover part of the production and recording classes.
“I want to make sure the studio is a place where artists feel comfortable and free so they can perform their best, experiment if they want to, and first and foremost, enjoy what they’re doing.”
Anthony Maes is a Belgian sound engineer and part of the core lecturing team at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam. The analog bug bit him in his youth when he picked up an electric guitar and started to toy around with amps. With his analogue tape delays and other old quirky analogue recording collection slowly growing, such as the old 70’s Fender PA system, his fascination with vintage gear took root. While music and audio take up most of his time, he enjoys the simple pleasures of surfing and a Duvel every once in a while.
Having started his career in 2011, he already had a number of years experience in audio education. Anthony has recorded and produced at the likes of Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten, to training audio personnel and technical support at the Eye Film Museum and being the audio support at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. He is currently part of the team at Mark 1 Pro Audio which specialises in professional audio equipment refurbishment and maintenance.
At the Amsterdam institute Anthony teaches ProTools and covers a great deal in the audio engineering module.
Milou Derksen is a musician and recording engineer of Dutch origin. Music basically is and has always been her way of life, growing up in the recording studios of her parents. With a dad as producer and sound engineer and a mum as the studio manager, she would always hang around and play keys and guitar in the studios. While getting her university degree, she also joined the family business Mark1 Pro Audio in refurbishing professional audio equipment. She has worked on some projects for the biggest studios in Europe, mainly deconstructing, refurbishing and installing consoles.
Lately, she has been involved in the launch of the platform She-Music International, a group of female and non-binary artists, musicians and creatives. She has been working on their first EP called The Wendelmoet Sessions.
Milou has been part of the ARI Amsterdam team since the beginning in 2016, taking upon various roles from communication, marketing and PR to student relations, managing studio bookings and being (technical) support for students.
Dennis Beentjes is a career coach and social media consultant. He has an educational background in audio engineering. He has previously worked in the creative media education industry for over 16 years in several teaching and management positions.
He is the co-founder of the Mindbrouwerij in Amsterdam, which is specialised in career coaching and personal development training. In addition to being a coach and trainer, Dennis helps artists with their personal branding and social media presence, teaches the magic of blogging to teenagers and has finally picked up playing the bass again.
Given his background in education, marketing and audio, Dennis is working for several Abbey Road Institute’s, creating content, writing blogs and planning their social media. He’s also a guest lecturer at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam giving classes about social media, personal branding and career path development.
As a teenager Paul played guitar in bands in and around his hometown of Bristol and this introduced him to the art of recording. He saved up for a four track cassette recorder and has never looked back. In 2007 Paul joined Abbey Road in a placement scheme from the prestigious Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey. After graduating in 2009, Paul was invited to become a permanent fixture at Abbey Road Studios.
Since then Paul has worked as an assistant / pro tools engineer on a great number of projects across a wide range of genres. His credits include pop and rock sessions with, the Arctic Monkeys, Chas and Dave, Sting, Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Sigur Ros, Take That, Birdy, Elbow. He has also done live studio sessions with Paolo Nutini, Alt J, Blondie; film music sessions for Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Les Mis, Unbroken, San Andreas; and classical sessions with Villazon/Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Paul is also a sound engineer in his own right, recording the late great Jack Bruce’s album ‘silver Rails’ and Co engineering Kylie’s ‘The Abbey Road sessions’.
David Miles Huber is a Grammy® nominated, American composer and producer. His work focuses on the downtempo, ambient and dance genres. He received his degree in music technology from Indiana University (I.M.P.), and was the first American to be admitted into the Tonmeister program at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, England.
Huber is also the author of numerous books on recording and electronic music. His CD series Relaxation and Meditation with Music and Nature has sold over one million copies. His latest music and collaborations are available through the 51bpm independent record label. Huber’s most prominent book Modern Recording Techniques was sold over 250,000 copies and became a standard recording industry text.
Andrew Dudman works as a senior recording engineer for Abbey Road Studios. He joined the engineering department as part of The Tonmeister degree course at the University of Surrey. He returned to the studios full-time with a BMus (Hons) Music and Sound Recording degree.
As an Engineer, Andrew has worked on many musicals, production library music and a wide range of computer game. He also does pop projects (Professor Green, Robbie Williams, Underworld, Elbow) as well as classical recordings both in the Studios and on the road with Abbey Road’s Mobile Unit.
