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Amsterdam Mastering

Who:Darius van Helfteren

What:Mastering Engineer, Studio owner

Where:Amsterdam, Netherlands

API Gear:2500, 5500

From The Street:

"With the opening of the new studio I was looking to add some more colors to my sonic palette, but was having a hard time finding the tools to give me the sound I felt I was missing.

"After trying out a range of esoteric mastering gear, Helios (Dutch API distributor) suggested I try the 2500 & 5500. Right from the first power-up, I was aware that I was in the presence of Gear Greatness!

"The 2500 is the most versatile compressor I've ever used. It can go from clean and transparent to grabby and punchy at the flick of a few switches. I'm really amazed at the range of colors and options available in this comp.

"The 5500 is a tone box extraordinaire. The "range" control gives me the option to move from serious EQ shaping to subtle mastering tweaks, and the chosen frequency ranges and slopes I would simply describe as highly musical. The knobs have a great feel to them and switches all round make recalls a breeze.

"I was also pleased to see hard bypasses in both units, a prerequisite for serious mastering tools. And all this from gear that costs half the price of many other mastering units!"

About Amsterdam Mastering and Darius van Helfteren:

At the beginning of 2008, Darius van Helfteren decided to move his mastering studio from his then home in Wisseloord Studios to a new, purpose-built facility in Amsterdam. The brief to the designer and team of specialist craftsmen was simple: build a no compromise, cost-no-object mastering studio to rival anything anywhere in the world!

Fast forward to 2009, and the results speak for themselves. Northward Acoustics in Brussels provided the designs for a 42 sq/m, totally floating room, isolated down to 10hz, and featuring a wealth of innovations in acoustic design and construction. The floating concrete floor actually covers 72sq/m, a testament to the amount of isolation and absorption deployed, and the studio was built using a staggering 30 tons of material. Highlights include a 1.8m deep bass trap at the back, totally silent airco and stainless steel front wall, and an outer coating for the studio. Of course, a climbing wall was included.

Darius van Helfteren has put the finishing touch on many top Dutch artists in many styles ranging from hiphop and jazz to dance and indie rock, as well as international artists such as Scorpions and Judas Priest.

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Contact: Email:; phone: (+31) 6 474 063 07; Twitter

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