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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Guus Hoevenaars
Guus_Hoevenaars
Guus_Hoevenaars
Guus_Hoevenaars
Guus_Hoevenaars

Guus Hoevenaars

Producer, mixer, live sound engineer
Guus Hoevenaars

Guus Hoevenaars has tasted success in many different parts of music production, from recording to live sound, and within every genre, from classical music to pop. He's written music for TV, designed studios and mixed for Scissor Sisters, The Feeling and The Pierces. In fact, is there anything you have not done Guus?

Scissor Sisters, The Feeling, The Pierces, HVMNS
Guus is using...
Origin
Starlight
To the Galaxy… eventually

Weirdly, music was never part of my upbringing. We had some records like Johnny Cash lying around, but my mum and dad thought it was a good idea to play an instrument, so I chose guitar. I played classical guitar, had braces and spectacles with springs around my ears – I was killing it! At secondary school I had a cool new music teacher who played Supertramp – Breakfast in America. That was it, that’s when I realized – I was about 13 at the time. I then visited a local radio station around the same time and saw all of the aux sends and EQ knobs on the board. I can still clearly remember that day – it blew me away and things have never changed.

I started a band at 16, Speakers Mumble, in which I sang and played bass. We were an 8-piece and did pretty well. We started using PAs for the bigger gigs from a local firm. I then started working for that company while finishing off my secondary school. My live sound career sort of took off, first with local bands but then bigger and bigger gigs in arenas and large musicals like Miss Saigon. I was still only 22.

I finally decided to study music but only after finishing a degree in interior design to take over my mum and dad’s firm! So I enrolled at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague for four years studying Tonmeister and jazz-double bass. During the degree I kept on doing live sound, mostly contemporary classical work like John Cage and Stockhausen. I was mainly working with orchestras and ensembles doing the odd arena tour. I simultaneously worked at Galaxy studios in Belgium, recorded a bunch of orchestras and bands and worked for Endemol in The Netherlands doing post production.

All around the world

At 25, I finished my degree and just two days later I drove to London. I didn’t know anybody – I just arrived and lived opposite the bagel shop on Brick Lane. But that was it, I lived in London for 17 years, won two Emmys, had a BAFTA nomination, and worked for Scissor Sisters, The Pierces and The Feeling. My first studio was with Manfred Mann on Old Kent Road called The Workhouse. It was soon after that when the whole block became an Asda! Yay.

Around the same time I ended up in the US which opened my eyes and ears to what producing really is. I was part of this incredible creative studio called Soapbox Studios. We had Missy Elliott, P Diddy, David Guetta, Bangladesh (Beyonce), Novel (Leona Lewis), CeeLo Green and many others passing through. It was bliss.

Recently I moved to Melbourne, Australia. The music scene is so cool here and what I can imagine London used to be like, with gigs and bands everywhere. I have been working out of Newmarket Studios – they have great microphones and a great vibe. I am also in the midst setting up a writing/production room. I am very excited about this and it's gonna be based around a house band.

Stuff these guys at Aston

I am not really a gear head but I really like spaces, acoustically and emotionally. I used to think that only expensive gear is used to make great sounding records. Aston is changing that and I think it’s a first that a well-priced microphone can stand up there with those historic heroes. 

At home I have some APIs, Calrecs, and LaChapells. I guess mic pre wise, the LaChapells make me happy. I have been using a Starlight with that pre, recording acoustics. That blew me away, it really did. I wasn’t expecting it to sound that good and I think I wept a little. I recorded some Vivaldi with a pair of Starlights the other day, on the choir. It was banging – no band can beat an 80-piece orchestra and 80-piece choir. Again I wept. The Starlights delivered.

So then I thought 'stuff these guys at Aston, the bunch of show offs, I am going to do a mic shoot-out myself against my beloved Schoeps MK4'. But, the Starlights totally held up. Bastards!

I have a really nice Neumann M149 and I haven’t had that guts to put it up against the Origin I own. One day… The best thing about the Origin is the fact that you can hold it! When I am in a writing session I use it as a hand-held SM58 replacement. Singers love it – it sounds amazing. I use no fixed position, just a long lead and some headphones and it's all usable. Aston, Weep like you Mean it.

Out-takes

Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. “Interior design.”

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?
A. “One that moves via a remote control to align phase.”

Q. What are the 4 words you’d chose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A. “Here's two: impressive and sexy.”

Q. What is the first song that made you cry?
A. “Many songs make me cry but one instance in particular springs to mind. I had been in the US doing sessions for weeks on end, from 2pm – 4am, sleeping in the booth, seven days a week. In the middle of the night I decided to play Brabant by Guus Meeuwis. He is an awesome Dutch singer-songwriter and this song is about my province, my upbringing. I bawled my eyes out. Luckily it was nothing a shot of tequila couldn't fix.”

Q. Who are your favourite artists?
A. “Taylor Swift, Lorde, AC/DC, Muse and The Killers.”

Aston gear has been used on the following projects...

Royal Melbourne Philharmonic

 

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