In 2014, Andrew has been awarded the Pro Sound News – Engineer of the Year. Notably, he worked as Score Editor on the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, winning an MPSE Award for Fellowship of the Ring. He then received nominations for the same award for the Two Towers and Return of the King.
Being part of the team of Abbey Road Studios, Andrew is one of the guest speakers at the Amsterdam Institute.
Darcy Proper is a successful sound engineer and a role model for many within the industry. Darcy graduated with honours from NYU’s Music Technology programme and began her career at Sony Classical Productions and Sony Music Studios in New York City. After twenty years in the big city, she made the jump to Europe, accepting a position as Senior Mastering Engineer at Galaxy Studios in Belgium. In 2010, Darcy became part of the team of adventurers dedicated to the revival of Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands. where she currently bases her work as a mastering engineer.
Over the years, Darcy has been honoured with 3 Grammy awards and 9 nominations and has won several other awards for her work. Alongside her mastering work, she also lectures at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam.
She has had the pleasure of mastering historical reissue projects for such prestigious artists as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck, and Johnny Cash. She has also worked on stereo and 5.1 front-line releases for many talented artists including The Eagles, Ilse DeLange, Donald Fagen, Anouk, Porcupine Tree, Clouseau, Peter Maffay, Patricia Barber, Alain Clark, Jane Ira Bloom, Marcus Miller, Jef Neve, Ozark Henry.
Emiliano Caballero started out his engineering career at Galaxy Studios in Belgium, where he worked with artists like George McCrae, Clint Mansell and David Miles Huber. Shortly after, he moved to NYC to work as an assistant engineer at Electric Lady Studios. During his time there, he worked with artists such as Bon Jovi, Foy Vance, Elle King and Michael Kiwanuka.
Emiliano is currently a freelance producer & engineer, working between New York City, Los Angeles and Amsterdam.
Ronald Prent started out at Wisseloord in 1980 as an inexperienced assistant and has since established himself as one of the most accomplished and innovative recording & mix engineers in the world. At Abbey Road Institute, Ronald teaches mixing and advanced recording techniques.
He specialises in surround sound, pioneering in mixing and playing a key role in the development of new technology used in progressive high-resolution formats. In the early years of surround audio development, Ronald was a “test pilot” for Sony and Philips’ DSD/SACD format. Many of the projects that he mixed in those days are still held up as benchmark examples of creative surround mixing. API’s flagship ‘Vision’ console which features simultaneous stereo and surround mixing capability, and SPL’s benchmark MMC1 multi-channel mastering console are two examples of technological excellence stemming from Ronald’s original and practical ideas.
His long list of clients includes notable artists such as Simple Minds, Rammstein, The Scorpions, Mink DeVille, Richie Hawtin, Udo Lindenberg, Gotthard, Tina Turner, Ilse DeLange, Live, Within Temptation, Herbert Grönemeyer, Clouseau, Lori Lieberman, Manowar, Alain Clark, and Peter Maffay.
Bob Katz is an American audio mastering engineer who is known for his influential textbook Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science. Katz has mastered three GRAMMY® Award-winning albums and one nominated album. He is one of the most respected mastering engineers in the business.
Katz taught at the Institute of Audio Research in the late seventies. He joined Chesky Records in 1988 and began recording jazz and classical artists there, as well as producing oversampled commercial recordings. In the early nineties, he founded an audio mastering company called Digital Domain Mastering, where he continues to work. Since a few years Katz has a regular blog – Katz’s Corner – on the headphone enthusiast site InnerFidelity.
Through the years Katz has received high critical acclaim from audiophiles and so did his book on mastering. Some reviewers consider it the definitive work on mastering. He has also invented a proprietary technology called K-Stereo and K-Surround. These processes are designed to recover lost or amplify hidden ambience, space and imaging, and generate stereo from mono signals without adding artificial reverberation.
Throughout the year, we select 10 student mixes that we send to Bob. Then Bob gives his feedback for each student in an interactive Skype session. We are immensely grateful to be able to learn from Bob’s amazing wealth of wisdom.
