Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell you a bit more about myself, and my work as Managing Director and Chief Engineer of XARC Mastering. For sake of easier organization, I have categorized my extended ‘bio.’ Happy reading!

Mastering Me, Business Me

Prior to starting XARC Mastering, I worked for a German TV Station editing, mixing & mastering audio for their daily needs. In and of itself, the work there was very interesting, and often very inspiring. Taking on a slightly different project in 2001, I worked for six months with Artificial Illusions Film, on their movie “Malen mit Licht” (English translation: “Painting with light”). I performed all of the audio editing, including mixing & mastering of the soundtrack, as well as creating the sound effects and mixing & mastering the complete movie in Dolby Surround. The movie was nominated for and won at the “SLM-Televisionprice 2002” in the category “Special price production engineering – camera, audio, cut”.

But, my destiny soon appeared to be taking a different direction. Indeed, in a lot of respects, (and akin to many things in life), XARC came about essentially “by accident.” One major part of the inspiration for XARC originated one day in May 2003, when I was browsing the musician/producer forum on renoise.com, taking a look at their section where new songs are posted for review. One sounded particularly appealing to me, so I downloaded it, and decided to improve upon it sound-wise, just for fun, so I mastered it for my own personal collection and listening pleasure. I was quite pleased with the results, and thought, “hey, maybe I should give this to the composer.” One thing led to another, and he was so “blown away” by the quality that he said: “this rocks, I am sending you $50 USD for your job.”

It was that event that really got me thinking. It was immediately obvious to me that there was a good business opportunity there to take my work international. A look around the Internet proved on-line mastering to be a brand new concept. Around then, I also realized just how empowering an on-line mastering service could be for a huge range of artists. So, I decided to test the concept out, to see if it was a good direction in which to expand my mastering work. I created a bit of “buzz” on forums like kvraudio.com, and was really quite surprised with how well that worked. Before I knew it, the clients started pouring in, I was quickly becoming addicted to working on an international level, and, as a professional, I had really never felt better. I thought long and hard about what to do next.

I soon came to the decision to take the plunge. I took the very brave step of quitting mastering for television and film, and started doing XARC full time, launching the business as a new company along with a professional website in December of 2003. At that point, I had already mastered for 33 “online clients” from a few countries under the XARC brand. How things have changed from then to now… Now we’re going to easily surpass a thousand clients next year. I’ve had the truly life-changing experience of working with a global set of artists in over sixty countries. I’m very proud to be able to bring high-quality mastering “to the masses.”

I’ve said many times before that not much could’ve really prepared me for the incredible experience XARC very quickly became. I am truly honoured to be able to do the mastering work I love, while working with such a huge variety of artists, from such a diverse range of genres and nations. They often say music is an international thing, but I don’t think I ever fully appreciated that until starting XARC. The depth of talent and creativity I am able to work with each and every day, I assure you, is far beyond just inspiring, and has very much changed my life. I really couldn’t hope for much more.

I also feel it’s important to contribute back to the industry on another level. In that area, I am also responsible for maintaining our ongoing research program, looking at new techniques in audio processing, and working together with various DSP-Coders and engineers to achieve the best for audio in general. That in itself is certainly an interesting and educational experience, and I am very glad to be involved.

Ordinary Me

Although I keep extremely busy with XARC, I do try to have a bit of a “life” outside of work. Completely (or at least somewhat!) outside the scope of XARC, I consider myself an avid amateur (digital) nature photographer. At a later time, I will probably post some of my pics and talk a bit more about that.

One of my other larger and more time-consuming interests are finances and financial markets. I particularly enjoy tracking my investments, subjecting them to extensive analysis, and otherwise following the ups and downs (all the while trying to take advantage of both) of many international stock markets.

Also very important to me is one of my closest companions – he’s of the furry feline variety. Charly Vauck (a cat!) is a fixture in the XARC studios, and even works for food only (although he’s not particularly skilled at mastering, at least not yet). I’ve included a picture of him below:

Charly The Cat

In terms of sports, I’m not too big of a fan of much other than Formula 1 and Stock car racing. Of course, Michael Schumacher, the German national legend, is my racing hero! I also love to play Snooker as often as possible.

Perhaps not surprising at all given my work, I also have been quite involved in the music side of things as a hobby (and sometimes a few commercial releases) too. I used to be fairly accomplished on the soprano flute, but I’ve lost my touch in recent years, and I am really quite “rusty.” I’m still quite the piano virtuoso though (and if enough people ask, I’ll have to perform a little virtual concert here). For the past dozen or so years, my main musical genres have been mainly melodic/epic/electronic music (i.e. trance, dance, techno), but also with a healthy mix of world-ethno-jazz fusion with Western beats. I’ll quite likely feature some of the artists I particularly enjoy from those genres in later posts (and maybe even some of my own work now and then), however a couple relatively large “influences” of mine in the fusion category are Deep Forest and Enigma.

Unfortunately, being so busy with XARC, I don’t really have the (large quantities as a result of my perfectionism streak) of time that I need to compose much of my own.

In terms of vacations and getaways – I do try to take a vacation every year whenever possible, sometimes for just a couple of days, sometimes for longer. This year, I attended the Fawkes / Faucks / Fauks / Vauck / etc. family reunion (during May) in Switzerland, along with many other family members from all over the world who are realted to Guy Fawkes, the famous British conspirator. Usually though, I try to ‘escape’ to some place sunny and warm, provided there’s a lot of musical tradition to find oneself in, and also where there are some good parties (i.e Ibiza!)

If anyone has any other questions about either “me,” please feel free to ask 🙂