Support & Install Engineer Danny Mengels



"Together, we turned Studio MM into the ideal workplace"

Vilvoorde's Studio MM has been a prominent name in the world of post-production studios since 2001. Together with a team of three employees, Mark Mommaerts has been offering clients the ideal mixing circumstances for film and video, as well as for dubbing, podcasting and recording. Mark has been a regular at Amptec for several years. Based on this previous history, he was able to establish a two-way relationship of trust to renovate his studio from top to bottom together with Danny Mengels.


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Prior to the start of the makeover, Mark Mommaerts set out his expectations in crystal-clear terms: "I wanted the studios to be in tiptop shape. For that reason, I only wanted the very best equipment, and I put my trust in the experience of people who know the tricks of the trade. It's all about the details: even the smallest misplaced button can become a source of issues and stress on long, busy days in the studio. And that's what led me to Amptec."


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Efficient use of space and flexibility in solutions
To Amptec, Studio MM presented a fascinating challenge. Even to Danny Mengels - a Support & Install Engineer with 15 years of experience in post-production - this was one of the biggest projects of his career: "On every project, I look for solutions to ensure the studio owners and technicians can work in the greatest possible comfort. The pieces of this puzzle always need to fall into place within the available space and budget. Mark already knew that I'm someone who uses space as efficiently as possible. I'm not your typical salesperson; I'm much more of an advisor by nature. For that reason, I was more than happy to go along with Mark's intention to retain a significant chunk of the speakers, mixing desks, acoustic panels and microphones from the old studio. That left us with plenty of budget to invest in renovation. As a result, we were able to implement our own design all by ourselves."


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Challenging job at Amptec
The story of Danny and Studio MM is symbolic of Amptec's vision, which is rooted in a personal approach, with respect for specific demands. "That responsibility and my interaction with grateful clients leaves me feeling energised and motivated", Danny claims. "The fact that Amptec gives you the space to work on a project independently makes it feel like you're bringing one on your own babies into the world time and time again. What's more, Amptec is always happy for you to revisit your customers after a project, to fine-tune your solutions or expand them. To see your baby grow up, in other words. On top of that, it's really great that you're not always working under pressure at Amptec: by carefully selecting your team and giving them the right tools, you can reduce stress, improve the working atmosphere and raise the level of the results delivered."

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Existing base keeps budget under control
Mark recalls how he could start to envisage the exact studios he wanted in his discussions with Danny: "Danny listened carefully when I described our workflow. Based on that, he decided to focus on ergonomics, Avid Pro Tools, plug-ins, cabling and connectivity. He set out to find the optimal speaker and screen positions, and he integrated DDP to accelerate our workflow. That way, we've got one central server for all media. On top of that, this server is simultaneously available in all studios, meaning your various technicians can use the same media at the same time in different studios. You can also display the end result in real time on any computer connected to the system, without having to copy any data. When you send data via WeTransfer, it is automatically added to the right folder. That way, you don't waste any time downloading data in the studio, and you can start editing straightaway."


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In addition, Danny provided Marc with advice on several investments: "In the new studio, every room has its own control rack, so that everyone can configure the various LED circuits to their own taste. After all, soft and indirect or bright and focused lighting helps you create just the right atmosphere to work in. We incorporated these control units in 19" racks in the same style as the audio equipment. That way, we were able to create a single, uniform entity. During the construction phase, I stayed in close contact with Massimo, the installer, and Daan, the acoustic engineer. I carefully centralised the power supply and Daan determined the sweet spot for monitoring. Throughout the entire project, we only encountered a single obstacle: the ventilation system was causing damping issues. We solved that problem by moving the ventilation system in question."


Ready to face the future
Various suppliers (Artnovion, Adam Audio and Dolby) use Studio MM as an example in their own communication. "Our ambition is to keep serving as an example of what a studio can be for some time to come", Danny comments. "To ensure that's the case, we've built an extensive network between the control rooms and studios. This contains network connections between every desk and a patch in the machine room. That gives you the option to connect to any other network of your choice, such as Dante, for example. On the other hand, you can just as easily add an extra (video) extension, link the controls for a camera or establish a connection between two laptops for remote sessions. That way, you've always got the answer to the latest technical challenges and changing demands."