Jef Martens – better known by his stage name Basto – is a Belgian record producer, musician and DJ. He is signed to the ARS label and primarily produces electro house music. Jef produced using various aliases such as Bitch Boys, Candyman, Felix Project, and Lazy Jay. He was also a member of the Belgian dance group Lasgo and co-produced with the band in 2009 and 2010 on a number of singles.
Jef is best known for producing the Azealia Banks’ hit debut single “212” under the alias of Lazy Jay. He also produced “Scream & Shout” for will.i.am and Britney Spears in 2012.
For most Al Schmitt needs no introduction, he is an accomplished and legendary engineer and producer who has spent his life working closely with the “Greats” of music for over five decades.
During his career, Schmitt has recorded and mixed more than 150 gold and platinum albums. With 22 Grammy’s, he has won more than any other engineer or mixer. In 2014, Schmitt was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which recognises his contribution to the music industry.
Scanning Al Schmitt’s discography-which takes a long time, by the way-it’s tough to settle on a singular high point. That’s because Schmitt’s decades of award-winning work read like a trip through musical history. Up one aisle you’ll find Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Miles Davis; up another you’ll bump into Jefferson Airplane, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Steely Dan. Round a corner and you’ll encounter Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Madonna, and Quincy Jones mingling with Michael Jackson, Diana Krall, Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, and Michael Buble.
We were truly honoured to have Al Schmitt over in April 2018 to record a jazz band and give mix critique to our students!
Matt Butler is a producer, writer, arranger and engineer. He was the first in the U.K. to have a 24-bit Pro Tools rig and have a band on the studio floor with it! Matt, a legend himself, has worked with countless artists such as Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Mick Jagger, Dire Straits, and many more. He has also been the in-house engineer at AIR’s famous studio facility on Montserrat, running recording sessions by a who’s who of rock and pop.
We are very lucky and grateful to see Matt every year at Rockfield Studios, where he gives our students a full weekend recording masterclass. He makes sure a great band comes in for the sessions, so he can discuss techniques, organization, set up and workflow, opening their minds to what it takes to master the art of recording.
Luca Pretolesi has logged over 20,000 hours in the studio honing his skills. Engineering, mixing, and mastering are treated as an art form at his leading Las Vegas studio (Studio DMI) and each practice is carefully executed to preserve the power of the artist’s original vision. He stands out among a sea of electronic engineers with his unique hybrid set-up, mixing old and new technology.
In place of a traditional mixing studio, Luca has created a mix of equipment, including computer plugins, custom-made hardware, EQ’s and compressors, and high end mastering gear. As an engineer Luca has worked with Diplo, Major Lazer, Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DVBBS, Snoop Lion, Gareth Emery, Dada Life, Lil Jon, MakJ, E.A.S.Y., Morgan Page, Dillon Francis, KSHMR, and TJR to name a few.
We are very happy to be Luca’s go-to studio in Amsterdam: He regularly gives masterclasses to our students and they can join his mixing sessions.
Sylvia Massy has been Producing, Engineering and Mixing popular music for decades. She is renowned for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash, Prince and many others. Over the years, her work has been awarded 25 gold and platinum records including awards for her work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sevendust and Tom Petty.
She is also an accomplished fine artist, a published columnist, an in-demand educator and a relentless entrepreneur. But to her many friends, she is just Sylvia, the Radiant Being. Sylvia has delivered one of our most avant-garde workshops to date, including experimentation with raw techniques, making a sub-kick microphone from the woofer of a retired monitor, a telephone rewired into a microphone for drums and vocals. You can find out more about Sylvia’s creative studio techniques on our blog.
Bindu De Knock specialises in music and entertainment law, intellectual property and commercial contracts. She represents clients in the music and entertainment industry, the art world, creative industries and consumer products (fashion & design). She is a seasoned adviser and negotiator of contracts for DJ’s, music producers, songwriters vocalists, artists, labels, publishers and other entertainment professionals.
Bindu is the founder of her company “CrossLink Legal“, wrote the book Noot voor Noot: an introduction to music law, and is a writer for several music magazines. She understands the music industry from both sides, as she has a diploma in audio engineering and produces music herself.
Here at Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam, Bindu teaches part of the music business classes.
Andrew Scheps is a Grammy-award winning mix engineer whose credits read like a who’s who of popular music. He mixed four tracks on Adele’s Grammy-winning album, 21, and engineered and mixed songs on Red Hot Chili Peppers albums I’m with You and Stadium Arcadium. He has collaborated frequently with producer Rick Rubin. Scheps has worked with Jay-Z, U2, Justin Timberlake, Green Day, Metallica, and many others.
During his masterclass with our students, Andrew walks our students through one of his masterful mixes revealing his techniques and workflow. His classes include an extensive Q&A which give the students the opportunity to dig into his wealth of experience and knowledge.
Erik “Rook” Ortiz is an American producer from Florida. In 2005 he formed the group of producers “J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League”. They produced with artists like Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy, Drake, 2 Pistols, The Game, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Maino, Ghostface Killah, Rocko, Blood Raw and Young Buck to name a few. Within only ten years of forming his production team, he obtained several awards including a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album for his work on Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough (2006).
Focus… is an American producer from New York City. He is the son of Bernard Edwards who was one of the co-founders of “Chic”. Focus gained recognition after his collaboration with Dr. Dre in 2002 on the Aftermath label. Since then he has produced numerous artists such as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Alain, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, John Legend, The Game, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, 50 Cent, Schoolboy Q, Joe, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Ameriie, Christina Millian, Mac Dre and Marsha Ambrosius among others. Focus… is now the CEO and owner of his entertainment company N|VZXN Entertainment.
Mirek Stiles started working at Abbey Road Studios as a recording engineer in 1998, working on a diverse range of projects including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Beatles Anthology, Muse, Kanye West, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Paul McCartney.
Today, Mirek runs the studio’s Audio Products department leading the development of a range of software and hardware releases based on Abbey Road’s historic recording IP with partners Waves Audio and Chandler Limited. Mirek also sits on the board and acts as an advisor on the Abbey Road Red incubation programme and is currently exploring and experimenting with Spatial Audio over headphones, ambisonics, spatial microphone arrays and game engine workflow. Recent projects include collaborations with film and video game composer Stephen Barton, joint research with the University of York and the University of Huddersfield and chairing the Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum, bringing together members from gaming, broadcast, VR, music production and film.
Marieke McKenna (London, 1994) is the founder of independent record label Mink Records, artist manager, creative director and A&R scout. Mink Records is a relatively young yet wave-making record label, being the supporting force behind the (inter)national success of some of The Netherlands’ most exciting upcoming alternative artists, like Pitou, The Visual, Torii and The Mighty Breaks. The label is known to help push artists with a non-mainstream sound and get them attention through careful business acumen, without making creative concessions. In 2019 Marieke founded a joint venture ‘Mink Music Publishing’, together with Cloud 9 Publishing, creating opportunities in publishing and sync for upcoming artists. She’s a regular guest lecturer & speaker at educational institutions like The Abbey Road Institute, Codarts and the ArtEZ, and appears on panels at conferences such as Eurosonic, The Great Escape and VNPF. She is also a keen music collector and researcher, holds a MA degree in philosophy, and regularly DJs at events.
Maria worked for the past 16 years at Sony Music Entertainment in New York City, at their Battery Studios facility, as a Mastering Engineer. There, she had the honour and opportunity to contribute her skills and expertise on many award winning recordings, with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Wayne Shorter and Britney Spears to Bob Dylan.
Before leaving Sony, she contributed to the development of Sony’s new immersive 360RA technology and created content by mixing and remixing released and unreleased material. Equally versatile in the analog domain as well in the digital realm, Maria has worked as a restoration and archival engineer for music collections of the Metropolitan Opera of NY, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Sony Music’s Catalogue.
By day, you’re soaking in the knowledge of industry experts. By night, you practice what you’ve learnt in a playground of high-end studio equipment. What more could you possibly want?
Abbey Road Institute is not a school, it is a high end production studio with a control room full of learners.
When you come here, it’s all about being eager to learn, put in the time, and believe in what you do. Hard work pays off.
“Every day spent here felt like I was better than the day before. It is beautiful to think in colours, mix with flavours and develop a unique way to listen and understand music. Abbey Road is all about perspective and attitude, things which are taught so well between the magical walls of the institute“
From the moment I entered Abbey Road Institute Amsterdam it took me a total of 5 minutes to realise that I came to the right place. It has been one of the best experiences, meeting new friends for life from all over the world. You learn so, so much in just 1 year in an incredible environment, which has to be felt to understand.